Helloooo! What a great week it's been, and I'm happy to be home. I missed Olive SO much! Here's what we did this week, and there's A LOT!
We arrived in Zurich on Saturday around 1p. We planned to cram a LOT in. Switzerland is the most train friendly country, but we chose to get a rental car. If we’d been here longer, we probably would have gone with just trains, but I wanted to run on our own schedule as much as possible, and also stop if I saw something. We didn’t spend any time in Zurich. I’m sorry, but I don’t care that much about Lindt chocolate lol. We drove straight to our Airbnb in Wilderswil. We chose this location for a few reasons. I wanted something close to Interlaken, central, nice, and this was it. It is also right next to the train, so that was beneficial if we had chosen that route.
It took us about 2 hours to get from Zurich to our Airbnb, and we drove the quick 5 minutes to Interlaken to check out Harder Kulm. It’s a great viewpoint of the city. SO many people recommended this, and it was cool, but it is probably at the bottom of my list of the things we did. If you’re in Interlaken though, it does make sense to check it out if you have time. Keep in mind almost everything takes longer than you expect it will. It’s all VERY expensive, and there are lines for most things. AND we visited before the super popular summer tourism kicks in.
We couldn’t have gotten better weather. Truly. We also did ride trains, car trains, gondolas and more, but we’ll get to that. A TOP tip for traveling here is BRING ALL OF YOUR DRUGS! Let me explain: My nephew has bad allergies. He didn’t bring medicine. You cannot buy medicine in grocery stores or gas stations. You can only get them at pharmacies, and they have really FUN hours. One day we arrived at one after noon, and they had just closed at noon for their 4 hour lunch. Not kidding, so bring any kind of medicine you think you’d need. Cause if you need it, you may have to wait a few hours or until the next day to get it.
Day 1 we went to Harder Kulm as mentioned. If you go there, know the wait to get on the ride up AND to get on the ride down can be LONG! We actually witnessed a crazy fight break out in line to get back down. A group cut in front of the line (they had permission), but people waiting in line were NOT having it! After such a long day of traveling we grabbed food after and that was about it.
The food in Switzerland…is not it lol. I knew that going in. I couldn’t find recs anywhere other than chocolate and cheese. I have 2 food recs, and that’s it.
They were both in Interlaken. One is Funky Chocolate, and I saw them recommended everywhere. It’s warm chocolate melted on strawberries. It was very good. Our last night we got into a place called Aslanni’s Corner which had great burgers and fries.
We left the next morning super early to visit my top spot! It’s a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains called Oeschinensee. You take a gondola up,and as soon as you get to the top the views are spectacular...before you even walk to the lake. We arrived very early, as we do for all things, and I believe that’s why we weren’t screwed and got to do so many things. Everyone else seems to roll into spots later. Jake and I are an “up and at ‘em!!” couple!
The gondola does cost money, but we also got to park in the actual lot for it because we were early before it filled up. We got to the top and hiked a mile to the lake. It was stunning. My nephew got ice cream up there, and let me tell you, that was some of the best ice cream of our lives!
The mile hike back was a little harder lol. It was uphill, so Jake did it easily, and the 3 of us were a bit more winded and slow. BUT it’s only a mile, so it was quick.
We drove straight to Zermatt next. Fun fact, they have car trains. We didn’t know that or what that was, but you pay $30 (you don’t have a choice unless you take a train) each way. You drive on a train and park, and it takes you through the mountains. You also cannot drive in Zermatt. Some towns in Switzerland are car free, so we had to park our car, and pay to take a train to Zermatt. Then we walked around Zermatt. I wanted to see Matterhorn from Riffelsee. It’s a beautiful little lake that can give a great reflection. We had just driven 2 hours there, and we had to buy MORE train tickets. They were NOT cheap. We almost didn’t get them because we were not expecting that. However, we agreed we were there, so just do it. We rode up, and there was still snow, so no lake, but the spot was epic! We were so happy we did it.
That was such a long day of driving. We also finally got my nephew’s medicine.:)
The final day we went to Grindelwald. We got there early again lol, so we got to park in their main parking lot, paid for another gondola, rode way up the mountain to First (they have tons of fun adventure things), so we did a zipline called First Glider since it was for 4 people. It was quick, and it was fun! We’re also happy we did that! We drove to Lauterbrunnen next to see the epic waterfall in the town. They finally had some iced coffee there. Europe is not big on iced coffee, but they do have some spots for tourists lol.
We went back into Interlaken to check out more of Lake Brienz, and it is just beautiful. You can rent hot tub floats or boats etc on the water, but like everything there, it is expensive. Tuesday morning we took the high speed train from Zurich to Paris. It’s about 4 hours, but I used that time to write this and watch the rest of XO, Kitty on Netflix lol
NOW…Paris! I had a lot planned. We arrived in the evening and went straight to get ice cream. We went to Glace Bachir. They have amazing Lebanese ice cream covered in pistachios. I will note I got a lot of ideas from a girl whose travel guide I bought. She has guides for other spots too. Here’s her info if you want to check it out. She has SO many great ideas broken into categories. I’ll share where I got other ideas as well!
Then we went to get drinks at Bisou Bar. This place was so cool. They don’t have menus, so they ask you what liquor you like, if you like sweet or sour etc, and they make a cocktail for you. It was fun and tasty. Finally, we hit Mr. Zhao for dinner. HOW RANDOM IS THIS? We were next to 2 guys traveling from MN. I couldn’t believe it. It was a tiny restaurant, and we asked what they ordered and found out they were in town for vacation too.
Wednesday morning Jake went for a run (he cannot sit still. He was getting 8+ miles a day, and one day 14 miles…running and walking. When we’d go back to rest, he’d go take pictures.) Anyway, he got me a Pain Au Chocolate from Boulangerie-Patisserie Terroirs d’Avenir, and OMG! It was right when they opened, so it was warm!
I set up an electric bike tour I found on Airbnb. It was a great way to truly see the city, and our guide told us some facts, but it wasn’t a long boring, wordy tour. He even took a cool video for us as a bonus!
I wanted my niece and nephew to try the most amazing meringue piles of their lives at Aux Merveilleux de Fred. They’re like little pillow piles of heaven. We tried them on our group trip we took in 2019, and I’ve dreamt of them since!
Then we had lunch at Pink Mama. I’ve been before, and it’s very popular with young people, especially tourists. It’s very pretty, and the food is decent. I’d say you’re definitely going for the ambiance though. We had tickets for the Louvre next, and we were all getting a bit tired. I honestly didn’t care about the Louvre, but Jake and my niece were interested. We saw the Mona Lisa of course, and checked out the Egyptian area for Jake.
We ended the night at Dumbo burgers. It is a place you just grab smash burgers at a window. Burgers and fries are all they have, and they were delightful! You’ll notice a trend…we ate A LOT!
Thursday morning, I booked a watercolor painting class with my niece through Airbnb. We painted at Luxembourg Gardens. It was beautiful, and such a fun time. We went and had lunch at Benchy which is a Japanese coffee and sandwich shop.
Jake and my nephew went to the bougie shopping mall, Galerie Lafayette. Then I recommended a sandwich shop to them called Sarra deli, and they said that was great too.
We took a long nap and then grabbed dinner at Racines. It was in such a cool, hidden alley. I got the rec from a girl I follow on Instagram, Camille Yolaine.
Then we went and sat on the Seine to see the Eiffel Tower. I was going to buy tickets to go up in it, but the day they went on-sale, you could only buy tickets to the halfway point, so I decided to save the money! Lol
Friday we went to Musee d’Orsay which is the museum I was looking forward to. It has impressionist art, so there were Monet paintings, but there were Van Gogh and many others as well. Then we went to my favorite spot, the artists square which is called Place du Tertre. It’s right above Sacre Coeur. My niece bought some art, and then Jake and I went on a walk to check out a store I wanted to visit. I bought a sweater, and we got Olive a dress that is SO cute.
We went back and rested again…at this point we were pretty tired after each thing we did.
We went to have margaritas and tacos at a super cute place called Candelaria.
I should note Jake got SO many pastries from his pastry chef obsession, Cedric Grolet. They were phenomenal!
This is the airbnb we stayed in. It was a great location, but I learned they have multiple apartments, so the first photos aren't the apartment we stayed in, ours were the photos later in the slide show which I found to be a bit misleading, but it was still nice.
It's hard to pick a favorite thing looking back on this trip, but I feel beyond thankful I was able to take a trip like this with my niece and nephew. We’ve been missing Olive so much, and I can’t wait to take her on a trip like this one day.