Switzerland - Part I

Interlaken

After my trip to Prague, I still had some vacation left out. As I wanted to make the best use of my free time in Germany, I wanted to travel and see more of Europe. This time around, I booked a ticket to Interlaken, Switzerland by the German Inter-City Express (ICE) train (which is sophisticated and cosy enough), as I thought it would give me the oppurtunity to look at the landscape filled with snow-capped mountains and greenery.

The ICE train for which I booked the ticket runs through Karlsruhe, Freiburg, Basel, Bern and finally Interlaken. I started sometime in the noon and I knew that it would take a couple of hours to reach Karlsruhe, where I had to change the train. So, I just killed time by hooking up my laptop to the available wireless internet connection in the train. After travelling for a couple of hours, the train reached Karlsruhe, which is a nice university town in Baden-Wurtemmberg state (Bundesland) of Germany, for which Stuttgart is the capital. I waited for a couple of minutes and got into a different ICE train, which goes to Interlaken. In this train, I had my seat in a cabin adjacent to the cockpit and also had a good view of the surrounding nature through the wide glass window. Here's a pic of the ICE cockpit:



After travelling for approximately an hour, the train reached Freiburg, which is a pretty town in the Schwarzwald (Blackforest) region of Germany. By the way, Schwarzwald (Black-forest) is the place where those Cuckoo clocks were invented. After Freiburg, the next stop was 'Basel', which is one of the important and famous cities in Switzerland. The location of Basel is something special as it lies at the border of 3 countries - Germany, France and Switzerland. Also, Basel city is partly under Germany too. The neighbouring French border state is called 'Alsace' , which changed hands between Germany and France several times between 17th and 20th century.

I was pretty much excited from this point, as this was my first entry into Switzerland and I was expecting the nature to be at its best from this place (Basel). After the train passed Basel, I could notice the hilly landscape and greenery surrounding that place, with small villages occasionally showin' up in my view. Here are some pics:





After that, I went to the bistro in the train, as my tummy was growling and asking me to feed something. Also because, I wanted to have some great views of the surrounding nature. I sat by a window and ordered something, for which those folks took a while to serve. Meanwhile, I shot a pic for you folks (haha):



After travelling a bit, the train reached Bern/Berne (Capital city of Switzerland). This is where Albert Einstein worked out his 'Theory Of Relativity' while employed as a clerk at the Berne Patent Office. With what I've seen and as far as my knowledge goes, all the Swiss cities look like small towns which boast of high quality of life (obviously), but I aint sure if each and every youngster or expat would like to live there as there are some things (entertainment) that are lacking. Anyways, here are some pics from Berne:





After passing Berne and travelling for approximately half-an-hour (or something like that), I could see the huge mountains (Alps) in clear view and fully covered with snow. Here are some pics:





I was still sitting in the bistro reading this book called 'The world Is Flat' (by Thomas Friedmann) and travelling in a mountainous land. :-) It was getting dark and couldnt see anything from the window, but my reflection. So, I decided to go back to my reserved seat. Here's a pic of that bistro when the sun said goodbye for the day:



After that, the train reached 'Thun', which is a neighbouring town for Interlaken. This region (Thun, Interlaken, etc places) is the central part of Switzerland and is called Berner-Oberland. It has many tourist attractions and plays a very important role in Swiss tourism. Also,Junfrau Mountain (called 'Top Of Europe') is located nearby. After a brief stop at Thun and travelling for a couple of minutes, the train reached Interlaken. By the way, Interlaken (something like 'Inter-lakes') is named so because its located between 2 lakes called "Thunersee (Lake Thun)" and "Brienzersee (Lake Brienz)". This is the place where lot of Bollywood and other movies were shot. Its indeed got famous in the subcontinet through the movie called 'DDLJ'.

I got down the train at the Interlaken-West station and looked around for any public transport or a taxi, since I booked my accomodation in a place called 'Iseltwald', which is around 10 kms from that place. I booked it there instead of Interlaken, just because I wanted to stay close to the nature, beside a lake and just relax a bit. Its almost part of Interlaken, being just a couple of kms away.But the best part is that its not crowded and is more scenic, being just beside the lake (Brienzersee).

It was a bit late and couldnt wait for the next bus to come. So, I took a taxi to that place anc checked-in the hotel. Indeed, there are ferries running between Interlaken and Iseltwald, but only in summer-time. I'd a good cosy room, all for myself, right in front of a lake, with a huge mountain in the background. It made a perfect location for me to relax and have a nice time. Later, I spent sometime reading the book and dozed off.

The next day, when I woke up, I was still in that state of mind thinking about the daily routines. I just looked out of the window and couldnt believe that. It was such a cool view of the fresh, clear lake with a huge snow-capped mountain in the background. Here are some pics:









And this is a view from the balcony of my room:



I took a while to get out of bed, as it was cold, cosy and had a nice view to look at. Later, I took a shower and had breakfast at the restaurant attached to the hotel and happened to bump into a German skiing team, who came from Saarbrucken, Germany just to spend some days skiing around. Most of the times, I tried to talk in Deutsch/German (broken) and those people coped up with me and said they could understand me good enough..haha. :-)

Later, I walked around the Brienz lake (near the hotel) and really felt good with the clear air, water and awesome nature around. Its also a very good place for walking or biking around. Here's a video that I shot when I walked around that lake:



I walked around bit more and shot some wonderful pics. Here I go:













After walking for good enough time, I went to the bus stop, waited for sometime, got on the bus and headed towards Interlaken. Here's a video that I took on the way:



After reaching Interlaken, I walked around the main parts of that town, looked at some shops and decided to venture more into the nature rather than looking around hotels and shops in the town. I walked till I got exhausted, but on the flip side I enjoyed looking at new things and places. Here are some more pics:













That was it for that day and I just went back to the hotel, had my dinner, read some stuff and slumbered the night away.

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