With the exception of ‘Island’ time, there’s no time like Swiss time, (pun intended). Inundated via Instagram with comments and questions about my impressions of Switzerland…was the pool at Villa Honegg as screen-saver-like in reality as it appeared, do the cows really look like cartoons, or did I enhance their fluffy faces? Was I really constantly surrounded by mountains, did I honestly step off one train, only to have the next appear within 60 seconds, and are there honestly as many watch shops as there are supermarkets? Yes, I tell you. Yes, my Swiss time really was all of these unexpected delights and more.
I am so thankful to the main man in my life, who, had it not been for him, I’d have waited approximately another five to eight years, progressively advancing though my ‘travel-bucket-list’, until eventually reaching Switzerland. Fortunately for me, it was in Hubby’s top three, I’m so grateful he knew better. Thanks to his better judgement, I now know how it feels to stand on my balcony, coffee in hand, rolling green hills before me and hear the sound of cow bells ringing over the meadows.
Or to watch Autumn colored, ghost like trees appear from within the morning mist while exploring the countryside after breakfast.
Or to be at one with a mountain.
Mt Pilatus is 2, 128 meters high, which is comparable to Australia’s tallest mountain, Mt Kosciusko. Having only ever seen snow once, (on the side of a road) ,I was completely unprepared for the emotional impact of seeing a mountain loom before me as we ascended in the world’s steepest cog wheel train. To be rendered speechless and sobbing from respect for my Creator’s creation. To be humbled by the majesty of something so grand, knowing that long before I existed this mountain stood, and long after I’m passed it shall continue to stand.
This moment was such a humbling experience to gain perspective on my place in the world. That we are so small on this planet, and merely passing through, our footprint should be minimal, but our legacy large (even if it’s only within the sphere of immediate influence).
To think that Switzerland, this land of delectable dairy and beguiling beauty was a lowly ranked priority, at the bottom of my top ten destinations. Now in hindsight this seems like wander-lust blasphemy. Mornings spent inhaling the cleanest country air that I’ve ever known, wandering out from Villa Honegg’s breakfast hospitality (review to follow on this utopian hotel), only to find ourselves within a matter of minutes ‘lost’ in the woods. Mountain passes simply appear, rising unannounced from the mist, glacier suspended tunnels surrounded by Alps, and views looking down upon the valley and village below.
How is it possible to leave luxe civilisation and be surrounded by such untouched nature within a ten minute walk? I discovered the answer to this question one day later, when existing the train station after having visited Mt Pilatus. As we surfaced from the train’s underground subway, climbed the stairs to street level, heading for the lake to board a boat back to our village the answer was in front of me. As we emerged from underground, towards the light, we were yet again surrounded in Alpnach by Alps. Autumn trees symmetrically planted in rows with reoccurring red benches placed between them. Lake Luzern at our feet, and we hadn’t even resolved to look for scenic wilderness. That’s the thing about Switzerland, you don’t have to look for it, you are already in it. It surrounds you, envelops you, you don’t have to go to these Swiss places, they are all around you. You can’t escape them, that is the beauty of Switzerland.
Addressing the most commonly asked question I’ve had, that being; how do I compare my love of Switzerland to Paris, given my Paris obsession? You can put this one on record, Paris makes me ache, but Switzerland makes me cry. It’s not hard to see why.