A Farm in Lucerne’s Hinterland, Switzerland

Ah, spring! It’s become one of my favourite times of year since living in the UK. You’ve shivered and thermal-layered your way through the winter months, your body is seriously ready for some vitamin D and you’ve had more than enough of the jeans, jumper and boots combo.

As the temperature slowly slides over the 10 degree mark, the days get longer and the cherry blossoms and magnolia trees begin to bloom, a totally different mood hits London. And it’s no surprise, when the average street is transformed into a bubblegum pink oasis!

blossomsblossoms (2)blossoms2

Even the view from my balcony has completely transformed over the past 5 weeks:

Balcony 1Balcony 2Balcony 3

But, I digress. Spring in the Northern Hemipshere also coincides with my birthday, and I’ve quite taken to the habit of jumping over to the continent to ring in another year on the planet. Spring was particularly delightful last year when Ross and I went to Innsbruck, so this year I was looking to head somewhere new but similar.

Deciding on Switzerland, I gathered Ross and our friends Amy and Hayden for a lovely long weekend, staying on a farm just outside Lucerne.

After a very pleasant flight (I can’t believe I’ve been tolerating Ryanair and easyjet for so long when you get FREE BOOZE AND CHOCOLATE on Swiss), we landed in Zurich and easily navigated our way via train to Lucerne.

IMG_5526

(Sidenote: is this the coolest, kitschiest beer can you’ve ever seen?)

The journey was about an hour and couldn’t have been simpler, however the ticket price was quite expensive – useful info for anyone travelling by train in Switzerland in the future.

From Lucerne, we caught a 15-minute bus to the rural town of Rothenburg and arrived at Hinderfeld Farm; our delightful home for the weekend.

IMG_5538IMG_5536IMG_5534

Situated on a dairy farm and surrounded by cows, Spycher is a former granary, built in 1781, which has been recently renovated. It was such an unusual but very charming building and suited us perfectly.

IMG_5541

There were goats right outside our front door, and just around the corner were these stunning views.

IMG_5527IMG_5531IMG_5529

With the sun shining, we popped champagne, put together a smorgasbord of pre-dinner snacks and sat outside in the sun with them, and later made a yummy dinner in Spycher’s kitchen.

IMG_5635

The next day was both my birthday and Good Friday. We knew most shops and restaurants would be closed, so we’d planned to go for a long walk and take a packed lunch with us, so we weren’t caught out and left hungry.

IMG_5546

After a big breakfast and some birthday phone calls, we set off for Lake Sempach via the ‘wanderweg’ that begun from outside our front door. The trail took us past lots of traditional little houses, cows, my identical twin…

IMG_5548IMG_5555

…and some strange birth announcement signs, which we came to realise were a tradition in the area. (Not a great picture, but just to give you an idea:)

IMG_5607

When someone in Switzerland has a baby, it’s customary for friends and neighbours to gift them with signs, emblazoned with the new baby’s name and date of birth, which are hung outside their house so that passersby know to keep noise levels low. It’s certainly an interesting tradition and we came to know the locals’ children by name very quickly.

Walking on, we reached the lovely pastel-coloured village of Sempach, which you enter through an imposing Medieval gateway.

IMG_5557IMG_5559IMG_5560IMG_5561IMG_5565IMG_5567IMG_5569IMG_5571IMG_5572IMG_5573

We soon came to Lake Sempach and began to walk around it, stopping for our sandwiches en route.

IMG_5581IMG_5582IMG_5583IMG_5584IMG_5589IMG_5591

As we continued walking, we found ourselves at a Caribbean-themed beach bar! Not what we expected during a walk in Switzerland, but it was my birthday, after all, so we stopped for a couple of drinks in the surprising surroundings.

IMG_5593IMG_5596

The lake was much bigger than we’d realised and we’d been walking for about 4 hours, so we returned home by train to Spycher’s nearest station and walked back from there.

IMG_5599IMG_5601IMG_5602IMG_5604IMG_5605IMG_5606IMG_5608IMG_5613IMG_5615IMG_5617

The picturesque walk took us into the town of Rothenburg, then past pens full of pigs and a cheese shop with A CHEESE VENDING MACHINE. We bought some, of course.

IMG_5618IMG_5619IMG_5629IMG_5631

Arriving home, Amy and Hayden whipped up the most delicious Tartiflette, which we thoroughly enjoyed after our long walk, along with copious amounts of wine and a birthday panettone.

IMG_5641IMG_5643

The perfect end to a pretty perfect birthday!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s