I live in Australia and my parents live in Austria. So more often than not our holidays will involve a European stop-over. We came across a great deal on flights from Australia to Vienna, so naturally, we jumped on them. We were going to have 3 weeks in and around Austria. We decided to land in Vienna and do a road trip through Switzerland, stopping in France and then back to Vienna, in 14 days. So on the 25th of March we set off.
We landed in Vienna and started on our road trip 3 days later by putting the car on the overnight train from Vienna to Feldkirch – 10 hours of really uncomfortable and rocky sleep, but with a free breakfast on arrival 🙂 Once in Feldkirch we drove through Lichtenstein and by-passed Zurich on our way to Geneva.
Geneva and surroundings (France)
We stayed in the centre of Geneva, only a 10 minute walk from Cornavin train station, and 15 minutes from Lake Geneva.
Geneva is on the boarder of France and Switzerland. Having grown up in Ferney-Voltaire, one of the first town on the french side of the border, Geneva was my backyard and the closest city around. So, yes, it was completely normal to cross the border to go shopping or go out, and for people to cross the border to go to work every day. I lived in France for 15 years, so for me this trip was a friends & family reunion trip of sorts. We spent 5 days in and around Geneva and spent most of our days eating, drinking and driving… not necessarily in that order. See my Eating our way through Switzerland, France & Austria to see some the amazing foods we indulged in.
We took a day trip to the Mont Blanc and had the most amazing weather for it. It took about 1.5 hours to drive there. The Mont Blanc rises 4,808 meters above sea level and has been put forward as a potential World Heritage Site.
A cable car takes you all the way to L’Aiguille du Midi which is at 3,842 m, where you can have a 360-degree view of the mountain range. Absolutely stunning!
After our short but sweet stint in Geneva we made our way back to Lucern via Montreux and Gruyere (yep, that’s where the cheese is from). One of the motorway rest stops in Gruyere, has a collection of painted cows…
and you get Gruyere cream served in a chocolate cup when you order coffee! Now drop the chocolate cup with the cream in your coffee and enjoy.
After Geneva we made our way to Lucerne. Lucerne is situated in the middle of Switzerland, in the German speaking part of Switzerland. Lucerne is absolutely beautiful with its bustling town centre where old and modern architecture mingle. The Vieille Ville (Old Town), with its windy cobbled stoned streets, flanked by buildings showing off their intricate facades and and hardware, takes you back to a time in history.
One of Lucerne’s famous landmarks is the Chapel Bridge: a wooden bridge which was first built in the 14th century.
Sankt Gilgen (Austria)
After leaving Lucerne we made our way to Sankt Gilgen, where we we stayed for a few days. Sankt Gilgen is a village by the Wolfgangsee in Austria, about a 30 minute drive out of Salzburg. Sankt Gilgen is this idillic place surrounded by beautiful mountains and on the border of the glistening Wolfgagsee.
We finally made it back to Vienna , right in time for their Easter Market. Vienna holds a lot of markets: Christmas markets, flea markets and an Easter market, where you can buy painted / decorated eggs and other Easter decorations as well as food and drink.
As you can see, Austrians take their Easter celebration very seriously. “What do you do with the Easter decorations?” you ask…. You put them on the the Easter tree, of course.
This trip was absolutely epic! All in all we squeezed 13 cities in 4 countries in 2 weeks of driving without killing each other. It was a beautifully, indulgent and emotional trip filled with amazing memories, from discovering new places to re-discovering old ones and that goes for our beautiful people as well.
This post is dedicated to the old friends we have (finally) been able to catch up with, after all these years.
A bientot & see ya later xox