It’s about that time in my pregnancy to start thinking of a babymoon! As I approach my third trimester, I have a new-found energy and wanderlust brewing. Maybe it’s because I know that life is going to drastically change very soon so I need to get it in while I can, maybe it’s that pregnancy is just so frickin’ long that I finally need a well-earned vacation, or maybe it’s that I’m finally feeling alive enough to actually imagine doing something, anything. Probably a little bit of everything. As with my first pregnancy, I had a horrendous first trimester, a drawn-out second, and now it feels like Go Time. I’m ready to organize my house, nest away, explore the world, make a ton of food, take dancing lessons, whatever. If you asked me five months ago, I would have said “I just want to hibernate all winter,” “a babymoon sounds like work,”and “cuddling on the couch is all the vacation I need.” I changed my tune two years ago, come January, and, oh, look, I’ve changed my tune again.
So where to go, what to do? I’ve been thinking and planning a lot, and this upcoming trip is going to provide a little bit of sun, warmth, sightseeing, relaxation, and good food with family. This isn’t about what’s to come, though. I’ll share the details of my future babymoon once I’ve experienced it, and have (hopefully) recommendations to share. Nope, this is about the best babymoon imaginable, two years ago. This year I’m going warmer, but last time was all about embracing the hygge that wintertime has to offer. If you love to eat, explore new lands, and are already feeling like an overheated furnace, head to the magical land of Switzerland.
I challenge you (and myself) to find a better babymoon location than Switzerland. I’m telling you, I really hope this year can live up to what a wonderful experience our Swiss getaway truly was. Here are the highlights for this amazing trip, and my reasoning why Switzerland should be listed as a top babymoon destination.
Our trip was spent on the picturesque Lake Geneva. After flying into the Geneva airport, we took a short train ride to Montreax, a resort town with a charming little city, quirky hillside streets, and an AMAZING view of the Alps which proudly rise over the calm, vast lake, known as Lake Geneva. From the train, we walked to our hotel, the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace. This is a premier destination come July, when the city is home the second largest jazz festival in the world. The Fairmont is the place to stay and dine, but find yourself in Montreux in the off-season, and you can relax in one of the nicest hotels for a fraction of the price. And let’s face it, it is the off-season because most people in the Alps in January want to ski! Not exactly on the list of third trimester pregnant activities, but don’t feel left out, embrace the fact that you get to enjoy a little gem of a city when it’s not too crowded and overpriced. The weather is the nice type of winter weather that you would expect and hope for. You get to bundle up in a hat, scarf, and bulky sweater, wear snow boots, but not completely freeze. You’re looking at temps in the 30s-40s, not single digits. And this type of weather for a pregnant woman is fantastic! I hated getting too hot, tired and sweaty in my third trimester. I also didn’t want to be in a climate or part of a scene that required me to get too dolled up. European wintertime–IDEAL.
So, you can’t drink, but you sure can eat! Food is the highlight of my life, in general, but as a pregnant person, it meant so much more. I missed out on the drinking, but wasn’t about to say no to the dessert menu (which I would normally do in my non-pregnant life.) I was, and am, obviously reasonable diet-wise for my growing babies, but when it came to holidays, special dinners out, and vacations, I was going to have my cake and eat yours too. Montreux not only has a great culinary scene, but Switzerland has mastered my two favorite categories ever: CHOCOLATE and CHEESE. Are you beginning to see why this is a standout destination? A beautiful European land that specializes in CHOCOLATE and CHEESE?! And I’m talking safe-for-pregnancy cheese–none of that French stuff. All the fondues are safe. The raclette, SAFE! The region of La Gruyere is literally right next door! It’s amazing, and there’s chocolate everywhere. (I’ll detail how to maximize your chocolate and cheese experience a little later in this next Activities section.)
How did we put our trip together to experience the best of the best in Switzerland? We spent a good portion of time getting to know the area. I wanted to walk a lot. It’s very important to me to keep moving, especially when pregnant, and luckily, there are a good portion of sights to see within walking distance of the Fairmont. Freddie Mercury actually settled in Montreux, so if you’re into him and Queen, there’s a lot of history there. For me, it was a nice walk to the Freddie Mercury statue, but an even nicer one to end up at the Chillon Castle. The lakeside castle offers tours and amazing views of the mountains (as does the walk, in general.) Above the lake, in the town, we also enjoyed walking and exploring the little shops, and dining at authentic Swiss restaurants–such as Restaurant le Museum for a true fondue experience.
There were other days where my belly needed to rest and we went full-on babymoon mode. We spent hours in the Fairmont’s Willow Stream Spa (getting facials, massages, and even working out,) had lunch poolside, and then later would saunter down to the hotel’s higher-end Montreux Jazz Cafe. In between all that recharging, though, were adventures! We took a train to the actual town of Gruyères, where we ate cheese, walked around a medieval setting you would only otherwise see in a movie, then ate more cheese. (We wanted to go to the H.R. Giger museum, but it was unfortunately closed that day. Add it to your list!) Another day, we found ourselves in Broc at the Maison Cailler! We spent a day in basically a chocolate mansion, touring, eating, drinking (and then buying way too much to take home) CHOCOLATE. Heaven, heaven, heaven.
My most memorable experience in Switzerland, though, was the journey to Château-d’Oex for the International Hot Air Balloon Festival. One of the most beautiful moments of my life, was riding in the scenic railway car, winding through snow covered mountains, the sun shining, and seeing the most vivid, colorful hot air balloons rise up all around. The train dropped us off right in the town of the festival where we watched balloons take off all day, ate casual Swiss festival food (so for me a ton of chocolate crepes), and walked around another adorable area. The contrast of the balloons against the snow, man, it was something.
So, that was one of my favorite trips in 1200 words or less. If you’re pregnant, planning to get pregnant, someone that likes to travel, someone with a pulse, you’ll enjoy Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Chocolate, cheese, beautiful wintertime walks, European towns, romantic railways, history, and for some, Queen. My only hope is that Babymoon #2 can live up to the quality experience I had with my husband the first time around! Feel free to reach out with questions.