I decided where we would visit on our trip over Christmas and New Year's based on lists of cities with the best Christmas markets, the dates of said markets, and the proximity of those cities to one another. Since we'd already decided to start in Munich (reasonable airfares from Madrid, lots to see and do, etc), Salzburg seemed like an easy next choice, especially since Danny had been dying to get there so we could do the Sound of Music tour.
I'm not sure if I've mentioned this habit that Danny and I have developed over the past year or so here, but if you've eaten out with us recently, you've probably noticed that we...consult...one another more than most couples might when out to eat. There's a reason for that. 9.5 times out of 10, Danny and I decide which two dishes on the menu we are the most interested in, and then order those two, with the full intention that each of us is going to get half of both. After sharing in this manner for a while now, and realizing that we may never go back to eating out "the old way," we made a list of the reasons we just can't stop, plus our ground rules that make the method work.
Over Christmas and New Year's, we took two weeks off to travel around Europe, visiting some cities and countries we'd never been to before. We started by flying into Munich around dinnertime on Friday, December 22nd (we had school that morning!), taking the Lufthansa bus to the city center (I found that buying round-trip tickets for the bus was cheaper than taking the S-Bahn), checking into our hotel, bundling up, and heading straight for the Christmas markets.
After a snowy night in Bern, we got ready for the last leg of our Swiss adventure. We took the train back to Geneva (where we flew into and would be flying out of) for a day of exploring the city. Our connection between the two was seamless and the snow that had covered the countryside overnight made it extra fun.
Bern was our third stop on our train tour around western Switzerland in early December. We flew into Geneva, took the train from the airport to Lausanne, spent a day in Montreux, and now here we are in Bern! We were on a budget as we had a trip coming up in a few weeks over our Christmas break, plus, as I think most would agree, Switzerland isn't usually known as a country friendly to those traveling on the cheap.
About a year and a half ago, while we were spending the summer in the US in between two school years spent in Spain, I read this article. It had been linked on a Facebook page we're a part of for young people living in Madrid, and the whole idea and concept of Chefugee had me hooked.
I'd been eager to visit Switzerland for a while, and when we found decently priced tickets over a school break at the beginning of December, I didn't care that it would be cold and potentially snowy - we could always return when the grass was greener and the days were longer. We flew in and out of Geneva and immediately took the train to Lausanne, where we spent our first day and night learning about the Olympics and eating cheese (see more here!). The train from Lausanne to Montreux is only about thirty minutes, so after dropping our things at our Airbnb and sitting outside to let Danny catch up on a few work things, we set off for the Christmas markets as it was about lunchtime.