After arriving in Zurich one day early with some much needed shopping already under my belt, I was set (with great anticipation) to start my Best of Switzerland Trafalgar trip.
My group of around 45 was made up of Americans, Australians, South Africans, a U.S couple living in Saudi Arabia and me, one Canadian! Our first compass point was Liechtenstein via Klosters and up Fluella Pass – a wonderful scenic drive with some “close your eyes” turns. Our Austrian driver Michael, was absolutely amazing and a real pro behind the wheel. He did things with that bus… I’ll say no more!
That afternoon we took the Bernina Express where we passed more breathtaking scenery and stopped at a local café to enjoy local wine and hors d’oeuvres. Then it was off to St Moritz for the night. We had an excellent buffet dinner at the hotel which consisted of beef au jus, chicken dishes, pasta, carved baby pork, many vegetables, desserts and breads… A truly amazing buffet!
I woke up the following morning to another glorious day. Today we were going to Lake Maggiore, which included a shopping trip in Stresa. Once again it was ‘hold your breath’ scenery as we ascended the Julier Pass and then along the route to Bellinzona in the Italian speaking region of Ticino. Ticino is also one of the premier wine making regions of Switzerland, due to its Mediterranean climate. I tried some Ticino wine and I can tell you, it was yummy! The lake drive through to Stresa very much reminded me of the Italian Riviera. It was a highlight for me, extremely beautiful. That night we were meant to be staying at the Simplon Hotel in Baveno, but we were upgraded to the Grand Hotel Bristol and it was very luxurious.
Our Be My Guest dinner on Iso Madre, one of the Borromean Islands was spectacular. Because I’m not a fan of seafood or veal, I had the most delicious asparagus pasta ever made. The whole meal from start to finish – wine included, was truly a treat.
There was excitement on our coach on Day 4 as we headed to Zermatt and the Matterhorn. On arrival in Tasch, we were transported to Zermatt in electric mini-buses as only essential service vehicles are allowed here. Our luggage and carry-ons were transported to the Albana Real hotel while we went straight to the gondolas for the trip up to Klein Matterhorn – 14,400 breathtaking feet high. The Klein Matterhorn and the Matterhorn stand almost side by side. What a majestic mountain! While you’re here, you can descend to an ice glacier which a few people from our group did.
In the evening we had a fondue dinner at the hotel. I was anticipating a cheese fondue but it was much more sophisticated in that each table had a tray with thinly sliced pork, beef and chicken. We were also served saffron rice, vegetables, salad and fruit. One word – delicious!
Glenna – Vancouver Island, Canada