Monday, August 28, 2006

Switzerland

Random notes from my swiss trip.

* Although we hadn't planned for it, we landed in Zurich right on the day of the famous Street Parade. It's hard to describe the scene. By the end of the evening nothing in the world could shock me.
* The mountains of Switzerland are teeming with Indians and Chinese. One of the ticket collectors on the train spoke a bit of hindi too, kinda like Tom Alter as a firang oppressor in all those period movies.

* In the places where there were no tourists, Switzerland is as beautiful as any place I've seen. Jungfraujoch, the highest peak in Europe (?) is not one such place. But sometimes you have to visit these marquee destinations which are vulgarly crowded, mostly with desi couples. There's even an indian restaurant at the top, with a carefully crafted ambience, complete with rude waitresses.
* The high point of my stay,quite literally too, was the sky diving. Experiences like that have a way of creating bonds. That evening, the bunch of us who went on the plane together drank almost till morning. We felt like best buddies. I no longer remember their names.
* For anybody staying at Interlaken, I strongly recommend the hostel, Balmer's Herberge. If not for the great atmosphere you should go there just for this gorgeous bottle they give you when you check-in.

* On the third day, L & I hiked on a random mountain, just to escape the crowds. We sat there by a hilltop-lake saying nothing for a long time, hearing nothing but the chirping birds and the rustling leaves. While I was in the middle of pensive introspection, L chose to break the silence with the most uncalled-for statement "This landscape reminds me of the Brokeback mountains". It's difficult to overstate the peace-shattering effect of that line. I started to pack up before he had uttered the last syllable. I longed for the chinese tourists.

* If nothing, you can just buy a train pass and spend all your time travelling on trains, and the mountain rails and the rope cars and it would still be a worthwhile swiss holiday. I loved the train journey from Interlaken to Luzern.

* I'm definitely going there again.
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