I’ve been lucky to visit Switzerland thrice this year, adding bits to my Swiss experience each time. A post on this pristine and picturesque country can be concluded at the very beginning – its outright beautiful!
At least for us Indians, some credit does go to Yash Chopra for the glamour he has attached to this mountainous nation. For him, the returns have not only been monetary, but also honorary: Interlaken’s Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel offers the ‘Yash Chopra Suite’ at $2,000-per-night. As our Swiss client had warned, the peaks of Jungfrau & Pilatus are flooded with Asians – particularly Indian, Chinese & Japanese. The Restaurant Bollywood atop Jungfrau – the top of Europe – hints at the same.
Swiss people are absolutely fantastic: well mannered & very helpful. People will go out of the way to find you answers, whether on the street or at the post office. Their manners, put together with the importance of privacy, are what make you feel so safe. The latest I’ve taken a train in Switzerland is 23:30 with full baggage, reached my hotel at 01:30 and not once was I worried. At least between my train journeys on the European continent, I don’t think it gets safer than this. Everything from watches to fridge magnets has a fixed price – no haggling, and prices will vary 5% at most. That way, you never feel cheated when you shop. This and the clean air makes you feel good & happy all the time. The air is so clean that on a clear day, you can see rainfall at a distance. In all these years, I experienced it for the first time and it looks like a huge curtain falling from the sky.
Most of European cities are the ones we read in story books – located on river banks, with houses & bridges, a church, a central square near the train station, and a castle/palace. Compare the images from 3 cities in this post, and Paris below as a bonus, and you will agree. Its worth seeing how a 1000 year history has been knit into a chain of museums across all European cities. You can even buy a common pass to access all of these. I always keep wondering why we haven’t put together our 30 century antiquity on display – quite a shame.
I already concluded that Switzerland is outright beautiful. So despite of the fairy tale, repetitive landscape, you must visit once – not more.
In the next post, I will speak about how the Swiss people experience true democracy as they enjoy the world’s best transport system.