Thursday, April 30, 2015

Switzerland & France 2015

For the winter of 2014/2015, we were planning for our snowboarding trip as it's actually been a while since we last did snowboarding. I first picked up snowboarding during my one year in Stockholm while I was doing my NUS NOC internship. It was definitely a rough and late start to the sport but the beginning of a highly addictive hobby. Since then, I've snowboarded in Romme Alpin (Sweden), Sälen (Sweden), Les Gets (France), Nanshan (China) and Yongpyong (South Korea). 

Snowboarding in Les Gets, France 2009 (
Snowboarding in Les Gets, France 2009

For this trip, we were planning to go somewhere near, preferably in Asia so it wouldn't be too costly. With those considerations in mind, we decided to head back to South Korea. Over there we could find good food, nice people and decently priced places for snowboarding. But as I researched on, it didn't seem as value-for-money as compared to snowboarding in Europe. The prices of the ski-passes and snowboard rental between Korea and Europe were almost the same but the ski domain is significantly larger in Europe. We are talking about 29km of ski runs in Yongpyong and 600km of ski runs in Val Thorens!

Snowboarding in Yongpyong, South Korea 2013 (
Sunset in Yongpyong (South Korea) after our runs

Val Thorens Village (Les 3 Vallées) France 2015 (
View of Val Thorens village, France 2015

One week before our expected date for our winter holiday, I chanced upon various flight promotions to Europe. Of the different promotions, we managed to find a return flight to Geneva for about SGD $1000 via Qatar Airways. Qatar has won the Best Airline in the World for a few years, so that's definitely a good deal. And since the cost of flying to Europe is just $200 more than our flight to South Korea, we decided to ditch our Korean plans and go for a white winter wonderland in Europe. That's the benefit of being spontaneous in our traveling, we get to go where the wind blows, or rather, where the promotion blows. ;) As you read our different travel stories, spontaneous traveling has always been our style where we travel based on what inspires us. I guess it is also partly due to our busy and hectic schedule in Singapore during our normal daily lives. So when it comes to a holiday, we really let it be a holiday; no fixed timings, no deadlines to meet, no stress and just relax. That's a holiday for us! Even for our 3 week honeymoon in New Zealand back in 2011, we only bought the flight tickets and nothing else. Our first few nights of accommodations were only decided and purchased in Christchurch airport based on the recommendation of the Tourist Information booth staff. Yes you read that right, we only bought our flight tickets and boarded the plane with no accommodations booked at all. You could call us crazy but we were just too busy with our wedding preparations to be planning for our honeymoon. I guess our experience with traveling and backpacking around Europe has given us confidence in doing something as crazy as that. And no, we didn't end up sleeping on the streets, on the contrary, everything turned out fantastic! We shall leave that for another post. :)

Driving from Zurich to Interlaken, Switzerland 2015 (
Our drive from Zurich to Interlaken, Switzerland 2015

Our white winter wonderland trip started from Geneva -> Zurich -> Lucern -> Interlaken -> Val Thorens -> Geneva -> Lausanne -> Geneva. Although I've been to Switzerland before but Steph hasn't. So I decided to bring my wife on a nice trip there and I think winter is one of the best time to do it. We will blog about the different sections of our trips in the next few posts and you can click on the city names below to view the different legs of our trip.

Day 1 - 4
Arrived in Geneva, drove to Zurich.
Day 4 - 6
Drove from Zurich to Interlaken. Visited Lucern, Bern, Iseltwald and Jungfrau.
Day 6 - 13(Val Thorens):Drove to Geneva and took a coach to Val Thorens. Snowboarding in French Alps!
Day 13 - 15
Took a coach back to Geneva.
Day 15 - 19
Drove from Geneva to Lausanne. Stayed in the country side and visited Gruyères, Friburg, Montreux.
Day 19
Drove back to Geneva for our flight back to Singapore.

For those that are interested in budgeting for your future trips similar to ours, here is the expenses breakdown for our trip in SGD.

Expenses breakdownAmount (SGD)Percentage
Transport (Car rentral, petrol, parking, bus)$1,459.2916.17%
Personal (Shopping)$449.124.98%
Activities (Snowboarding)$2,069.0922.92%
Utilities (Mobile plans, data)$26.400.29%
Gifts (Soveniers)$186.572.07%
Others (Flight ticket)$2,164.0023.97%
GRAND TOTAL$9,026.36

Our exchange rate then:
CHF: 1.32 (click here to view current rate)
Euro: 1.6 (click here to view current rate)

Here's a summary video of our trip. 19 days in 5 minutes.

Switzerland / France 2015

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