12 September 2008

Mt Titlis and Luzern - Switzerland – Aug 2008

As we reached our hotel in Engelberg, Switzerland we were told…in a very posh tone…it’s a Swiss chalet! View from balconyIt was a very cute place, the rooms had balconies with a wonderful view of the Alps - pic on right is the view from my balcony... but nothing out of the ordinary or exclusive. I was wondering if I was missing something so looked up the definition - A wooden dwelling with a sloping roof and widely overhanging eaves, common in Switzerland and other Alpine regions…Am I still missing something here? Isn't that what all houses in snow covered mountains are like?
Anyways, it was a very nice, cosy and comfortable hotel with beautiful views...

The morning plans were a visit to the picture perfect glacier – Mt Titlis. At 10,000 feet, it offers a snow and ice experience on the one of the highest viewpoints in Switzerland.
We decide to walk from the hotel to the Titlis Rotair Station. We had an option to take the coach, but Switzerland is a walker’s paradise…and a photographer’s dream…
My friends always cribbed that I do not take enough snaps on my holidays…but this time even I just freaked out…click, click and click… 500+ snaps for the entire trip (Heidelberg, Switzerland and Paris)

The journey from Engelberg to Mt Titlis is broken into 3 parts…A lake captured with a reflection of the mountain range
The first bit Engelberg to Trübsee is a 20 minutes cable car ride in Gondolas for 6 people each. There is just one word for the view – breathtaking. The famous cowbells ringing in the pastures below accompanied all this.
The next bit is a 5 mins zip up from Trübsee to the Stand from where you get on the final lag…the famous and first revolving cable car of the worldRotair. A unique experience that should not be missed …the majestic panorama of Mt. Titlis region as you stand in the cable car, the floor of which rotates once around its own axis.
As I reached the summit, I thought do such places really exist? It was AWESOME.
Do such places really exist
We then took the Ice Flyer - labelled as a Thriller experience. It was one of those open chair lifts and the view of the glacier crevasses is spectacular.. This chair took us to the Titlis Glacier Park… fun-packed rides on balancers, scooters and sledges on the snow runs are amazing. Luckily the ascent was easy and effortless with the Magic Carpet moving walkways, so we could try several of the rides. I first tried the individual scooter and a balancer… just zipped down the slope, with specks of the snow flying onto my face, I just wanted the moment to last forever…We then joined 4 of the sledges and zipped down…ohhh it was fun. I think that I enjoyed the rides the most and this was my favourite part of the holiday.
From there we went to do a touristy thing….getting dressed in traditional Swiss attire for a photo shoot…the dresses, hats, accessories really were excellent…

From there we went to Luzerne …more of a shopping trip… but there was a bit of sightseeing too.
First to the Lion Monument - Lion MonumentThe Swiss have a long tradition of supplying mercenaries to foreign governments since they have always been politically neutral.
The Swiss Guards' honor was put to the test in 1792, when--after trying to escape the French Revolution--King Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, and their children were hauled back to the Tuileries Palace in Paris. A mob of working-class Parisians stormed the palace in search of aristocratic blood. More than 700 Swiss officers and soldiers died while defending the palace, without knowing that their royal employers--like Elvis--had left the building.
So the Danish artist Bertel Thorvaldsen was hired to sculpt a monument to the fallen Swiss Guards. The sculpture was carved in a sandstone cliff above the city center. It was beautiful…the pain on the lion’s face has been sculpted so well.
Next attraction – the famous 14th century wooden Chapel Bridge over the Reuss River. Whether it was the flowers on the side or the paintings on the inside of the bridge, it was beautiful…

A tiring, but wonderful day …I thought as we headed towards our CHALET!

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