Friday, 25 May 2012

Best of Switzerland 2011 - Photos and Travelogue

Hi dear readers, I'm sure most of you have noticed by now that my blog has recently gotten an upgrade! Okay, sort of. I've reworked the design and layout so it looks more vibrant and interesting, and the feedback has been very positive so far. The picture of the white butterfly in a patch of lavender was taken by me when I went on a short 3 week language immersion trip to Switzerland. That was the first time I'd 1) been to Switzerland 2) seen a lavender patch, so this picture really takes me back to those happy memories!

I've mentioned before that I'm going to be in Switzerland from this September to next January. In case you're curious about the kinds of photos and updates you'll see when I'm there, I'd like to share a few photos of Switzerland with you today. Consider it my way of giving you a glimpse of my photographer side. I'm a pretty avid photographer, but honestly, I barely survive on a point-and-shoot (all photos below are taken with a Canon IXUS 120IS). Am probably going to invest in a better camera soon, before I head for Switzerland again, so get ready for even nicer pictures!

Scenery, Landscape and Buildings

Fribourg, Switzerland

I stayed in Fribourg for 3 weeks and learnt a lot about this quaint little city. Some beautiful sights in Fribourg that I saw, including the famous Cathédrale Saint-Nicolas (pictured below).

The pictures below were taken at Schwarzsee, a village in Fribourg. We went on a day-trip to Lac Noir (translated from French as "The Black Lake") and took a cable up the Swiss Alps and walked for a good 4 hours, admiring the view. The lake was so still and clear that you could see the reflections of the mountains in it - a truly beautiful sight!

More pictures and descriptions of Swiss scenery, food and animals after the jump!

We also visited Château de Gruyères, an old castle in Fribourg. It had a garden maze, which I found rather fascinating.

Schaffhausen, Switzerland

I visited the Rhine Falls, Europe's widest and largest waterfall, and was awed by the majesty of the sight. There were other quaint sights to be seen around the city and it was a lovely change from the urban metropolis I'm so used to seeing in Singapore.

Interlaken, Switzerland

I had intended to visit Jungfrau the day after arriving at Interlaken, but it was a cold and rainy day (just look at the fog!), so it was misty all around - not a good day to visit.

I only managed to admire Jungfrau from afar, but at least I dined at "Dorfstube", a restaurant in Hotel Alpenblick in Wilderswil (a village near Interlaken) of 1 Michelin star fame. It was the most gloriously rustic meal, full of Swiss regional flavour. I'm not too sure about some of the names of the dishes (they were in French, explained to me in English by the friendly wait staff) and I didn't manage to get good pictures of the food - the lighting was very dim - but I'm including them here anyhow to give you a taste of an 8 course gourmet meal from a 1 Michelin star restaurant. Am I making you jealous yet?

Watermelon cube, "spring-roll", scallop, watermelon juice with chili

I cannot for the life of me remember what this dish was, but it was excellent, and the presentation was just beautiful.

Succulent crayfish, lettuce and frozen potato "ice cream"

Seafood pasta with raw (?) trout "cigar"

This was the first time I'd tried rabbit meat. It tastes like chicken, but gamey. To be honest, the thought of a cute little rabbit dying for this dish turned me off a little, but it was a Michelin star restaurant and I had to behave myself.

Beef cooked for 16 hours so that the texture was smooth, tender and so delectable.

Selections from the cheese chariot, especially recommended and chosen for me.

Walnut ice cream, cherries and sugar for dessert. Splendid!

Tea/coffee and little confections to cap an extremely filling 8-course gourmet meal.


These pictures were taken near/in the Château of Chillon. A "château" means castle in French. I didn't manage to get many good photos here as the lighting wasn't great in the castle's interior. Look out for Lord Byron's name carved into a pillar in the dungeons, literary folks.

Zurich, Switzerland

This was one of my first impressions of Switzerland.


There were so many cute and fluffy cats there. The cat lady in me almost died of the cuteness!


The food was fantastic, but I didn't manage to get many food shots because of poor lighting/the fact that I was busy savouring the dishes. Especially notable was the cheese fondue! I tried truffle, herb and wine cheese fondue, and couldn't get enough of it. It's one of the things I miss most about Switzerland because I'm a great cheese lover.

Another big food/gourmet milestone in my life was dining at three 1 Michelin star restaurants in Switzerland: two in Fribourg (Le Perolles and Les Trois Tours) and one in Interlaken that I'd mentioned earlier (Dorfstube at Hotel Alpenblick). Call me crazy, but food was the one thing on which I blew a ton of money on in Switzerland; clothes and shoes were a tad too expensive for my liking.

I didn't get pictures of the food in Les Trois Tours (sign pictured below) because it was much too classy for me to just whip out my camera like a tourist. Hotel Alpenblick had a much more homey feel, so I unabashedly snapped shots of 8-course gourmet meal I had there.

The following photo-series is of the Cailler chocolate factory, where Nestle chocolate is made. There was a guided tour explaining the history of the Cailler factory with very cool special effects. We also got to see the production process of milk chocolate bars, and sampled quite a wide variety of chocolate. I also learnt How To Taste Chocolate. Scroll down for more.

And now that you know How To Taste Chocolate, we've come to the end of this Swiss travelogue post. You can expect more photos and details of my travels in Switzerland and Europe from this September until next January! I realise I haven't posted about nail-related things in a while. Next post coming up in the weekend will feature Manglaze and a special discount for all my readers! TGIF and have a great weekend, all :)

Rachel loves sharing about the beautiful things in life from different perspectives. She writes on beauty and lifestyle in Cherchez Beauté , and does more abstract stuff on Antelune . When she's not writing, she's playing with her dog Holly, doodling and reading fiction. You can follow her on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram .