The last leg of our official Collette tour had us exploring Switzerland. We had a quick stop in Gurerye and admired all the cheeses.
Then we visited Montreux to walk along the water and visit a statue of Freddy Mercury.
The best was yet to come though when we visited Zermatt on the hunt for a view of the elusive Matterhorn!
One of my favorite stops during the whole trip was our visit to Zermatt. You can only reach it by taking a train up the mountain. The town is very touristy, but I loved the vibe of the new stores with the traditional houses. Walking just out of town and seeing the mountain and the houses made me feel like I was in the book Heidi.
We did a morning excursion by taking the gondola part way up the mountain and then hiking down toward the town with trails in grass and then through some amazing gorges! We even found a Ricola garden (yes – for the cough drops) and had a gardener give us some samples and show us the herbs that they were made with! (Sadly I didn’t get a photo of her!)
With an insider’s tip, we took the gondola all the way to the top, over glaciers, and into a snowstorm! We visited the glacier palace and saw the amazing ice carvings. At 14,000 feet above sea level, any little bit of an incline was a challenge on my lungs, and I was not dressed for ice!
We really wanted to see the Matterhorn up close, but with the snowstorm, it was not to be on that day! We were sad that the mountain was being shy but still considered it a great stop!
Lucky for us we woke up at 4 am the next day to a perfectly clear sky! Looking out our hotel window we were able to watch the sunrise right on the Matterhorn! What a glorious sight!
Our Collette trip was quickly coming to an end. We went up a cogwheel train to visit Mt. Pilatus. took switchbacks up a mountain pass and visited Lucerne. Every day there was a new sight that just made me fall in love even more with Switzerland!
Saying goodbye to our Collette friends I went to visit my brother and his family in Cannes, France! We ate by the sea in Nice, looked at yachts in Cannes, went for ice cream in Monaco, and had a birthday dinner in Itay!
It was a long 3-week vacation, and worth every minute! I met great people and learned so much about the culture and history of 6 different countries. I was able to eat amazing foods, visit some of the most famous sites in the world, go 14000 feet above sea level and inside a glacier, and down to the French Riveria to soak my feet in the warm water! I overused the word “WOW” each day and filled up my camera with memories that will last me a lifetime.
I was unsure about visiting countries where I did not know the language or customs. By going on a tour with Collette Tours I felt safe and confident in every area we visited. I can now talk about the pros and cons of group tours and have places on my bucket list I want to go back and visit.
If you think a group tour is the way you would like to travel, I can help! You can find me here
. I can’t wait to hear from you!
~ Carol Born
PS The BEST croissant I had the whole time I was in Europe was at the Nice airport as I was about to depart. It was divine!