Switzerland – more like fantasyland.

I chose Switzerland because I was missing Taiwan’s mountains terribly. Instead of travelling more than 15 hours, I could get to Switz in 1.5 hours from London.

Strangely enough I grew up in tropical weather but I don’t like the heat so I tried to avoid anywhere hot.

Switzerland’s weather was perfect for me (lower ground: 20-24/ mountains: 12-20 degrees). It was not humid.

Our 4 days itinerary: Geneva airport – Montreux (1 night) – Wengen (2 nights) – Geneva airport

After arrival, we hopped on the train to Montreux. It was one hour from the airport. I was surprised to find no one in the whole carriage.image_29f8031f-df05-48c8-8693-a95f2b302a52.img_7033

image_4d117e19-998f-4dbd-8388-2a719f8b4c4f.img_7087I loved that there was a tesla taxi – no it was not for us.

We stayed at Eurotel Montreux. It was 4 minutes walk from Montreux train station.

They were some of the friendliest receptionists I have come across.

I booked an economy room but they gave us a way bigger one with the lake and mountain view. and a balcony.

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They also gave us a Montreux card which allowed us to travel by bus in the area for free.

We took the bus to Chillon Castle and walked around the area.

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We did not go in the castle as weather was too good to stay indoor.

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Take a walk by the castle and you will come across such pretty sight.

We wanted to find somewhere affordable that offered big portions of food so went in this “Japanese” restaurant.

On google it was listed as Japanese but it was more like a Chinese restaurant.

“That’s the most Chinese Japanese food I’ve ever had.” – Emile

I had to capture this sight – my husband using his DSLR filming his food. Also note the rice on the plate. Everything about this photo is unusual…(including a meal).

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14/8
We took the 8:44 Golden Pass train from Montreux to Zweisimmen.

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If you want seats that face forward and have the best views, you can reserve them in advance. Choose ones that are on the right side when you face forward for this route: Montreux to Zweisimmen.

I followed this website’s instructions: https://www.mob.ch/en/reservation-procedure

Note that reserving seat is 8CHF per person. This does not include the actual ticket. You’d have to buy the ticket on here: golden pass ticket booking

However, you do not need to buy it in advance. You can simply arrive earlier to grab good seats if you don’t want to spend extra money on seats reservation. A lot of people did not reserve seats and still managed to find one.

It was the prettiest train journey I took (roughly 2 hours).

A sneak peak of the beginning.

 

 

After arriving at Zweisimmen, we transferred 3 times to get to Wengen as below:
Zweisimmen – Interlaken Ost – Lauterbrunnen – Wengen (almost 2 hours total).

The whole journey from Montreux to Wengen was about 4 hours but it was worth it when you see this view.

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We stayed at Hotel Bellevue Wengen. It was about 10 minutes walk from the station but they would pick up your luggage and give you a ride if you call them. The phone right outside the station is free to use.

We took the cable car to Männlichen as we wanted to try the alpine slide.

But it was too late so we just stuck around with the cows.

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I don’t think the cow liked me very much.

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I took this on the cable car – my legs were shaking but I did not wee. I think my fear of height is not as bad after this trip 🙂

15/8
We went hiking but neither of us wore proper clothes or shoes.

Which mad woman would bring a leather jacket on a hike? clearly not me.

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Also my converse had cow poo and holes that have nearly gone through the bottom…

Don’t worry they are already in the bin now.

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We took 7 breaks and hiked from sunny blue sky to rainy weather.

Thankfully the rain only lasted 5 minutes.

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Well, I was high…

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The journey was like a dream with mostly empty trail.

We took 5 hours because we were slow.

The destination was Kleine Scheidegg rail station (2061m high).

There were cafe and food stalls.

We ate some pizza and rosti and took the train back to Wengen.

Some people took the train up to Kleine Scheidegg and then hiked down instead, but if you fancy a challenge of a lifetime, I’d say hike up (and if you are stronger than me you can hike back down ;))

I was proud of myself for completing it. Because of my scoliosis, my lung capacity is reduced so I feel out of breath easily. Prior to this trip, I went to the gym every day, did bouldering a few times and swam regularly. These activities helped me with my stamina so I was able to hike this route.

On the last day, we took the train down to Lauterbrunnen.

There was a waterfull – Staubbach Fall.

The journey back to Geneva airport was 4 hours with 4 trains.

Every part was scenic so I ended up writing on the journey.

It was the prettiest country I’ve been.

When I sent my mum photos, she said, “can you immigrate there?”

Some people asked why I only went for 4 days – because I wouldn’t be able to afford a long trip in Switzerland.

Everything there was expensive – especially the food.

Two meals of Mcdonalds at Geneva airport cost 28 CHF.

But next time we know how to keep cost down – buy ingredients to make sandwiches.

Also we want to camp but did not see a single tent there so will have to look into that.

Another tip is if you are going for 4 or more days, you can buy Swiss Half Fare Card online. It makes all train, boats, and cable cars’ journeys half price.

What I did was make a spreadsheet to find out if it would actually be cheaper overall.

Something that was fascinating to me was how friendly people were.

Living in London makes me forget how to react to friendly people.

I remember during the hike, two guys said “Salut.” I did not reply. They said “Bonjour.” I did not reply. They then said “Have a nice day.” I am sorry strangers. I was too into the views.

At the restaurant there, tips were included in the bill already.

Another interesting point was that they spoke French, Germany, Italian and English.

Prior to my trip, I searched the hashtag and messaged several strangers on Instagram asking for travel tips as they only recently went there.

To my surprise, they gave me detailed tips which really helped my trip.

If you want a chill and scenic trip, you can go there for only 2 days and see the country by trains. Even in August, it was not crowded everywhere we went.

Their train system was perfect. No delays. It was extremely easy to find the platform and the signs and announcements were clear. It was the first place we traveled together where we did not get lost so that says something.

Someone suggested hiring a car so that may be a good option. Driving there seems easy from what I saw.

It felt extremely safe and I saw quite a few solo travellers. If you want to travel solo, this would be an ideal location.

 

This trip makes me quite emotional for various reasons. I shed tears 3 times in 4 days.

Lastly I want to give a massive shoutout to the funniest and most patient travel buddy – Emile.

Some of the quotes from him during our trip:

“Everyone looks happy. Even the ticket inspector.”
I wonder why..

“I can’t believe you got half an egg. You know that chickens lay eggs. Do they have a shortage of chicken?” -Emile on my starter

“How did the flies get so high?” – me
“Took the train.” – Emile

 

I hope we will still hike next to each other like these two when we are old.

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Goodness among the evil

Reading the news and Twitter was not necessarily the most pleasant way to start Monday.

But I had to among all that is happening.

It was upsetting to find that mental illness was blamed in the mass shooting.

What about white supremacy?

What about gun control?

What scares me the most is that America has not changed.

I was a victim of gun violence in 2012. 7 years later, it is just as bad.

How can I be hopeful?

Imagine yourself waking up to someone with a gun next to you…

I never thought this could happen to me, but it did.

These people were doing the most mundane activity of their week – going to the grocery store.

Anyone could be the victim. Anyone.

 

I felt negativity building up when I was thinking about all of this, and then I think of my husband. Suddenly my internal rage is calmer and quieter.

He is such a funny and silly person with a tender heart.

When I laugh with him, I forget about all the mess the world is in.

When I think of him, I remember why there is still so much more to look forward to than the darkness at present.

When I look at him, I remember the good still exists.

 

The evil force may be strong, but the good prevails.    always.

 

What would you do?

Last night on my way to the gym, a stranger spit at my face when I walked down the underground station.

It was a proper big spit..

When my husband said WTF man he looked as if he was going to murder us.

Even today I feel grossed out.

I was more shocked than angry at that moment but the more I think of it, the more pissed off I am. I did or said absolutely nothing so I’m not sure why this happened😤

What would you do?