Last year was my first trip to Europe (Switzerland) with my sister and her husband. I feel in love with Switzerland before I even got there and thought it would be the perfect place to try my first solo trip this June. And it was. 😊
Arriving in Zurich, I took the train to Montreux for my first 5 nights, staying at the Grand Hotel Swiss Majestic. While I wasn’t impressed with the hotel staff, this hotel has a great location right outside the train station with great views of Lake Geneva. As convenience is very important to me, I would stay here again.
After checking in, I hopped on a boat to and from the Chillon Castle and explored the area outside the castle. This is a great place to walk around away from the crowds. I planned to return at a later date to see the inside, but never got the chance.
I had planned to take a day trip to Zermatt and the next day looked like the best weather day. So, I took an early train (6:43) to see the Matterhorn. And did I see the Matterhorn. 😊 I love the Swiss trains and did not consider the 2.5 hour ride to be too long, especially considering the gorgeous scenery in this part of the country. And the train station is right in the town center. I wasn’t really expecting to see the Matterhorn as I had read it’s always in the clouds. I guess I lucked out as I had perfect blue skies. My first glimpse was just the peak over the buildings. So, I kept walking and walking until I was out of the town center and had perfect views. I have so many great pictures of the Matterhorn, pine trees, and wildflowers. After about 100 pictures or so, I had a great walk back towards the train station to find the Gornergrat station. A great train ride up and there was even more of the Matterhorn. Still blue skies with a few white wispy clouds. Made for some great pictures. I would have loved to spend more time here, so it’s on my list for a future trip.
The next day I took the 7:50 golden panoramic train to Gruyeres. It was another gorgeous train ride as this is a beautiful part of the country. I arrived before the crowds as it was just me and a young couple from the US and all of the workers and their vehicles getting ready for the day. I just wasn’t that impressed with the actual town as it seemed to be mostly souvenir shops (loved the surrounding area) so I didn’t stay very long. Back in Montreux, I walked along the lake to the castle. I’m not big into flowers, but even I was impressed with all the flowers along the lake. Later, I took my favorite mode of transportation back to the hotel—boat of course. I should mention too that there is a great little café near the castle which I ate at multiple times. Café Bryon.
The following day, I had an early morning walk along the lake. I’m a morning person which is great for avoiding crowds. It seems things don’t start to get crowded until noon or so. I took the first train up to Rochers and it was just me and the marmots. A little cloudy, but still great views. The highlight of the day though for me was St. Saphorin. What a fabulous little village nestled between Lake Geneva and the Lavaux vineyards.
From there I took a quick train to Lutry to explore that old town. Not a must see but I enjoyed walking around with no crowds.