Switzerland & Italy (Nordics Part I)

Hello Friends! 

It's time for my annual spring travel to Vaud Switzerland.  

I prefer to stay in Vevey, oh how I love this sweet village, but business had us staying one village to the west.  Montreux is home to the Jazz Festival and was the host to Bill's week long conference.  I worked and explored before we traveled to 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 snowshoeing quickly passed when 2.5 feet of fresh snow fell over night. 

What I didn't expect was over six feet of snow, covering the trails.  I know, silly right? This means I have lived in northern New Jersey too long.  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 train only passes by on the hour so I visited the museum and traveled back down to Lake Geneva for the afternoon.

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

Domodossola Italyis a two hour train ride from Montreux.  Ella planned our day trip when she learned I would be in town.  So 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).  Neither of us speak Italian, and with our phones on airplane mode, we had to find 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!