Majestic mountains and lovely lakes delight Flying Jayhawks

Posted on Jun 4, 2015 in Alumni News and News

Switzerland |
I consider myself to be very lucky to have been able to spend an unbelievable week with some amazing KU Alumni—and some honorary Jayhawks— on the Flying Jayhawks Swiss Alps & Italian Lakes trip.

Our trip got off to a rocky start because of a severe thunderstorm in Chicago that delayed four of our travelers on two incoming flights.  Then, to add to our excitement, our flight from Chicago to Zurich was delayed when our entire flight crew was in a fender bender on their way to the airport. Once they finally arrived, we boarded the plane and headed for Switzerland.

After we landed in Zurich, we met up with the rest of our group and took a beautiful scenic bus drive to St. Moritz, where we enjoyed an amazing welcome reception dinner and met our fellow travelers.  The next day, we strolled through the streets of the quiet little town of Zuoz—a beautiful town with buildings built in the 13th century. From there, we were off to ride the gondola to the top of Diavolezza Mountain, where we enjoyed lunch and breathtaking views.

That evening, a local guide educated us on the culture and history of Switzerland as we enjoyed dinner and welcomed the four delayed travelers. On Monday, we boarded the Bernina Express train, which took us through the Alps to Tirano, Italy, for lucnh. The views of the Alps from the train were spectacular!

On Tuesday, a small group of Flying Jayhawks decided to be adventurous and take a carriage ride up the mountain to Roseg Glacier, where we ate lunch and hiked around the mountain. We said goodbye to Switzerland on Wednesday and headed for Stresa, Italy. On our way there, we cruised Lake Como and stopped at Bellagio for shopping and lunch.

A cruise awaited our group on Thursday. We cruised Lake Maggimore to the Borromean Islands of Isola Madre, Isola dei Pescatori, and Isola Bella, where we explored a beautiful 17th century baroque palace. The only day it rained on us was Friday—it poured all day in Stresa, but we were lucky enough to spend the day in Milan, where the weather was clear. We visited the Renaissance Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie to see “The Last Supper,” which was an extraordinary experience.

After that, we were off to the stunning opera house of La Scala and the massive 14th century Duomo. We spent the afternoon strolling through Milan at our leisure.

Our final day was spent cruising the Lake of Orta, and we ended the tour with a visit to San Giulio, where we spend a stunning day walking around the town on a beautiful day. We enjoyed a farewell reception and dinner with our fellow travelers, and the Flying Jayhawks passengers all agreed that the trip created wonderful memories and friendships.

—Stefanie Shackelford, vice president for alumni and membership records, hosted the Flying Jayhawks excursion to to the Swiss Alps and Italian Lakes in May. For more information about the Flying Jayhawks program, including the 2016 schedule, visit

See more pictures from the trip on Flickr

Tags: , , ,