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Switzerland: Heaven On Earth

Switzerland: Heaven On Earth

A Story by Andre Peterson

Switzerland is my favorite place on earth.
I wish to live and die in the most beautiful place on earth.
Confused why. Buy a plane ticket and see the country for yourself. Pictures does it no justice. 
Video does it no justice.
If you want my truest heart of hearts advice on the best country to visit in Europe. Go to Switzerland.
It was ten thirty pm at some random Vienna train station. Our train was going to take us overnight into Switzerland.
I could hardly contain my excitement.
Going to Switzerland had been a dream of mine for years and it was finally going to happen.
As we waited, my sister and I got a drink and walked around the station waiting on our trains arrival. I chucked at the cardboard cut out advertisement of David Hasslehoff  giving the thumbs up for some local GP3 series racing team. I watched as some men bet on various local and foreign sports teams.
After some time our train had arrived. Our train car had two beds. It was set up in a small bunk bed layout. I got the top bunk.
As we were getting situated I looked out our window and noticed that we had already started moving. Super smooth those bullet trains are over there. With lots of excitement I managed to fall asleep to the soothing sound that the train was waking.
I remember waking up and saying to my self " Where the hell am I?" I was confused for about a minute. That usually what happens when you wake up on a train or on a plane. I'm not sure if I can get used to it.
Then it hit me.
We are in Switzerland!
I jumped down from my bunk and rush over to the window like a kid on Christmas hoping to see snow.
I saw beautiful mountains surrounded by lakes with waterfalls that fell from the top. Quant and quiet little towns that were placed around the countryside. I believed I teared up a bit. From the moment I woke up that day to the day I left for Paris, it felt as if I had literally, stepped into a dream.
After the conductor came buy to see our passports we arrived inside Zurich.
Now to give you all a brief idea of what Zurich is like. I could say things like: spotless utopia, Adventador Performantes, Cartier watches, Hugo Boss, fifteen dollar McDonalds hamburgers. You see where I'm going with this?
This place is one the most expensive places in the world and that is no joke. Although the hotel we stayed at had a very reasonable price. 
The city was beautiful in it's own right.
But my jam was in the mountains.
I convinced my sister to rent a car and take a day trip through the Gottard Passé and into Interlaken because I knew she would love the experience. Even to her thinking that it wouldn't have been a good idea, she admitted at the end that I had made a good call.
We rented a BMW 328 Diesel wagon to take the journey. It was my first time driving in Europe and it wasn't all that bad. We made our way through Lucerne and took a detour to the Gottard Passé. As we drew nearer we ventured through seemingly endless tunnels that went through the mountains. I counted at least twenty minutes of driving through one of the tunnels before we finally made our way out. It seemed as if they would never end. We started to climb. Snow peaked mountains were in view. And then we reached the top, I had to stop and get out to get a closer look at what I saw.
Cows were gracing on the hillside with the backdrop on snow peaked mountains. Their bells endlessly ringing across the countryside that although loud, added to the magic of the moment. My ears were burning with how cold the wind chill was. We had parked our car near an outlook that was placed right by a hot chocolate café. My sister urged me to let her take my picture with the mountains as the backdrop. "Smile, like you are actually having fun." I remember her saying. She didn't have to tell me twice. I cheesed like I have never done before. This was my moment, years waiting, uncertainty, the overall journey and hard work I had to do to get to this very moment. I could have died happy in that moment. The picture of me standing on top of the Gottard Passe is my favorite picture of myself. It was the happiest I have ever been in my life. It is my favorite spot on earth. And it makes me happy re-telling the story of that day. 
After the fun and excitement of the top of the Gottard Passe. I got the point where I said to my sister "I love this place, but if I stay here any longer I am going to freeze to death." That wind chill was brutal.
We hopped into our warm BMW and shivered the cold away and pressed on with our trip. After about a mile we encounter snow and fog. 
It was wild. We couldn't see much since we were literally inside of the clouds. After a while we took a turn and became the only car on the road.
Speed limit 50km.
"50mph?" I joked, well I guess I gave to follow the speed limit. I drove the car a little bit to aggressively as someone should when coming down a snow covered mountain in Switzerland, but I was here to have some fun. We made our way to the bottom of the mountain to the outskirts of Interlaken. I believe we made our way into Bern, Switzerland.
This was mountain folk! 
I remember we got lost for a minute searching for a Gondola on top of some spiraling tunnel and saw someone who lived on top flying a confederate flag in front of his house. Needless to say we went back the way we came.
After another hour or two of driving and nearly falling asleep at the wheel a few times, we arrived in Interlaken.
Interlaken Is a touristy town with with everything from gift shops to people base jumping off cliffs to a field below. 
It was a wild town. 
We arrived there during a 5k race. I remember hearing "Rather Be" by CDM Project and now every time I hear that song it takes me back to that day. I was getting overwhelmingly good vibes from that place. We walked to the base of the lake just as one of the boats set off for a tour of the small town. The water was a interesting shade of teal that day. I had never seen anything like it. I took pictures of strange cars, flowers, anything that was worth taking  pictures of because this had turned into such a amazing day that I wanted to remember as much of it as I could.
We stopped to eat inside a restaurant and as you could guess; I had a burger.
It wasn't very good. But are you really surprised by that?
Now Switzerland has the best waiters and waitresses you could ever ask for. It was like Chik-Fil-A level customer service. 
From the man who served me Fondue in Zurich to the Waiter who served me a burger in Interlaken. It was service that I will never forget.
I will never forget being served my burger and hearing the waiter say with a smile " Here you go, don't mind the metal shavings." I was taken aback for a second then laughed. "You didn't think I was serious?" he asked. For a moment I thought he was. 
I remember the same waiter was serving a Korean family a table away from us. He was chatting with them, telling jokes, giving them a really lighthearted evening. He grabbed the phone of one of them wanting to give them a family photo of them and said "How do you say smile in Korean?" 
"Miso!" they all replied. So he then said " Okay, one, two, three, Miso!" " Miso!" they all said with a smile. 
And I can tell you those are moments that I will remember for a lifetime.
We made our way back to Zurich racing along the mountainside in the dark where we finally reached the main highway.
I came across a Renault that annoyingly wouldn't let me pass. 
if anyone knows me, you probably know what happened next. 
We raced through he tunnels going 150km which is roughly about 100 mph before slowing down giving each other a thumbs up, a laugh and taking our separate exits.
Months later I got an email from my sister saying that I had gotten a speeding ticket via speed camera from the renter company. I still have no idea how to pay for the ticket.
We finally made it back into town and to my surprise only using three quarters of a tank of diesel, and made our way back to to the hotel. 
We had to walk through the train station which was jam packed full of teenagers. They drank, flirted among themselves and partied hard. The next morning when we walked back through to get to our train the place was trashed. It was a real shame to see after seeing how clean the rest of city was.
Switzerland holds a very special place in my heart. I would love to love there one day of the opportunity arose. I can't wait to return there. Perhaps it will take a few years but it'll be worth the wait.

© 2022 Andre Peterson

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Added on November 13, 2020
Last Updated on January 13, 2022
Tags: Travel Blog, Travel, Switzerland