Switzerland was my own personal paradise. Filled with creamy cheese, rich chocolate, gorgeous greenery, and snow-capped mountains, I couldn't imagine a more perfect place. Kyle and I were thrilled when Sara suggested a weekend getaway to Switzerland. It was a six hour drive from her small town in Germany, with an overnight stop in Strasbourg, France.
We split our time between Interlaken and Grindelwald. Interlaken sits at the base of the Alps, between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. While there, we stayed at Hotel Rössli. The interior decor was so charming and quaint. It felt like a cabin and reminded me of a cozy ski lodge. After throwing our packs in our room, we wandered around Interlaken's main street. We bought a few souvenirs and then decided to investigate and find a good view of the mountains. The front desk at our hotel suggested visiting Heimwefluh and taking the funicular up a steep mountain, so that's exactly what we did! The funicular was slightly terrifying. It was old and rickety, and it inched up the mountain soooo sloooowly. Sara and I held on for dear life, which Kyle thought was hilarious. After we made it to the top, we climbed the stairs of a metal tower, and when we emerged from the stairwell, the view of the Alps was breathtaking. The air smelled so crisp and clean, and the scenery was unbelievable.
We spent a long time admiring the view, and after that, we went to Husï Bierhaus for dinner and drinks. Sara and Kyle both got local beers, and Kyle ordered a traditional Swiss macaroni and cheese dish with ham, potatoes, crispy onions, and applesauce.
On day two, we headed to Grindelwald! Our time there was incredible. Just driving into Grindelwald was an experience. During the 20-minute journey, we passed several fields filled with green grass, cows, rocky creeks, and waterfalls. It was beautiful.
When we arrived to Hotel Belvedere (which was the most beautiful hotel I've ever stayed in), our room wasn't ready quite yet. The front desk offered us complimentary champagne and snacks, which we happily accepted. We sat out on the patio for a few hours and took in the scenery while enjoying our drinks. After that, we went for a walk through the small center of Grindelwald. Many of the shops were closed until May, but the important one -- the chocolate shop! -- was open for business. So, I was a happy camper.
We ate lunch at Cafe Riggenberg and sat by the window to people watch. The Jungfrau region is really popular for winter sports, so most people who passed by were decked out in snow gear, carrying snowboards or skis.
After lunch, Sara wanted to go for a run, so Kyle and I put on our bathing suits and went to the outdoor jacuzzi at the hotel spa. We had the entire space to ourselves for about half an hour, and it was honestly the most peaceful thirty minutes of my life. We had a fantastic view of the Alps, and we were surrounded by lush evergreen trees. After awhile, a British family joined us in the jacuzzi, and we spent a long time chatting with them about how America and Europe are so different. (The main consensus? Europe is better!)
We eventually went back to our hotel room and showered before walking to Bistro Memory for dinner. Our meal that night, rostï, was my all-time favorite dish. If I had to request a last meal on Earth, it would be rostï - a traditional Swiss meal made from boiled, grated, pan-fried potatoes. Kyle ordered the "Swissness", which came with roasted Cervelat sausage from a local butchery, cheese from Grindelwald, and a fried egg.
The next morning, we woke up bright and early to head back to Germany. When we went down to the dining room for breakfast, there was a sign that said to notify the kitchen of any dietary restrictions. I told our server of my gluten allergy, and the chef baked me a fresh loaf of gluten-free bread from scratch! I was amazed (and grateful!), and it was delicious! The service at Hotel Belvedere was phenomenal.
After the six hour drive back to Sara's house, Kyle and I took the afternoon to relax and recharge. The next day, we rented a car and took a day trip to Belgium and Luxembourg.