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Old 1st October 2009, 13:25   #31
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some more pics from day 3
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Old 6th October 2009, 13:04   #32
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Nice travelogue and splendid photos just gives the feeling that i was there! Do continue with the good work!
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Old 7th October 2009, 15:02   #33
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Nice travelogue and splendid photos just gives the feeling that i was there! Do continue with the good work!
Thanks!

I was a lil busy and glued to the Yeti blog on the Nano road test! what a journey that has been and a proud moment for us.

There is a border crossing as you enter Switzerland/Lichtenstein, the cop seeing an unfamiliar face asks us to pull over, “Passport Please”, I show him the passport, he looks for the visa and then smiles. He asks us where we are heading and I say “Langwies”, he smiles back “have a nice day”, that was quick, under a minute and we enter the eastern part of Switzerland/Lichtenstein, it’s around 2:30 PM, the landscape and buildings are different, the streets look different, we reach Vaduz the capital of Lichtenstein, a quick car tour of the city and we are on our way to Zurich and as we near Zurich its close to 4 PM. I had done a reservation at a Swiss farm stay in Langwies, in Arosa province, around 200 kms from Zurich. The plan was to stay in Langwies, experience the Swiss life and then head back to Zurich the next day but we had to alter the plans as we were late and decide to drive to Langwies.
We pass by small swiss cities like Chur and we are climbing a mountain to reach the farm stay, quickly call up the landlord and she says we are on the right road. The road is narrow and these guys out here drive real fast on narrow mountain roads, I fell the pressure, but what to do, this is my first Swiss mountain experience and I do not have the confidence to go beyond 60, where ever possible I pull over to the extreme right to let them know that I m not in a hurry, but on a holiday plus I m a foreigner not used to these kinds of roads. My wife gently reminds me not to look towards her side as even a small error could land us thousands of feet below. The only support are the wooden railings which I suspect cannot even hold back a cow if it slips.

Its high mountain driving for almost an hour and a half and we reach the town of Langwies, a small town with a restaurant and a handful of business establishments. Call up the landlady and she guides us, after a couple of trail and error we cross a beautiful little railway station and a crossing and there we are at the Zippert house.

We are greeted by the wonderful family and Sarah shows us around, introduce us to her three little kids aged between 4 and 9. We look around the surroundings and for a moment I was not sure if this is what we really expected. Cows, Cowdung, bells chiming in your ear, goats, sheeps, hens, farming equipments, woodhouse etc etc and then the feeling slowly begins to sink in “ This is the way people live here in Switzerland and this is the experience we dreamed to live for a day”. So much of similarities to the lifestyle of my village in Kerala except for the landscape and the way the houses were built plus these guys are super rich and all they do is farming for 5 months and setting up the ski resorts for the next 7 months. Wish if our Govt back home could regulate the farm and agriculture sector and provide the farmers with the right value for his products, what a country we could be!

Now I understand why its called heaven on earth, this house is on a mountain and down below is a beautiful stream, all around you see huge mountains and clouds slowly settling in between, there is a beautiful railway bridge across the river and this place was built in 1648. Cannot believe it, the wood inside looks brand new and Sarah says this is furwood from 1648, she does explain the history of the place the house and etc and we were are shown our cosy little bedroom which is on the second floor, all the floors are wooden and your footsteps could be heard all over the place.
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Old 7th October 2009, 15:55   #34
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Hi Babupaul,

Superb photographs and great locations. Reminds me of my trip to Denmark (No mountains though) but wonderful locations. Keep posting those beautiful pictures and I am sure this trip of yours is/was a memorable one.

Rocking holiday indeed....
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Old 7th October 2009, 16:25   #35
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Great stuff!

This is as good as it gets. Travelling the beautiful European country side is a dream for everyone. I had done this trip except Liechtenstein way back in 2007. It brings back great memories

I Wonder why this thread is not rated yet. I just voted for a rating.
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Old 7th October 2009, 17:37   #36
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Hi Babupaul,

Superb photographs and great locations. Reminds me of my trip to Denmark (No mountains though) but wonderful locations. Keep posting those beautiful pictures and I am sure this trip of yours is/was a memorable one.

Rocking holiday indeed....
Thanks! It was a memorable holiday and something that I had dreamt of for a long time especially since we had these bollwoood movies invading europe with those beautiful locations and drives

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Great stuff!

This is as good as it gets. Travelling the beautiful European country side is a dream for everyone. I had done this trip except Liechtenstein way back in 2007. It brings back great memories

I Wonder why this thread is not rated yet. I just voted for a rating.
Thanks, it feels good to hear when people enjoy small things that could bring back good old memories

We settle down and Sarah says the only restaurant in town is closed; they close by 6 PM on Sunday’s and she could make a reservation at another restaurant close to Arosa, 8 Km from where we stay, time is 6:40 PM and she also mentions that they close by 7:30 PM. How sweet and wonderful, that’s what I call “Life”! We decide to have some coffee and snacks that we carried along and call it a day!

We are up and ready by 8:00 AM, the air is crisp and fresh, the kids have left for school and Sarah says her husband has gone hunting in the mountains and they have caught a deer, wow! We have an authentic all home made Swiss breakfast of home made cheese and butter that melts in your mouth, freshly baked bread, salami, fresh home made Muesli and boiled egg with tea. That was wonderful!

Our plan for the day was to head to Zurich and spend the day in Zurich, but the hospitality and warmth of the Zippert family made us change our plans and we decided to stay back for another day. So what do we do for the day? Sarah gives us the options nearby and we decide on “Davos”, wanted to find out what’s this town gotta do with “World economics”. She says there are three options to get to Davos, by car around 45 mins, train 1.30Hrs and trekking 1 hour. I have had three days of driving, need some rest and of course travel the famed Swiss mountain train. The railway station is around a kilometer from the farm stay, we take a walk to the station and 68 Swiss Franc for a one way ticket to Davos. One way ticket cause we decided to trek back from Davos to the homestay.

We have to switch two trains to get to Davos, after an hour of mountain train we reach the city of Chur, where we get off to catch another train to Landquart and from there another train to Davos. It was a magical experience and what better way to enjoy than at the drivers seat!
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Old 7th October 2009, 18:03   #37
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@ 007
:-)

there are quite a few Wagon R's and Swifts in this part of the world. I have seen these cars in most of the countries I have visited.
I've seen a few WagonR's in UK that go with the name of Vauxhall Agila.

@babupaul, you have me spellbound. Please continue.
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Old 7th October 2009, 19:48   #38
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I've seen a few WagonR's in UK that go with the name of Vauxhall Agila.

@babupaul, you have me spellbound. Please continue.
@vnabhi, I was inspired by the fellow BHPians to write a detailed travelogue, just an honest attempt at it plus it gives us a moment to relive those moments and places and events...thanks for the support, btw whats happening at Goa, I have been following your travelogue and had done this route in Oct 06 except that we started from Bangalore through Shimoga until Goa.

During the train journey I realized that the faster way to get around the mountains was by foot, I did remember Sarah’s advice but this was a different experience. It was a scenic journey amidst picture perfect postcard size villages and churches and the now famous Davos lake.

We reached Davosplatz at around 12 PM. absolutely no idea about the place except that I hear abt it every year. Later I understand that it is also the home of the largest ski resort in Switzerland, the Davos hockey team are the champion side in the Swiss hockey league. As usual, we pick up some drinks and snacks from the Spar supermaket close to the railway station and start our exploration the way we love to explore, WALKING. We walk around the city, nothing great, it feels like a sleepy town except that it has some of the best cars and its crystal clean, there are workers regularly cleaning, picking up cigarettes buds and stuff, we walk aimlessly, head to a restaurant for a quick bite. While at the restaurant we open the map given by Sarah, who even did the markings in case we lost our track. I love the enthusiasm of the SWISS for the outdoors. The Route she asked us to take was Davos Platz–Schatzalp–Strelapass–Sapün–Langwies.


After the pit stop our next destination was Schatzalp Cable car, another experience to be lived. 14 Swiss Francs for the one way ticket as our plan was to reach Schatzalp, have some snacks at the restaurant frequented by prince charles called Strella Alp and then start our trek through the mountains to Langweies, as per Sarah, 2 hours scenic walk.

We get off the cable car that literally goes up at 75 degrees, enjoy the breathtaking views and check out another restaurant before we start our hiking/climbing/walking, we were confused what to call it. We slowly start the climb up the mountains and the walking sticks that Sarah gave us came in handy. Sarah also informed us that all the paths are well marked with information every 200 meters or so. As we reach Strella Alps restaurant we see the sign board and to get a double confirmation enquire with a few hikers coming down, they were not too sure and help us enquire with a few locals who were herding their cattle about our so called path. They were surprised and said it would take a good 5 hours for a seasoned trekker, we panicked, checked with a few more people and they had the same opinion. It was 3:15 PM, was a little cloudy and it would get dark soon, what if we get lost? What if’s were messing up our emotions? We wanted to this so badly for the enthusiasm and the encouragement we received from Sarah who also promised it to be a very romantic experience in the Swiss Mountains.
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Old 8th October 2009, 11:11   #39
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I am getting much attached to this thread,its just mesmerising in every aspect, sorry couldnt come back to the thread like you was just glued to the Yeti blog! Sam as usual has done a very commendable job. Please do continue with the good work
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Old 8th October 2009, 13:25   #40
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great travelogue babupaul. Felt like we have gone through the same place. Nice pictures too. Please continue, eagerly waiting for more. If you have any other nice road trips like this please put that too in TBHP.
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Old 9th October 2009, 11:52   #41
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Babu,

Thats a long pause isn't it? Did you trek the return journey to the room? You haven't revealed it to us? Do update the thread fast, will you?

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Old 9th October 2009, 13:35   #42
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Babu, excellent snaps and narration. Please continue the flow
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Old 11th October 2009, 15:28   #43
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I am getting much attached to this thread,its just mesmerising in every aspect, sorry couldnt come back to the thread like you was just glued to the Yeti blog! Sam as usual has done a very commendable job. Please do continue with the good work
@Majic, Thank you for the wonderful words!

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great travelogue babupaul. Felt like we have gone through the same place. Nice pictures too. Please continue, eagerly waiting for more. If you have any other nice road trips like this please put that too in TBHP.
@Willeys78, Thanks again, I have often had a lot of virtual journeys here on Team BHP, I owe it to all the Team BHPian's.

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Babu,

Thats a long pause isn't it? Did you trek the return journey to the room? You haven't revealed it to us? Do update the thread fast, will you?

@ Indain Ranger. Oops, it was a long break :-(. Ofcourse will update it at the earliest.

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Babu, excellent snaps and narration. Please continue the flow
@ sanjay, Thanks

Apologies for the delay! Trying my best to free sometime and I hope to have it completed by Tuesday. Thank you for your patience.
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Old 12th October 2009, 00:01   #44
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Hey,

A wonderful travelogue! I have been riveted to this thread despite other compelling distractions (read:Sam & NC's trip and Linea vs ANHC threads)

Now I feel like doing the same journey you guys did!
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Old 12th October 2009, 14:38   #45
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Hey,

A wonderful travelogue! I have been riveted to this thread despite other compelling distractions (read:Sam & NC's trip and Linea vs ANHC threads)

Now I feel like doing the same journey you guys did!
@ Gomzi, thanks

We started our climb slowly and all around were huge mountains; the grass was like on a golf course and in another month would be in 4- 12 feet of snow. What a sight that would be? a few shepherds assembling all their cattle for their return back to their homes after a stomach full of fresh and clean food, a few of the cows were naughty and running all across the place. For a moment it felt like a Buddhist place with all the bells on the cows creating a rhythmic music similar to the sounds at the monasteries. It was 3:45 PM, the temperature was getting a little cooler, and the clouds were retiring for the day on the mountains. We met another couple who were on their way down and as we exchanged our plans they were a bit skeptical and on enquiring with a few more shepherds on the mountains did we realize it might take close to 5 hours to reach Langwies. Its getting colder, darker, unknown mountain terrain, walking sticks and the map given by Sarah, plus we do not speak German in case we are lost and what if there are any wolves lurking around, no more second thoughts and we decided to do this sometime in the future and walked down to the Cable car along with the other couple, a friendly Swiss couple from Interlaken, who even invited us to come and stay over at their place in case we happen to visit that part of Switzerland.

The return journey seemed to be a little expensive coz two way tickets are cheaper than one way tickets and we had to buy fresh tickets for the cable car that too us up, 14 Swiss Francs and another 68 Swiss Francs for the train tickets from Davos to Langwies, switching two trains at Chur and Landquart. There are thousands of “SPAR” supermarkets and hypermarkets around these countries and since we did not want to sleep without supper we decided to do pick some packed food for dinner just in case we reach late, when I say late, its anytime after 7:00 PM, the only restaurant at Langwies closes by 7:00 PM on weekdays.

I was surprised to find some “Chicken Tikka Masala” on the shelves at SPAR made in Belgium but looked very much Indian. Picked up some pizza’s along with it and boarded the train. It was a relaxed ride back to Langwies and we reached at 7:00 PM, reached home and Sarah was a little disappointed that we could not make the trek back from Davos to Langwies. Anyways, after a breif talk about the day we asked if she could warm our supper which she was more than willing to. There is something special about the Swiss hospitality, the way they arrange their beds, dining table etc. We shared our Pizza’s with the kids and they were extremely delighted to have them, Small things bring us a lot of joy. Not wanting to disturb the family we quickly had a shower and hit the bed by 8:00 PM, it was cold and the view from the bedroom windows was like a fairy tale with a light drizzle, adding that magical feeling.


The next morning we woke up early after a wonderful breakfast, we bid adieu to the beautiful farm and the wonderful Zippert family.

We started from Langwies at around 9:00 AM, the destination being Munich, Germany. This time we chose the country roads plus the Autobahn. Not able to recollect how many kilometers but the time on the navigator showed 3:00 PM as the time of reaching Munich. Fresh Daylight and I was confident of conquering these mountain roads, navigating between cows and fresh cow dung, tunnels and in an hours time reached chur and then to Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein. On the way we passed though the famous vineyards of Maienfeld, a beautiful place indeed.
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