Wow, what a whirlwind this past week was. Christoph surprised me with a road trip to Switzerland, Italy, and then back through Switzerland via the Alps.
Our trip started driving from Bonn, Germany to Leysin, Switzerland. Leysin is located in the Vaudoises Alps offering spectacular mountain views. It is a super cute place with a population just over 4,000 people.
When Christoph and I were doing a long distance from 2012-2014 while I was at Emirates, we took a trip together through Switzerland. We stayed in Leysin for several nights and both of us fell in love with it. So, that is why he decided to bring me back one last time before leaving Europe and it was just as special! We had a fondue (yes, even in the summer), and it was delicious!
After our one night stop in Leysin, we headed to Monforte d’Alba in Italy which is in the Piedmont region of Italy. We again, stayed in a tiny little village called Perno—a town equally as beautiful as Leysin—which was completely surrounded by hundreds of vineyards.
The landscape was absolutely stunning, and by far one of the most magical places I have traveled to! The food, red wine (Barbera is my new favorite) and people were all amazing! I took quite a few videos while here, which you can watch below. The only thing I forgot to film was the delicious pizza I ate—twice. But, it was just too good that I completely forgot. I do apologize for this little mishap! You will just have to go to Italy to see for yourself how awesome the Italian pizza is! I did manage to get a video by the Ferrero factory—I’m sure many of you know it for being the producer of Nutella. Outside the factory you could smell the familiar scent of the chocolate hazelnut confection, and for a few moments I felt as if I was in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
We spent several relaxing days exploring the Piedmont region then headed back towards Bonn, this time driving through the Alps. We drove via the Furka Pass—with an elevation of 7,969 feet/2,429 meters—allowing for stunning views of the snowcapped mountains. About halfway through out the journey we stopped at the Rhône Glacier where I got to see and go inside my very first glacier. The whole drive up, and being inside the glacier was an extremely humbling experience and truly one I won’t forget!
Well, what goes up must come down. Our stop at the glacier was basically one of the highest points along our journey, meaning it was time to head back down the mountain pass. Let me tell you, those roads were pretty crazy to drive on! They consisted of sharp hairpin turns, and merely stone guard rails on the side of the road with steep hills plummeting down. Yes, those roads were a bit scary but the drive was totally worth it. The landscape was stunning and every now and then we would pass a sweet little Swiss village that probably hasn’t changed very much in hundreds of years.
We made a quick pit stop at Christoph’s parents’ house in Rafz, a small village located about 30 minutes from Zurich. Then it was another six-hour trip back to Bonn. I was a bit sad to return, knowing that in just a few weeks I will be leaving Germany. Europe, Germany in particular, feels like a second home to me now. I am grateful for all the experiences I’ve had here, including the many ups and downs of being an expat. So, for now, this adventure is over. But, as Christoph told me when we came home, “we’ve conquered many mountains together and now it is time to conquer more.” I think that statement really sums up how I am feeling right now, and I am excited to see what the future has to bring!
I wanted to share with you as much as I could from our journey so you could see all the lovely scenery for yourself. I do hope you enjoy!