A Trip to Paradise on Earth – Switzerland
It’s not very usual when an Indian like me staying abroad had a chance to take a break & travel across to explore especially when you are in sabbatical leave doing nothing at all & on top of it every other plan of yours under the sky depends upon your husband’s work commitments. It’s now been almost a year of my stay in Amsterdam and we both were desperately longing for a refreshing vacation. As the summer approached, we decided to have a four day tour of Switzerland. Being a native Indian, the fascination of having a Swiss trip can’t be compared to anything under the sky. The very exhilarating feeling of romanticism is affiliated to every Indian since the release of Super hit Bollywood Movie in 1995– Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ) – a so called trademark movie of Switzerland whose phenomenal effect is still very much prevailing the Indian minds.
Finally the Flight tickets were booked three months prior to the travel. In addition to that, we also bought Swiss pass for four days for local travel. Evidently, Swiss trip is considered as the most extravagant & high-priced deal but I can vouch for it to worth every single penny. Since it was not a guide assisted tour, in the beginning I was little worried about charting out the trip all by ourselves. But believe me, the whole trip went so smooth and we didn’t have even a single hiccup during the entire four days. The full credit goes to the Excellent Travel System of Switzerland and wonderful Tourism Network of the Country. Swiss is a country where everything works out systematically and well within time.
Eventually we travelled in mid of July along with another couple friend. The excitement had already made me to spend almost a month time preparing for the trip. We took morning flight from Amsterdam to Geneva and reached around 11:30 at morning. It was a very comfortable flight and the spectacular view of Swiss Alps from the Aircraft acknowledged us, our arrival into the Paradise on Earth – Switzerland.
In Geneva, we straight went to Lake Geneva. While heading for the Lake, we realized that unlike Amsterdam, the traffic signals & rules are pretty confusing and people tend to ignore the traffic rules. Meanwhile we continued our journey and reached our Destination. It’s a huge lake stretched over few miles. The serene blue water accompanied with old architectural buildings on the banks was giving a spectacular view.
After some relaxing & refreshments on the shores of lake we headed towards the United Nation Building. One thing which I would specially like to mention is the very cooperative & friendly nature of Swiss People. I had been to so many places but kind of helping hand with warm gesture & smile which we received from numerous people throughout the trip inspite of unable to communicate in English, touched my heart. The Bus Driver, ticket Checker in Train, local co-passengers & pedestrians – all were so generous and themselves stepped forward to offer guidance regarding our travel; that was so truly remarkable. Much to my surprise, the UN building failed to impress me in any way as it didn’t seemed to be an extraordinary skyscraper. After strolling around for some time, we started our journey towards Lucerne.
While heading to Lucerne, we opted for the Panoramic Train. Swiss has developed a very fantastic, tourist friendly railway, bus & Cruise networks mostly included under Swiss Pass. The whole journey was full of breathtaking scenic beauty. After two hours of train journey we decided to take Cruise ride from Spiez through Lake Thun. During our cruise we came across some really exotic scenic view. The nature is at its best in Swiss. You can see the best of mountains, waterfalls, Clouds, streams, Lakes – all in one place showcasing the best in the world.
Finally, we reached Lucerne at Late evening. After checking in our hotel, we took shower & refreshments & again went out to roam around the city at night. Lucerne is a small city, not big as Geneva but is full of natural scenic beauty. We clicked some really good shots at night in front of Lake Lucerne & its tower. After spending couple of hours we had our dinner & headed back again to our Hotel. Technically, our first day has ended; & we were very tired but content at heart.
On the second day, we started towards Mount Titlis. It was a bright sunny day & was perfect to visit the top of second highest mountain – Mount Titlis. We took the cable car from the foot of the mountain and finally reached the top. At the entrance the life size poster of Sharukh Khan & Kajol from DDLJ really took us by surprise. Even the country felt the urge to acknowledge itself through a foreign Cinema. Must say, it was a pretty smart move to promote tourism among Indians. Since it was summer, mount Titlis provides a range of summer sports from tube slide to Cycling, ice skating, trekking, sledge Sliding etc. We had lot of fun & really had a great time enjoying all the slides.
We even didn’t realize that we spent almost half a day on the peak. It was almost late afternoon, when we decided to have our lunch as we were already so tired & went down the mountain. There is a small Indian outlet at the exit which offers delicious Indian Delicacies. We had Vada-Pav & Samosas and continued our journey towards the city. That evening was pretty relaxing compared to first day. We collected our luggage from the hotel and advanced towards Interlaken. This time also we preferred to travel by Golden Panoramic so that we can enjoy the amazing scenery while relaxing in the train itself.
Interlaken is a city in the Bernese Oberland on an alluvial plain, between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. The city is presided over by the three mighty mountains, Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau and is an ideal holiday paradise and conference resort of International Importance. On the third day morning, weather was cloudy. As per our schedule it was the day to visit Jungfrau, the highest peak of Europe. The moment we stepped out of our Hotel, it already started drizzling. But still we did stick to our plan and took the train to Jangfrau.
The uphill journey was exhilarating. Although it was raining by now, the mind blowing journey through the tunnels, clouds, picturesque valley and mountains covered with snow & fog cannot be underestimated in any way. It was freezing at the top of Jungfrau. We could not stay out for long as the nail biting chilling wind with rain was prickly harsh. We spent our time in the Ice caves which was beautifully carved and was showcasing excellently chiselled sculptures. After 2 hours of roaming around we had a delicious quality Indian Lunch in Bollywood Restaurant. For me, our visit to Jungfrau was finally over and was ready for our next destination Lauterbrunnen. This city lies at the bottom of a hanging or U-shaped valley which is one of the deepest in the Alpine chain when compared with the height of the mountains that rise directly on either side. After roaming around the city for a while, we visited the Trummelbach falls where glacier water was falling @ 14000 liters per second. The View was terrific. Since it was raining, the impact multiplied. In the afternoon, we returned back to Interlaken and roamed around the city, which is again a treat to the eyes.
On the fourth day, we checked out from our hotel and took a panoramic Bus ride from Brienz. The Bus took us through Swiss Alps range with full of breathtaking picturesque valleys & dramatically beautiful mountains. Unlike the train, the best part of a bus was the numerous halts at amazing view-points during the whole ride which gave us the much needed opportunity to capture those magnificent beauties in our cameras. We again took a train to Zermatt – the last destination of our tour. By the time we reached Zermatt it was almost late afternoon. We had our lunch and then visited the famous Matterhorn.
By now we almost knew that we had approached the finale of our four day extravaganza. We took a small trip of the town with a little heavy heart. Finally our trip has come to The End. We again boarded the train from Zermatt to Geneva from where we had to catch our early morning flight to Amsterdam. During the train journey we recalled our time of last few days spent in Switzerland. It was a memory of a lifetime. Swiss trip was a dream came true – An exhilarating experience to be cherished for many years to come.