On our winter trip across Europe, the hubby and I traveled from Amsterdam to Vienna to Munich to Lake Lucerne Switzerland. Not only would I recommend this series of cities to anyone, but I really can’t wait to do it all over again!
Driving from Munich to Lake Lucerne was a ridiculously beautiful trip. The mountains, perfectly paved roads, forests, and cute architecture kept me entertained while E drove our adorable little VW, zipping along on roads without speed limits. We stopped at a rest stop at the Swiss/German border, and I was dumbfounded. It was beautiful, almost like a ski lodge, and motorists were relaxing with cups of espresso, wine, beers, and full meals. It was a far cry from the McD’s and an overcrowded restroom here in the states!
Entering Switzerland, we drove through some absolutely breathtaking countryside, with sheer bluffs into lakes/rivers, and rocky snow capped mountains on the other side. Before we knew it, we had pulled up to our hotel, Hotel Drei Könige.
Situated on the corner of a centrally located street in Lucerne, this hotel was perfect for us. Our room was large and offered windows to the street on several sides. It also had a fan! I can not sleep without some sort of white noise, and after over a week without, I finally had it back!
Our view from our window was of Gutsch Castle and Gutschwald, and I literally spent about an hour just looking out onto the street and up at the mountains. Switzerland is SO beautiful, and the air is so clean.
With food always on my mind, I had a couple of things I wanted to try in Switzerland:
Alpine Macaroni - a cheesy noodle dish with apples, onions, and potatoes. Hearty, creamy, salty, tangy, and sweet. Yes please!
Raclette- heated cheese served melty and hot with potatoes, gherkins, and bread. Give me anything with potatoes and pickles, and I am a happy gal, but this nutty, slightly salty meal really provides a feast for the tastebuds.
Fondue- gruyere and emmental cheeses, mixed with cherry kirsch liquer and garlic, served with bread. I loved the garlicky, sweet, and creamy taste of the fondue and the way the crisp wine cut through the creaminess.
All paired with Swiss white wine, Neuchatel.
I managed to eat all 3 of these things during our few days in Lake Lucerne, and while I do not have photos (sorry!) I can remember the sensory experience that Swiss dining brought to me. My favorite dish, surprisingly, was not fondue, but the Alpine Macaroni. I ordered this in a very cosy little restaurant with dim lighting and stone walls. I was completely surprised by how much I liked Swiss white wine, and when I was presented with a metal pot of Alpine Macaroni, I was in heaven. It is a simple dish of noodles, cheese, potatoes, onions, butter, and chopped apples or applesauce. Such a sweet and savory unexpected combination that really stuck to my ribs!
Our time in Switzerland was not cold at all, even though it was January, I ended up taking my coat off at times, especially when we were climbing up to Gutsch Castle and exploring the hillsides and city walls of Lucerne.
One of the highlights of the trip was a lake cruise, where my love and I got to relax, drink Swiss wine, and stop at the little towns around the lake itself. The weather was truly insane, pouring rain, then sun, so we were able to get an amazing sense of how the lake and mountains look in a variety of weather types.
In a nutshell, our trip to Lucerne was full of great food and wine but also lots of walking and hillwalking, cruising, looking at art and architecture, listening to music (hello free concert by the Salzburg Chamber Orchestra!), and relaxing. We went in winter, but I am pretty sure this is a year round destination that I would like to visit again very soon!