Adventures By Disney Review: Italy & Switzerland | Day 4 – Zermatt
Saturday, September 3rd, 2022 –
IT’S SWITZERLAND TIME!
Guys… I’m freakin’ out. We’re going to a WHOLE NEW country today and even better – one I’ve never been to before!
We’re Going to Switzerland!
If you remember from the introduction post, we always talked about wanting to do an Adventures By Disney Itinerary through Italy, but once we saw there was a combo trip with Italy and Switzerland, it was pretty much a no-brainer that this was the correct choice for our family vacation!
My brother, Jonathan, was particularly interested in coming here! Switzerland was high on his bucket list so I’m really happy we got to make this happen for him!
But anyways… let’s GO! Time to get up, time to get goin’, it’s gonna be an amazing day!
Bags Out at 8 AM!
I woke up pretty early, got ready, and put my suitcase outside our hotel room by 8 AM!
When we have our final wrap-ups on the previous nights, our guides always prepare us with the information we need to know about the upcoming day.
For today, we needed to have our bags packed and sitting outside of our hotel doors at 8 AM. Before our trip, they sent Adventures By Disney luggage tags, so those needed to be attached for identification! Then, bell services would come by and collect everything and load it up onto the bus so we could travel on to our next destination. None of us had to even lift a finger!
And let me tell you – after living out of a suitcase for the past year, I cannot even begin to explain how much of a luxury this felt like. I was so so appreciative of this Disney service on a whole other level.
Anyways, enough talk about suitcases! We went down to eat breakfast. My stomach only had room for mint tea, one mini croissant sandwich, and pineapple but that was good enough for me!
Our Bus Ride to Switzerland
Once the bus was loaded up and we all took our seats, we officially said goodbye to Italy and Stresa. We set off on our three-hour venture to the Swiss Alps! We are going to a new country today – Switzerland! 😍🇨🇭
It was a very foggy morning – so much so that the clouds were layered over the mountains!
Miki and Alica entertained us during THE ENTIRE BUS RIDE. It was incredible.
Miki gave us our final history lesson about Rome – a few fun facts were that Romans measured distance in miles so they left literal “mile stones” (rocks) to measure miles on the way to their home! Ha!
Another fun fact was that “Vespa” means “wasp” in Italian! And although Americans call them Vespas, Italians actually refer to them as Scooters!
Crossing the Swiss Border
We crossed over the border into Switzerland! Miki and Alica put on Switzerland hats and flags and the whole bus celebrated. Everyone cheered and we were so excited for the next country of our adventure!
One of the fun Switzerland facts that we learned was that Edelweiss is the National flower of Switzerland! This was so cool because during my senior year of high school, we did The Sound of Music for our musical. There’s a song in the show called “Edelweiss” so that was a beautiful little connection!
As the ride went on, the views kept getting more and more amazing. The mountains are absolutely insane! We were in the SWISS ALPS!
It was quite an unbelievable experience, honestly. I never know how to adequately soak up views like this because they just feel SO much bigger than you. It’s Mother Nature at its finest and a true honor to be able to witness!
We had a mid-way stop and the temperature totally dropped. It was so cold all of the sudden!
I’m sure this wasn’t hard to do with all of the beautiful scenery at our fingertips, but Disney picked a rest stop at a place where we had a perfect photo opportunity! That’s prime multi-tasking right there!
We got back on the bus for the second half of the ride and Alica gave us a German lesson! She said German is super hard to learn – her Dad is American and moved to Germany 40 years ago and still has trouble with the language.
Our Guides warned us that there would be really windy roads and that the altitude may mess with us a little bit. Thankfully, I felt 100% fine! However, if you do experience motion sickness, they did recommend those motion sickness bracelets or grabbing some “travel gum” from the pharmacy in town! I don’t think we have that in the US but it’s a gum that has an anti-nausea effect, so that’s really good to have on hand!
Arrival in Zermatt, Switzerland
Once we arrived, we got off the bus and went to a train station. The Matterhorn train station, that is!
We got some Swiss Francs out of the ATM, which are so beautiful and colorful. They are almost equal to the US dollar! (at this time, anyway) I always love seeing the different currencies of each country, it’s wild how different they are!
We wandered through the gift shop and found these Matterhorn hats that were Buffalo Bills colored. Dad and I bought matching ones, it was a must!
Then we went on the little train up to Zermatt! We arrived and it was the absolute CUTEST TOWN I’ve ever seen! It was straight out of a Swiss ski-town storybook.
Then we went to Hotel Walliserhof, which is where we had our fondue lunch! When we walked into the restaurant, there was a photo of Walt Disney right in the doorway! Talk about some Disney Magic, right there!
I sat across from Tyler and next to Erica and got to chat more with them! They are from LA and just got married recently! They just went on their honeymoon and then met up with Tyler’s Mom, Veronica, to go on this trip as a big family right after, which was so, so special. It was so beautiful to see how the Adventures By Disney trip brought so many groups of people together to not only travel but to spend such quality time together. It may be cliche to say but these memories seriously do last a lifetime.
Thankfully, this chat kept me nice and entertained while I waited for one of the most highly anticipated moments of the trip – FONDUE!
Oh my gosh, what is it about Fondue that makes it so good? Is it the interactive piece? Is it that it’s warm and cozy? Perhaps that you just get to indulge in an overabundance of chocolate and cheese?
I don’t know. I was on Cloud 9. We did bread and cheese first, then meat, and then finished with chocolate and fruit! Way too fun 😍
Checking in to our Switzerland Hotel!
After we were filled to the brim with cheese and chocolate, we took a 15-minute walk to our new Zermatt home, Mont Cervin Palace!
We checked in and because we were located in an off-shoot hallway, were walked to our rooms. We were down the “Villa Margherita” hallway. Our room had an AMAZING balcony overlooking the adorable ski town of Zermatt and even THE MATTERHORN! (however, the clouds were so thick I didn’t even realize the Matterhorn was out there until the next morning!)
Our guides decided that we will be doing our Matterhorn excursion tomorrow instead of today because of that cloud coverage. I was pretty thankful because I was kind of tired!
That is one thing you need to keep in mind if you ever come to visit the Matterhorn – it is a very weather-dependent view! You need to cross your fingers for a clear day (and maybe have a few buffer days for backup) because the high altitude is just chock full of thick clouds!
Exploring the Town of Zermatt
Since we had some free time, we wanted to get out and explore the Zermatt! So Mom and I went for a walk. We went to souvenir shops, saw cuckoo clocks, got magnets and postcards, and most importantly – FOUND THE CHOCOLATE!
The chocolate store we went to was called Läderach and it was a whole experience. There was not only a plethora of chocolates you could choose from behind the counter or packages you could bring home as gifts, but also chocolates shaped like cute little animals!
Then we decided to get some slabs of chocolate!! Envision an open bakery setup but instead of baked goods, there were just sheets of different flavored chocolates with fillings. The workers just broke whatever size pieces you wanted from the giant sheet of chocolate bark.
I don’t think I’ve officially mentioned this yet, but Switzerland can be outrageously expensive, so just keep that in mind if looking to travel here! I think depending on what your interests are, you can still find things to do that are affordable enough. But the standard is that things cost more than you’d expect.
That being said, that was probably the most money we’ve ever spent on chocolate, but it was SO FUN AND WORTH IT for a special occasion! We got dark chocolate with hazelnuts, milk chocolate with macadamia nuts, and then white chocolate with pistachio/orange/almond!
Back at the Hotel
I’m re-reading my journal notes now and am laughing – “We went back to the hotel and Jon and I went to the gym!” HOW did I have the energy to go to the gym during this busy week!? I’ll never know. 😂
After Jon left, I went to the sauna, which I very quickly realized was a nude sauna LOL. Nude saunas are very common overseas however as an American it’s something that I’m not quite used to!
Once I sweat out all of the fondue from lunch, (LOL jk.. sort of) I laid by the pool but was too tired to swim. Again. And once again, this hotel had a very gorgeous pool area!
I can’t even put into words how much I love fancy hotels. It’s such a luxury and one of my favorite human experiences. Even if I did nothing the entire day, just the physical presence of being in a fancy hotel absolutely lights me up. I love it so much, it really is such a treat.
Dinner at the Whymper Stube!
I went back upstairs after that and then we got ready to go to dinner!
We had a reservation at Restaurant Whymper Stube for dinner tonight, which our guides recommended as an authentic Swiss food option. Something interesting that they do at some restaurants in Switzerland is they have two seating times. For example, Whymper Stube had a 6:00 PM and an 8:15 PM dining time. They do not allow in-between tables to keep everyone on a schedule.
Switzerland has many little nuances like that because they are extremely efficient. I thought that was so interesting and, honestly, pretty brilliant! Plus it gives people adequate time to eat, drink, and spend time with their families (which is very important in the restaurant scene in Europe) but it also keeps the restaurant operation moving.
We arrived at the restaurant at 8:00 PM for our reservation but they actually turned us away because they could not seat us until exactly 8:15. 😂 That was so funny to me but I understand! So we took a little walk through town to pass the time.
During this walk, we got our FIRST LOOK AT THE MATTERHORN! Oh my goodness, I was blown away!! You can see it right from town. I didn’t realize it was there earlier because that cloud coverage was so thick. It was finally starting to lighten up!
Once it was 8:15 PM, we went back to Restaurant Whymper Stube for our authentic Swiss meal! It was very cozy inside. It had a ski lodge cottage meets grandma’s living room vibe.
Jon and I got some beers to start, because what goes better with meat and cheese than a nice crisp beer?
We went a little crazy and got cheese fondue again which was even better than the one we had for lunch! It was actually beer cheese fondue which gave it even more flavor. When in Switzerland!
Mom got a mixed salad. Whenever we get salads in Italy, their standard dressing is like olive oil and vinegar, but we learned that the standard dressing in Switzerland is a yogurt-based dressing! So interesting! And yes, it’s still significantly lighter and better than the processed dressings we have in the States,
For dinner, Dad and Jon got Bratwurst, which was fantastic and so flavorful! And I got the filet mignon which was such a great cut of meat.
Overall, this was a GREAT restaurant. We definitely enjoyed that one a lot. Our guides were on point with their recommendation.
We decided to have dessert back at the hotel, which was all of our amazing Swiss chocolate! We went back to Mom and Dad’s room, which had a little sitting area, and we broke pieces off of the chocolate bark. Every single flavor was so good!
With full bellies and happy hearts, we then went to bed. Tomorrow was our full Zermatt day chock full of activities, and I am looking forward to recapping it already! Stay tuned and see you next time 🙂
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