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Travel Journal: Notes from Switzerland

From Zermatt to Geneva: What you need to know about Switzerland

BY SARAH LONDON - Blog - Matterhorn

Can you spot the Matterhorn beneath the clouds?

Sarah and I took a mini-break to Switzerland a couple of weeks ago. It was a much needed chance to refresh and take a breath - something we hadn't done since launching BY SARAH last November! We decided to take the 90 minute flight to Switzerland to rest and recharge, but we came away with a lot more than just a rebalanced chi...

Tuesday, 14 August - The mountains are calling

We took the 06.45 flight from Gatwick to Geneva (with our Summer Travel Set packed for the flight) and then a connecting train ride to Zermatt. It was a train journey of two halves. The first half was alongside stunning Lake Geneva, hugging the shoreline for miles, taking in the glistening water and mountains beyond. My first impression was how much agriculture there was - every patch of land, right up to the railway tracks, was burgeoning with vines of grapes and apples or corn. Such resourcefulness and wonderful abundance of natural produce. The second half was the ascent to 1608m - winding our way up the mountains and passing stations that stopped literally right outside some people's front doors! After about 4 hours after leaving Geneva, we arrived at our destination: Zermatt.

BY SARAH LONDON - Travel Journal
Me on the train, enjoying the Swiss alpine view
BY SARAH LONDON - Travel to Switzerland

 View of the glacial river running alongside the train tracks

Wednesday, 15 August - When in Rome...

Zermatt is best know as the mountain resort that lies below the iconic, pyramid-shaped Matterhorn (the inspiration for Toblerone), Switzerland's highest peak. It was Sarah's birthday and the perfect opportunity to do something new... So, we boarded the first cable car from Zermatt to Furi, gliding over the tops of the trees, then on to Schwarzsee and made the change at Trockener Steg midstation where we boarded the gondola for the final ascent to Klein Matterhorn ("Matterhorn Glacier Paradise") aka Europe's highest aerial cableway and summit station. Interesting use of the word "Paradise" in the tourist attraction - my knees were knocking as we crossed the glacier at over 12,000 feet! But after the 45-minute journey, the views were totally worth it and we were blessed with blue skies which made the snow even brighter and the air feel that much crisper.

BY SARAH LONDON - Founder, Sarah & Lauren

We made it to the top!


Breath-taking views of the mountain peaks at 12,000 feet

Thursday, 16 August - Hiking in pollution-free air

We started the day with a refreshing mountain hike in the alpine forests surrounding Zermatt. We very quickly gained elevation and enjoyed views of the Matterhorn as well as quaint hamlets, including the charming-sounding Winklematten, nestled in the mountainside, and the sound of the bells of the Swiss cows. Zermatt is so rich in nature and they work hard to keep it that way: the town is a combustion-engine car-free zone. So almost all of the vehicles are battery driven and almost completely silent. We love this initiative for its environmental benefits and amazing eco-credentials, but also the calm and tranquillity it brings by reducing the noise pollution in the town. We took our electro taxi to the train station and thanked Zermatt for an unforgettable few days. Next stop: Geneva.

BY SARAH LONDON - hiking in Zermatt

At the beautiful Bergrestaurant Blatten

BY SARAH LONDON - visiting Zermatt Switzerland

View of the Matterhorn from Findelbach 

Friday, 17 August - All good things

We made our way to the lake, guided by the towering water jet, Jet d'Eau, and soaked up the energy of the city. Having spent so much time in London prior to our trip, we enjoyed stepping into the (slower) pace of a new city. We visited various shops, cafes and picked up a bar of highly recommended 75% cacao Precieux (which was delicious). As in Zermatt, the Swiss were so welcoming and friendly and we felt so comfortable in Geneva. The trip restored our energy, inspired us and left us ready to return to the UK feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Thank you, Switzerland!


View of Lake Geneva from the train

BY SARAH LONDON - visiting Geneva

The instantly recognisable Jet D'Eau

You can see some more of our Swiss adventures over on our Instagram @bysarahlondon. Stay tuned for more notes from our Travel Journal over the coming months.

Written by: Lauren, COO, BY SARAH

BY SARAH LONDON - Blog - Lauren

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