Grüezi! (Swiss greeting)
My holiday began with a stay with my friend Annette, who is a fellow nurse and friend from the ship. I woke up, after arriving the evening before, to breakfast laid out on her balcony in the beautiful sunshine. Breakfast with fresh, creamy yoghurt, cereal, soft brown bread and cheese and juicy stone fruit. The sunshine warmed my skin and the breeze was perfect as we gazed out over her shared yard with flowers and children happily playing on the jungle-gym. Yep, this is going to be a great holiday!
Over the next few days we explored Zurich, the Rhine falls and Lucerne, not only admiring the beautiful architecture, cute shops and riverside cafes, but also giggling at the hundreds of tourists with their matching hats or backpacks, big cameras slung around their necks, following their fearless, flag-waving tour guide.
We spent a gorgeous day hiking the alps, seeing the mountain side covered in green grass and an array of colourful flowers. There were also large patches of snow, some of which still sat as ice in the bright blue lakes.
My friend Annette had also just returned home from 2 months on the ship, so I accompanied her visiting friends and family. My limited German speaking skills were tested as I listened to many conversations, some of which were kindly translated for me, some not and some I understood without translation (which I felt quite proud of!) I discovered that the Swiss often like to eat their main meal in several rounds. I tried and enjoyed many traditional foods and drinks.
After six beautiful, relaxed days, I hopped on a plane to London, sitting next to a chatty eight year old Swiss girl who tested my German and listening skills, but provided a lovely companion for the flight towards my next adventure.