WHERE TO NEXT?

Good morning Traveler,

I’m home from an epic educational adventure around eastern Switzerland and I have jet lag so you are getting this early!

It’s impossible to capture in one newsletter all of the fun, adventurous, delicious, unique experiences there are in this corner of the country known for cheese and chocolate. We had our fair share of cheese and chocolate, but there is so much more! Check out today’s Highlight for my favorite hike of the trip. And sometime in the near future I’ll share another hike that we missed but our guide told us was also a must do!

If you read last week’s newsletter you saw a list of adventures and experiences to have in all four seasons in Switzerland. Expect more details to come on those. There are just too many good ones that I must share.

This week’s inspirational articles include some on Europe – 9 bucket list trips that everyone should do in their lifetime (9 is just not enough, there are so many more I would add!), the best European spas and also the rise of the six figure vacation. Also one that may be of interest to at least some of you – The Rise of the Menopause Retreat.

Two other articles I loved – one from the Harvard Business Review – Why You Should Work Less and Spend More Time on Hobbies and exciting news for wheelchair bound travelers – the world’s first luxury wheelchair-accessible safari!

You’ll also find information on how to pack like a pro, how Maui workers want to encourage visitors to return and why you want to start booking your summer vacation now (you know I’m a big fan of that).

I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend!
Enjoy the rest of this short week!

Warmly,

Below:

  • This week’s highlight – Hike to Lake Zervreilasee
  • Hot New Hotel Opening – Usawa Serengeti
  • Inspiration + Information

HIKE TO LAKE ZERVREILASEE

In Vals, we stayed at 7132, a very unique and architecturally important hotel with very special thermal baths that is worthy of a future Highlight. The manager, Thomas (above left), not only gave us a site visit of the hotel, but he also led us on my favorite hike of the trip.

An easy walk from the hotel into the town of Vals allowed him to share a few other local spots with us…

  • The best fondue in town – at Hotel Glenner.
  • Stunning architectural design – at Haus Balma by Kengo Kuma (it is the headquarters of the local family business founded in 1983, specializing in processed quarzite stone slabs). Read more about it here. For architecture lovers it’s a must see.

Left: Kengo Kuma designed building. Right: Hotel Glenner – the spot for fondue.

We then hopped on the Gadastatt gondola where we again were amazed by the views all around us. They always impress.

A two minute walk and we were at our first stop, Bergrestaurant Gadastatt for a delicious platter of local cheeses, beers and homemade lemonade.

We were in a playful mood and took some fun pictures and I took a ride on the swing (click below for the video). It felt like I was in grade school again pumping as high as I could soaking in the beauty of the mountains. The feeling of freedom and vastness was overwhelming. I was so caught up in the moment my 7 year old self came out and I jumped off from up high! Sadly not caught on video and happily I survived.

Then off we went on the hike.

We passed waterfalls, snow capped mountains (the first snowfall was the week before and we could see the white dusting the mountaintops), huts converted to rustic mountain family homes, an honor bar full of local crystals and stones and a tiny church, the Kapelle St. Anna. The views were so beautiful and we captured many.

Nearing the end, the finale of the hike came into view – the dammed up Lake Zervreilassee. The bluest of the blue waters in this mountain lake, fed by waterfalls from high above. We passed a man with his professional camera and tripod taking pictures and I wonder where those might end up. Later we learned that prior to the dam there was a village here that was submerged in 1957 when the dam was built.

That fun fact led me down a rabbit hole of research and I came upon this Architectural Digest article. It doesn’t talk about Lake Zervreilassee but it does share six other villages that were submerged under water. And another article by House Beautiful, A Lost Village In Italy Has Just Emerged After More Than 70 Years Underwater.

If you’d like to see pictures of the village pre and post dam construction, the Architecture Gallery at the 7132 hotel has them.

In total the actual movement portion of the hike was about 90 minutes (we were picked up at the end and driven ~15 minutes back to the hotel). But with spectacular views for the entire route and fun hiking partners, it went by so quickly.

What can top a beautiful hike in the mountains? A helicopter flight over those same mountains. After a 30 minute rest, that was next on our agenda.

Johanne was an amazing guide and pilot. He pointed out mountain top huts where you can touch down for a coffee, nearby villages that are great starting points for multi-day treks and the glacier, that like almost everywhere is receding. See a video here.

It was a spectacular afternoon and I encourage you to visit this corner of Switzerland for an equally amazing adventure!

? In July, Wilderness Usawa Serengeti opened in Northern Tanzania. This luxury camp is located in Serengeti National Park where over two million wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, eland and other plains game make a 1,000 km round trip trek each year.

Why visit Usawa Serengeti?

  • Their six luxury mobile tents are solar powered, have lights, charging-stations, Wi-Fi and hot water. As the tents move, they “leave no trace” packing out everything from tents to furnishings.
  • The movement of the tents follows the Great Migration, a yearlong journey of millions of gazelles, zebras and wildebeests through the Serengeti. The predators and other animals follow – elephant, buffalo, rhino, leopard and prides of lion will follow providing an incredible view of the animals, all in close proximity to the tents.  
  • Game drives are tailored to guests’ preferences. Go out in early-morning with breakfast and coffee and/or in the late afternoon for that golden light best for photos.  Or choose an all-day adventure with packed lunches ready for a trek on foot or by vehicle. 
  • The guided nature walks through the Serengeti start right at camp with experienced Wilderness guides.
  • After a long day of game drives, walking or birding, gather around the campfire under the vast Serengeti night sky for a magical moment that caps off your adventurous day.

Of course it comes with the usual perks and VIP treatment when booking your stay through Truvay Travel.

? Usawa Serengeti

Reach out to plan your trip to

INSPIRATION

9 bucket list trips in Europe that everyone should do in their lifetime, Condé Nast

8 Delicious New Reasons To Visit Hong Kong, Forbes

The Best Spas in Europe That Mix Travel With Pure Relaxation, Vogue

These New Hotels Could Turn Bangkok Into A Luxury Destination, Forbes

Why You Should Work Less and Spend More Time on Hobbies, Harvard Business Review

Garden to Gourmet, The Relais & Chateaux Magazine

9 Marinas Around the World That Are Worthy Enough to Park Your Superyacht, Robb Report

The Rise Of The Six-Figure Vacation, Forbes

5 Hot Springs in Iceland That Aren’t the Blue Lagoon, NYT

Latest in Wellness Travel: The Menopause Retreat, NYT

SAFARIS

The World’s First Luxury Wheelchair-accessible Safari Ensures Privilege can Belong to Everyone, Africa.com

No other form of tourism is so transporting, The Australian

This Bonkers Golf Safari in South Africa Lets You Tee off Among the Country’s Natural Beauty, Robb Report

INFORMATION

Packing like a pro: The ultimate guide to what to bring, Lonely Planet

What to do if an airline loses your luggage, Condé Nast

Tourists Were Told to Avoid Maui. Many Workers Want Them Back., NYT

Waiting in a Customs Line? You Might Want to Put Your Phone Away, AFAR

Why you might need to start booking your 2024 summer vacation now, CNN

How to Talk About “Il Rientro” in Italian, Italy Magazine

This Luxury Train Journey Is Now Going Deeper Into The Arctic Circle’s Northern Landscapes, Travel & Leisure

(If you aren’t able to access an NYT or Washington Post article, send me a note and I’ll send it to you in a PDF.)

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Thank you!

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