We started our day early heading to Lugano in the canton of Ticino, the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. Paolo and Fiamma from RAC Lugano-Ceresio greeted us at the train station. We headed over to Fiamma’s place to drop our bags and refresh. Walking through the streets of Lugano felt like we were in a different country, in particular Italy. It was very hot and sunny as opposed to the chilly morning in Lucerne.

We enjoyed refreshments (coffee!!!) at Fiamma’s place. We packed our lunch consisting of sandwiches made by Fiamma, some fruit and pastries.

Then, Paolo took us for a tour of the town. We went up to Mount Bre on a funicular train and enjoyed a spectacular view of Lugano from the top. We settled down at a playground there to have lunch. Michele, Genaro and Tiffany had a wonderful time reliving their childhood (playing on the swing sets and bars??). We also enjoyed some coffee and ice cream at a restaurant overlooking the mountains and the lake.

After that, we went down the mountain and took a walk along Lake Lugano, enjoying the view while soaking up the sun. It was the first day in the roundtrip that it did not rain! We settled down on some grass between the Museum LAC Lugano and the lake to relax!

Later in the evening, we met up with the other members of RAC Lugano-Ceresio and had an Apero with them. Apero means to have some appetisers and a drink before dinner. Most of us had an Aperol Spritz, an Italian cocktail. We then proceeded to the Buskers Festival, our third one in Switzerland! There were many stalls selling knick knacks and street food lined up along the streets. Street performers entertaining the crowd along the entire stretch of the road. There were little set ups for musicians at every corner playing different kinds of music. There was a very lively atmosphere around us as we enjoyed the street food and drinks.

Alas! The day came to an end! We retired for the night to our respective hosts’ place. Lugano was an absolutely lovely place! Thank you very much or Grazie Mille to RAC Lugano-Ceresio for having us!

Ciao!

Zoe Lim
RAC Sunway University

Our guides Daniel, Anna-Lena and Matthias started the morning off with a lovely walk and guided tour of their beautiful city. Sights included the Kappelbrücke (wooden bridge), the historic old town, old fort and the Lion Monument.

After the walking tour, we preceded to a steamship (built in 1906) that would take us across beautiful Lake Luzern and to Vitznau on the other side of the lake. From here we boarded a very steep cogwheel railway which would take us 1,800 meters up to the top of Mount Rigi. The views from here were absolutely spectacular!! In between the periodic clouds coming across us, we were able to get a lovely group photo. While everyone else had the stamina and energy to walk down to where the cable car goes, I took the train down, admired the views and met up an hour later. After taking the very relaxing cable car down to Weggis, we sat by Lake Luzern and relaxed surrounded by lovely buildings, mountains and palm trees (this town has its own micro-climate)!

Took the steamship back to the Luzern Lido, where we were prepared a BBQ feast by members of RAC Luzern and RAC Sempachersee. It was a lovely way to finish off a wonderful day.

Craig Simons
Rotaract Photographer and
President 2017/2018 Rotaract Hampstead, Hendon & Golders Green, London D1130

After an exciting day in Zermatt, we headed into Basel—a city in the northwestern part of Switzerland. After a few days touring small towns, it was different to be back in a larger, crowded city!

After almost four hours and three separate trains, we finally arrived in Basel late at night. We were met at the train station by Kia and Nicolas from Rotaract Club Basel. She lead us to Maria’s place, a house where we would all spend the night together. Maria is a Rotaractor that lives in Berlin, but came all the way down to meet us and let us all stay in her home.

As it was already rather late, we decided to just settle in and have some drinks together on the rooftop of the house and get to know each other. By midnight, we were feeling exhausted and were ready to crash.

The next morning, Nicolas and Kia once again picked us up and we walked over to Nicolas’s place for breakfast. They had prepared a wonderful feast for us, complete with various types of bread, jams, cheeses, meats, drinks, and more. After cleaning up, we prepared sandwiches for our picnic lunch by the Rhine river. President Johanna joined us just as we were finishing up.

At last, we were ready for the city tour! Our first stop with the old city gates of Bern.

Then we strolled along the cobbled streets of the old town. Many of the buildings were protected and as such, could not alter their appearance, preserving the image of an antiquated era. It was lovely to walk around and take in the atmosphere of Basel.

Our fabulous tour guides pointed out various points of interests as we walked along. For example, many old buildings have the year of their erection painted on the exterior. We found a building that had been built in 1291—the same year that the country of Switzerland was founded! Along the way, we were joined by Maroof, another Rotaractor.

The next stop was the Basel Town Hall, aka the Rathaus—a 500 year old building in the Marktplatz where the Parliament meets. This building was a magnificent red and intricately decorated. Johanna shared an interesting story about the Lady Justice figure on the exterior that was actually intended to be a statue of Mary, but the people decided they wanted to separate government from religion.

After, we headed over to the Basel Minster, aka the Basler Münster. This former Catholic church, now Reformed Protestant church, was built with a combination of both Romanesque and Gothic styles. We climbed all the way up to the top to catch a gorgeous view of Basel and take advantage of beautiful photos.

Then we headed to the river and hopped on a wind powered boat to cross the other side. We were all fascinated by a basilisk water fountain and learned that the basilisk is the symbol of the city. Our hosts told us they were leading us to a surprise and we walked for a long time. Finally, we made it to the surprise! We were at the Three Countries Bridge, aka the Dreiländerbrücke—the point with France, Germany, and Switzerland all meet. It was incredible to have lunch in all three countries!

Afterwards, we took a long, relaxing walk back into the city along the Rhine River. When we reached a nice spot along the river, we decided to break for coffee and ice cream. Everyone (except Natascha and Zoe) went for a swim as well. The water was refreshing even though the current was quite strong!

Finally, we picked up our bags from Maria’s house and walked over to a Turkish restaurant for dinner where we were met with many more members of the Rotaract Basel club. We had a wonderful dinner (Levent, our Turkish representative, approved) and shared great conversations. Then we rushed to our train station to catch our train into Lucerne!

 

Tiffany Hsu

Today we woke up really early, we had a big day ahead of us. As soon as we got up, we headed to Zermatt and, with it, one of the most well-known places in all of Europe and possibly the world; the Swiss Alps.

I remember the ride in the train through the mountainside, I had to hold back my tears. I couldn’t believe it, I was finally in the Swiss Alps, a view I could only have dreamt of ever seeing. I was overwhelmed by such a beautiful sight to exist in this world.

We got there and the first thing we noticed was the fresh air, the mountain breeze and, in the distance, the iconic Matterhorn mountain, a Swiss giant standing over 4,400 meters above sea level, I couldn’t believe I was actually here.

Zermatt can only be described as a fairy tale land; the cabins, the rivers, the horses, the sheep and the amazing mountain range surrounding it. We headed to the grocery store to buy food, had a picnic and relaxed for what came next.

The town has a giant tunnel that takes a cable car up to the Sunnegga summit. There we had a clear view of the valley, the mountains and the Matterhorn. With such an incredible view, you know what we had to do; picture time. Fortunately, we all brought our flags to proudly represent our countries of origin. After the photos with the flags and the mountain animals, preparing a surprise for everyone who has been following our adventures and heading for a quick hot chocolate at the restaurant at the top, we got our kick-bikes to prepare for the descent.

We got our bikes, our helmets and, after a quick group photo, started our race back to the village. The funny thing about kick-bikes is that they are basically a mix of a skate board with the wheels of a mountain bike and a handlebar; not exactly the safest choice to descend over 2,000 meters, but what an adrenaline rush!

I will not lie, I did get carried away with how much fun I was having and the amazing view; so I did fall on my face once, but how could I care when I was having so much fun.

We did take longer than expected to get back to the village, so by the time we got there, we already had to take our train to the next stop in the Swiss Roundtrip, Basel.

On the railway leaving the alps, we had a meal and used the ride to have a small show-and-tell with the other trippers who brought things from their countries to tell us all about their culture. It was great to know about everyone else’s customs.

We are now on the train to Basel and awaiting another adventure in this beautiful country!

See you later and truly,
Genaro Lopez from TNG, Mexico.

After leaving Bern in the afternoon, we headed to Lausanne, the french part of Switzerland.

One of the most beautiful things about this trip has been all the cultures and languages that come together and this is also true for the country of Switzerland. We got to Lausanne and first thing we had to do was start practicing our French instead of our German. The second thing we noticed was the beautiful Lac Leman, a lake so big we had to ask if we were by the sea.

We got picked up by the members of Rotaract Lausanne and right of we started our city tour. Lausanne is so beautiful; the alleys, the glacé and even the rain. The weather was not in our favor, but our energy was.

After the tour, we headed to our first festival, la Cite. We were barely there because the rain thought we were having too much fun over here, so we had to take things indoors. We got to a bowling alley/arcade, which was great because we all got to play and bond like old friends for our 2nd night.

The next day we had lunch at the shore of the amazing Lac Leman, one of Europe’s biggest lakes and one of its most beautiful views. Many people don’t know, but Lausanne is the headquarter of the Olympic committee, so we had to visit the Olympic museum and see all the rich history of the games. Unfortunately, our visit got cut short because the French president was making an official visit to advocate for the 2024 games to be in Paris, so we headed to the city again. We walked by the shops and had delicious glacé (ice cream) while walking the stone streets of Lausanne and then headed back to the hotel to get ready for the night out.

At night, it was time for our second festival in Lausanne. We took the ferry across Lac Leman; a beautiful view, so you know what that means: picture time! After we were done with our photoshoot, we got to the Montreux Jazz Festival but once again, the rain was not in our favor. We headed to a trendy restaurant and had an amazing Italian dinner. Once we were done, the weather was a bit nicer to us. We walked the stands of the festival, saw the live music and food from all around the world.

We finished off the night with dancing to Latin music and walking back to our hotel at midnight through the city. We went to bed fairly early to be well-rested for our next stop; Zermatt and the famous Matterhorn. See you in the mountains!

Merci, Lausanne, you were incroyable!

Truly,
Genaro Lopez from TNG, Mexico

8.30 AM train station of Zurich time to meet up after a necessary long night for some of us or an unexpected power nap after a crazy night for some others, it is time to go to our second city.

Indeed yesterday night after the fondue we went for the festival Caliente, Genaro and I survived until the after party at Jun’s place and our favorite Mexican even finished in a night club and went to bed at 4.30.

After an hour travel without Lena that arrived late, most probably recovering from the jetlag between Ukraine and Swiss, the lovely people of Rotaract Bern (to be pronounced with a sheep accent) welcome us at the train station. We visit the bottom of the city and walk around the wonderful river Aare. Moreover we were lucky enough to see the bears, emblems of Bern.

After a well deserved lumberjack lunch filled with Röschti and cheese it was time for an hiking to the upper city where we enjoyed the view and had a chill nap in the roses parc!

The proximity of mountains make it unforgettable.

Back to the center, together with our new friends we visit the inside of the famous tower of Bern, a wonderful jewelry of technic and mathematic.

After a last drink it is time to go to the French speaking part of Swiss for new adventures!

Thank you Rotaract Bern and see you soon !

 

Lionel Roth

1,5 hours flight from Kyiv to Warsaw, almost 9 hours layover and sleepless night at the airport Chopina, and finally 2 hours left for the truest dream to come true – Switzerland. I managed to visit all the German speaking countries but this particular one was always on the waiting list. Cheese, gorgeous montains, fine chocolate, watches – my imagination was drawing those kinds of pictures when I was thinking about it.

I arrived earlier but even though I wasnt left alone – HOC team girls Natascha and Michèle appeared almost straight away smiling and carrying a bar of the tastiest Swiss Chocolate.

After having left a backpack and the rest of my luggage at my lovely hosts place I joined the rest of the girlish part of the Swiss Roundtrip – Tiffany and Zoe. Nice city walking, street musicians playing music from The Star Wars, chilling close to the Zurich lake, admiring the mountains which are „bodygarding“ the city, hot summer weather in the contry I was dreaming of to visit for so long – I was jealous of myself.

In the evening a pouring rain cools us a bit and prepared for a cozy welcome party.

Cheese fondue, delicious Swiss chocolate, small Swiss gifts from the HOC and spectacular view on the whole Zurich when the lights go down – such a perfect welcoming on board of the ship called Rotaract Swiss Roundtrip 2017.

 

Lena Vorobiova

Pictures by Craig Simons

Dear Rotaractors
Dear Roundtrippers!

It’s been a long wait but finally our travelling plan of the Swiss Roundtrip 2017 is ready.

Click on the map below to get a little taste of what our Swiss Rotaract Clubs have planned for our participants here!

Your HOC Team

Dear Rotaractors and friends

In less than 3 months we will finally welcome our roundtrippers to Switzerland! The 6 following Rotaractors were chosen to be a part of this adventure through our beautiful country:

We are very excited to seeing you all soon! 🙂

Dear Rotaractors

We received over 40 applications for the Swiss Roundtrip 2017 – thank you very much! We enjoyed reading your messages and you all made it very hard for us to reach a decision.
The 6 lucky Rotaractors who were chosen to participate will receive an e-mail from us. More information regarding the trip will follow!
To those who didn’t make it this time: We wish you good luck on your future applications on Rotaract roundtrips! 🙂

Your HOC Team