May 25, 2009

Day 10: Top of Europe?

After Titlis, I was not necessarily wanting to see another peak but the rest of the party reliably informed me we can't miss JungfrauJoch. So off we went donning the borrowed jackets towards Interlaken.

By now, the coniferous trees, yellow flower streaked grassland, fat cows basking on the sunlight were quite familiar. We tried to recollect as many movies as we could that had a reference to the Swiss - though if we were to include Indian movie songs it'd be innumerable.

Luzern was beautiful and after a brief stop over when we wandered about the town, we hopped on to a train to Interlaken.

No wonder it is one of the oldest and most popular tourist point - the view of Jungfrau from Interlaken was picture perfect. It was the quintessential image of Switzerland one has. According to the map I had I could reach Kleine Scheidegg through two routes. We decided we will take the Lauterbrunnen on the upward journey and Grindelwald on the downward. We caught the Berner Oberland Bahn and spent the next hours drinking in the scenery - the houses, the flowers, the mountain ranges towering in the background - it was the pinnacle of nature's beauty.

The final leg of the journey was on the Jungraubahn train on cogwheels. I do not know if it significantly different in technology compared to the trains in south India to Ooty. It was a nice tourist checkmark and we arrived to top of Europe without much fanfare. The Bolywood Indian restaurant was indicative of the number of Indian travel companies covering the spot. There wasn't much to do, the weather turning really bad we simply walked up and down spent some time in the ice cave with its ice sculptures. We stayed out only for a less than half hour, visibility was less than twenty feet and had to come back in due to the high winds.

I was thinking about Mallory and his 'Because it is there!' comment as the cogwheel train got me down. Played in the snow for some time at Grindelwald and caught the next train to Interlaken. Some souvenir shopping - ST looked earnestly for a cow bell while I settled for a couple of picture postcards and some ice-creams later we called it a day.

Someday I told myself, as the white expanse stayed beneath my closed lids, someday I will see Mt.Everest.

May 25, 2009