First Day In Switzerland @ Interlaken
It was around 6:00 am EST and finally we (me and my wife) landed at Zurich, Switzerland :) The feeling was awesome as we were in the country which is touted to be the world’s most romantic and scenic place. Of course how can I forget the Yash Chopra movies where he has shot lot of sequences in Switzerland !! We were supposed to travel from Zurich to Interlaken. We had actually decided to end our trip in Zurich, so on our first day we directly went to Interlaken. Interlaken is a small place but a famous tourist spot mainly famous for its adventure sports, close proximity to many important locations (like Jungfraujoch, Mt.Titlis, Luzern) and of course its natural beauty.
In the Zurich airport, the train which took us to our luggage counter was an experience in itself. It gave us the glimpses of the scenic locales including the cow with its famous cow bell (remember DDLJ!). Immigration process was simple and very fast. After the immigration we freshened up; had our coffee in the airport and moved towards to the railway station which is right opposite to the airport building.
) and moved towards the station. Apart from the railway station there are a lot of shops in this building.
Shopping Center and Railway Station in Zurich opposite to airport
Once in the train we were busy looking out of the window just completely awestruck with the beauty of Switzerland. We had to change our trains in between as there were no direct trains from Zurich to Interlaken but the good thing about Europe is the trains are on time and so its easy to plan.
We reached Interlaken at around 9:30 am EST. In Interlaken there are two railway stations: Interlaken Ost (East) and Interlaken West. Our hotel
: Hotel Bellevue was close to the Interlaken West railway station. So we got down at the Interlaken West railway station. Interlakenis a town, so it’s not very crowded. From the station we took the train details for Jungfraujoch (which was in our next day itinerary) where we were handed out a printed slip which listed down different options to reach our destination and even return back from there.
With luggage in our hand we started walking towards our hotel. Our hotel was located at the bank of the river Aare. From the room’s balcony you can get a beautiful view of the river. The view was really breath-taking! The hotel room
was very neat and clean including the bathroom (my wife is very particular about cleanliness!). The hotel is very well maintained and the staff is very courteous as well. All in all worth every single penny they charge.
View from the balcony
View from other side of balcony
and went for paragliding. AlpinRaft takes care of transport and they picked us up from the hotel and took us to the hill from where we were supposed to do paragliding. This was tandem paragliding so we don’t need to have any prior experience for this and this type of paragliding is designed to carry the pilot and one passenger.
Once we reached the hill, we were given a jacket, a pair of gloves and helmet which is to protect us from the cold winds which can harm us while paragliding. We kept all our belongings in the mini van which had picked us and which was supposed to be waiting at the ground where we were supposed to land. We can either carry our own camera or else we can use a professional service offered by AlpinRaft but at an extra cost. So we opted to take our own camera.
I was buckled up with the harness and was ready to take off. Had multiple thoughts running in my mind when I was told to run till the end of the hill, lift my legs and jump off. It was scary and amazing at the same time. I was lucky that day as the wind was quite favorable and was lifting the parachute and I was flying (literally!!! :)) high up in the air. I also learnt how to operate the parachute from the instructor who was flying along with me. I was really curious to learn this after I watched ZNMD (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara).
View from the hill
Hill from where we did Paragliding
About To Start My Adventure
Flying High Up In Air
We landed at a huge ground Höhematte. While parting our instructor gave us a small souvenir from AlpinRaft. The experience with AlpinRaft was really nice. The instructors were very friendly and tried to keep you at ease and kept giving suggestions before flying and even while flying. From Höhematte we started our long walk of roaming around Interlaken. Though we chose to roam around through walk, you can also take a horse carriage ride if you wish! Saw the:
- Victoria Jungfrau Hotel where there is a suite named after Yash Chopra.
- Did loaadsss of window shopping ;)
- Tasted some chocolates but didn’t buy them.
- Got myself a jacket at a throwaway prize from a sale
- Got a Swiss military watch as well
- Just roamed around
Ground Hohematte where we land after paragliding
Landing on the ground
Some apartments in Interlaken
Chocolate Store and Restaurants
Nice empty roads
Generally Roaming Around
My purchase and a nice view of mountains
By evening we were damn hungry and found a McDonald where they serve veg burgers (savior) :) Once back in the hotel had a nice cup of hot tea and called it a day as we had to start early next day. Oh yeah.. In the evening the view from the hotel balcony was of a different experience altogether!
From the balcony in night
Interlaken is indeed a beautiful place as you can see from the above pictures. If you want to roam around the place the best suggestion would be pick up a map from the railway station and start off!
Was quite excited for the next day as I was supposed to go to the Top of Europe: Jungfraujoch which also holds the title for highest railway in Europe.
Originally published at mytravelpedia.net on October 25, 2014.