Most people know the struggle of trying to make dinner plans with a group of people. Now imagine trying to make holiday plans with people who live in different parts of the country and even other countries. This is how I ended up spending my birthday up a mountain in Switzerland.
After living together all year, my university housemates all wanted to go on holiday together. Except we are awful with plans. We were fortunate that one of our housemates actually lived in Switzerland and invited us all to his for a few days. It worked out that the only dates we could all do were over my birthday, so we all booked our flights separately and finally had a reason to get excited.
My housemate lives just outside the town of Zug (half an hour from Zurich) in a beautiful area surrounded by mountains. He had a massive lake just outside his doorstep, so we naturally spent most of our time here. Though being surrounded by all these mountains just made up want to go up one, and it turned out that my birthday would be the perfect day.
In 14 cantons of Switzerland, the Assumption of Mary is a public holiday celebrated on the 15th August. My birthday. Most places were closed, so we had little else to do than a hike up a mountain.
Visiting Sattel-Hochstuckli Family Mountain
My friend’s mum drove us to the base of the Sattel-Hochstuckli family mountain. Here, you could pay CHF 24 to ride the world’s first revolving gondola cableway up to where the trails start. As you ride the gondola up, it rotates 360 degrees so you can see panoramic views of the scenery. Upon reaching the top, you will discover Mostelberg mountain station. From here, you can begin your mountain hike or explore the fairground activities. Bear in mind, you have to pay for everything in Switzerland, and nothing is cheap.
We all have an inner child which meant that we were absolutely going to go on the 600m toboggan run (CHF 5 per ride btw). We then decided to grow up a little and begin our hike like we had set out to. First, we had to cross the 374-metre-long Raiffeisen Skywalk suspension bridge, making it one of the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridges.
Did I mention it had an altitude of up to 58 metres?!
Although there are set routes and trails, we ended up doing a mixture based on what we thought was exciting or looked prettiest. If you’re planning on going, I recommend doing some research to see what each path shows you views of. I know when I’m hiking, I am particularly fascinated by waterfalls.
Would I go back?
Of course! I’d love to hike more mountains in Switzerland, maybe go skiing and see some of the cities including, Zurich and Geneva. My key takeaway from this trip was that Switzerland is expensive.
Although everyone and anyone will tell you that, I just assumed that it meant everything was pricier; I didn’t realise that absolutely nothing is free. If you’re planning on visiting Switzerland any time soon, have some backup money in the bank!
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