As I've alluded to, our family has had a rough year and a half. My husband is so good to me and always wants to see me happy. During this time, he has insisted that we girls get away and have fun, even though he's had to work. This past May we did a 3 week trip to Europe to celebrate our middle daughter's (Grace) high school graduation. There was also one other reason for the trip, but I'll post about that later. The hardest part of the trip was deciding where we wanted to go! The 3 of us sat down and listed 3 countries we were interested in and narrowed it down from there. Our final destination....
There were a few reasons we chose this country. First, we've never been there and secondly, it's really safe. This was one of the most beautiful countries I've ever seen! The people were so incredibly kind and everyone spoke English. The only downfall-it was expensive! Especially the food. Fortunately, we learned ways to save money.
We flew directly from Atlanta to Zurich, then took a short flight to Geneva. From here we got a rental car and drove the (almost) hour to our hotel in Evian-les-bain, France. (My husband accumulates lots of Hilton hotel points from work travel. Therefore when we travel for pleasure, we try to use those points. This was one of the Hilton's we stayed in). This hotel was fabulous! We had a small balcony that overlooked Lake Geneva (or Lac Leman) and a very large room decorated in my favorite color-purple!
One of the places we visited here in the southern part of Switzerland was L'abri in Huemoz. If you haven't read the book L'abri by Edith Schaeffer, you must! Such an incredible story of one family's ministry and their total faith in God. I read the book for the first time about 8 years ago and have since read it 2 more times. Finally, my dream came true and I was able to visit the actual site. I was simply estatic!
After 2 days in Evian (the hotel was booked after that) we drove north to Zurich. Our first day here was spent visiting Rhine Falls-Europe's largest waterfall. It was raining and 8C (down south had been sunny and very warm). Despite the weather, we had the most wonderful time! The falls were amazing! From here we drove to Konstanz, Germany and had lunch (much cheaper food here).
The following day we drove to Vaduz, Leichenstien. This is the world's sixth smallest country (62 sq miles, population 37,000). It also happens to be the richest country in the world by GDP per capita. Obviously, it didn't take long to tour the country. lol! Next we drove into Austria, out in the countryside-way up on a mountain. So beautiful! Our final stop was downtown Zurich. We visited a book store, tea room and several other shops. We also got to see the Limmat River.
Day 2 up north, we drove the hour to Lucerne. Here we took a gondola ride up to Mt Pilatus. This cost 180 Swiss Francs but was so worth it! The view were incredible! Even though the ground was covered in snow and ice at the top, the air was sunny and warm. There was a hotel, restaurant and shops at the top of the mountain. Such incredible views in every direction! Back at the car, we drove into the center of the city. We parked and walked around Lake Lucerne. Here we took Grace's graduation pictures with the beautiful Alps in the background. We also walked a short distance to see the crying lion monument. It was carved in the rock face in 1972 and is dedicated to the Tuileries war heroes. So magnificent and amazingly moving.
Our final day (for now) in Zurich was spent in the city center. We parked the car and walked all day. Bahnhofstrasse is one of the world's most exclusive and expensive shopping streets. We mostly just looked on this street. lol! We did stop and toured a church-Fraumunster. Then we went to Sprungli. They supposedly have the freshest truffles. They are also one of Switzerland's oldest chocolate companies. We had lunch outside in a beautiful courtyard. The weather was sunny and warm. A perfect day to be outside.
The next day we flew onto Bordeaux, France-my favorite city. I'll save that for another post.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. The sea belongs to him, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land, too. Psalm 95:4-5