Two months in Switzerland and Italy

Exactly one year ago, David and I put our RVs, Stimpy and Ren, in a storage and flew to Bangkok, Thailand. We had just bought a condominium in Bangkok prior to that. Our plan was to live in Bangkok through 2019. David would start the Thai language lessons. We would travel to Europe for a couple of months. We had planned to come back to the U.S. and to resume RVing in early 2020.

The year had come and gone just like that. We returned to Bangkok from the Europe trip last week. Got over the jet lag, more or less. David’s language lessons restarted. It’s time to catch everyone up on where we had been in Switzerland and Italy.

The primary reason for the trip to Europe is to visit our Swiss friends, Bruno and Susan, whom we met while RVing in the Palm Springs area. For many years, Bruno and Susan had been RVing in the U.S. part of the year, but now had sold their RV. Since we might not see them in the U.S. again, we decided to visit them in Switzerland instead. So began our Europe trip.

Where have we visited?

We were in Europe during the months of September and October for a total of 8 weeks. We spent September in Switzerland and October in Italy. I created a map of where we had visited below.

Click the map to open a zoomable map

In Switzerland, we were based in the Lake Lucerne area for 3 weeks visiting friends and their family, then traveled with our friends to the Lavaux region of the Vaud wine country. Then we were off by ourselves to Zermatt before continuing on to Italy.

In Italy, we visited Venice, then went to Florence. We did day trips from Florence to Pisa and Siena. We ended our Italy trip in Rome. With our belly full of pizza, pasta, and red wines, we came back to Switzerland one more time to say goodbye to our friends then flew back to Bangkok.

I’ll write about what we did and where we went in later posts. In the meantime, here are snapshots of our trip.

Switzerland

Grüezi (Hello) from Switzerland. This was the view from our apartment overlooking Lake Lucerne.
Our gang (Bruno, David, Keng, Susan) in Zürich
The Limmat River and the old town Zürich
Having the Kanonenputzer, a meter long sausage, at Zeughauskeller. It’s REALLY good.
Visited the Freitag store. Yes, it’s essentially made of stacked containers. 😂 You could actually climb up to the top for the view.
Lake Lucerne, or as Swiss calls it Vierwaldstättersee, is so gorgeous on a sunny day like this.
Taking a paddle steamer boat in Lake Lucerne is a great way to spend a beautiful warm day.
We got an opportunity to visit a recycling facility in a nearby town. Switzerland is serious about recycling. This facility is very tidy and clean.
The iconic Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) in Lucerne
Viper day. Before taking a ride up the mountains in the Viper with new friend, Rudy, Not sure initially if I would be able to keep my breakfast down. 😅
The Vipers
Walking in Swiss mountains this time of the year you can’t miss the sound of cow bells and the cows, lots of cows.
Hiking with Susan. The view of Lake Lucerne with thin cloud hanging over it was quite magical.
More hking with friends
Meat and cheese in Appenzell, delicious cheese
A journey to Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe
Made a trip to Switzerland’s Lavaux wine region
Vineyard on the shore of Lake Geneva
With the Fork in Vevey
Spent part of the day at Château de Chillon
It wasn’t easy to get tickets to the guided tour of CERN. Fortunately, we were able to secure them for the time we were in the Lake Geneva area.
The Matterhorn was as impressive as I had hoped.
View from Gornergrat was amazing.
The Matterhorn Glacier Trail was the highlight of our hiking in Switzerland.

Italy

Venice is such a picturesque place.
The whole city and its lagoon is UNESCO world heritage site, deservingly so.
Although the city is full of visitors, when you wander off the tourist spots, crowds thin out quickly.
It’s fun to walk through narrow streets and alleys of Venice. It’s almost impossible to not lose track of where you are as GPS map doesn’t work well in narrow streets like this.
Piazza San Marco
The view of unmistakeable Brunelleschi’s Dome from Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence
The historic bridge Ponte Vecchio over the Arno River
View of Florence at sunset from Brunelleschi’s Dome
We visited the Uffizi Gallery. So many Madonna and Child paintings. So many.
Made a day trip to Pisa and climbed up the famous leaning tower.
The Piazza del Campo in Siena
Having a good look at the Colosseum for the first time was like seeing celebrity who you’ve heard about for so many years.
Stepped back in time at Roman Forum
Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona
Trevi Fountain and the crowds. There was a police at the fountain whose job was to blow a whistle at tourists who sat at the edge of the fountain.
At the Vatican Museum
I didn’t expect that many visitors at the Vatican, a large gaggle of them, us included. 😆

Have you been to Switzerland and/or Italy? What is your most memorable experience?

11 thoughts on “Two months in Switzerland and Italy

  1. Wow, your photos look absolutely stunning, especially the ones with Lake Lucerne covered in dreamy clouds! It sounds like you had a great time exploring Italy and Switzerland, we’ve been to both countries couple of times yet it’s the first time I’ve heard about the metre-long sausage, I guess we learn something new every day. Thanks for sharing. Aiva

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Now added to my bucket list. Love the Swiss shots and of course Italy was fabulous. I traveled from Milan to Brindisi, though Florence and Rome. But never made it to Venice. But I will be there on the 19 th LOL. Off to do the Mediterranean for 26 days.What were you using to take those pictures. Your phone? Love Wanda and Jane

    Like

  3. Beautiful photos, Keng! We went to Switzerland in December a couple years ago and desperately need to return. It’s certainly a different kind of beautiful outside the winter months. And Italy is high on our list as well. Makes me want to book a trip right away! Glad to see you are doing well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Brian. We enjoyed our Switzerland and Italy trip very much. Having been away for on the States for so long, we are itching to go back now, but we have an obligation to entertain our friends who will visit us in Thailand early next year. So, we won’t be back until the end of April. Hope you and Julie are doing well.

      Liked by 1 person

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