Category Archives: Switerzland

Mt Titlis: Switzerland

We woke up in the morning and were a little disappointed as it was not a sunny day. There was a little drizzle, but we had no choice but to continue on our trip to Mt. Titlis. The lady in the hotel told us that they have a good amount of snow in the mountains. We headed towards Mt. Titlis from Fluelen via Lucerne and Engelberg.

Mt Titlis is one of the most famous mountains in Switzerland which is located on the border between the cantons of Obwalden and Berne in Switzerland, overlooking Engelberg (Obwalden).

On our tour we were booked in to go to the top of the mountain and both me and AS were really excited. We knew there would be snow on the top so we were wearing our beanie , gloves with thick jackets.

So we took our tour bus to the bottom of the mountain. Once there, we were given tickets to the mountain. To reach the summit we needed to take a small ski gondola, change to a larger cable car and then onto the Titis ‘Rotair’ for the trip to the summit.

So we queued up to start the adventure. We got into the gondola with a Canadian family. The mum was a bit scared of the height so it was fun watching her reaction. The view was just awesome from the gondola and it was a great experience. I’ve never seen grass as green as those on the hills of Austria and Switzerland. The gondola first took us up to Trubsee, which is located at 1,800 meters.

Then we changed to another gondola to Stand which is at 2,428 was another thrilling experience.

Finally the first revolving Titlis Rotair cable car which rotates through a 360 degree view as it climbs towards the summit of the mountain giving a great view as it took us up to Mount Titlis.at 3020 m / 10’000 ft.

All together the journey took roughly 45 minutes from the valley below up to the summit. By that time both me and AS were very hungry so we decided to stop at the restaurant (which was as expensive as expected). A pizza the size of a small plate was nearly $30.00.

After lunch we went to the top of the mountain. It was too windy to ski and most of the slopes/lifts were closed. As with all mountains in Switzerland however, Mt Titlis is all about the views. The Swiss Alps are simply breathtaking and to even try to but their beauty and scenery into words does not even come close to doing them justice.

I am not too sure if a Bollywood movie was shot there but there was a cut-out figure of the Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan and actress Kajol from movie Dilwale Dulhaneya Le Jayeng. I know who would have been very excited to see this, Tasha! (I have been getting all these updates from her Twitter, Facebook and Instagram about the new movie starring Shah Rukh Khan).

I really noticed that Switzerland had high volume of Indian tourist when they served Indian meals in the restaurant and the bus,  coaches, the ski lifts and the restaurants were filled with Indians. Most of them seemed to be travelling with family which had grandparents, parents and grandkids. That is so lovely.

Mt. Titlis is a must do for anyone visiting Switzerland.

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Switzerland

I couldn’t be happier when we were in Switzerland. As I mentioned in my previous post, Switzerland was a dream come true for me and to be able to see and be in the place one has been dreaming from one’s childhood was a great experience. Snow-capped mountains, green rolling hills, no poverty and political neutrality is Switzerland, what more could I want. At that moment I felt really happy with our holiday. I knew no matter what other people said about Switzerland that I will be coming back again and again during my lifetime.

We were really lucky in Europe as we missed the rains during our tour.

Fluelen

While in Switzerland we stayed in Fluelen which is the farthest point of the lake from Luzern, a picturesque little place with the train station right beside the landing stage.

Every corner was an OMG moment looking at the beautiful scenery, the mind blowing engineering of the train lines and roads, and at snow on the higher peaks even in spring.

We stayed at Hotel Hirschen-Cafe Seehof which is a small hotel in front of the lake. Although the view of the mountains is breathtaking, there really isn’t much to do in the immediate area. The church beside the hotel is beautiful but when we went for a walk in either direction for an hour and we didn’t find many things to do.

As for the hotel, it was small and very basic so was a tad disappointed. But we were lucky to get the back room as our fellow travellers were complaining about the noise. Even though the front room had the stunning view of the lake and mountains, since the train tracks run along the lake, it was also a bit loud and guests in the front rooms couldn’t sleep. On top of that, every morning, a herd of cows walked past the hotel with big bells on their necks that made lots of noise as well.

Also the clock tower rang every 15 minutes even in the night, but honestly as both me and AS were so tried from walking the whole day during the trip, it didn’t keep us awake at night.

We had a couple of meals in the restaurant of the hotel and it was ok.

We got to see the real Switzerland in this town where there were less people, more natural beauty with the view of snow-capped mountains everywhere and the big beautiful lake which took our breath away.

Lucerne

Lucerne is a city in north-central Switzerland, in the German-speaking part of that country.

Complete with gable paintings, the covered, medieval Chapel Bridge forms the centrepiece of Lucerne’s townscape and is considered to be one of the oldest, covered wooden bridges in Europe. A further landmark of the town is the Museggmauer, a wall which, with the exception only of one of its towers, has been preserved in its original, well-fortified state.

Historic houses decorated with frescoes line the picturesque town squares as they do the ‘Weinmarkt’ square in the car-free old town. Lucerne is a city of town squares and churches. The Jesuit church dating from the 17th century is regarded as Switzerland’s first sacral Baroque building and the twin towers of the Hofkirche form an integral part of the townscape.

We also visited The Lion of Lucerne, a carving of a wounded lion on a stone cliff. The figure of a dying lion which was hewn from the face of rock in remembrance of the heroic death of Swiss guards killed during an attack on the Tuileries in 1792 is one of the best-known monuments in Switzerland.

And with its 112-metre-long Bourbaki panorama, Lucerne possesses one of the world’s few maintained, mammoth circular paintings.

Tradition and modernity stand side-by-side with ease in Lucerne, as the town has also earned a reputation for itself with innovative design. The futuristic Culture and Convention Centre (KKL), designed by leading French architect Jean Nouvel, is one the architectural highlights of the town. The KKL is also a landmark of Lucerne and venue for a wide variety of cultural events throughout the year.

Lake Lucerne cruise

Formed in the ice age by an ancient glacier, the lake can reach depths of over 700 feet. The crystal clear fresh water is home to swans, ducks and fish.

Once the tour of Lucerne was over we went on a cruise on the Lake Lucerne. The weather was overcast and cool, but the lake was nice. There was something very peaceful about this quiet lake tucked in between the Swiss Alps.

The cruise was really nice where we got to explore and admire nature at its best with gently rolling meadows, idyllic bays, dramatic fjords, and near-vertical cliffs. We also got to see Switzerland’s most significant historic landmarks like the Ruetli Meadow, where the Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291, William Tell’s Chapel, and the Schiller Rock.

Shopping

Lucerne has a great mix of retail shopping in a very small area. As Switzerland is not part of the European Economic Zone prices are more expensive than the rest of Europe.

Watches, timepieces and clocks are one thing that the Swiss are famous for. Rolex, Longines, Tissot, Omega, Tag, Swiss Military, Swatch were everywhere. But as we were time poor we went to just one shop and spent almost 500 Swiss franc buying watch , Swiss knifes and souvenirs.

Dinner at Lucerne

I think once you had the best, it is easy to get disappointed. When we went to dinner in Lucerne, we had fun but definitely not as much as in Prague.

The night started with people playing traditional Swiss music and singing Swiss folk song.

It was followed by the audience participation in Yodeling and drinking beer.

Lucky for me (and unlucky for AS) AS got picked to be on the stage; it was really funny to hear him Yodeling and gulping down the beer. I am sure he had fun.

Food wise, Switzerland was similar to most of the Europe. We were served Founde (Swiss cheese dish) with various salads. It was followed by Geschnetzeltes Kalbfleisch (strips of veal in mushroom sauce) with Rosti (grated and fried potatoes). And the evening ended with a serve of Swiss Chalet Desset (Meringue with applesauce and strawberry ice cream).

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Lugano: Switzerland

When I was growing up, if there was place in the world I always wanted to visit, it was Switzerland and on this Europe trip we went there.

As a child I was always fascinated by the beauty of the Swiss Alps and the natural beauty of Switzerland. As I got older, every time I saw someone’s photo from Switzerland or any movie or documentary of Switzerland, I would tell myself that one day I will visit that country. So when we entered Switzerland from Italy that was one of the most exciting moments of my life.

I was so happy that finally I would be on a mountain trail, looking at the beautiful Alps and the farms full of big cows.

Our first stop in Switzerland was Lugano.

Lugano, with 54,000 residents, is the largest city in the canton of Ticino. It is located on the beautiful Lake Lugano, 30 minutes north of the Italian border and one hour north of Milan. The city feels completely different than German-speaking Switzerland, but the prices, cleanliness, well-dressed people, and Ferraris remind you that you are still in Switzerland.

Lugano, Switzerland, nicknamed the “Monte Carlo of Switzerland,” is a popular tourist destination because of its quaint Swiss-village feel, its culture, its favourable proximity to (and distance from) urban commotion and, most of all, its majestic scenery.

Once we were in Lugano, we had half a day to explore the beautiful city. It was perfect spring weather with the sun shining on the clear blue beautiful sky. I was so excited to get off the bus and explore my dream destination. You could actually tell that you are in Switzerland as it was so clean everywhere.

As we got off the bus, I could see Lake Lugano with its deep blue water. The rich vegetation in the surrounding valleys and the stunning mountain peaks makes this a place of peaceful relaxation. As we walked along the lake I was extremely happy to enjoy this beautiful country.

Down by the lake shore is the famous Lugano promenade which gently meanders along the water’s edge, decorated with maples, palms and carefully tended flower beds. Here you can sit and watch the ferry boats busy themselves or take a lake cruise and admire the spectacular scenery.

The charismatic narrow streets in the centre of Lugano are peppered with grand piazzas, where cafes and bars make a welcome retreat for those who like to relax and watch the world go by. There are historic buildings and Renaissance churches with their charming belltowers and 15th century frescoes that portray incredible moments in history.

The next thing I noticed in Luganoo was big designer stores and boutiques everywhere. Via Nassa and Via Pessina are two of the most popular shopping streets found right in the heart of Lugano. You name the brand and they have it from Hermes, Versace, Gucci, Issey Miyake, to Armani, Rolex, Cartier.

We were not planning to go brand shopping but we were looking to buy a Swiss knife for my husband and a watch for me.

As we were walking along the shops, we discovered that everything is expensive in Switzerland. It’s quite amazing to see items that you saw the day before in Italy at triple the prices. Our guide told us that a lot of locals drive into Italy to do the shopping (it’s quite close) every week or two.

We ended up ditching shopping after buying few souvenirs and concentrated on sightseeing.

We visited San Lorenzo Cathedral, City hall, Old Fountain on the embankment in the centre of Lugano. It was a really nice town and I can understand why it is called a place for the rich and famous.

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