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Happy 2013

I am alive and so is the world even after 2012 but there seems to be some kind of death of humanity. There is a lot going on on the map of the world: rape in India, killings in Sandy hook, slaughter in Syria and the natural disasters are not helping much either. There is a lot being said and written about all of this. Let me not go on that road but look forward to a better 2013 and look back at the happy times of 2012.

2012 was the year for traveling. We traveled to a new state almost every month. Out of the 50 states in the US, we traveled to the following states

  1. Arizona
  2. Texas
  3. Illinois
  4. Colorado
  5. Wyoming
  6. South Dakota
  7. Nebraska
  8. Washington DC
  9. Maryland
  10. Virginia
  11. New Mexico
  12. Nevada
  13. Oregon
  14. Washington

Not to forget we also traveled to the two ends of Canada. We went to Vancouver in February and to Toronto in September. It was a fun year since we got to make impromptu plans and end up in a state for the weekend. Our trips were short but very detailed. We would try and cover up as much land as possible.

One of my favorite trips was the trip to Mount Rushmore. Here I got to travel to the midwest. There was very little establishment in Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska (at least  through the parts we traveled) and that was the beauty to it. Driving through this place was a very calm and soothing experience.

Another highlight for 2012 was Priyendra quitting Google and joining Scaligent. He was very nervous initially but he is extremely happy and satisfied now.

2012 was the year for kids too. Two of my best friends had babies. I am so glad they are both here and I get to play with them very often.

Life is a series of frames and I always hope to capture each frame either in the camera or through pen but I always fail miserably at it. I hope 2013 can give me some stamina to capture as many frames as possible for this year.

 

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April travels

People can call me crazy but the fun I had exploring the least populated areas of the US of A, was exhilarating. The grasslands in particular were spectacular. They might have been very (very very very…) vast but there was something mystical about them. Each time I would look outside the car in Nebraska, there would be a “wow” from my mouth uttered involuntarily.

Priyendra suggested this idea to drive to Mount Rushmore from Denver. I was thinking of New Mexico this month (April) but the idea of seeing 4 states in one trip appealed to me more than just one state.
We started our journey on the 27th of April. We spent the night in Denver. Next day morning after having a hearty (free ) breakfast at the hotel, we drove towards Cheyenne Wyoming. Cheyenne is the capital of WY but believe me, it just went by. WY is the second least populated state in the US after Alaska. We stopped at this big town of WY called Lusk (1400 population) where we decided to have lunch. Deeksha yelped for restaurants and found one highly rated place called “The Pizza Place”. I think it was rated by everyone who stopped by Lusk while traveling to Rushmore. The Pizza was hand tossed and genuinely worth 4 stars. And that was the end of east Wyoming for us :)

We entered South Dakota and trust me there were a tons of things to do in the Mount Rushmore/ Custer State Park area. We went to the Wind Caves which was one of the longest caves in America stretching to about 163 miles. It was a very different kind of cave since it was more like a 3D cave. We could go down some 300 steps to the second level of the cave. The cave was famous for its boxwork on the roof. Some 95% of the boxwork roof was found here in the wind caves. After taking a tour of the wind caves, we proceeded to drive through the Needles Highway. Now this was one of the very beautiful drives. Needles Highway (SD Highway 87 between Sylvan Lake and Legion Lake ) is located in Custer State Park in the Black Hills area. The 14-mile scenic highway winds through pine forest under a vista of granite spires called “the Needles.” The route snakes through several small granite tunnels. This was worth the 1.5 hours we spent here. We were supposed to do a hike called the cathedral spires hike but since it was flurrying, we could not go for one.

After this drive, we started towards the final aim “Mount Rushmore”. We reached the town of Mount Rushmore at 8 and all the restaurants close at 8 so we had to hurry up to get food. Without checking in into our hotel, we went to eat at the hotel called Ruby House Restaurant. I knew it would definitely offer some bread if there were no vegetarian options. The restaurant was kind enough to accommodate 4 people at the time of closing. We ordered our food after much discussion over what I like and what I should eat.
Priyendra thinks that I do not like spaghetti and I would prefer a bean burger over it. I was not keen on having a bean burger but Priyendra was twaddling that “AJ tumhara toh kat gaya:)
After dinner we went to see the well lit nigh view of the Mount Rushmore. It was good.

Next day morning again after a hearty (free) breakfast at the hotel, we went to Mount Rushmore memorial again. This time we decided to take the audio tour. One suggestion would be to avoid it :) It was long and spoke only about Gutzon Borglum and his family. He was the artist and sculptor behind the historical monument.

From there on, we moved into Nebraska driving though the Oglala grasslands of Nebraska. They were genuinely beautiful and till horizon one could see the grass. Eastern Nebraska does not seem to be very popular and is very thinly populated as well. The road from Nebraska to Colorado was a straight road and and for miles we could see the road ahead of us. We did take a take out pizza from Dominos in Scottsbluff (may be one of the only Dominos in Eastern Nebraska). We were to travel via Alliance and see the carhenge there but since we were short on time, we planned to take the faster route.
<br/>We managed to reach Denver a little ahead of our schedule and had enough time to try out the best ice-cream in town.
After a sweet ending to our trip, we started with our journey to SF: dropped our GMC, took a shuttle to the airport and discussed about the weirdness of the Denver airport.

Our route for the trip was:

View Larger Map

To check out the pictures, click here.

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When in Rome, roam as Romans do!

I love the pizza, I love the pasta, I love the bread. And so we make a dash to Rome for a day from our week long Switzerland trip. We had an option to go to either Paris or Rome. Both the tickets were costing us the same, both had a forecast of light showers and both had lots to see. We chose Roma. The city had a lot of history and belonged to the past. The city was less tangled, it was raw and gritty compared to any other Swiss city. And at the end of the day in Roma, we felt we got the bang for our buck. So much to see and we did a good job of sight-seeing too.

We picked a hotel close to the Rome Fiumicino airport. Strangely purse snatching and wallet lifting are highly prevalent in the city. So it is best to have a cross bag being held tightly to you always.

We start the only day in Rome by visiting the Colosseum or the Flavian Amphitheatre as it was originally called. It was an imposing and an august architecture. You have to be there to feel the magnificent building. It speaks of a lot of bloodshed though. You can feel each and every brick speaking of gory killings in the gladiatorial contests. The inside was very raw and injured.

The Roman Forum had the same rugged feeling. It has one of the most ancient constructions in Rome. Just walking distance from the Forum was the Piazza Venezia which is the city square. We walked around the area and reached the Trevi Fountain. This sat in the center of four small cross streets very close to the Spanish steps and Oh yes, it was indeed a very very busy area. We sat there for a while taking a few pictures but yes all this while we were very worried about our bag and camera.

Now we headed to see the Pantheon. Priyendra was very excited to take pictures of it but unfortunately it was getting a face lift and we could not show off his photography skills. We still had to see the Vatican city now but before that we were famished :(

I wanted to eat in a restaurant with patio dining. We found one very close to the Vatican city just across the river. We ate to our hearts content but the water crisis existed everywhere in Europe seems like. We had to purchase water to quench our thirst even in a fine restaurant.

Now I was ready to meet the Pope :)only if he was ready to meet me :( but I enjoyed my short two hour trip to the Pope city. Funny thing was they did not allow people in shorts and sleeveless inside the St. Peter’s Bascilica and Yours truly was not really dressed for the Church :) I had a stole with me and we purchased a T-shirt. I wrapped the stole around like a skirt and wore the 12 euro “I love Roma” tshirt and then headed into the city.

Now from this time onwards Pope for me was a like a celebrity. My celebrity radar was on and I thought I might see Mr. Pope somewhere waiting for me :) But alas! it was not to be like that :)

We had a lovely day, though very hectic but a very enriching and a fun -filled one.

I love the pizza, I love the pasta, I love the bread.
Oh yes, and lest I forget, I loved Roma.

Here is the link to the pictures from one day Rome trip :)

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Switzerland Day 6

Today we had to start again after two days break in Zurich. Frankly now I am tired of Zurich. All the more since I did not find it pretty. It was just another cosmopolitan town. So today we decide to explore Lucerne, Bern and all the DDLJ locations (without which my trip to Swiss is not complete..but ofcourse ;))

So without much planning we start off our day. We boarded the train at 7:30 to Lucerne just to get down there and get wet in the rains. We planned to board the train to Bern in one hour. I wanted to see the ‘Kapellbruke’, the Chapel bridge spanning the Rheus River in the old town of Lucerne. Fortunately for us it was just 300 metres from the Railway station. So without getting much wet, we rushed to the bridge. It is supposed to be the most photographed place in the Swiss but with full due respect to the water tower and the creaky bridge, it was disappointing. Since it was raining and we were disappointed too, we thought of taking the next rain to Bern instead of waiting there for one hour for the next train. We returned to the station in 12 minutes and there was a train to leave in 3 minutes. We rushed to board it and finally thought of looking around Bern in a little more detail.
I looked into the Lonely Planet while Priyendra tried to doze off. Suddenly he sprung up with the idea of going to Rome. We got off at Bern. Cancelled our bookings for Friday night hotel at Chur and Saturday night hotel at a hotel near Zurich Airport. We booked airline tickets to Rome as we could not get the Euro rail train tickets from Swiss. We booked a hotel in Rome for two nights. Priyendra spoke on the phone to the hotel folks for the cancellation and in the meantime I video chatted with Mummy for 10 minutes. Now Priyendra was back on track with his energy to the brim. He thought we had seen enough of Switzerland and wanted to bring our trip to a ‘dhaansu’ ending. Although I would say it was ‘dhaansu’ + expensive.

We picked up a tour map from the tourist information center. We had to see the Old town for which the focal point is Bern’s Zytglogge, a clock tower. Apparently Einstein (who hailed from Bern) honed his thoery of relativity studying the clock tower. Few of the landmarks marked were fountains. There were 11 such fountains and believe me they were very very normal fountains. Moti Jheel’s dancing fountain has more glory associated to it than these 11 fountains which were marked as tourist spots. The three other highlights for us in the old town were ‘Einstein Haus’ where he developed his thoery of relativity in 1905. He stayed in this house in the old town which is now a tourist attraction, Berner Munster and the Bundeshauser. Berner Munster is a very pretty 15th century cathedral whereas Bundeshauser is the house of the Swiss Federal Assembly. It had a very impressive building and it contained the statues of the nations founding fathers.

Well now enough of Bern. But we enjoyed our one hour stroll through the Old town. After Bern, we felt we have achieved something for the day.
We started off for Spiez now. Spiez is very picturesque. The small railway station is at a height and from the platforms you could take beautiful views of the lake.

We had to board multiple trains from Spiez as after this the places are very small but I think this was the most beautiful part of Switzerland and I am sure you will all agree if you like the locations in all Yash Chopra pictures. This is again countryside but this is all in the base of the Alps. Although I would not deny the beautiful train ride from Lucerne to Bern. But guys this is the point from where we knew we have seen this place in some movie.

We had crossed Spiez while going to Interlaken but we did not get down there. Btu now we had to board the train to Swiezman from Spiez. Now all those wondering what is this place Swiezman, this is the same place where Kajol missed her train to Zurich in DDLJ. There was this shop where SRK is buying a Swiss knife where he is asking the price and says “This one… and this one…” This shop is like a small Wheelers shop on the Swiezman Railway Station. Kajol runs on the platform before missing her train is the parking area nest to the platform.

Enough of Swiezman, from here we board the train to Gstaad. Now Gstaad is this small extremely rich town where I could see mostly the 401k junta. This is the same place where SRK and Kajol have to board the bus. The bus station is still there and here she looks at the church and says “Woww! This is so pretty” So the funny thing is this church is in Saanen but they shoot it from Gstaad.

Gstaad also had the Early Beck shop where Kajol in the song “Zara sa jhoom loon” picks up something from a shop and the shopkeeper stops SRK to pay the money. apparently this shop was in the movie ‘Bachna Ae Haseenon’ too. At the end of this song they are on a buggi. This place is again Gstaad. You see the Early Beck shop there again.

Next stop was Saaned. This place has the church, the bridge where SRK says “Raj, agar yeh tujhse pyaar karti hai to yeh paltegi…Palat, Palat Palat” and ofcourse the same train station. We found about all these DDLJ locations searching for stuff online but Saanen is the only confirmed thing (ofcourse other than the Early Beck shop) becuae you see the stations with “Saanen” written on it in the song too.

Now all DDLJ locations covered and we have to take a train to Zermatt. Now Zermatt effectively is on the other side of mountain of Saanen but one has to go back to Spiez and take two trains from there to reach Zermatt. We reached Zermatt at 10:14 in the night. This is one of the few places where people ski all the year round. This again was a very very pretty hill station.

Here we had booked ourselves in a boutique hotel. This place offered the spectacular views of Matterhorn but sad enough that same night and the following day it was cloudy and we missed Matterhorn. But we enjoyed the hotel. It was a bed and breakfast. I had toast with butter and cheese while Priyendra ate eggs which he was craving for :)
xxx
We decided on what to do in Rome on Saturday and slept well although just for 4 hours again. I am sure we will need a break from this break to sleep well. We have slept little and seen a lot. I have also been forced to sprint to catch the train which is about to leave in a minute, multiple times now :)

Here is the link to the pictures for the day :)

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Switzerland: Day ‘Fünf’

Today was the day for which we had come to Switzerland. Priyendra had to give his talk and I had to be on my own all day.

Last night Priyendra was working till four in the morning so we could barely catch any sleep. Both of us came to Google from a very weird route which Google Maps suggested. It also said that these directions were in the beta stage and this might not be the best way to get to Google and clearly it wasn’t :) I found a much better route on the way out!

From Google, I sat on tram 13 again and got off at Paradeplatz. From here I came to the lake and spent some good time there, enjoying the beauty and taking some pictures. Then I walked back to Stockerstrasse and did some window shopping :)

Zurich Old Town

Zurich Old Town

Central Zurich is a pretty happening place. It is a shopper’s paradise (if you happen to be a millionaire ;)) But it was definitely fun to hang out and go see all the stores. I picked up a drink from Mc Donalds and roamed around for quite a while. I was looking for souvenirs to take back. Finally I decided to eat a Mc Aloo Tikki burger again. I picked up a cool, shaded spot and sat there for quite a while, enjoying my sumptuous meal.

Loaded with energy now, my next target was a walk down the Old Town. Now this place is pretty and all the while I was thinking that Priyendra should see this place. I bought a few chocolates and a pair of lovely shoes for myself 😉

Hotel Elevator

Hotel Elevator

I came to the hotel around three in the afternoon and synced up with Priyendra to reach Google around five in the evening. From Google we went to the Old Town. I was happy to learn that his talk went well! We walked around Zurich Old Town, took a few pictures and finally ate an Indian meal at Tandoori (very close to our hotel)

Posing in Zurich

Posing in Zurich

Now this is our last day in Zurich. We will head to Zermatt the next day. We packed our stuff into a small suitcase and checked in the other stuff at the hotel locker.

Here’s the link to today’s pictures! I am very excited for tomorrow. It is the DDLJ day :)

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Switzerland: Day ‘Quatre’

Today Priyendra wanted to work and I decided to sleep. It so happened that we both slept for very very long getting rid of our jet lags.

After I woke up, I went down for a walk and decided to get stuff from Mc Donald’s to eat. Yes as my status message said I found ‘Aloo Tikki ‘ Burger here. I got two burgers, one medium french fries and one medium diet coke. I had to pay 19.20 Swiss Francs. I think this place is slightly expensive but that is fine. Once you are on a vacation you do not want to think about all this :)

Since then we both have been on our laptops. I have been sitting in the hotel lobby blogging and uploading pictures whereas Priyendra has been working.

I plan to visit Google office tomorrow. Also tomorrow I will be on my own again :) I am excited. Let us see what I end up doing.

Laters!

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Switzerland: Day ‘Trois’

Today, we were sick of eating sandwiches. We hadn’t slept much again and were therefore, slightly jet-lagged.

So what? We still began our early morning journey to the Interlaken Region with the Zurich to Bern train departing at 6:31am to Bern. Bern is the capital of Switzerland. It is one of the busiest and main cities here, plus it is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. However, there wasn’t even time to go out of the station as we had to take the very next train to Interlaken Ost (or Interlaken East).

Almost immediately after Bern, our view of the snow clad Alps started. The Alps do not look docile. They are rocky and empowering; pointed almost like a sharpened pencil. From where we were at this point, they didn’t seem like a continuous range of mountains. Rather you could just count the peaks on your finger tips. But they were gigantic and looked ready to eat you up :) Switzerland seems exactly like how kids draw sceneries. Inverted V shaped mountains with sun rising from behind and a stream flowing. Usually you can spy a hut amidst this scene with fat cows grazing around it!

On our way to Interlaken, we drank our Lassi (bought at Zurich train station of all places!) and ate Theplas with Ketchup (proud to eat desi food anytime and anywhere). This breakfast was therefore christened “Assi Tussi te Lassi” by Priyender:)

Now Interlaken is the place where Priyendra has lot of memories. During his undergrad internship, when he came with his friends to Interlaken, they just had enough money to either sleep in a hotel or eat Indian food (which they hadn’t eaten for long). Naturally hungry students chose the latter and preferred to sleep at the Interlaken railway station. The station however was supposed to close at midnight and they were asked to vacate the benches and move. It is then they went into two nearby phone booths to sleep :) Priyendra excitedly showed me the telephone booths at the station as soon as we reached there!

At Interlaken Ost, we purchased our tickets to Schilthon and began the first leg of our journey from here to Lauterbrunnen.

View Larger Map
This was our excursion to the ‘James Bond Mountain’ film location. From Lauterbrunnen, we took a cable car ride to Murren. Then we took a train ride to Gutschalp after which to reach 10,000 feet above sea level we took two cable car rides again. Frankly speaking, by the end of it all, we were slightly bored after the third cable car ride! But now we could enjoy a spectacular 360 degree panoramic view of some 200 snow-capped peaks, ranging from the Bernese Alps to Mont Blanc in France and Germany’s Black Forest. An additional highlight was perhaps the world’s only revolving restaurant at an altitude of nearly 3000 metres. The place is called the Piz Gloria in Schilthorn. The best thing was that it even had an Indian meal on it’s menu! We ate rice, Agra peas, dal makhani, pickle, papadam and a yummy scoop of chocolate ice cream at the end. We set up our video camera on the tripod and took the video of our rotation while we ate to our stomach’s content.  This place was also nice because without going to Jungfrao or Titlis we got to see the two famous peaks of Switzerland.

View from Schillthorn

View from Schillthorn

Now we were sleepy, jet lag was hitting us and we didn’t feel like doing anything much. So we came down via the two trolley cars to Murren, searched for ‘ped ki chaon‘ and slept off for 45 minutes. This was a wonderful treat as we both needed some sleep. Murren is a very cute little village. I am sure it would be a very happening place during winters for ski lovers but for now it just had day tourists and most of the hotels looked out of business.

Sleeping in the lap of nature

Sleeping in the lap of nature

Around 4:30 we headed down to Lauterbrunnen from where we thought of just taking another train ride to the other side of Schilthorn which basically takes you to the Jungfrau region. Unfortunately we could only go to Wengen after which we would have had to buy new tickets to go further. We declined the offer :)

Lauterbrunnen Train Station

Lauterbrunnen Train Station

Dinner at Caffe Spettacolo in Interlaken energized us quite a bit and we took the train back to Bern and from Bern to Zurich. Now I am making this entry while Priyendra is snoring :)

Let us see what tomorrow has in store. It all depends on Priyendra’ s work. After all we should not forget he has a talk to give too.

Here is the link to the day’s pictures.

Au Revoir

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Switzerland: Day ‘Zwei’

‘Guten Tag’

We had a plan today and we moved according to it and we decided to take the Pre-Alpine express train. For many of these scenic trains, one has to go to Lucerne. So we boarded the train to Lucerne around 8:30 AM. After reaching Lucerne, we went looking for the ticket counter to book tickets for the Glacier express but we finally booked tickets for it at night because the pre-alpine express was already at the platform.

Switzerland Greenery

Switzerland Greenery

As usual we sat and ate our room-made sandwiches and enjoyed the beauty outside. This was what I wanted to explore with the buzz words being countryside, lush green, unexplored and scenic. This is away from the Alps and the key cities of Switzerland and there is nothing cosmopolitan about it. According to the website, it offers a lot of opportunities to discover the Germanic part of the nation.

We completed what is called the North-Eastern Arc. But since we had to come back to the base location it was more of a loop :)

View Larger Map
We took our first halt at St. Gallen. Here we picked two cups of cappuccino which woke us up from our jet lag. This place has two churches, a library and an old town to explore – all of it within 600 metres of the Bahn. We decided to skip the library and go around the church and the cathedral. One was a Catholic church and the other one was a Protestant Cathedral. We strolled around the Old Town. It was all very cute and quaint.

St. Gallen

St. Gallen

After St. Gallen, the train ran along the Lake Constance for a while. This is also called the Swabian Sea as it is a great place to unwind and enjoy the water. But believe me from what we could see from the train, the water was choppy and not so Atashi-friendly :)

We took another train from Romanshorn to Schaffhausen to go to Rhine Falls while making a stop at Stein am Rhein. Now this is a very small town with a population of about 3000 people. It had one of the most beautiful cobblestone Rathausplatz (town square). From the station one had to cross a small bridge over the Rhine to get to the see the Rathaus (Town Hall). The walls of these houses here were adorned with paintings and the houses were named according to the character of the paintings.

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Rhine Falls

Then we hopped back on to the train to our stop at Rhine Falls. We missed a train stop to Rhine Falls and had to go one station back from Dachsen.

Rhine Falls were beautiful! I will let the pictures and the video (coming soon on youtube) do most of the talking here. Although I will add that we had to walk quite a bit to go there. We saw the Falls from both the sides. One is the east and the other being the west lol :)

We finally took a train back to Schaffhausen from where we boarded the train to Zurich and finally reached our hotel at 11:30 at night. It was a very very long day with a lot of walking and exploring. We spent the entire day eating sandwiches and now we are no longer going to eat them :)

Here’s the link to today’s pictures.

‘Auf Wiedersehen’

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Switzerland: Day ‘Eins’

Our trip began with no plan. This is perhaps the first time Priyendra hasn’t done any planning for a vacation!

As soon as we landed on the sar zameen of Zurich we felt we did not know anything and had to start off our lives from scratch again. We were supposed to read the Lonely Planet guide on the flight and chalk out our plan for Sunday. But while I finished a documentary on Swiss Railways, Date Night and Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge on the plane, Priyendra had a good night’s sleep :)

Our cute Swiss Airways plane (cute because it was splashed with a lot of colors on the outside) landed at Gate 22 of the Zurich airport. We moved to pick up our luggage from Carousel 24 before proceeding to the immigration counter. Now immigration in Switzerland is really cool! They checked our passports, asked our reason for coming and let us in. No length lines, no paperwork. Now this is what you calll “coolity-cool”.

We then took our bags and went to the rest-rooms. This is where we decided on a protocol. Whenever we go to a restroom or any other place where we shall be separated, we will have a pre-decided meeting place. We wait at that place for 30 minutes before turning on desperation mode and using our international roaming :) Also if we get separated on stations (think Kajol in DDLJ :)) I will stay where I am, and Priyendra will come look for me.

After looking at some information and collecting maps etc from the tourist information desk, we proceeded towards the railway station at the airport. The station is probably called “Bahn” here. We took our one way ticket, sat on a train which we knew was going to the main station of Zurich, named Zurich HB. We boarded the train and kept looking at the map and the small display screen to make sure that we don’t miss our stop! It came in about 12 minutes. We then took the tram #7.

Now we were in West Zurich which is supposed to be a shopper’s paradise. This is where Zurich’s famous shopping mile is located. It starts from the entrance to Zurich HB and ends two blocks away from our hotel! Oh BTW, our hotel is the Sheraton Neues Schloss on Stockerstrasse. The receptionist greeted us well and we were given room the keys to room 410. It was a nice, cozy and small room. But looking at the size of the room you knew why Zurich was rated as one of the top ten most expensive places in the world.

Well we took a quick shower, dressed up (Priyendra dressed up as well!!) and went back on the shopper’s mile towards the main Bahn to buy our Swiss travel pass. We kept looking out for places where someone could give us more information on Swiss pass, Swiss Saver pass, Swiss Flexi pass and Swiss half fare pass. For a new person in Zurich, looking at the number of trains and scenic routes in Switzerland, the information can be very very over-whelming :) Well the main station was just like Bombay VT bustling with people. There was even a small beach football game going on in this huge station where they had brought in artificial sand and one could hear hooting and applause from a distance.

Well well well, the world is a very small place and you never know whom you bump into. While we were walking to the Tourist information desk, I met Kashif Mukhtir. He was my senior in college and a very nice person. He introduced us to his wife and gave us his card. He works for Accenture in Zurich (nice place to stay and work). It was a wonderful experience bumping into him and meeting him after almost 6 years.

Anyways after we purchased the Swiss Pass, we started to look for a grocery store to purchase some basic stuff so we can make a few sandwiches to pack for the day trip tomorrow. One good thing we have done is that we brought our electric sandwich maker with us. As always we travel with kitchen stuff like the griddle or the toaster. We got knife and ziplocs too:) Most grocery stores that we found were closed since shops close quite early, it seems, in Zurich. However, we did manage to find one deep inside Zurich HB which was open till 10 PM. So we went in and got ourselves a loaf of bread (it is a small bread with about 8 slices in it but these guys call it Double XL Bread!), tomatoes, cucumber, jam, bread, cheese, seasonings, pepper and believe it or not, Mango Lassi! Who would’ve guessed? :)

We finally reached back to our room around 10:30, made ourselves the sandwiches (it tasted yummy) and started looking at what to do next. We had decided we would explore the eastern part of the country. Priyendra looked into what places to see. While he was doing the planning for tomorrow I slept off around 11:30. I woke up around 4 and saw Priyendra with the laptop. He tells me “I have made the plan for the next seven days and now I feel more at ease with a plan in hand.” Uska katna nahin chahiye is his metric always :)

He had his plan ready in an email which he sent me. He slept soon but then I did not get sleep anymore so I decided to blog. I am hoading on calories as I am feeling hungry. Just had two pieces of kisses chocolate and now having a swiss cheese slice…ummm…not bad :)

My day is never complete until I upload the pictures. More coming soon!


Laters!