Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays, closely trailing the Fourth of July. I love what it is all about: giving thanks; taking the time to stop and remember everything, and everyone, I have to be thankful for. And though a typical highlight of my Thanksgiving is time with my family, one of my very favorite Thanksgivings was actually spent an ocean away from them; in Switzerland.
In the Fall of 2008, I studied abroad and spent an amazing semester with incredible friends in Madrid, Spain. We had such a good time soaking up the Spanish culture and traveling all around Europe together. I would not trade those days for anything and I am so thankful for all the memories I will always hold of that time.
Though I had three roommates, only Natalie and I did not have family come to Europe over the Thanksgiving holiday. I was very nervous about spending this time away from family, and decided instead of getting homesick, I would travel with Natalie over our long weekend. We agreed on wintry Switzerland as our destination and planned a weekend where we would fly to Lucerne and then take a train to Interlaken, up in the mountains. It could not have been a more perfect retreat for the holiday so far away from all the familiarities we were accustomed to.
Lucerne was dazzling. There were festive decorations everywhere and the locals scurried to and fro preparing for the holidays to come. We sipped cocoa, wandered aimlessly through the shops, and took in the picturesque scenery at every turn. This town was absolutely enchanting, and a delightful escape from the busier, more modern cities that we were used to experiencing.
After a few days in Lucerne, we took the train through the most gorgeous countryside I have ever seen, up in to the mountains; to Interlaken. This little town was nothing short of a winter wonderland….not to mention home to the best fondue I have ever tasted! We took some sleds up the mountain and had the best time enjoying the snowy surroundings.
Loved spending Thanksgiving with Natalie!
Though I never had a seated Thanksgiving dinner that year, the memories I hold from the holiday spent in Switzerland with such a dear friend will always be cherished.