Don’t you love it when the universe hands you a unexpected surprise that takes your journey down a beautiful path that you yourself couldn’t have planned any better? Me too.
So, I’m in Spain when I get a random email from Varee. This pure hearted, open minded friend started out as a hair client of mine back in California and for years she sat in the salon chair as I cut and fluffed her hair. I looked forward to her honest words of wisdom and always welcomed her encouragement of my life choices. We shared the love of traveling which led us often joking about someday meeting up over seas.
If you have been following the blog, you’ll know a large part of my journey has been either reuniting with fellow backpackers or staying with friends that I’ve met abroad. Varee had a new one for me as she was making a whirlwind trip to Switzerland and invited me to join her! Our dates, flights and schedules happen to link up close to what some may say was “perfect”.
Before I knew it, I was on a flight and Switzerland bound to see my dear friend in a brand new destination.
We were lucky to be hosted by a delightful Swiss couple that did a fantastic job of showing us a well rounded 2 days in this gorgeous country.
Upon arrival, their kind smiles and open arms was more than a welcome needed to know right away that we would be in good hands. Our first morning Edgar and Helen started us with a breakfast spread of fresh bread, jam, cheese, meats, as well as cereal, coffee, tea and juice. I’m not sure what I enjoyed more, the food, the conversation or the wide view from the table!
During the first 24 hours we were shown around their local city of Zug that surrounds the massive lake shown above. It’s comparable but slightly smaller than Folsom Lake and can be see from the top of the mountain. To reach the peak point, there is an inviting scenic climb on a famous gondola ride pulling you up 1039 meters (3,408 ft).
Here are some photos from our walk to the base of the mountain and our journey to the peak!
Edgar stopped to join the smiles of these adorable students who, to my best guess, were on a field trip. (I think he’s the biggest kid there!)
Up up we go!
Once you reach the top there are trails to trek, cafes to rest at and views that force a picture around every turn!
I visualized myself and two best friends with linked arms looking like this in years to come. Still walking, laughing and enjoying this beautiful planet together!
I love this simple shot (with a neat camera effect) of an old Swiss house.
We stopped for a tea and treat at one of the cafes. This is a flaky crust that hugs around a center of some sort of sweetened nut mixture bound together with sugar and spices. Yum!
Waiting for the tram to head back down into town. I love her smiling eyes with the slight eyebrow lift as she was saying “I know what you’re doing Miss. Erika”.
Helen and Edgar surprised us with a private entrance through this sneaky door that led to the top of an old watch tower. This is the height of the town where the firemen would keep a look out for fires nearby. So cool!
Once you got inside it was a climb of several stairs that directed you to the lookout. Along the way I got to get inside the old jail cell where prisoners were held hundreds of years ago. I couldn’t even stand up straight inside… Imagine that for part of the punishment.
I’m not quite sure what this sign means. Is it saying, “Please enjoy a smoke while you’re in here!” or “Cigars, pipes and cigarettes only please”?
The panoramic point was a small room with a table and several windows. I can only imagine the stories that these walls could tell.
..and my favorite shot from up here (with another slight camera effect).
This day wraps up with a chilly walk to a classy restaurant where I gladly put my backpacking meals to the side and allowed myself to thoroughly enjoy the quality dishes that were served.
Here are some photos that don’t do the flavors any justice of the fabulous dining!
Day two brought a stroll through Lucerne, a nearby small city known as the gateway to central Switzerland. Excluding the rain and my brilliant thought to wear sandals, it was an eye full of fabulous sights!
100% Success so far… A pub in Switzerland!
This is the inside of one of the many churches that create a distinct beauty that seems to be everywhere. I was so excited about this shot with my camera, I forgot to snag a picture of the outside, oops!
Here is the same church and a couple of other pics.
Before departing, we made a final stop where I got to see Edgar’s original weapons used back when he was a part of the Swiss army! The first picture is me being a goof. I mainly love this picture because of the genuine smile on Varee’s face.
Thank you Helen and Edgar for the memorable days in the beautiful country you call home. I feel honored that I was lucky enough to have been a part of your life for the 2 short but thrilling days!
Varee, to say you’re “easy to travel with” or “a joy to be around” just doesn’t seem to capture the way I feel. You’ve enhanced my journey in an unexpected way and I thank you. Where to next?