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An Indian in Switzerland

Visiting Switzerland – a dream come true

A lush green landscape with beautiful houses spread across the place was the first view of Switzerland I got, as the plane started descent and came in to land at the Zurich airport. Once I deboarded, I walked confused following the crowd in a train as I wondered where is the baggage claim area and immigration. The train took us to the right place and all formalities were smooth, as I made my way outside where my friend was waiting to receive me.

As I walked with excitement after the immigration, little did I know that the next few days will turn out to be the most memorable days of my life. Travelling to Switzerland has always been on my list since years. The only option I had was to look at the beautiful wallpapers on the internet which showed the most beautiful sceneries the country had to offer. I always used to wonder, if it is for real as the pictures of the Swiss landscapes were unreal and truly mesmerizing.

Finally, it was a dream come true for me as I made it to Zurich, which was possible because of my Swiss friends Alex and Manuela, whom I have known for many years now. As we drove out of the airport, I got the real feel of the place, as more excitement started building up in me. Our drive from Zurich airport to Siebnen-Wangen was the beginning of an adventure as I was constantly looking outside getting lost in the beauty which the drive offered as I spoke to my friend whom I was meeting after years.

After reaching home it was some bonding time with Alex, Manuela and the kids as I was super excited to hand over the Indian gifts which I had got for them.

Hiking up Chli Aubrig

After settling in, I was already looking forward to the hike which was planned the next day. We were joined by a friend Hubi who accompanied us to Chli Aubrig.

As we drove to our destination, I witnessed the most beautiful views, which till date I only saw on the screens. Once we arrived at the starting point, I saw that the place is so picturesque that all photos which were clicked by default would come out beautiful.

View from Cli Aubrig on Gross Aubrig

This was the first time I was hiking in cold weather (below 15*Celcius). The jacket ensured that the cold was kept away, as we started our ascend. Needless to say, I took many breaks on the way up just admiring the beauty which the place had to offer.

Also a big thank you to Alex and Hubi who were patient enough as I took innumerable breaks due to tiredness.  A lot of inspiration came my way as I saw kids and elderly people climb up without any problem.

It took us quite some time to reach the top. Once we reached the top, the view from there made me spellbound as we celebrated with beer. While coming down, a quick visit to a local café up there quenched our thirst as we sipped on some more beer and apple cider.

I will let the pictures do the talking.

The City of Roses and the pilgrimage town

After the hike, it was time for some sight seeing as we drove towards Rapperswil. As we walked in the alleys, the beauty and charm of the old world buildings kept me glued to the architecture.

Rapperswil Castle on the banks of Lake Zurich is the landmark of the picturesque «City of Roses». The beauty of the lake combined with the old-world charm of the buildings made it a magnificent view. The castle was built towards the end of the 12th century.

Later in the day, we visited Einsiedeln, which is the most important place of pilgrimage dedicated to the Virgin Mary in Switzerland.

Beautiful view on lake Zurich and Rapperswil castle

The cathedral which dates back to the 18th century is huge. One can easily spend hours there marveling at the architecture and paintings inside. Sadly, clicking pictures is not allowed. After exploring the old building, a walk in the greens behind is truly recommended.

Lucerne, a mesmerizing boat ride and Mount Rigi

One of the most exciting and memorable outing turned out to be Lucerne. We hopped on to the train from Siebnen which we changed at Thalwil and finally reached Lucerne. Our first stop was the Chapel Bridge after which we wandered in the bylanes which ended with a breakfast of croissants and hot chocolate.

As we started walking towards the lake, from where we were supposed to take a boat to Vitznau, the view of the medieval and historic buildings make you wander even more. We boarded the ship and headed straight to the outer deck which offered the best view of the ride.

Old town of Lucerne and the Chapel bridge

Once the journey started, the combined view of the city on one side and the view of the lake and the mountains on the other side turned out to be the perfect ME time as I stood there speechless admiring the beauty. I can confidently say that the camera was useless here as it could not capture even 30 percent of the beauty of what my eyes could see. I wish that boat ride did not end. Such mesmerizing it was.

As we reached Vitzanu, we made it to the cog railway which took us to Mount Rigi. As usual the journey was the most beautiful one as the views I saw will remain the most memorable ones for life.

Atop Mount Rigi, we got the best view of nearby mountains and the lake. You need to see it to believe it.

A special mention about the tickets which were valid across all forms of transport which Alex bought long back which according to me was really cool.  There was no hassle during our journey anywhere, thanks to those tickets. I was told that with those tickets we could travel across any mode of transport, a number of times, across Switzerland. Isn’t that awesome.

Meeting Manuela’s parents in the capital of Switzerland

A visit to Bern, the capital of Switzerland, will always be another good memory for me as I got to meet Manuela’s family. As we reached Bern, Manuela’s dad was waiting to welcome me at the train station from where he showed me the old town of Bern.

A world heritage site, Bern has retained its historic charm which I saw as we explored many old architectures one after the other.

A long stroll in the old town was the perfect way to explore and get to know the place better. The clock tower, old fountains, the Bundeshaus, the bear park to Rosengarten. I saw it all.

Lunch with Manuela’s family turned out to be memorable as I was actually looking forward to meet them since long. Listening to the travel experiences of Manuela’s dad was an enriching experience.

River Aare running through the Swiss capital city

After lunch we drove for some more sightseeing which obviously added to my memories. Each and every part/place in Switzerland is the best.

A trip to Downtown Switzerland

Zurich with the former slogan «Downtown Switzerland» is an upmarket banking city and the financial capital of Switzerland. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that it’s often labelled as the most expensive city in the world. It is also by far the largest city of Switzerland. Zurich is famous for  luxurious lifestyles, high-end shopping and fancy chocolates – and all this at the foot of the Swiss Alps.

Dramatic sunset over Zurich

Walking turned out to be the best option as we explored Zurich. This like any other place continued to add to my memory as it further strengthened my determination to come back to Switzerland back again soon.

Being a fan of good cars, Zurich did not disappoint as the sight of supercars kept me busy as I clicked in awe. After a point of time, the camera went inside as I decided to get lost in the setting rather than stare at the phone screen.

Time to say goodbye

A visit to Marina Lachen at the lake with the kids the night before departure turned out to be a fun evening as we bonded with others over beer and snacks. The lake had its own charm and beauty as I walked on the banks getting lost in the views, which I was used to by now.

Saying goodbye at Zurich Airport

To sum it all up, this trip has given me memories of a lifetime. The days spent here have been the most memorable one’s. I am glad that I took this travel up and made it all thanks to Manuela and Alex.

I also made a new friend Hubi with whom I would want to go on more hikes, a person with whom I instantly connected with. A friendship I will cherish for a lifetime.  Right from meeting him on a hike to bonding over stories of India and Switzerland, the bond grew stronger and stronger.

This trip has fuelled in me the desire to explore more places and go hiking across Europe for which Hubi will be the best partner and friend to take me places.

And the bond with Alex, Manuela, Hubi and the kids grows stronger as I miss them everyday as the time I spent with them will always remain the most memorable time of my life. See you all again real soon with more hiking stories and travel experiences to share.

Keep the hiking gear ready… I will come back soon.