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Pictured left to right outside the new store are: Paul Hardwick, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents Director of Retail; Emma Bailey, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents; Tutti Taylor, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents; Councillor Candy Vaughan, Mayor of Eastbourne; Trevor Ridler, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents Business Development Manager; and Shirley Waters, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents..

Helen's Swiss Exploration

Switzerland, a jewel in the heart of Europe, captivates with its Alpine grandeur and a seamless blend of modernity and tradition. From the majestic Swiss Alps to medieval villages, it's a journey through landscapes that transcend imagination, join me in unravelling the tapestry of Switzerland's culture and scenic wonders.

My journey kicked off seamlessly at Zurich Airport, the gateway to Switzerland's allure. Aboard a first-class Swiss Travel Pass-equipped train from Zurich to Lucerne, the panoramic views and impeccable service set the tone for the mesmerizing experiences that awaited me. As the train glided through the picturesque landscape, I couldn't help but feel the magic of the Swiss terrain unfolding around me.

The evening in Lucerne was a medieval dream amidst snow-capped mountains. Cobblestone streets whispered tales of centuries past, offering a mere glimpse of the wonders that awaited. It was a night where history and charm danced beneath the glow of street lamps, leaving me eager for the adventures of the days to come.

Continuing the adventure, I found myself in charming villages and aboard alpine railways. Stays at Hotel La Paix in Lucerne and Hotel Baren in Wilderswil became the backdrop for a seamless navigation of the Swiss transportation system. Trains, buses, and ferries became threads weaving through breath-taking scenery. A highlight was the steam train journey into the Alps, revealing mesmerizing views of Lake Breinz with unreal turquoise waters. An artistic interlude unfolded as I explored a wooden art centre, crafting my own Swiss keepsake as a token of this extraordinary journey.

The pinnacle of the adventure arrived on Day 3 with a cable car ascent to Schilthorn. The Thrill Walk, glass-floored platforms, and a high-altitude zip line delivered an unparalleled adrenaline rush. Dining in the James Bond Piz Gloria revolving restaurant, complemented by a visit to Spy World, added cinematic glamour to the mountainous landscape. The descent included a visit to the charming village of Murren, where cowbells harmonized with breath-taking Alpine vistas, creating a symphony of nature and culture.

Switzerland's surprises continued on Day 4 with a high-speed jet boat ride on Lake Brienze. The juxtaposition of exhilarating speed against serene landscapes was a sensory delight. A leisurely lunch at Seiler au Lac Restaurant offered a picturesque setting to savour local flavours. The day concluded with a first-class train journey to Thun, where a mesmerizing water and music display celebrated the essence of the region.

The final day unfolded with a tour of Thun, exploring its fairy-tale castle, churches, shops, and a dam. Breath-taking views from the castle tower bid a fitting farewell to Swiss landscapes. A scenic ferry ride on Lake Thun showcased resort beauty, culminating in a picturesque lunch on board, where the gentle lapping of the water and the majestic mountains painted a perfect farewell scene.

As my journey drew to a close, I found myself deeply in love with Switzerland. From the breath-taking scenery of Murren to the exhilarating thrill of Schilthorn, the adrenaline rush of the jet boat, and the enchantment of Thun's fairy-tale castle, each moment became a standout feature, and each experience evolved into a cherished treasure. Switzerland, with its seamlessly integrated transportation network and a myriad of diverse attractions, emerged not just as a destination but as a living fairy-tale. In my opinion, this destination would be perfect for all, the transportation networks are fantastic enabling you to enjoy so many different sights and experiences at ease.

I had so many trip highlights, but here are a few that were truly unforgettable and each destination offered a unique blend of natural wonders and cultural gems:

  • I absolutely loved the picturesque Village of Murren. Nestled against a majestic mountainous backdrop, the village exuded an otherworldly beauty. The sight of contented cows grazing against the backdrop of towering peaks was a serene symphony that etched itself into my memory.
  • The adrenaline surged during the exhilarating Jet Boat trip. Racing across the pristine waters, the boat carved through the waves, offering an unparalleled perspective of Switzerland's stunning lakeside scenery. It was a truly thrilling experience that added an exciting dimension to my exploration of this captivating country.
  • The Schilthorn Thrill Walk and “Piz Goria” the revolving James Bond-themed restaurant perched on the mountaintop provided not only a gastronomic delight but also a 360-degree spectacle of the Swiss Alps. Walking the thrilling path surrounding the summit was an adventure, offering heart-stopping views and a sense of exhilaration.

You can find Helen at our Ipswich branch.