Milly Hart: My STC Switzerland FAM trip

Date Posted: 05/11/2018

Day 1

After landing into Zurich around 11am we caught the train (a double decker – very exciting!) on to Arth-Goldau. We had a section of a 1st class carriage reserved especially for us and on route we enjoyed a yummy picnic lunch of cheese, red wine, crisps, and sandwiches.

Next we hopped on a little train which took us up Mount Rigi at 1800 metres. The views the whole way up the mountain were beautiful and we even got given Lindor chocolate, which just topped off the experience! When we reached the highest peak of the mountain, Rigi Kulm, breathing in the cool, fresh, mountainous air was incredible. The views of the snowy peaks coming out of the clouds beneath us and the bright blue sky was really a special moment.

After some time admiring the view, we then walked down the mountain to our first hotel, Rigi Kaltbad, which is in a stunning position overlooking the surrounding peaks and forest, sitting at 1400 metres high. The hotel has an amazing spa (with a view!) and a heated outdoor swimming pool which we were lucky enough to be able to enjoy for a couple of hours as the sun set over the mountains. They also served us up a delicious meal in the evening… accompanied with a load of wine!

Day 2

I woke up this morning to the most stunning view of the mountains from my bedroom window with the snowy topped peaks poking out the top of the fluffy clouds. The only sound I could hear when opening the window was birds tweeting...fabulous!

We then had breakfast before going on a horse and carriage ride for an hour through the mountains. It was really quite magical going through the trees listening to the horses hooves go clippidy-clop and the tinkling of the horse’s bells as we went.

Then we got the train back down the mountain, which was an experience going down through the clouds, not being able to see a thing at times! When we reached the bottom of the mountain we got a gorgeous old paddle boat across Lake Lucerne, which took a couple of hours to Fluelen. We met a train which took us to the beautiful town of Bellinzona, which sits on the Italian border, just an hour and a half away from Milan.

Our second hotel, Hotel Internazionale, is located opposite the train station and in a lovely spot just a few minute’s stroll from the gorgeous piazza. There are a wide selection of shops right outside the hotel and the ancient Castelgrande, which was built back in the 1500s, is just a few minute’s stroll away. In the evening we enjoyed a walking tour of the town and learnt all about its history

Day 3

After some delicious pastries for breakfast we strolled down the (main) cobbled street to the piazza. There was a Saturday market selling meats, cheese, clothes, gifts etc, which was lovely as we were surrounded by the local people going about their weekend chores.

We then got a train to Lugano where we picked up the Bernina Coach to Tirano, which is an Italian town right on the Swiss border. During the journey we passed Lake Como which looked beautiful with the sun shimmering on the water as we passed, and on arrival into Tirano we had a delicious lunch of handmade pasta.

After lunch we climbed aboard the Bernina Express, which is one of the best and most beautiful rail journeys in Switzerland. The scenery during the four-hour journey to Chur was just incredible - snow topped mountains, vast forest, shimmering lakes, quaint little towns in the distance, beautiful bridges, twists and turns, and amazing views back down the mountains. 

On arrival in Chur we checked into our final hotel of the trip, Romantik Hotel Stern, which is a gorgeous hotel in the centre of the town, full of character and just a few minutes stroll from the old town. The bed is one of the comfiest I've slept in!

Day 4

Feeling sad this morning as it’s our final day in stunning Switzerland after the best few days. After (yet another) yummy breakfast we had a two-hour walking tour of Chur old town which is, like Bellinzona, just so cute and a lovely place to have a stroll around. During our tour we saw Chur’s cathedral which looked quite ordinary from the outside but jaw-droppingly beautiful on the inside. We also had the chance to go into a lovely little traditional and family run bakery/chocolate shop which just smelt delightful! After stocking up on plenty of Swiss chocolate we then headed back to the airport.