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Old 3rd November 2009, 13:44   #31
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Default Wow!

Hey Ramky, great doing sir. A Eurotrip with in-depth details would be an epic.

Now just need to reschedule for the coming days to stay in touch with this thread.
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Old 3rd November 2009, 16:18   #32
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We leave Venice at 12 NOON towards the Mecca of European tourism, Switzerland, A4, RT to Verona after the Glaxo Research Centre on the Road Side,crosso Milan, the industrial town at 0400, traffic block, take a RT and join A8 at 0420 reach Lake Como which borders Switzerland, take a break at the last Autogrill this side. Also found this interesting van here, does somebody know about this rechargable van????

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Another tit-bit, most toilets have condom vending machines, found a couple of our group trying to figure out this machine (having seen them earlier) I told them what this thing does, they scuttled away with a laugh and this beame a big joke on the tour.
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We found many bikers on the way, one of them caught relaxing and taking a break.

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Lake Como has inverted Y shake lake, one of the most popular ones, is filled with villa resorts and spas, the rich and famous cluster around here, George Clooney bought a $ 10M house and said the quality of life is amazing, they take one hour for breakfast !!!! Brad Pitt and Co are seen often zooming in thier super bikes here, need I say more???

As we pass the border, we were warned NO PHOTOS at the check post, they're hyper sensitve and strict on this. The counry becomes more cleaner and orderly, signages are visibly better, everything is laundary clean, there's a riot of colours, Autumn is fully on, shades of yellos, orange and read everywhere the eye can see, the vistas were awesome. We make a comfort stop @ 0600, 3 kms before the St.Gothard tunnel, the 3rd longest in the world at 16.3 kms, regulated single lane traffic at 80 KMPH, we clear it in 13 minutes, all very orderly and clean, it's raining and we climb up to the Mountain town of Engelberg and reach hotel Central. Tonight we celebrate the 25th wedding anniversary of the Gulatis with Champaigne and a party, turned out to be one hell of a party.

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Last edited by ramkya1 : 3rd November 2009 at 16:23.
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Old 3rd November 2009, 17:07   #33
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@ramkya1 Sir, great travelogue. I have one query. My friend is going on a Backpack trip to Europe this week for twenty days. Is it better to take a Matrix sim card from here or should he buy a sim card in Europe itself? Which will be economical to receive calls from India and make very few calls to India? Thanks!
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Old 3rd November 2009, 17:29   #34
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Originally Posted by shabahmad View Post
Yes, tap water in germany is not fit for drinking & smells. My wife stayed at stutgart for a month and she never touched tap water for drinking.
Well that is quite a generalisation. I suspect your apartment.

I had stayed for 2 years in Germany and that too at Stuttgart. Well the tap water was quite expensive and treated well

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Old 3rd November 2009, 17:43   #35
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Originally Posted by ashwinsid View Post
@ramkya1 Sir, great travelogue. I have one query. My friend is going on a Backpack trip to Europe this week for twenty days. Is it better to take a Matrix sim card from here or should he buy a sim card in Europe itself? Which will be economical to receive calls from India and make very few calls to India? Thanks!
Matrix or Uniconnet are OK, I find Uniconnect better. But NEVER, NEVER give credit card number, check up on mouth shut.com for Matrix reviews, they just debit any amount and later you will have to tango with them for refund. I paid 2 K deposit upfront, it was all gone by the time I reached UK. From UK took Libera, it's the best, 2 pence per minute is great value for money.

Take a Sim Card in the country where you go, with a passport, you'd get them off them shelf in most places. Only inconvenience is the changing numbers from country to country, if you can live with that, its the best option, you can also talk to India economcally with this option.

Last edited by ramkya1 : 3rd November 2009 at 17:45.
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Old 3rd November 2009, 17:49   #36
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ramkya1 Sir, great! Informed my friend. His main worry is he has to attend to his official phone calls and he is thinking which is the most economic way to attend incoming calls.
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Old 3rd November 2009, 18:36   #37
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Default Lucerne Shoppers -- Beware!!!!

09-10-2009: Wake up to a cold wet day, we'd be at this hotel for 2 nights, time for doing the urgent laundry and put it on the radiator for the day, by evening all would be dry. Giving it to the hotel is a very expensive option; but if you have dry cloths, you'd get an ironing board and iron free with most hotels in Europe & UK. On a long travel like this, wash-discipline is important, in a couped up heated Coach unwashed body, socks etc., can be identified with eyes closed, the tour manager warned about this, so people mercifully were cautious.

Engelberg needs explanation here. It's a small mountain resort place at the foot hills of Mt.Titlis and a drive away from the shopping centre of Lucerne. The Bollywood love affair with Engelberg & Switzerland opened with An Evening In Paris in 1967, blossomed with Yesh Raj Chopra and others; Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Ishq, Hero No. 1, Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha, Yes Boss, Duplicate, Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya, Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai, Mrityudaata, Zor, Bade Dilwala, Kachche Dhaage, Silsila Hai Pyaar Ka and so on; this affair could fill volumes, so I'd stop here.

The coach drops us at centre of Lucerne from where we walk to the Lion Monument. A sad lion carved out of sandstone to remember all the Swiss soldiers who died defending royal family of French Louis the XVI, the expression of the lion can bring tears to ones eyes. Mercenary soldiering was big business, now its illegal there; the only exception is Vatican.

After this visit@ 10 we were given time till 0130 for shopping and walking in the Lucerne area, full of shopping, walking possibilities and also Swiss banks. Listern to this, DO NOT BUY SWATCHES FROM HERE, expensive; we found better bargains elsewhere. What all of us bought here for 150-200E for gifting was prohibitive compared to the 10E lovely Omax watches in Black Forest, do your gift buying outside Switzerland, we got taken.

A view from our room, first 2 photos.
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Last edited by ramkya1 : 3rd November 2009 at 18:48.
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Old 3rd November 2009, 18:46   #38
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ramkya1 Sir, your tip on Watch shopping was right on time. My friend was planning to buy a watch in Switzerland (Zurich). I have mentioned what you have suggested: Omax at Black Forest. Awaiting more tips before my friend leaves (day after tomo).

And just saw your siggy: Shared knowledge=Informed choices.That, is Truth!
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Old 3rd November 2009, 19:06   #39
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Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post
09-10-2009: Wake up to a cold wet day, we'd be at this hotel for 2 nights, time for doing the urgent laundry and put it on the radiator for the day, by evening all would be dry....
Ramkya, sir: Are pictures 9 and 10 from Stein Am Rhein? The bridge over the water body and the crane on top of the hill (renovation of Castle Hohenklingen) look very familiar to me.

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Old 3rd November 2009, 19:54   #40
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Ramkya, sir: Are pictures 9 and 10 from Stein Am Rhein? The bridge over the water body and the crane on top of the hill (renovation of Castle Hohenklingen) look very familiar to me.

Regards,
DueLLeR
Not sure. Just saw my notes, it says about the Chapel Bridge, the oldest covered woddenbridge in Europe, also in my picture, on river Reuss, the area from where I shot those pictures, from the top, 7, 8, 9,10. Maybe some else who has spent more time there could be able to clarify?

Last edited by ramkya1 : 3rd November 2009 at 19:56.
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Old 3rd November 2009, 20:36   #41
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Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post
Not sure. Just saw my notes, it says about the Chapel Bridge, the oldest covered woddenbridge in Europe, also in my picture, on river Reuss, the area from where I shot those pictures, from the top, 7, 8, 9,10. Maybe some else who has spent more time there could be able to clarify?
Ramky, you are correct. That is the famous Chapel Bridge- to be precise "Kapellbrücke" (german) in Lucerne. This is a 200m long bridge crossing the Reuss river. This is the oldest wooden bridge in Europe. Construccted in 1333, and is a covered bridge. This was designed to help protect the City of Lucerne from attacks. There are a lot of paintings inside the bridge dated back to 17th century.

Some pictures from my visit in October 2004. (Sorry about the quality). We were in Switzerland for a fortnight.

That crane was right there in 2004 too.
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That is my younger one at 1.5years on the Pram , She trips and trips.
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Hey me too have a Swan pic
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That's my wife with my elder daughter in front of Credit Suisse.
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sorry to put in some pics, could not resist. I am going back in memories through your log

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Old 3rd November 2009, 23:08   #42
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Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Ramky, you are correct. That is the famous Chapel Bridge- to be precise "Kapellbrücke" (german) in Lucerne. This is a 200m long bridge crossing the Reuss river. This is the oldest wooden bridge in Europe. Construccted in 1333, and is a covered bridge. This was designed to help protect the City of Lucerne from attacks. There are a lot of paintings inside the bridge dated back to 17th century.

Some pictures from my visit in October 2004. (Sorry about the quality). We were in Switzerland for a fortnight.

That crane was right there in 2004 too.
.......

That is my younger one at 1.5years on the Pram , She trips and trips.
.......

Hey me too have a Swan pic
............

That's my wife with my elder daughter in front of Credit Suisse.
.............

sorry to put in some pics, could not resist. I am going back in memories through your log
Thanks for clearing that up and posting pictures, go ahead if you have more, adds to the prespective.

You are one lucky man to have spent a fortnight there!!!!!!

======

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Old 3rd November 2009, 23:43   #43
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Thanks for clearing that up and posting pictures, go ahead if you have more, adds to the prespective.

You are one lucky man to have spent a fortnight there!!!!!!

======
Thanks Ramky.

By way of living in Germany for two years, and multiple visits often, we were able to spend such long holidays in Switzerland. The next longest ones were 10 days in Rome and 10 days in UK. Additionally we had also done a week of holidays in Amsterdam, France etc.. These were in 2003 - 2005 time frame. You are bringing back my memories and forced me to fetch my old photographs
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Old 4th November 2009, 11:31   #44
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At 2 we reach the ropeway base which will take us to Mt.Titlis, have hot Chai at the small Indian restaurant there, looked like a cartel with connection to Central Hotel runs the base, we saw the same faces serving there. The tickets are 70 E per head, many had bargained with TC to have this included, the lift goes up the steep and drops you mid way, about 4500 Fts for the world's first rotating lift, which takes you up another 5k feets over a glaciar right to the top, the temp drops to 0, already a cloudy day, drizzles, fog makes visibility difficult, photography is at the risk of the equipment.

We take the lift to the Ice flyer which takes you for a Chakkar over the huge glaciar and brings you back, it's an awesome experience, lots of ice, the fogs clear for about 15 minutes for us to see the ice all around and by the time we're back, it starts snowing. What luck, sun, rain and snow all at the same time; we play on the snow for some time, its too cold to stick it out for long and rush inside the cafe for a hot coffee and a walk down to the ice cave. So this is what the Titlis experience is all about, no wonder people are ga-ga about Switwerland. Our programme is so loaded, we can't visit the Jungfrau, Mt.Titlis is as high as it gets in Europe at 10k feets. We take the ropeway down and take another chai break around 6 pm and drive back to the hotel, hardly 5 minutes away. So ends the soujourn............ in Switzerland.
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A sad and embarassing part was when non-Indian tourists cluster around and laugh at the graffiti our brothers / sisters have done on the walls!!!! Don't have words to express how wrongly this depicts us...... producing here some shots. Don't know what makes us do this on such a beautiful setting ?????
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It's the night of the Kukretis's; Milani and wife celebrating their Wedding anniversary, again it's party time at Switzerland, cutting cakes and celebrating.

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Last edited by ramkya1 : 4th November 2009 at 11:45.
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Old 4th November 2009, 11:57   #45
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Arrow Rhine Falls

10-10-2009: Check out and leave at 0900, head to towards Zurich and take RT at a major town on the A4 at 1020, could not catch the name, cross Zurich shortly and head to Schaffhausen, northern Swis city, 3 sides Germany, so close that the Allies bombed it in 2nd world war and offered compensation to the 100 civilians kills in neutral Switzerland. 75 ft tall and 450 ft wide, its one of the most impressive ones I have seen after Athirapally in Kerla. 1030: Wind chill increases, all the wollies are out and we buy unberllas for the drizzle to walk down to see the Falls, a magnificiant sight from far. One can point and shoot anwhere, all around the Autumn has weaved patterms of vidid rain-washed colours. We spend a quiet 1 hour strolling aorund there and shooting when the rain stops and light becomes better.

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A German beauty wanted to pose.....
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Last edited by ramkya1 : 4th November 2009 at 12:00.
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