Road Trip Through Switzerland - Italy - Austria - 1

Around Interlaken, Switzerland

Since the days for the summer 2009 were coming to an end and as I'd good enough vacation days left out, I planned on taking a vacation and doing a road trip through Switzerland, Italy, Austria..and back to Germany. I was pretty much looking forward for this trip, as I wanted to drive on some of the Swiss/Italian/Austrian Alps Mountain Passes, which are closed during winter time. My plan was to drive through Switzerland, to Italy..and then back to Germany, through Austria. Normally, most of the Germans here drive through Austria (Brenner Pass, after Innsbruck), to go to Italy. Switzerland is an other alternative, but is much expensive than Austria, as you would have to buy a Vignette (Motorway Ticket) for the whole year, which costs around 28 Euros. On the flip side, Austria has Vignette's for a week or a couple of weeks/months, etc - which is a more flexible option. I decided to go through Switzerland, just because I wanted to drive through the Alps mountain passes and also meet some friends of mine, who are located at Ticino, Southern Switzerland (Italian part of Switzerland). Also, I like that central area of Switzerland (Berner Oberland), around Interlaken.

We started off on Saturday (Aug 22, 2009) and drove through Lindau(Bodensee) and then the Autobahn (motorway) through Liechenstein, to reach Interlaken. Since it was pretty late, when we reached, I just went to the hotel and hit the bed. The next day, we looked around a bit and then, I drove to Iseltwald (where I stayed a couple of nights, in winter 2007), which is a small village around Brienzersee (Lake Brienz).

Here's a video of me, driving around Interlaken:



Here are a few pics from Interlaken-Switzerland and its surroundings (Iseltwald, Lauterbrunnen, etc):

From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


Here's a video of 'Brienzersee' (Lake Brienz) at Iseltwald:



A few pics from around Thun/Thunersee:

From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


And here are a few pics from around Lauterbrunnen, which ain't that far from Interlaken:

From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


From Interlaken & Surroundings - Switzerland


And..here's a video of 'Staubach Waterfalls', at Lauterbrunnen-Switzerland:



.............Continue to "Next Part Of The Trip"

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Road Trip Through Switzerland, Italy & Austria - 2

Susten Pass

....continued from 'Part 1'

As we planned to meet some of my friends at Ticino (Southern Switzerland), I planned to start off early from Interlaken, the next day (as I wanted to drive on the Susten pass and reach there in time). 'Susten Pass' is a mountain pass, built from 1938 - 1945 and connects the canton of Bern with Uri. Also, it is one of the passes/route that connects North/Central Switzerland with South Switzerland. This pass primarily serves tourism and offers breath-taking views, as you drive/climb up the mountain. In the summer time, you can see a lot of motor-bikes/cars around this place. Apart from this, you can see good number of people climbing up the mountain, by bikes. I guess, most of these bikers must be professional/avid and regular bikers, as you need a lot of stamina for that. This pass is usually closed between November to June, as its pretty cold up there and with a lot of snow around, which could be very dangerous. In some parts of Switzerland, I guess, it's mandatory to have snow-chains for your tires, in winter.

If you have the stamina and would like to bike around this place, check the following links:

1) Climb By Bike - Susten Pass
2) Bikemap.net - Susten Pass

Here's a video of me driving to Susten Pass:



And here are a few pics from me:

From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


It was really fun driving around, as the weather was perfect and I was driving a BMW cabrio/convertible. After driving for a while, we reached the top of the pass, where you can check the 'Stein Glacier' and 'Steinsee'. Here's a video, which shows the glacier and the lake:



Here are some pics, which were shot around Stein Glacier and Steinsee (around the top of Susten Pass):

From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


After spending good enough time there, we headed to Ticino (towards Locarno), as we had to meet some friends over there and stay overnight, at their place. The other part of this pass is also good, but I observed that as you cross the Alps (from North), it gets more warmer and drier, as you head towards South. So, the land on the Northern part of the Alps (like Switzerland, Germany, Austria, etc) offers a different landscape and greenery levels, when compared to the southern part (Ticino, Italy, etc). Its not just the landscape and greenery, the attitude/mentality of people, language and other things are also different, when you cross the Alps, from either side. Here are a few more pics, from the last part of this mountain pass:

From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


From Susten Pass (Interlaken To Lugano), Switzerland


After the pass, I'd to take the St. Gotthard pass, which is said to be the third longest tunnel, in the world (I guess, it's around 17 kms in length). Driving at constant speed inside the tunnel, I felt like I wasn't sure, if I was moving or not, as it was a pretty long tunnel. After crossing the tunnel and driving for around half an hour, we reached our friend's place, which is located around Locarno, which is another well-known city in Ticino part of Switzerland.

...........continue to 'Next Part Of This Trip'

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