This weekend I was lucky to go on a fabulous whirlwind trip to Luzern in Switzerland to visit my dear friend Catherine who I've known since I was 5 years old! She has lived there for 8 years now, and moved there around the same time that I moved to Japan. We went through similar experiences of settling in, but I moved back to the UK four years ago and she is still living in Switzerland. I thought it was about time that I made a trip there, and how lovely it was! I stayed with her and her family in their lovely apartment in the hills just outside Lucerne, a walking distance into the town, along the lakeside.
On Sunday, the weather was gorgeous, so we decided to head into the mountains via a boat trip along the lake. I loved the way that all the small settlements hugged the shoreline, mainly because the mountains suddenly soared up into the sky, and it was the only place to be. Having said that, there were still homes, nestled up in the mountains with stunning views.
We got off the boat at Vitznau and took a little train up the Rigi mountainside. The views were stunning!
We got off near the top of the mountain and worked our way down the gravel path and taking in the view and beautifully clean air. I was mesmerised by the pretty cows that scattered the hillside. Each one wears the traditional cow bell and you can hear them echoing around you.
A short walk down the mountain took us to the beautifully modern Mineral Baths and Spa at Kaltbad where we spent a few hours. There was a wonderful choice of heated waters to wallow in, including an outdoor space with a stunning view over the mountains. My favourite room was the salt bath where you lie suspended in a quiet dark room with a calming blue ceiling.
After a few hours in the spa we headed back down Rigi mountain via the cable car, with more stunning views of the surrounding mountains and then headed back home on the boat, basking in the afternoon sun.
Needless to say, I ate and drank well while I was in Switzerland. This lovely meal was eaten at the Hotel des Balances on the terrace overlooking the river in Luzern. I highly recommend the 'Quick Lunch' option which includes three courses like the one below.
We went out on Saturday night and had drinks at the Rathaus brewery by the river. This was our view as we sipped beer on the terrace.
Of course, being a fabric-lover, I have to sniff out the fabric stores in any town I go to. Luckily Luzern has a lovely little fabric store called Alja with a very friendly owner. I came out with a gorgeous gold and white fabric which I will mention in my next post. Below is a little sample of what she sells. I love the bright colours and geometric designs.