If you are an atheist, eight days in Switzerland can make you believe in God. Or at least compel you to stop and wonder if there’s a higher intelligence that has lovingly and patiently crafted this country. What else can explain its mesmerising beauty? If you believe in God, Switzerland’s beauty will make you feel vindicated.
Indeed, God has been extra kind to the Swiss, who take pride in being the chosen ones. But they also value it enormously and take great care of the blessings bestowed upon them. That’s evident from the very first impressions you get when you land on this land-locked country of lakes and mountains.
Even though this was my second visit to Switzerland, it was by no means less delightful. In this photo-feature, I take you along to visit this Heaven on Earth…
Jungfraujoch—Top of Europe—is the highest-altitude station in Europe at 3,454 m/11,333 ft. It’s the only UNESCO World Natural Heritage site in the Alps. Reaching this incredible summit itself seems like a miracle. But when you find cafes, ice cream parlours, and two exclusively Indian restaurants housed there, you’re awestruck.
Among the many memorable features of Jungfrau is the Ice Palace, yet another unbelievable man-made wonder.
Of course, the most impressive part of Jungfrau is the Jungfrau Railway. It’s a pioneer of all mountain railways and, more than being an engineering marvel, is a triumph of human spirit. The most important stretch along the route to the top is the 7km long tunnel through the rock of the Eiger and Mönch. Two of the intermediate stations, Eigerwand and Eismeer, are situated in caverns blasted from solid rock. Both have panorama windows giving absolutely stunning views of the Alps.
It’s difficult to forget the experience of visiting Schilthorn. Even before you reach the summit, the scenery outside indicates that you’re about to experience a visual delight.
Schilthorn has a panorama, which spans from the Titlis, Jungfrau, Mönch, Eiger, over the Bernese Alps and the Jura mountains up to the Vosges Mountains and the Black Forest. Mont Blanc is also just visible. The view is breathtakingly beautiful.
Schilthorn also boasts of a revolving restaurant, named Piz Gloria, at the top of summit. This restaurant became internationally famous when the James Bond movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was filmed here.
To us, Lucerne will always remain our first love. The lake, the mountains and the old-world charm of this delightful city makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. And there are more reasons.
Lucerne acts as a gateway to Lake Lucerne Region. From the historic Rütli Meadow and the perpetual snow on Mt. Titlis to Lucerne’s very own Mt. Pilatus, and the famous locations on the Lucerne Riviera, everything is within easy reach—even in winter.
Whether you want to go shopping, check out historical museums, or indulge in some adventurous sporting activities, Lucerne has it all. Bonus: it’s well-connected to the rest of the country too.
At 3238m, Mount Titlis is the highest excursion point and the only glacier in central Switzerland. What makes Titlis really special and an absolute favourite is the guarantee of snow all the year round, thanks to artificial snow.
Mount Titlis boasts of having the world’s first revolving cable car that revolves 360 degrees, making sure that you don’t miss any bit of those striking snow clad peaks.
At the heart of the Titlis glacier, there is a 150-meter-long ice tunnel that takes you 20 metres below the glacier’s surface—an awesome experience.
This was first published in the July 2010 issue of Complete Wellbeing. Pictures courtesy Switzerland Tourism