We had the most amazing international trip this year, and I’ve been slow to blog it since the holiday season and Jacob living abroad inbetween this threw us off our normal groove, but I figured there’s no time like the present to help inspire your next trip for the new year, and to share all our travel tips, travel guides, and amazing experiences. I love to share our trip a day at a time and give as much information as I can to be helpful to anyone booking a trip, and this two-week itinerary included Bavaria Europe: Switzerland, Southern Germany, and Austria. We started in Switzerland, so we’ll start there with this Switzerland travel guide and I’ll take you chronologically each day through our trip so you can get a feel for how to plan your own! And don’t worry, I’ll share the overall itinerary at the end, you can find it in the drop-down menu under locations. I promise to be as helpful as I can when you plan your own Bavaria adventures!
It’s hard to proclaim day 1 of a two-week trip your favorite day, but Jacob did just that and stood by his claim throughout our trip and to every other country we visited! This day was amazing and unlike any other travel experience we’ve had!
When you stay in Switzerland you’ll learn quickly there are a lot of small-town gems, and many of them aren’t super easy to get to without having a day trip. You can stay at a different place every night if you want to hop around the country, or you can choose a home base with a good train station that connects several places and go with that. Traveling with a toddler made us realize we really better do the latter so he at least knew the same bed, and we’d heard many elderly people travel to Switzerland just to take train rides through the country anyway- it’s THAT pretty! So we opted to stay in Bern which has an amazing history and will encompass day 2 of our trip, but started with a trip to the Alps for the day. Rick Steves highly recommended Gimmalwald, and we obliged with this area to be our Alps posterchild experience. I’m glad we did!
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Gimmelwald is a town frozen in time that still has mail delivered by sleigh rider in the winter, and works on the honor system to leave money and take the goods you’re paying for at the shops. They have modern conveniences, but you can also walk through history and feel just what it was like to survive life at the turn of the century.
They also have that famous Swiss Alps spring water that we made sure to drink plenty of from the darling fountains in town- which include side troughs for the cows and goats to enjoy too.
We followed Rick Steve’s walking guide that tells you the cute and quirky stories of shop owners, schoolmasters, and where to get the best Swiss cheese in Switzerland. It’s worth buying this book for the tour and for a day like today where you get to see the cutest place with the prettiest mountain views maybe anywhere on Earth!
There’s also an amazing cafe right as you walk into town, and after freezing in 40 degrees outside (mind you it was 110 in Phoenix when we left) we went in for some of the best soup and hot chocolate we’ve ever consumed! Oh Swiss chocolate, there’s nothing like it and it’s delicious in every form!
You can ride the tram further up the mountain for better views, and to see where one of the old James Bond movies was filmed- which everyone we talked to said was amazing! But the fog rolled in, our baby was freezing, and he was too excited to take a nap so decided to skip the foggy lack-of-views, and head back for better countryside views on the train.
Oh, how lovely they are! Every city, every town, every mountainside had our breath taken away! Our toddler had just learned to say “My GOODNESS!” and he said it about a hundred times making us laugh each time. That is until jetlag and sleep overcame him and dad, and they took a nice nap on the way back home while I couldn’t stop gawking at the prettiest views I’ve ever seen.
We caught our last connection back so this trip filled up our day and was worth it for experiencing the breathing countryside and amazing Alps of Switzerland. It is expensive to visit Switzerland, it’s the most expensive place in all the world, but we both agreed the train ride, the tram, the food, and the views were worth every penny!
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