This past weekend was my first time leaving Italy. I went with a program called Florence for Fun to the most magical town of Interlaken, Switzerland. Interlaken literally means “between lakes”. There are simply no words to describe the views that I experienced. Every direction I looked in was filled with beautiful snow-capped mountains and breathtaking scenery. I have never been to a more stunning place in my entire life. I continue to tell people I lived my weekend in a snow globe. I never thought that at any point in my life I’d be saying “I’m sad I have to go back to Italy”!
I’m going to start out with the negatives, because there truly aren’t many and I want to get to the vast list of positives that Interlaken has to offer. First off, everything is incredibly expensive. If you got a meal for under 20 Swiss Franks (almost equal to the US dollar), you were getting steal. I paid $7.50 for a bagel with cream cheese, which is not okay. I’m very happy to be back to my 1 euro pastries. I also had to pay to use the bathroom at Switzerland rest stop. The only other downside was the 8-plus hour bus ride there and back.
Now for the positives! This blog post could legitimately be 10 pages long. The crystal blue lakes were stunning. One morning I woke up early and got up to watch the sunrise over Lake Brienz. This was an experience I’ll never forget. Everyone is also incredibly friendly and kind in Switzerland. People here say “good morning” when you pass them on the sidewalks, something that has not been present in Florence. Another highlight of my trip was the Swiss chocolate tasting. Best chocolate I’ve had and will probably ever have, hands down. I had this specific coffee flavored truffle that changed my life. I also had a traditional Swiss cheese fondue dinner. The cheese here is as good as you’d think it would be. You also get free water with your meals, which is something that almost never happens in Italy.
On Saturday I took a train up to the little ski town of Grindelwald. If you ever venture to Interlaken, this $20 train ride is a must. This little town is full of cute shops, quaint little restaurants, and lots of skiers and snowboarders getting ready to tackle the slopes. The snow-covered mountains felt so enormous around me. The views just kept getting better and better as I traveled further up the mountain. The pictures that go along with this blog post don’t even come close to doing Switzerland justice. I can describe to you what I saw, but until you actually experience it, you won’t actually understand just how surreal it all was.
Would I go back to Switzerland? 100%. I might just need to save up a little money first. After this trip, I’ll be cooking many meals this week. Oh, and if Switzerland isn’t on your bucket list, I highly recommend adding it now.