Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Exploring Switzerland

Since returning from our trip to Rome, We (my parents and I) have been busy exploring Switzerland (and neighboring France) by car, foot, and bike! Using the small Swiss town of St. Cergue as a starting point, we hiked the Jura and were rewarded with some amazing views of Geneva, Lac Leman, and the surrounding countryside. We also visited the French ski town of Megeve for some window shopping and a another hike. Pedaling around Lac Geneva, we ventured off the main roads and discovered a few small, idealic Swiss villages. Les Carroz, a favorite French ski resort of Jignesh and myself, was also on the list. Over the weekend, we packed our bags for an overnight trip to Mount Pilatus and Lucerne. Situated in central Switzerland, Lucerne is German speaking and feels worlds away from Geneva in both looks and attitude. Due to its location on the shores of Lake Lucerne and within sight of Mount Pilatus and the Alps, Lucerne was voted the fifth most popular tourist destination in the world by Tripadvisor and is considered by many to be the most beautiful city in Switzerland! With an old city full of character buildings and the medievil Chapel Bridge (pictured above), I would agree. We had a wonderful time just walking and taking in the scenery. Mount Pilatus, home to the world's steepest cogwheel railway, seems to explode from nowhere with a height of 6,982 ft. Although we were unable to take the cogwheel due to the snow, we did ride the gondola to the top for some amazing views. We even witnessed a skydiver take off from the top of the mountain! To return to the bottom, we opted to hike rather than use the roundtrip ticket on the gondola. On the trip home, we randomly pulled off the highway to check out the small town of Murten. Not knowing what to expect, we were rewarded with many well preserved attractions from the past...a beautiful castle, a ring wall, and numerious churches. Sometimes the best places are those that are overlooked by the travel books and blogs and this was no exception! What a week of exploring my adopted country!

Au Revoir.

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