You know that feeling of being stuck? Feeling suffocated in your own city? Well New York can feel that way, and for me that always seems to happen in the Winter. Making the decision to fly to Zurich was a bit random but seeing that I’d be able to visit a couple of friends, see the beautiful alpine mountains and go dog sledding, I could not have picked a better winter getaway.
Only 4 hours before my flight and I’d managed to unpack and repack my luggage twice. Did I pack everything?, am I bringing too many outfits? In addition to my digital camera, should I bring my polaroid ? Tripod or no tripod? Exactly 3 hours before my flight and I get a notification from Uber that my driver would arrive shortly. I don’t know how many times this feature has saved my life, scheduling a ride is easy, you choose your pick-up date & time through uberX and just make sure you’re ready when the time comes, it just seems like one less thing to worry about on your way to the airport.
On this solo trip I was definitely nervous but more excited for the adventures ahead. On my layover in London, I realized that I brought a defective leg charger with me, by the time I got to Zurich I was walking around with a prosthetic leg with 0 battery, which prevented me from bending my knee properly. I was certainly freaking out but realized I’d have to make do until a new leg charger was sent to me.
I was no stranger to using Uber abroad, in fact, I’ve used it in 6 different countries, but the process is more or less the same. I arrived in Zurich on a sunny afternoon, although the city center is close to the airport, but having so many bags + a non operating prosthetic leg, I decided to take an Uber to my apartment. I told my driver, it was my first time in Zurich , he took the scenic route to the apartment while pointing out the major sights.
He even recommended a couple of towns and villages in the Vicinities worth visiting. That day, I spent my afternoon exploring Zurich on foot, strolling around the Old town, admiring the quaint houses and cobblestone alleyways. Even stopped by some chocolatier to sample some of the best chocolates in town.
The following day I went to Uetilberg to get a view of the Alps. After taking a tram, then a train and a cable car to the top of the mountain, I hiked a small trail, at 871 meters above sea level this summit offers a scenic view of Zurich, the Limmat Valley along with a great view of the Alps.
Less than a 10 min walk from the cable car I found Restaurant Felsenegg, with the amazing view, it felt fitting enough to have my first fondue there (A Swiss dish of melted cheese served with bread)
The next day, I took a day trip to Adelboden, a village known for its ski resorts, I’d heard of a hotel (The Cambrian Adelboden) in the Swiss alps with a heated outdoor swimming pool surrounded by snowy peaks. I spent hours simply taking in the view and relaxing.
Towards the end of my trip, it is was time to fulfill a childhood dream of mine. I’d dreamt of dog sledding since I was 10yrs old. I remember watching Balto, a movie about a Siberian husky that helped deliver a serum to a small town in Alaska to stop the spread of a deadly virus. Balto became an instant hero and had his statue erected in Central Park. I must have watched the movie a dozen times and each time I got goosebumps. (The movie is currently on Netflix so I recommend you watch it ;))
I was instructed to bring a warm coat, sunglasses/goggles, so I packed a small day bag for this adventure. From my hotel, I took an uberX to Zurich main station, seeing that I was carrying a bag it was more convenient to get picked up directly from my hotel. From the train station, I took a one hour train to Schwyz then a 30 min bus to Muotathal Brucke and as I was getting ready to hike for 30 min to the husky lodge, a staff member from the husky lodge recognized me and offered me a ride. – I got there early enough to drink some prosecco right before meeting the huskies.
The Husky lodge( Erlebniswelt Muotathal) has about 35-45 huskies one of which is completely blind. They get plenty of food and exercise, although they can get feisty with each other, they are extremely friendly to humans.
The tour included giving the huskies their morning snacks, information about the sled dogs, a short introduction to preparation then help prep the dogs for the sledge drive, and finally riding my own sledge.
When it comes to exploring a new place, Uber can be a great way to get around, getting a lay of the land by car and even getting some recommendations from your driver.
Switzerland was the perfect winter wonderland and this is coming from a girl who usually hates winter. Back in college I spent 3 months in Eugene , Oregon where I discovered my love for the outdoors, Switzerland definitely rekindled that part of me.