We flew from Manchester to Geneva, arriving in the early evening. By the time we had checked in, we didn't have much time for sightseeing, but we explored the area around our hotel and had dinner.

Next morning, we took a walk around the city center and visited Lake Geneva.

The famous Geneva Fountain - supposedly 460 feet high and the symbol of the city

Lake Geneva

We only had one day in Geneva, so after looking around the city center, we took a tram to CERN, the largest particle physics laboratory in the world.

The tour was all above ground although all the important hardware is buried underground. The tour started with the very first Cyclotron that was used at CERN from 1957 to 1990. Now, although part of the tour, it is no longer active.

We then walked over to the Globe of Science and Innovation, which is a visitors' center of sort, with exhibits about the research being carried out at CERN.

The final stop on the tour was the control room for the Large Hadron Collider. However, there's not a lot to see as it's just a series of computers which monitor the Collider. Rather dull, to be honest!

After our tour, we headed back into the city and caught the train to our next stop, Montreux.


We arrived in Montruex in the late afternoon and once again, didn't have a lot of time for sightseeing. However, we walked down to the lakefront, which was a hive of activity as we had arrived during the Montreux Jazz Festival. We found a nice restaurant with a view of the lake and enjoyed a pleasant evening people watching.

Next morning, we headed out to visit the Charlie Chaplin Museum or "Chaplin's World" as it calls itself. It was a bus ride from our hotel and then a long climb up a steep hill.

Chaplin's home until his death in 1977. He is buried nearby. The building is now open to the public as part of "Chaplin's World"

The living room, with his piano in the foreground

The dining room, adjacent to the living room

His iconic bowler hat and cane, used by his character "The little Tramp"

Chaplin's two Oscars - one an honorary award and the second for the score of "Limelight"

Not every day you get a a chance to watch movies with Charlie Chaplin and his wife, even if they are only wax figures.

Charlie and Kristine. Not exactly sure what either of them doing!


Our next stop was Lucerne. We travelled by train throughout Switzerland and of course, as we expected the scenery was both pretty  and at times spectacular.

We arrived in Lucerne in the later afternoon and checked into our hotel, the Hotel Stern, in the old town. It looked very nice but the room was (a) very basic (b) not air conditioned (c) directly facing the sun, so it was BAKING hot. We usually manage to survive when the hotel isn't up to expectations, but this seemed a bit too much. We checked with the owner, but she didn't have another room available. She agreed that if we checked out early, she would give us a refund for the second night. As it was a non-refundable room, that seemed reasonable.

We looked online and found another hotel, the Hotel Cascada, which showed it had airconditioned rooms available. We walked to the hotel, took a look at the room (which was nice and cool) and paid for the room on the spot. Then BACK to the Hotel Stern to pack up our stuff and move.

That evening, we decided to eat in the Spanish restaurant at the  hotel, the Bolero. That was the end of a long day ! 

Next morning, newly refreshed, we started our morning with a ferry ride from Lucerne to Alpnachstad, where (after about an hour wait) we took the cog railway up the mountain.

The ferry from Lucerne to Alpnachstad

The view from the ferry on Lake Lucerne

The cog railway from the outside, climbing the last stretch to the top.

It was very steep in places

The hotel at  the top of the mountain - 6913 feet above sea level

And of course, the views were spectacular, if a little hazy

We spent a couple of hours at the top, then headed back to the ferry and back into Lucerne.

Lucerne from the ferry

That evening, we went for dinner at the Wirtshaus Taube which was located in the old town. Our table was right on the river. 

The weather was very pleasant, although a little humid. We could see lightning flashes in the distance but it didn't seem to be threatening us. We had finished our main course and had just ordered dessert when there was a clap of thunder and a huge gust of wind blew glasses and plates off the tables. We grabbed our stuff and ran indoors just as it started to pour with rain. We sat inside and finished our dessert, but the  torrential rain continued unabated. We tried to get an Uber, but surprise surprise, none were available. 

By this time, it was dark and we wondered how we would get back to the hotel. Fortunately, the restaurant manager gave us a couple of umbrellas and we managed to walk back to the hotel without getting too wet !

Next morning, the  weather had cleared and we went for a walk around the old town.

After the heavy rain the night before, the river was in full flood. This is an original weir, which can control the amount of water flowing down the river.

Many of the houses and hotels are elaborately painted and decorated

The medieval bridges are a major feature in Lucerne - especially this one, the "Chapel Bridge", which dates back to around 1360. It was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1993, so what you see now is essentially a reconstruction.

The bridge originally had 158 triangular paintings like this one, painted in the 17th century. After a fire in 1998, only 30 were restored and replaced.

Having spent a couple of hours seeing the old town, we took the train to Zurich, which was only about an hour away.


Once we had arrived in Zurich and checked into our hotel, I checked my email and there was a message from the Hotel Cascada in Lucerne. They had found a camera in the bar. Could it possible be ours? Impossible, I thought, but a quick check and sure enough, our camera was missing! Duh ! Fortunately, it was only a one hour train ride away and I had my Rail pass, so I didn't have to buy a ticket. I told the hotel I was on my way and then I headed to the railway station again. Two and half hours later, I was back, camera in hand !

Zurich railway station

It turned out there wasn't a great deal to see and do in Zurich, which was surprising for a capital city. However, we did spend several hours in the National Museum, which tells the story of Switzerland from it's beginnings to the present day.

The Swiss National Museum

William Tell was well represented. Apparently, the story represents the Swiss desire for independence.

Organizational Chart of Zurich Municipal Regime in 1657 with guilds and coats of arms

The Gallen Globe, dating from the late 16th century.

Pharmacy from the former Benedictine Abby Muri from the 18th Century

A traditional kachelofen (cocklestove) - a large home heater surrounded with ceramic tiles

After leaving the museum, we walked through the town until we arrived at the Burkiplatz, overlooking Lake Zurich. This is where the ferries to the towns along the lake depart, but we decided we had had enough and we made our way back to the hotel.

The ferries on Lake Zurich

St. Moritz

Next morning, we took the train from Zurich to St. Moritz. about a three and half hour journey. As you might expect, more fabulous scenery and some interesting bridges and tunnels.

St. Moritz was a little disappointing. We were expecting something a little more "swanky" as this is one of the most famous ski resorts in Switzerland. Perhaps it would be more glamorous in the winter, 

The town center

The view across the lake

The views from our hotel room were very pretty, though.

That evening, we had traditional swiss fondue in the hotel.

Next day, we took a train to Tirano, which is in Italy. Of course the views from the train were spectacular.

Cows grazing in the high pastures

The train stopped at the highest point long enough for us to get out and stretch our legs, take a few pictures and grab a quick drink.

Tirano in the distance from the train

We arrived in Tirano around lunchtime and had a wander around. Like St. Moritz, it was rather underwhelming.

The main street in Tirano

The Adda River, which flows through Tirano. Not the most scenic river we saw! 

After lunch, we decided we had seen enough of Tirano and we caught an ealier train back to St. Moritz. We arrived back in time to take ANOTHER train up the side of the mountain, so we could look down at St. Moritz. We only had a few minutes at the top, as we didn't want to miss the last train.

St. Moritz from Corviglia the top of the mountain. From here, there are many ski lifts to various ski slopes



The next day, we took the Glacier Express from St. Moritz to Zermatt, which was our final stop in Switzerland. The trip took all day and was quite tiring, but there was a lot to see along the way.

Our hotel, the Cheminee, was a short walk from the railway station. Cars aren't allowed in the center of Zermatt, so walking was the best option.

The hotel didn't have an elevator and we were on the top floor, which was quite challenging, but the view made it worthwhile.

The view from our hotel balcony - our first look at the Matterhorn.

That evening we walked back into Zermatt, to explore the town and to find somewhere for dinner. Although there are no cars, they do allow golf carts, so you still have to look out for traffic.

Even in Zermatt! NOT where we ate dinner !

The next day, which was to be our last in Switzerland, we headed up the mountain to see the Matterhorn.  It was a beautiful clear day and the views were spectacular.

The hotel and restaurant at the summit, with the Matterhorn in the background

The Matterhorn - spectacular from any angle, especially on a day like this.

The Matterhorn Glacier

Another view of the Glacier

These two gentleman were creating a photo op - probably for their website. The guy with the bagpipes turned out to be very English - not Scottish as you might expect.

One last view of the Matterhorn - hard to drag ourselves away. 

One last night in Zermatt and then we were back on the train to Geneva, for our flight to Manchester