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.

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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