How Switzerland Stole My Heart In A Day…

I knew I was going to like Switzerland. I didn’t know I would fall in love at first sight.

Last year, when I ventured to do a Eurotrip with a bunch of friends, Switzerland made it to our itinerary of five countries in two weeks. The city who introduced me to Switzerand’s breathtaking charm was Lucerne. We arrived late night to Zurich from Munich, Germany and then took another train to Lucerne. It was already dark so I couldn’t see any scenic view and I was also worn out from the train ride that I didn’t have the energy to explore when we got there except to look for food.

The next day, I was revitalized and ready to conquer Lucerne. First thing on the itinerary was Mount Pilatus. But my heart already started to flutter during the short and leisurely walk from our hotel to Bahnhof Luzern. This famous view started it all:

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If that’s the kind of welcome view I get everywhere then sign me up! This image is the kind you see on postcards. It almost looks fake. That photo is as raw as it gets. I didn’t use any filter, nor did I play with it on photoshop. What you see is what you get. That’s how the rest of Switzerland was, naturally beautiful.

We took the train from Lucerne to Alpnachstad station which only took seventeen minutes. Seventeen breathtaking, scenic minutes.

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There are many ways to get to the top of Mount Pilatus: cogwheel railway, gondolas, and cableway. My friends and I knew we wanted to take the world’s steepest cogwheel railway and since we have the Eurail Global Pass, we were able to get a pretty good discount on the cogwheel railway ticket. This was only one of the great perks of traveling with a Eurail Pass.  I suggest looking into all the benefits of a Eurail pass when planning your trip to make sure you get the most bang for your buck.

At this point, it was what I hoped it would be: impressive scenery, pleasant fresh air, lovely people. I also liked the fact that it wasn’t too crowded. There was room to walk around and relax and not be bogged down by a crowd of tourists. There was just something tranquil about Switzerland.

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It was the perfect day to go up the mountain. The sun was out and the weather was like an ideal spring day even though it was September.The cogwheel railway is a thirty-minute scenic ascend to Pilatus Kulm and when I say scenic, I mean beyond-your-imagination SCENIC.

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I’m pretty sure my mouth was open the whole time. The Swiss Alps had been on my bucket list for the longest time and I couldn’t believe I was in the midst of it. I’m not kidding when I say I felt like breaking out into a song and a twirl. The hills are alive…

I thought that was it. I wasn’t prepared for what was waiting for me at the top of the mountain.

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It was the most amazing view I’ve ever seen. 360 degrees worth of view. My friends and I were in awe so much that we didn’t know what to do first, take a photo, look around, which view should I take a photo of!? I admit it took us quite sometime to pull ourselves together and not act like typical tourists. There was just so much to see and photos to take! My friends and I went our separate ways to do our own exploring and after I reeled myself back to  Earth, I walked around by myself and truly enjoyed the moment.

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I found an area where people were sitting on the ground just looking out  at the beautiful mountain range around us. So I got my own spot, sat down, sIMG_2949tretched out my legs, leaned back and lifted my head up towards the sun. That right there was my favorite moment. A priceless moment. Just me and the Swiss Alps. It was the kind of moment where I was again reminded of why I have no qualms in packing a suitcase and jetting off somewhere. My love for travel goes beyond the adventure, the fun company, the exciting culture, amazing food, stories to tell. It is beyond the Instagrams and Facebook posts. I travel for me. For quiet magical moments . For new discoveries about myself. For the peace of mind I get every time I’m away from home.

Switzerland was full of surprises, my quality time with the alps were even made better upon discovering that I was seated at the area where the paragliders jump off! It was a really cool thing to witness.

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Just when I thought that was the highlight of my day, I was wrong. After my amazing experience at Mount Pilatus, the trip back to Lucerne was even more breathtaking. How was that even possible, right? There are a couple of transportation options available for getting back to Lucerne. You can either take the train again or take the most beautiful cruise along Lake Luzern. You can obviously tell which one my friends and I took and that was the best decision we’ve ever made that day! (PS. Again, if you have a Eurail Pass, this boat ride is already included. Since my friends and I had the First Class Pass, we got the best front row seats in the house. Or I should say boat. First Class ticket holders have the perk of dining and drinking on the upper deck level. If that don’t beat all!)

Warning: the photos below may cause awe, depression, and jealousy at the same time.

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Ok, maybe the warning was really meant for me. Writing this particular entry was tough. As I reminisced every minute and every image of this day, my heart became heavy with yearning and I literally wanted to jump into my photos. How could life be so cruel?

I only had one full day in Lucerne. My friends and I were headed to Italy the next day for the last leg of our Eurotrip. Now that was a very unfortunate thing. If I only had enough vacation days, I would have stayed in Switzerland longer. Needless to say, I promised myself to go back and spend more time on exploring this untouched beautiful country.

I have been to a lot of wonderful places and have seen amazing countries around the world, but there were only a few that have given me that magical-moment feeling. And Switzerland was one of them. It was hard to move on after that trip. It was as if Switzerland was that one ex-boyfriend who got away. Unresolved feelings and no closure. I will always treasure our memories together and look back with a smile and few regrets. So until I find a new love who will give me those magic moments again, I shall always think fondly of Switzerland. Until we meet again, my love.

 Where I Stayed: Hotel Falken – Luzern

Jen is a Chicago-based traveler and a full-time Director of Development for an arts & culture organization. Originally from Connecticut, she created Angel of Wanderlust as a place to share her travel stories and photos with friends and family. Now, it is a place for adventurers, explorers and dreamers. Its purpose is to inspire and encourage people to see the world and achieve a better work-life balance.