after our weekend at lake maggiore, we made the drive into switzerland on sunday to our first destination there, meirengen, where josh’s good friend from high school has been living for several years with her husband and two darling daughters. as we prepped our big old van and started off, i had absolutely no idea what a treat we were in for.
the entire drive was out of this world scenic! especially once we got into switzerland. there was a running river along the freeway with water that almost looked like it was from the carribean, it was so clear and white (you’ll see it in the photos below). there was also this incredible fog which we drove into as we climbed the mountain at one point, which was also really exciting for me. we took a car train through the mountain tunnel from italy into switzerland which was a cool new experience for all of us, but especially the kids. and we made several stops (which you’ll see in the photos below) including a stop at bellwald to walk that insane bridge.
our kids are all at ages now where driving for long stretches in a car is getting easier. in the past it’s been a struggle since they weren’t used to being strapped into carseats in new york city and accustomed to car drives because we just walk or train everywhere. but eleanor and samson enjoy looking out the windows now more. we sing a lot of songs and play a lot of games (and make up a lot of our own versions of knock-knock jokes, some that make no sense but still get everyone to laugh). we bring a lot of little toys and stickers and coloring books… and we always travel with three fully charged iPads as emergency back up. i’ve shared a lot of our favorite apps for the kids in previous posts, but we also stock a few episodes of blues clues for conrad and daniel the tiger for the older kids. (can we talk about how amazing daniel the tiger is at some point?! we only discovered it back in maybe january or februay, but we’re so impressed with that one.) also, josh put a few movies onto the iPads this trip including singing in the rain for the kids, and samson was watching and giggling to it in the car a few days ago (and i almost died of happiness, hearing the music to gotta dance! and hearing him giggle to it. it’s such a great classic and it’s one of my favorite movies. so it was fun to hear him enjoying it.
everywhere i looked there was another cute little town with a glorious steeple on a church! i think the steeples always complete the look of the little clusters of towns and i love it. up against all the greenery, it felt like it was a movie set and not real life. these photos will never do it justice.
so this car train ferry thing was really cool. we had never done something like this before, so it felt extra special for us. but you just drive your car onto the train once it’s your turn and the train speeds through the mountain tunnel then! we rolled our windows down for a good portion of the tunnel ride and the kids were shouting “yeeeehaaaaaaa! woo hooooooo!” for a lot of it. haha!
i apologize now for all the photos from the passenger seat of the car, but i couldn’t help myself. it was all just so beautiful.
do you see what i mean about that water color?! it’s almost a clear white with the faintest blue tones. hard to see from the photos but josh and i kept commenting on it the entire drive in. josh’s friend says there are minerals in it, which helps with the coloring.
so conrad had just fallen asleep for his nap as we came up to the bridge at bellwald. we were already about an hour behind our travel time, and since conrad was now asleep, we decided to keep driving and not stop. but it only took me maybe 60 seconds after we passed the bridge to come to my senses. i was like, “josh, i’m sorry. you have to turn around. i have to walk that bridge or i’ll forever regret it.” haha! so i hopped out of the car with just eleanor and samson and we made a quick walk of it. eleanor took a couple of photos on the bridge and also a boomerang of me (i showed them how to use the boomerang app a few weeks ago and now i find the most hilarious boomerangs in my photo library on my phone sometimes. they are the cutest little photographers ever.) the bridge was incredibly high, and it wobbled quite a bit at times which stopped my heart, but it was definitely worth it, and i’m so glad we didn’t skip it. those views!!!!!
can you believe the fog in this photo?! it was wild.
one thing i really appreciated about everywhere we went in switzerland, was the amount of playgrounds for families. everywhere we went, there was an awesome playground accompanying the location. we stopped for a quick lunch and some playtime at restaurant z’matt right after we came through the tunnel from italy, about ten minutes in. a great stop!
i’m not sure you can tell from this photo, but all those zig zags on the mountain made of stone were roads! and we climbed the mountain zig zagging on each one until we were at the top and in the fog and could barely see outside out windows. it was crazy. it was unreal. it is definitely something i’ll never forget. and this was just the drive in!!!!! switzerland, you are SO BEAUTIFUL. excited to share more from our time there with you soon.