Overall cost of trip: $312 CAD
The week isn’t over yet, so neither are our trips!
When Taylor and I were planning our Easter Week travels, we just sat on SkyScanner and looked for the best deals. There’s a feature you can use, that you type in your price range and starting point, and it shows you every destination for your price range and under. It’s amazing and makes decision making is so much easier. The reason we ended up in Basel is because of this. We found a ticket from London to Basel for 13 euros. 13 EUROS. Without thinking twice, we booked it. Maybe it would have been smart to maybe look into Switzerland more, but when you have 10 minutes to book, you really learn to live in the moment and YOLO.
Basel is in the northern region of Switzerland. As it is on the German border, the main language spoken was German. As much as I loved hearing my mother tongue in Dublin and London, I missed hearing some German! I was getting so used to saying my Danke’s and Bitte’s, that it was odd leaving them out while in London and Dublin.
We spent the day in Basel and it was beautiful. The weather was warm and sunny and I got my first sunburn while on exchange! Memorable. Being Sunday, everything is closed. So, we wandered through town and the buildings were so well maintained. There were very few people on the street, which was a little disappointing. We ended up sitting in a cafe outside of a church and had a cappucino and watched the (few) people go by. Perfect weather! We then crossed the bridge and that’s where all the people were hiding! Right on the water, there were huge steps that were filled with families, teenagers, and tourists like us. It was so peaceful, and a nice change from the fast paced life in Dublin and London. Just sitting there, taking in the beautiful views is what we needed after a hectic past couple of days. We grabbed a beer from one of the food trucks and sat by the water for the afternoon.
Arriving very early from Basel, we made it to beautiful Montreux! Everyone in Montreux spoke French, which was again, a nice change. Since I haven’t taken French since grade 11, I was a little rusty, and confused a few people with my Danke’s instead of Merci’s. When planning out where we wanted to go in Switzerland, Montreux was at the top of my list. My aunt and uncle moved to Switzerland when I was in grade 5 and I unfortunately was never able to visit. They’re moved back to Canada now, but I wanted to make sure I at least saw where they spent 7 years. And this beautiful view of the alps they were always talking about! I’m a few years late, but I finally made it to Montreux and I was so excited. The directions from the train station to our hostel was “to walk along Lake Geneva, it’s under the underpass on the left.” I was in shock when I got there: I couldn’t believe how pretty it was! And being right on the water! Even though the weather was about +15, it was foggy and we could barely see the alps! I really wanted to do a railway tour up the mountain, but I was told that with the fog, it wasn’t worth it.
We spent the day along the boardwalk, and we made our way up to my aunt and uncle’s home. It was a bit of a hike to get there, as we walked along the rocks on the water, and weaved in and out of there and the main road. But I’m so happy I got to see it! It’s as lovely as was described by my family. Better late than never!
I really enjoyed this part of our Easter Week because we had no schedule to answer to. It was relaxed because we weren’t in a rush to see huge monuments. It was a very nature driven part of our trip, which came in perfect time after the past weekend.
And that wraps up my trip to Switzerland! It definitely didn’t fit the criteria of #BallinOnABudget, but was so worth it. A completely different experience than what I’m used to. I would love to go back one day and spend more time there.
We were actually supposed to end our trip in Geneva, and take a bus to Brussels and spend a few days there. I am so, so thankful that Taylor and I checked our phones before we set off for Geneva. We were supposed to be getting on an evening bus to Brussels, the day of the terrorist bombing attack. It is so scary to even think what would have happened if we would have gone a day early, or not have checked our phones and gone. After learning about the bombings, we got on the first train to Zurich, and bus back to Krems. It’s so scary to know that this is happening so close to me. When I was home in Canada, these sort of things seemed so far away and that it could never impact my life whatsoever. But to even be in the same continent, let alone have plans to go that exact place hours later is terrifying. I’m so happy that all my friends from exchange were not in Belgium during the attack, and everyone changed their plans accordingly.
Easter Week is not quite over! Until my next adventure 🙂