I like not having a plan. I came to Switzerland with little expectations and no plans. Just a ticket to Bern, a backpack and reservations at the Backpackers Hostel. It’s so nice not to have a plan. I like that about life. It’s nice to have goals. If you plan on something and it doesn’t happen, one may be disappointed…however without a plan you discover so much more and your limits and expectations are endless. Plans can change in an instant. Be prepared. Be careful. From studying abroad I’ve learned it’s perhaps better not have a plan. You never know what the next day brings. What you will do. What will happen? Create goals not plans. You can always make a new goal, one more achievable than the last, but plans can be broken and if broken, disappointing.
To me, Fondue is such a great concept. A mixture of different ingredients. A new flavor in every bite. It made me think about America. Almost how we are a mixture. A mixture of different ethnicities and backgrounds. A melting pot as we say! Europe can be considered the same. A mixture and balance of a variety of languages and people. Like Fondue, we all have a different, so called “flavor”, but we work together to make something special and unique.
Fondue house a traditional taste of Switzerland is the typical fondue meal. After returning to the main land we made our way into town to find warm, cheese and chocolate fondue. We found the Fondue House tucked away on a small side street between the locally own truffle shop and the famous Swatch shop. If the name of the restaurant didn’t explain how authentic it was the menu sure did. You had your choice between a variety of different cheese, meat, and chocolate fondues. There was even a three-course selection that we decided on. It was an expensive purchase but worth every penny! The cheese fondue arrived first with bread and potatoes. We couldn’t help but dig right in. We were served a pot of boiling cheese with small burner to keep it warm. A few minutes later our server brought out an additional pot with hot water and the same burner. Followed by an array of vegetables, rice, sauces and raw meat. We were also given skillet’s to cook our meat and enjoy the perfectly melted cheese. I dipped a piece of bread into the melted cheese, and took a bite; it quickly melted in my mouth. A perfect mixture of salt bread and delicious sharp Swiss cheese. I wasn’t until we were almost stuffed to the brim of meat and cheese fondue that the chocolate fondue arrived at the table. But, I suddenly felt hungry again! I felt another push of energy as I saw the chocolate fondue surrounded by delicious fresh fruit. The chocolate fondue was different than chocolate I’ve had before. Nothing like milk or dark chocolate, more of a mix of both milk and dark chocolate and Carmel, either way it was a wonderful Swiss meal.
We finally arrived to the top of Mt Rigi. The thin air, hard to breath in. A brisk chill caressed my cheek. I stopped and closed my eyes for a few minutes taking in the moment. I opened my eyes and made a memory. Turning around in a full 360 degree circle, getting a full panoramic view. One side had beautiful, green lush landscape with hints of tiny rivers, almost as if they were draw into the land. On the other side pure white tipped mountains. Pictures do not do it justice. It was a heavenly view. As if taken straight from a postcard. At 6000 ft above sea level you could see all of Switzerland. For miles. Views worth the 2-hour hike, most definitely! I felt on top of the world their at the top of the Swiss Alps. “A Queen of The Mountains”
The hiking trail took us along the very edge of the mountainside. Through lushes evergreen forests and along stone paths. The sun peaks through the trees. Shining on different branches. It’s a known fact that trees grown straight up, towards the sun no matter what angle the ground is at. It amazed me in this case; it was a true test of the fact as we moved along the hiking trail, a higher angle every couple feet. It was true. Each evergreen stood tall and proud along the side of the mountain, with its branches out stretched as if balancing itself. We make our way through the evergreen forest and the landscape is literally breathtaking. Half way to the top however from where we were it seemed like we couldn’t possibly go any higher. I couldn’t help but stop for a few moments to capture the moment. The evergreens framed the Blue Mountains in the distance just perfectly.
We enter Luzern and find our way to the tourist center. We are directed toward the boat that takes us to Mt. Rigi. Named specifically the” Queen of All the Swiss Mountains” for its height. It rises about 6000 ft above sea level and remains one of the tallest mountains in the Swiss Alps.
We catch the hour and a half boat ride on the lake toward Mt Rigi, stopping along the way at small quaint towns with homes that hang on the side of each hillside. It reminds me a lot of our trip to Lake Como, with the houses stacked one on top of each other along the water. Each with a different view, but individually beautiful. The houses are different here though. They fit perfectly into the scenery though. Like they were meant to be there. After an hour a half or so we arrive at Vernau where we catch a cable car to the top of Mt Rigi. We get off a few stops before the top and hike the rest.
It’s early still and the sun as well as myself is just waking up for the day. The train takes us through the beautiful fresh countryside of Switzerland. I can see the Swiss Alps in the distance with their white tips and the sun highlighting the whiteness of the snow. In the foreground there are patches of harvest. The greenest of green. Light and dark brown square patterns. The landscape is scattered with Swiss homes with their white facades, green shutters and brown rooftops, with the occasional smoke stack. Cows, with their strong brown and white hide feed on the fresh green grass. A common sighting in Switzerland. We travel higher into the mountains and through small villages. The landscape and architecture remind me of my childhood vacations in New Hampshire and Vermont. The homes we pass by look like ski lodges with their classic wooden frames and a feeling of welcoming and warmth. The sun highlights the red and orange trees while trying to peak through the green evergreens on the other side. They look like shadows, the dark trees. The red and orange trees look as though they are on fire reaching for the sky with their tall branches.