Switzerland, Austria & the great European Roadtrip

Wow, what a ride! Our trip took us through France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium. Doggy passports in hand, our furry friends got to come with us. We saw beautiful towns, stunning mountain vistas, ate yummy food, sat in the sunshine and walked on snow.

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Read on to hear about our adventures in Europe this summer.

IMG_0858The journey – from Milton Keynes to Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

Wow, it was a loooonnnggg journey but we got the Eurotunnel to Calais, drove through France, and eventually arrived in this beautiful, beautiful location. Lauterbrunnen is in a valley with 72 waterfalls! Our dogs did so well in the car and I was excited about the adventures they were about to join us on.


The Jungfrau Region in Switzerland

The next few days we spent walking in various scenic locations throughout the area. We got passes to ride the mountain railways and cable cars (dogs included!) and went all over the area, taking in the views, hiking and staring in awe at the majestic mountains. No words or photos can do this part of the world justice. It’s stunningly beautiful… I love the triangular sloping rooftops of the alpine houses… the flowers… the lush green grass and tress… the riot of colours in both potted and wild flowers… the sound of the many waterfalls, and the stunning, snow-capped mountains.

IMG_1493IMG_0906My hubs and step-daughter went off one day to visit the Top of Jungfrau – hubs and I went back in 2008 so I stayed back with the dogs (you can take dogs but we were concerned about how they’d cope). I can tell you from the ’08 trip that it’s one of the best places on earth to visit; it’s the highest railway station in Europe and you can walk out on the glacier. Stunning. They had a blast.

Meanwhile, the dogs and I went for a lovely walk, and then I read my book while they had a good nap 🙂


Lucerne, Switzerland

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A quaint, picturesque town with lots of charm and character. There’s a medieval bridge, which was interesting and nice to cross over. We went to a Lindt factory where they have every flavour you can think of. Our youngest dog, Arwen is still a puppy and today she made friends with a Japanese tourist, she rolled on her belly and was so excited to be fussed that she peed on the poor woman’s trainers. She peed on a mountain train the other day too. How embarrassing.


Driving from Switzerland, through Liechtenstein and to Zell Am See, Austria

What a wonderful drive. Switzerland is so clean and well kept. There are flowers everywhere, in almost every balcony/terrace and window box. We drove through some really lovely villages and passed some beautiful-looking hotels.

The Sustenstrasse is an awesome mountain road with spectacular views – however it rained a lot that day and the visibility was sadly poor. Oh well, we’ll just have to come back 😉

Liechtenstein seemed nice; not that dissimilar to Switzerland. We were only there for about half an hour but it’s another country to tick off the list. The drive through Austria was good… it’s also very clean, well-kept and but it felt a bit busier.


Zell Am See

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I’ve heard many people say how lovely Zell Am See is; and they’re not wrong. It doesn’t have quite the ‘wow’ factor of the mountains in Switzerland we’d just seen, but it’s a gorgeous lake with lovely mountains, and lots of little places to eat, shop, have an ice cream or a drink and watch the world go by.


IMG_1751The Sound of Music Trail

Pretty lovely walk, where we encountered a giant music box that plays some of the music from the epic musical. You can walk to the point where Maria sings ‘do ray mi’ to the children; wonderful.

 


Salzburg

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A lovely, lovely city. Fabulous architecture, lots of character. It was a lovely sunny day, which always helps! The Mirabell Palace is pretty lovely, with gorgeous gardens and we also visited Mozart’s house – very interesting. We walked along the river and just admired the general splendor. Even in a city, there’s very little litter and it’s so clean. Loved it.


Kitzsteinhorn

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Despite being quite warm on ‘ground level’, after several cable car rides we got to the top of Kitzsteinhorn – which is simply stunning. People were skiing and snow boarding up there, and we walked out on the snow, amazed by the spectacular scenery. One of the best places I’ve been. I love mountains – the snow, the views, the clean air. Wonderful.


Grossglockner High Alpine Road

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By far the best thing we’ve done on this trip. If you go to this area, you must go. It’s hard to do it justice with any words or photos… but plan a day to take this gorgeous scenic drive through various mountains to a glacier at the end. The drive isn’t that long but when you’re stopping to take photos regularly, it takes a good while. Absolutely stunning scenery.

Austria, I love you

I really do. Wonderful place.

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Driving from Austria to Luxembourg

It’s a long but fairly easy journey through Austria and Germany to Luxembourg. We stayed just one night here and didn’t have much time for sight-seeing. Luxembourg seems nice but nothing extraordinary – it’s hard to feel that way about anywhere having come from the gorgeous Austria, and Switzerland before it!


Brugge, Belgium

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Our last day was spent in Brugge. What a lovely city. We wandered around slowly, taking in the buildings and walking along the river a little. The dogs have been so good this whole trip.

We got waffles (so good) and then head back to Calais for our Eurotunnel ride home.


Amazing trip…

If you like mountains, I’d recommend any of these places… just wonderful. England seems kind of grey, over-crowded and flat by comparison. Back to reality (for now!)

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