Europe Trip – Part 1 – Paris
Swiss Alps will be in the list of all people who love nature and traveling. We (atleast I) have heard about, read about or even watched in movies about the natural beauty of the snow-clad mountains and its surrounding. But, when you actually physically visit the place, and you are surrounded by white mountains and green grasslands, the feeling is amazing. You will want to have eyes all around your head to have a 360 degree view and not miss anything. We were all awestruck with eyes / mouth wide open.
Some of us wanted to get lost in Swiss itself. We started envying people who stay there. There were also discussion about the various means of surviving, if we settle there, assuming we don’t get the kind of job we do now. Like options from putting a tea stall to rearing cattle. Oh. No! I am not good at them too. What shall I do? May be I can try tour guide / cab driver / school teacher.. Some of us tried influencing the teens in our group to look out for higher studies options over there. We were crazy enough to discuss all options. The whole idea being, get lost in Swiss. No wonder, the visa officers were very strict. 😉
Ok. Let me get into the day wise details.
Day 5 – 01/05/2017 : We checked out from our hotel in Paris and started our train journey to Swiss. We had 2 hops before reaching Lucerne.
Paris to Strasbourg
Strasbourg to Basel SBB
Basel SBB to Lucerne
We started at 7.45 am from Paris and reached Lucerne by 2.10 pm. Traveling across the European countries by train was another checklist item in our wish list. And the European cities are so well-connected by public transport, it makes the life of tourist smooth and easy to explore.
We had booked 2 apartments opposite each other and it was such a big / nice apartment. After our 4 days stay in budget rooms in Paris, this looked even bigger. 🙂 Read more about our budget room stay in my friends blog.
Refreshed, had our Pizza lunch (since most of us were vegetarians, the vegetarian pizza was a safe food and easy to spot in any restaurant), and set out to explore. We found a nearby bus stop and figured out how to purchase tickets from the ticket vending machine in the stop. We need to go to Lucerne station for all our enquiries and sight-seeing for the day.
Our bus stop was named Reussbuhl, Fluhmuhle and Bus number 2 has to be used to reach Lucerne station and vice versa. All buses had a running display of the next stop, making it easy to use them. We reached Lucerne station, found the tourist information center to enquire about the weather for next 3 days and decided our itinerary based on local weather conditions. Then, we went out for that day’s sight-seeing.
The Lucerne lake was just besides the Lucerne station with mountains on the other side of the lake. The view was breathtaking. It started drizzling / raining and added more fun. We visited Chappel Bridge and Lion Monument. Then had food in an Indian restaurant. That was the only Indian restaurant we visited in the whole of our trip and that was the only costliest bill too. 🙂
Lake Lucerne, Chappel Bridge & Lion Monument
Day 6 – 02/05/2017 : Mt. Titlis. Since, weather was clear in Lucerne on that day, we decided to do Mt. Titlis. We started early and took tickets for the entire journey (from Lucerne station to Engelberg, Engelberg to Mt.Titlis, and return till Lucern station).
The whole train journey was filled with spectacular views all around. You just take a random picture, it is sure to be your desktop wall paper. At one point, we closed all our camera’s to save some battery till the end of the day and started capturing pictures with our eyes and stored it in our memory. 🙂
Reached Engelberg and took a cable car ride upto a point and then a rotating cable car to reach the top. As you step out into the real mountain peak, all you see is white snow and blue sky. A clear sunny day it was. The ice flyer ride and the hanging cliff walk was amazing. The actual feelings cannot be explained in words. You have to visit the place to experience it.
The few wallpapers that we captured.
After spending enough time over there, on our return, we spotted a place where people were playing snow tubing and other snow games. The cable car slows down as it crosses that place and we were not sure if we could get down there. We were split in 2 different cable cars. Made a quick decision to get down and hinted people in other cable car in front of us also to get down. And that was one right decision we took at a right time. All of us had great fun in the snow sports. Snow tubing and snow scooter slide. We don’t have a count of how many time we did that. Particularly the kids. We were all there until it was time for them to close and they sent us out. We were all fully contented and done for the day. Couldn’t ask for more.
Few more clicks.
Day 7 – 03/05/2017 : Plan for the day was to visit Rhine falls in Zurich. Since Zurich was in close borders with Germany, we decided to visit the Blackforest region in Germany and searched for day tour packages that covered Germany Blackforest region, Titisee river, famous Drubba Cuckoo clock factory and Rhine falls. We spotted one such tour operator and took the day tour covering the placed mentioned above.
Scenery en-route to Blackforest region in Germany
Drubba Cuckoo clocks, Yummy Black forest cake in Black forest region in Germany.
Rhine falls in Zurich
Day 8 – 04/05/2017 : Plan was to do Mt. Jungfrau, from Interlaken. But, the weather conditions were not favorable. So, we changed the plans after reaching Interlaken. The train ride from Lucerne to Interlaken is called the “Golden Pass Line” and you can just keep doing that route up and down, any number of times. Such an amazing stretch, filled with natural beauty. Nature is so partial by having all its beauty in one place.
From Interlaken, we changed our plans and visited Trummelbachfalle and a boat cruise ride in Lake Brienz. One could see all shades of green, blue and white colored water, in the lake.
Golden Pass train line – Lucerne to Interlaken
Collage of candid shots by friends 🙂
Actually, 4 days were not sufficient for us. There were lot more items in our itinerary, which we missed to do, due to lack of time. You will need 1 week in Swiss alone. Another “Operation Swiss” get added to our wish-list.
Part 3 – Italy. To be continued…