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Old 20th May 2010, 00:34   #1
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Default Trip to Switzerland

Hi guys,

Came back last week from my 6 day trip to Switzerland along with my better half. Before deciding on Swiss, newzealand was the other main contender. In fact, I had started a thread for information about NZ, and V-16 had parted with valuable suggestions.But cost and time did not work out in favor of NZ.So switzerland it was.

After making some last minute purchase, we started out from Mumbai airport in the Swissair flight (9th May 12:50 am). A rude shock awaiting me was the poor legroom between seats. In comparison, even domestic Spice Jet offered better leg room. Me being 6'2", i had to alternate between periods of playing games in the monitor, trying to sleep in vain and walking down the aisles to and fro.

Reached zurich airport at around 6:50 am local time. There was a dramatic transistion in the weather. It was drizzling, and pretty cold as well. We then validated the eurorail passes that we had for five days at the train ticket counter. Our train to Lucerne was at around 8:40 am. So we had some time to kill at the airport.

A view of the airport

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The train arrived on dot. Since this is my first trip abroad, I was quite amazed at the squeaky clean interiors of the train. The view outside reminded me of any other train journey in chennai, with grafitti all over the walls.

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We reached Lucerne after about an hour or so and then with some help from the omnipresent tourist information service, reached our hotel after a walk of around 10 mins. During the walk, I encountered a lot of cool cars and some hot looking and sounding motorbikes as well. We were to stay in Hotel Krone for the 2 days in Lucerne.

After a quick shower, we set out in search of some food. Being a sunday, most of the shops were closed, and finally located a department store/take away. (Heinne i guess). Had some pizzas and went to a nearby McD to finish it off with a burger and a frappe. Then walked aimlessly and reached Lion's monument.

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more to continue....
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Old 20th May 2010, 12:25   #2
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nice, nice... go on!
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Old 20th May 2010, 14:33   #3
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@ZedMae - Good good; Its pouring travelogues on foreign trips, yet I'm never bored. Can we expect some more pics on railways pls?
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Old 20th May 2010, 14:43   #4
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We then kept on walking, exploring the various streets. There was a pretty big lake which was a significant tourist spot.

Some pics of the vehicles
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A weismann, cant forget its sweet exhaust note
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The lake and its inhabitants
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The next day, we had a buffet breakfast at the hotel which was part of the package. It was continental stuff, and bland would be an understatement.
We then set off to the station to catch the train which would take us to Engelburg.

The scenic route to Engelburg
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At Engelburg
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At Engelburg, we hopped on to the cable car which would be the first of the 3 levels of transport taking us to the top of Mount Titlis.
The view from the cable car was breathtaking. Nature at its best.
The place was teeming with our country mates, so much so that one would forget that he/she is in a foreign country. After the cable car (it is called rotoair), we got into a big elevator type contraption. It was fully surrounded by glass. After gaining some more height, we got on to another cable operated vehicle whose outer case, again surrounded by glass was rotating. As we kept gaining height, the temperature and visibility kept on dropping.
After we reached the top, we were greeted by a cut-out of Kajol and Shahrukh .

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It was my first encounter with snow. After climbing up a steep slope of snow, there was a barrier beyond which it was a steep drop. It was a mesmersing view from that point and you could feel being shut off from the outside world while listening to the haunting sound of the wind.

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Made a mistake not taking my shades. The sun's reflection was too strong off the snow, and it was tough keeping eyes open. Got some respite after putting on my reading glasses.
We then took another ride, called the ice flyer. It is like a bench which can seat upto 4 people and having a glass top. It is quite faster compared to the rotoair, and moreover you are seated at an awkward angle with you knees facing down. I was screaming my lungs out looking skywards, not able to see the steep drop over which we were flying.

Then followed another ride, on a lifesaver rubber. You sit on the inflated rubber and then pushed down a slope. It pummels down the slope, takes a right hander curve and finally hits a slopy bank. Another thrilling experience, just that it got over too soon.

We then took the ice flyer to come back to the initial point. Hunger was at its peak and we gobbled some spaghetti and some pizza. Then we took the same 3 levels to reach Engelburg.

Enroute EngelburgTrip to Switzerland-dsc00549.jpg

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A Swift 4*4

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Old 20th May 2010, 15:18   #5
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SRK and Kajol out there is really funny!
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Old 20th May 2010, 16:30   #6
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@aargee: Unfortunately I did not snap much of the railways. Just a couple of interior shots which I will be putting up later.

We took the train back to Lucerne and did some eatable shopping. They really had a good offering of pastries.

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Reached hotel. We had packed some ready to eat MTR and ITCs before coming here. But the room did not have a microwave. So we filled the wash basin with hot water and immersed the ready to eat packets.
The food turned out to be pretty ok.

cooking in process

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Day 3 began with the same breakfast spread, and then we bid goodbye to our hosts and reached the station to catch the train to Interlaken.
One heartening aspect was that most of the trains were sparsely crowded and it was as if they were just being run for the tourists.
This route was even more scenic. Among the 3 places that we visited, Interlaken turned out to be the beautiful lush countryside while Zurich was more concrete and Lucerne was bang in between the two with a mix of both.

Some pics enroute Interlaken

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We reached Interlaken, and the streets were quite deserted and the weather quite sunny. Our hotel Carlton Europe was just a 3 min walk from the station. The hospitality here in this hotel was way better compared to the other two hotels that we stayed in. The view from the room's balcony was too good. Houses with the conical roofs with chimneys jutting out, amidst lush greenery. Most of the houses had a small table and a reclining chair in their green backyards. I could just imagine how perfect a setting would be to have dinner there.

view from the balcony
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We then set out walking to explore Interlaken and most importantly to have lunch. We found a couple of Indian restaurants but decided to have in a Cafe Paris. The pastas were awesome in this place. After meandering around for a while we decided to find a bike renting place. The rent was around 9 swiss francs for 2 hrs for a cycle. What followed was definitely the highlight of the trip. The mad downhill cycling followed by the painful climb up was too good. It also started raining, and hence we reluctantly dropped back our cycles at the renting place. It was a couple of hours well spent. After having masala chai in a punjabi restaurant we came back to our hotel, had dinner, played pool in the hotel for a couple of hours before hitting the bed.

a ferrari and a jag

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Old 20th May 2010, 17:03   #7
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4 X 4 swift - sounds little awkward to me; anyway its a must in snow. But what's that in the rear? Is it a stand to hold a bicycle? @ZedMae - Your pics are good with great clarity.
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Old 20th May 2010, 17:52   #8
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Nice to see the pics of Switzerland, one of the most beautiful places on earth. The pics have come out really good.

What is the car the old lady is driving?
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attach...d-dsc00618.jpg

Also, if you don't mind, can you share the total expenses for the trip?
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Old 20th May 2010, 18:18   #9
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dsc00645 is amazing capture! And the food packets in the washbasin reminds me of a great dialogue from the movie Enter the Dragon.

Han: Your style is unorthodox.
Williams: But effective!
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Old 20th May 2010, 19:37   #10
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Hey Zed,

Picture 2 in your 2nd post - there is a Mc Donald's to the extreme right in the picture na? That is the square right outside the railway station no ?

Awesome pictures - please continue the story, I am glued.

Last edited by normally_crazy : 20th May 2010 at 19:38.
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Old 21st May 2010, 00:30   #11
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Thanks for the nice words guys.

@pulsar56: The total cost came to around 1.9ish lc for 2 people. This includes the daily expenses incurred for 6 days as well. Makemytrip took care of the bookings of the flight, hotels, titlis/jungfrau tickets and the eurorail passes. We were on our own and not part of a group tour. But when we did a approx calculation after finding out the various tariffs, it seems makemytrip has a pretty good margin.

@NC: good spotting the McD. yes this place is quite near to the railway station. hardly a 10 min walk.

Day 4 started with breakfast at Hotel Carlton Europe. Not much difference in the menu. We were getting quite late and were just in time to catch the train which would take us to Lauterbrunnen. There is another route to Jungfraujoch which is via Grindelwald which is supposedly more scenic. At Lauterbrunnen we hopped on to another train. This train takes us to Kleine Schedigg. Then from that place, we took the mountain railway to Jungfraujoch which is the highest railway station in Europe at an height of around 3400mtrs. It was amazing to note that all these trains were in perfect sync. No waiting more or less at any point. It was all perfect. The mountain train does a steep climb and it takes us to the tallest point in Europe. We were not physically very comfortable during the climb, so did not click any.

Reached the top and the temperature was hovering around -3. We had hot noodles with chopsticks. As most of the tourists were from the far east it only made good business sense to have a noodles outlet. Apart from that there was also an Indian buffet lunch on offer.
Finishing the noodles we went out in the open and were greeted by a vast expanse of snow. But only a small area was open to the tourists as compared to Titlis. The jungfraujoch is actually the lowest point in the mountain ridge between the jungfrau and Monch, which are the two highest summits in the Alps apart from the Eiger. (google)

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a group of trekkers -- they should be blessed with amazing patience

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Then we visited the ice palace. It was a cave like structure constructed out of ice.walked with extreme caution as the surface was very slippery. There were a lot of ice sculptures on display.

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icicles

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We then had lunch and took the mountain train back to Kleine Schedigg. Then we took the Grindelwald route and finally reached Interlaken.


Pics enroute Interlaken

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a lab or a golden retriever??

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One of the greatest inventions of mankind

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view from hotel balcony at around 7 in the evening

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Old 21st May 2010, 01:23   #12
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nice pictures. reliving the moments of our visit in 2007, did Geneva - Interlaken - Lucern - Zurich.

@pulsar56: if you can spend time in net and plan early, it should be doable in 1.5 lac-ish (barring the shopping)

P.S. Would you mind me sharing some pictures in your thread, albeit after you complete your travelogue. Say for example, I have some shots of ice flyer

Quote:
We then took another ride, called the ice flyer. It is like a bench which can seat upto 4 people and having a glass top. It is quite faster compared to the rotoair, and moreover you are seated at an awkward angle with you knees facing down. I was screaming my lungs out looking skywards, not able to see the steep drop over which we were flying.

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Old 21st May 2010, 09:41   #13
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Did you figure out what decides the width of a Merc?

Rumour has it that it is the width of Zurich roads. After all (at lesat at one time) the Gnomes of Zurich were their biggest customers!
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Old 21st May 2010, 10:19   #14
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Nice travelouge, reminds me of my trip in october when I went to Geneva for 3 weeks on work. Only had 1 weekend free, managed to do Geneva-Lucerne-Titlis. While returning from Engleberg to Lucerne we got down at Dallenville and spent some time there. There is also a cable car service there though we did not take it.
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Old 21st May 2010, 10:31   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZedMae View Post
We were getting quite late and were just in time to catch the train which would take us to Lauterbrunnen. At Lauterbrunnen we hopped on to another train. This train takes us to Kleine Schedigg. Then from that place, we took the mountain railway to Jungfraujoch which is the highest railway station in Europe at an height of around 3400mtrs. It was amazing to note that all these trains were in perfect sync. No waiting more or less at any point. It was all perfect. The mountain train does a steep climb and it takes us to the tallest point in Europe. We were not physically very comfortable during the climb, so did not click any.

We then had lunch and took the mountain train back to Kleine Schedigg. Then we took the Grindelwald route and finally reached Interlaken.
I did the same route while going up and coming down too.

BTW - did you manage to go to the Trummelbach falls on the way down ? We did and it was really good.

Quote:
view from hotel balcony at around 7 in the evening
What are you doing in the hotel room at 7 pm ? You should be out there roaming and posting those pictures here.
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