Switzerland was my last port of halt in my maiden Europe trip and sad, we had just a couple of days ..Lush greenlands, snow capped mountains, deep blue lakes, fragrant flowers and the music of cow bells makes one lethargic .The tired feet call for rest . You want to pause and take in the ambience ..
We landed in Zurich after a long overnight 12 hour train journey from Rome. After meandering through various tunnels, we found ourselves in the comfortable St Josefs pension and hotel in the morning.The long journey had taken a bit of toll on me…spirit was willing but the flesh was weak . After much persuasion we got our room as the kind hearted receptionist allowed it around 3 hours early . Our original plans were to head immediately to Lucerne and thereafter to Titlis, but at the station we were told that it was too late to head to Titlis (It was about 11 am then ) so we took the train to Lucerne and headed straight to Mt Pilatus
7000 feet above sea level, the ride is amazing .It is supposed to be the worlds steepest cogwheel railway and its worth every moment .We pass verdant meadows and kisses flowers, beautiful lakes melting in front of our eyes only to be carpeted by mist ..the mountains themselves are amazing …you can see almost 70 different peaks and about 5 lakes..
We have plenty of company here-the alpine choughs and they would crowd around , looking for hospitability and charity from the tourists ..clear instructions are put everywhere not to feed them..so there is one guy looking forlorn …
One can trek and enjoy the views if the clouds and the mist dont play spoil sport . We took the cog wheel railway one way and returned by the cable car on the other . The route was fairly simple..we bought the pass from Lucerne station and hopped on to the train to Alpnachstad from where the cog wheel train lifts you up to the mountain . The return is by cable car via Kliens ..You could even go by boat from Lucerne and take a bus back …
To say Lucerne is pretty is an understatement . Its charming and relaxing , quaint and romantic..we practically did nothing . Just spent time walking down the chapel bridge, the wooden bridge built in the 14th century . The bridge runs by the octagonal Water Tower (Wasserturm), a fortification from the 13th century. Inside the bridge are a series of paintings from the 17th century depicting events from Luzern’s history. We walked around the lake and watched the swans and ducks swim from one end of the lake to the other .
We loved Zurich .It was one of the big bad metroes that had the charm of a small town and the grandeur of a city. We did what people do in all big cities, shopped, dined and walked. The River Limmat soothed the tired nerves as we let the calm waters massage our weary eyes ..We walked up to the lake and the gardens close by . The Alstadt or the old town was a complete contrast to the Bahnhofstrasse and the parade Platz which were the shopping arenas and the banking centre . We even found an Indian restaurant called the Khans where we tucked in vegetable biriyani . Our only regret – we missed Madras Cafe !
Coming up : Jungfrau Jong