Riding High- Our Journey to the Swiss Mountains

Generic placeholder image

There’s nothing like a mountain to make you feel small. Our entire family loves the sense of peace and awe that comes from getting up high and seeing the world from a whole new point of view. Aug. 1 is National Mountain Climbing Day, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to talk about the best vacation we’ve ever taken.

When we sat around in the spring of 2019 trying to decide on a summer vacation, Nicholas, our son, declared he didn’t care where we went so long as it had mountains. We all agreed and eventually chose Switzerland. It made sense for several reasons: We have a close friend living in Zurich, the Alps are some of the most impressive and beautiful mountains in the world, and my daughter, Alecia, found roundtrip plane tickets at a steal of only $500 apiece!

Our vacation started in Zurich, where we met our friend, who blessed us with a fabulous tour. After visiting Lake Zurich and the downtown area, we dined at Clouds. The restaurant sits at the top of Prime Tower, the tallest building in Zurich. Our friend’s husband is the manager of the restaurant and he was kind enough to reserve a table for us in the perfect corner with a panoramic view of Zurich. We ate an amazing meal, enjoying a gorgeous lake and mountain view. We couldn’t have asked for a better start to our trip.

From Zurich, we went to Lucerne where we visited the top of Mount Pilatus by a cogwheel train, which has the distinction of being the steepest rack railway in the world. It’s really something else traveling upward at 48 degrees! Once we reached our destination, we enjoyed some of the most peaceful moments of our lives. You get to step away from the hustle and bustle, and you don’t have to worry about phone notifications. Your only concern is taking deep breaths and enjoying the view while hiking around the mountaintop— and, of course, snapping lots of pictures.

We left some time open in our schedule the following days to do some spontaneous sightseeing. We visited Liechtenstein, Austria, and St. Moritz, Switzerland, where we stayed in a beautiful mountain hotel near the site of two previous Winter Olympics. We then traveled to a central town in Switzerland called Vals, where the 7132 Hotel has a breathtaking spa with natural thermal baths. The spa overlooks a picturesque mountainside. The pool temperatures ranged from very hot to ridiculously cold, and we, as a family, had a lot of fun competing for who could last the longest in the extreme temperatures.

Our Swiss getaway ended in Gimmelwald. We drove more than three hours to get to our hotel at the base of the mountain adjacent to the famous Eiger Mountain, only to find a closed road sign shortly before our destination. There was no other way to reach the hotel without backtracking for hours! So, we called the bed and breakfast for a solution, and they assured us we had no reason to worry. They told us to take only our most-needed items and travel to the hotel using a gondola (cable car)! We reached our accommodations by riding 1,000 feet up in the air.

We hiked this mountain for several days and on our last full day we wanted to reach the top of the mountain, but the weather was terrible. We had no desire to take two gondola rides up 10,000 feet just to endure the same rainy weather as at our hotel, but an app showed us the conditions at the summit, and they were absolutely gorgeous!

At the top is Piz Gloria, a restaurant featured in the James Bond movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” This rotating restaurant had an all-you-can-eat buffet that was just finishing breakfast service as we walked in. We devoured our eggs and bacon and then settled in for lunch. We must have eaten for three hours! Somehow we managed to do some surrounding mountaintop hiking as well.

There’s no better feeling than being up high and on top of the world. I hope to have another family vacation like that someday, and I’m glad that our family was able to experience this breathtaking country. I encourage you to get out there and climb your own mountains!



Meet Dr. Scott - Your Dedicated Oculoplastic Surgeon

Renowned for his commitment to enhancing your eyelid and facial appearance while prioritizing your safety. Dr. Scott is board-certified in Ophthalmology and has specialized fellowship training in Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.  With extensive training at prestigious institutions, including the Medical College of Virginia, Manhattan Eye, Ear, & Throat Hospital, and the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Dr. Scott brings a wealth of expertise to his craft. His accolades, including recognition as a Top Plastic Surgeon by Northern Virginia Magazine, underscore his dedication to excellence. Dr. Scott's passion lies in helping you achieve the best aesthetic results while safeguarding your eyesight.

Location: Fairfax - Northern Virginia

Areas of Expertise: Cosmetic laser eyelid surgery ( blepharoplasty ), ptosis surgery, treatment of benign and malignant eyelid cancers, correction of eyelid malposition – ectropion, entropion repair, and Botox and filler treatment.