Monday, April 11, 2011


For Easter in England, we got two weeks off from uni so I though it would be a prime time to do some travelling. I flew from London to Basel, Switzerland with Easyjet and guess how much it cost me round-trip.... 57GBP which is around 100CAD! In comparison to Canadian flight costs, this is dirt cheap! 

I flew into Basel because I have some friends who live there, who were study abroad students in my program in Canada. Basel is a very artistic city with tons of modern art sculptures and with murals and paintings on almost every building. The city has the Rhine River flowing through it, with several park benches lined along it for those to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

For it being April in Switzerland, it was considerably warm when I was there! Somewhere around 25°C... I even had tan lines! The first night I got there my friends had already bought me a ticket to the International Music Festival, also called Les Museiques that plays in Basel every year.  It's a massive event that is very popular and was totally worth going to! The festival includes various genres of music, played in numerous different museums and art venues all over Basel, and your wristband/ticket gets you into each of them. You just hop on a tram and go from one to the next! 

From Basel I caught the train to Lucerne. Lucerne is amazing! The city, Lake Lucerne, and the 3 major mountains surrounding it: Mt. Pilatus, Mt. Stanserhorn, and Mt. Rigi. Lucerne is a total postcard-picture-perfect spot. It's also a 'walking city'. I didn't have a map or guide, and I ended up finding all the main sights on foot by myself. Here's my favourite spots:

- the Chapel Bridge: an icon of Lucerne. The wooden bridge actually caught on fire in the 90's and had to be re-built, but the tower is still the original structure.

- the old city wall: this medieval wall was built in the 1300's and are mostly still in tact!

-the Lion of Lucerne: this lion monument carved out of the cliff face, was built to commemorate the more than 600 Swiss soldiers who lost their lives during the French Revolution when the Tuileries Palace in Paris was invaded

Being in the center of the Alps I couldn't resist the urge to go to the top of one of these incredible mountains. So from Lucerne I took a train to Goldau, and connected with a Cogwheel train that took me to the top of MT. Rigi on the opposite side of Lake Lucerne. It's in the north-eastern Alps with a summit of 1,797m. Towards the North you see a flat Switzerland of tiny cities and villages, and towards the South are the major peaks of the Alps; no human life, just mountains.

I finished my trip in Switzerland with Zurich. There's the typical 'Old Town' of Zurich with historic churches, monuments, and buildings, and then you come to Lake Zurich which splits the city along 2 banks. I walked for about a 1/2hr past the 'Old Town' along the lake and got some gorgeous pictures with the Alps in the backdrop. 

From what I could sense, Zurich has a bit of everything: culture, accessibility, nature, and it seems very multi-cultural. Although of course, you can sense the typical commerce vibe that most major capitals have.... "busy, busy, busy, go, go, go".

I didn't expect to love Switzerland as much as I did, but I was actually really sad to leave! I wouldn't argue that it's one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

Until next time...  


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