Swiss wonderland

Early morning we decided to go to the highest point of mountains. A train with panoramic views of the valley and the mountains left us at Kleine Scheidegg.

While the mighty grey mountains have a majestic overwhelming beauty, the sound that greeted us at the station was ringing of bells. A few steps further down and we saw a group of cows grazing. They were wearing big bells around their necks.

These bells were apparently to scare off any predator but also to keep track of freely roaming livestock on the mountains. Although seemingly much useful tradition.. a very loud and annoying sound for the poor animal itself.

After roaming around in a couple of souvenir shops, and enjoying some ice cream on a hot day we made our way to our next train.

Jungfrau is the top of the Alp mountains, that are covered in snow. This top of Europe railway station is at the height of 3454m above sea level. These mountains remained accessible and because of their outstanding Swiss natural beauty, they became the world’s heritage site.

To come from a very hot summer day, and reach the glaciers in a little while is a pleasant experience. The big bag of jackets that we carried on the way while questioning and moaning about them all along, did not look like a burden anymore. Soon we were wrapped up in winter jackets, all set to explore.

It was a happening place. Stretched mighty snowy mountains all around. While looking down upon I thought of my article ‘from the top of great mountains’ … the feeling to actually witness such a sight was unknown when I had penned it down.

There were helicopters bringing visitors, cable lines and skiing, some children were sliding down on the sleigh. Fresh air, less oxygen, unobstructed view and feeling of achievement… Jungfrau is about a number of mixed emotions in a bag; of excitement, change, sports and liberation.

The place has attractions and facilities all year round, from sphinx observatory or ice palace to outdoor glacier hike and sledge. It’s a frozen world of its own kind.

All this adventure and cold made us very hungry, we found some vegetarian and fish burgers with surprisingly a warm cup of desi chai…. a hot cup of ‘doodh pati’ amidst glaciers…. enough to bring a smile on my face.

While sitting here I met a number of tourists who had come in groups. My favourite being all the old couples, who probably after having a retired life were all set to enjoy the wonders of the world. Their liveliness, laughter and fun looked no secret.

The next day was a look into Schilthorn a skyline that looks into the valleys. It is just above the beautiful village of Mürren, it’s uphill curvy mountains and deep valleys were the most beautiful sight

…a cable car leads to the summit. It was this place where James Bond 007 was recorded. We saw the scenes of snow mountains in the movie in a small cinema.

This place holds the traditional world longest downhill ski race ‘inferno’.

The next day ruined our hopes for a great start as it started to rain very heavily. Our children came back on the onset of rain for all paragliding was postponed for the time being. While the possibility of a wasted day did not sound too good, I enjoyed looking at the grey sky, misty and wet Interlaken. It looked all the more beautiful all the soberer.

Luckily, the resort after giving us a very boring breakfast menu had surprised us with traditional parathas and chanas. To add to compensation of the wet weather they put the background music of all my favourite old romantic songs that I had been enchanting in Interlaken. To me, the combo was a delightful package, but the rest of my family and friends started wondering what to do in this wet weather.

So we stepped on trains again to have panoramic views before stopping over in Lucerne. It’s important to always keep some change to pay in a public toilet.

After a cup of tea and a light snack, we made our way to lake Brienz.

Finally, we were on a ferry on a turquoise lake. Floating boat, exalted mountain range, lofty clouds and houses, all set a mood for reflection and time to be absolutely grateful for being a part of this exceptional harmony.

In the evening a very steep and overcrowded cable train took us to Harder Kulm, another breathtaking a view from the mountains of the beautiful lakes and valley, magical is a small word again. Every place and viewpoint looked better than before.

A walk in the town, paragliding by children and a feast in one of the restaurants were highlights of the evening. In only a couple of days, the place gave a very friendly home-like feeling with all walking tracks, stations and restaurant in close proximity.

Saying goodbye to this scenic, one of a kind, pure simple natural beauty is not easy. Swiss watches and Swiss chocolates are most famous here. Children bought some small souvenirs and with loving memories of being a part of this wonderland of nature we said goodbye and drove past inspired and refreshed.

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