Switzerland & Italy (Nordics Part I)

For the last few years, I have been lucky enough to get to travel the world with Bill. With Switzerland being the place we visit the most.  I didn't know, or expect, that I would fall in love with Switzerland when I was planning my first visit back in 2013. Vevey is one of my favorite places to stay. 

This photo was taken on an afternoon hike up the hillside of Vevey - where you can get the best workout! I love this sweet village, but business had us staying one village to the west.  Only four kilometers seperate Vevey and Montreux so I'm able to move between the two with ease. Montreux is home to the Jazz Festival and was the host to Bill's week long conference.  I was able to work and explore before travelingto Sweden for the weekend.

Do you remember last fall, when I had a Julie Andrews moment? The Alps are live...  last fall I took the train to Rochers de Naye.  Enjoyed lunch, visited a botanical garden built into the mountatin, and hiked a bit.  This lovely place is just above Montreux, elevation 2000M.  I enjoyed my time up there so much that I couldn't wait to visit.  Delusions of hiking back to Vevey quickly passed when 2.5 feet of fresh snow fell overnight - instead I thought I might stay close and at least go snowshoeing...  

What I didn't expect was over six feet of snow covering the trails.  Look at this photo... a couple taking turns photographing the snow, which ends up being a good representation of how much has fallen this winter. The Alps are magical. 

I still remember how I left getting off the train that day. Once I got over the shock of six feet of snow, and realizing that the train only arrives hourly, I decided to visit the museum and travel back down to Lake Geneva for the afternoon. 

The next day I was going to Italy with a friend, for lunch!

Domodossola Italy is a two hour train ride from Montreux.  Ella planned our day trip when she learned I would be in town.  We boarded the train, talked and talked until arriving in this charming valley city.  Our plans were to walk the streets and visit the Sacro monte calvario (Sacred Mount Calvary).  Once we departed the train station, we found a government building, waited in a line and asked someone to point us in the right direction. 

A man walked us through the streets, there was a lot of pointing and head nodding.  We finally found our way.  Getting to the Sacred Mount Calvary requires a 70 story climb from the city center photographed above.

Below: look at this wonderful place we were lucky to visit!

Sacro monte calvario:  Words cannot describe this place.  You can feel the history, wondering how this was planned and built. The Monk's life. 

Once we walked through and around this UNESCO site, we found an open air tent with picnic tables.  The perfect place to sit and relax.  Enjoy pizza margharita and a glass of chianti. Relax and reflect on the beautiful day.

After walking back to Domodossola, we wandered through the local streets and shoppes. And since I'm only get to Italy once a year, I had to order an Italian Affogato.  Something Ella had never had, in all her travels! 

We laughed like schoolgirls, sharing gelato and affogato's.  Knowing this sugar high will soon be over.  A quick two hour train ride home and I'm meeting another friend for dinner.

I'm so thankful to be collecting all of these memories.  Next stop, we are traveling to Stockholm for the weekend!