When we started planning this trip and decided we would try and get from Paris to Malta without planes I decided we should probably take a scenic train through the alps.
Turns out that can be very expensive. Switzerland ain’t cheap. Thankfully the Man in Seat 61 has a killer workaround for getting tickets on the Bernina Express for cheap! https://www.seat61.com/BerninaExpress.htm
We followed his advice but decided to spend our overnight stopover in Chur instead of Zurich for a bit of a sleep-in.
We left Paris at 7:30 and arrived in Zurich at 8:45. A very quick and cheap train ride into the main station later we were ready to explore. Fun fact! Nothing is open on Sunday’s in Switzerland. No clothing stores or other shops. Only a few restaurants and bars. It was a weird tourist ghost town.
After a quick breakfast we decided to hit the art gallery. And if you have a Sunday in Zurich, you should really visit. It’s so quiet. It was the most chill experience ever. We got to actually enjoy the art. And get up close!
We did struggle to fill the rest of the day. Which is really not that bad. We did some wandering, ate some bratwurst, wandered more. And then found Oktoberfest at the train station! Perfect way to wait for your train!
We grabbed our train to Chur, which took about an hour and a half. The scenery was gorgeous, mountains set against lakes.
We got into Chur just before 7pm. And it was like the town that feared sundown. There was no one out. No restaurants open. We checked into our hotel and then set our for food. And came up short. A Swiss Bierhalle was open but they didn’t have a great menu. So we kept winding our way through the tiny streets, becoming more and more disheartened until we finally found a kebab shop! And it was open and they were massive and amazing.
We stayed at the Ambiente Hotel Freieck, would recommend. Easy walk to and from the train, large rooms, great breakfast!
We started our trip in Paris, which for me was super anxiety inducing. You see, Paris and I don’t have a great past. I’ve been sexually harassed and terrified in Paris and also pickpocketed. That was trip one and two. So why did we fly into Paris? Because Air France had a banging deal and I LOVE that airline. I’ve never had a bad time with them. They make air travel enjoyable. So I figured what the hell, let’s give it a third try.
And you know what? It worked. Was it my rock bottom expectations? Or maybe the fact that I was so ON GUARD THE ENTIRE TIME WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME THAT WAY oh sorry.
Paris was only a layover, and we did it the Anthony Bourdain way, no major sightseeing, no plans, just wandering to cafes and wine bars and seeing the sights whilst fighting the jet lag. Highly recommend.
I can also recommend Ob-la-di in the Marsais. A teeny little cafe producing delightful and highly Instagramable avocado toasts and beautiful pastries. Plus lovely ass coffee.
We had a nice relaxing brunch and then strolled down to the Sein. We did pop over to visit Notre Damn and view the destruction. Then a lovely long walk up to Canal St. Martin to have wine and cheese at La Vache dans les Vignes.
Let them pick your cheese, we advised what we were into and picked our wine – Pinot Noir- and he came back with three amazing cheeses. One blue that was very bluey but also smooth? If that makes any sense? And then two really rad goat cheeses. Of which I have no names. Sorry. Guess you gotta go there.
After crushing that awesome cheese plate and those rad wines we were ready for sleeps. Headed back to the airport and the Holiday Inn Express CDG, which due to shitty old people, I feel I need to endorse. It’s fine. Stay there. It’s like super clean and convenient . Yes you have to walk like half a block from the CDG airport train but it’s not an issue. And if you’re a member of whatever hotel chain group that IHG is in you get free early check in!