Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Europe: Day 5 (Switzerland)

Good morning peeps!

Another exciting day to look forward. Just for recap we went to Titisee and Rhinefall yesterday. Today we will be touring around Switzerland visiting Mt. Titlis and Lucerne. Honestly I love Switzerland the most among all of the European countries coz it's such a laid back and relaxing country. Everyday feels like Christmas here. One tip for u is to use Swiss Franc even though Euro is accepted here due to slightly lower rate for Swiss Franc. If you are interested in other posts like budget, planning, summary and more you can check out all posts labeled "Europe" here.

A very tall real Christmas tree at Lucerne. I always emphasize on "real" coz we only display fake trees during Christmas here in Malaysia.

As usual we woke up at 6:30am in the morning. Getting some fresh vibes from the view.

We got ready by 7:35am. No moving luggage today coz we will stay at Dorint for another night. I have listed the pricing on the previous entry.

What a unique corridor that has a hanging airplane. Actually it's not an airplane but a bobsleigh. Did you know it is one of the games in Winter Olympics since 1924? Teams of two or four make timed runs down narrow and twisted iced tracks in a gravity-powered sled.

Ain't sure if it serves as a front desk but cow desk is super cute!

Fat looking ootd coz I was wearing layers inside. Will be wearing another layer tho.

We walked into the restaurant for breakfast. At least this looks like a real restaurant instead of breakie hall like other hotels we've been. I rate this the best hotel in our entire Europe trip since it is perfect in every aspect. Can't find anything to complain about.

If you don't like the bitter and fishy taste of liver and kidney do not take those sausages. I can't get myself to swallow it.

I love meatballs the most.

Final round was desserts but still can't get enough of salmon. Salmon is one of my favourite food of all time.

Time to go somewhere. I looked so agitated coz it was a damn cold morning. We departed from our hotel at 9am and took almost 2 hours to reach our first pit stop.

Cute Lindt teddy on top of petrol station.

Highway scenery in Switzerland is the best among all. Those plain fields make you wanna dance and sing to The Sound of Music.

Upon arrival at the carpark...omg snow! We have finally arrived Engelberg.The whole bus was cheering ftw. It was around 11am but no lunch photos for today coz we were too busy at the mountain lol. However you should try cheese fondue. There are also Indian food maybe coz Switzerland is famous for Bollywood movies idk.

Never felt as wonderful as this. The hills are alive with the sound of music...oops, this ain't Austria but I don't give a fuck.

Happy travel happy life!

Check out my review on SJCam here. This action cam is not only affordable but waterproof, handy, easy to use and great for video.

Next to the first station is a small stream. I could just sit here for as long as I can being close to nature. So beautiful right?

Listen to the sound...

Another view when you turn around.

There are a total of 3 stations and an hour to reach the top of Mt. Titlis. First one is smaller and could accommodate 4-6 passengers seated. Second gondola is larger but you have to stand and I think there were about 30 passengers. Last one being the largest is the world's first rotating cable car, Titlis Rotair which could accommodate up to 80 people standing. You can't imagine how sandwiched we were that my face literally stuck on the glass. It wasn't a pleasant ride.

You can find more info in their website. Oh, do avoid going in November coz the cable cars will be under maintenance. You can opt for Jungfrau, Mt. Pilatus or Zermatt instead.

Return tickets are priced at CHF89 per person and only CHF3 for a dog. Awesome!

Map of the mountain. Titlis is a mountain at Uri Alps elevated 3238 meters (10632 ft) above sea level. The cable car system connects Engelberg to the summit through 3 stages; Gerschnialp (1,262 m), Trübsee (1,796 m) and Stand (2,428 m). Temperature supposed to be negative coz you know with all the ice and snow but apparently it feels warmer as we get higher. Maybe due to direct sunlight without clouds.

Hubby's shot of the day as well as a favourite among other photographers.

A short clip for you to see what I have seen. Ahhh...miss this so much.

In mid December this scene will look exactly like Narnia. Seen it on Google images.

Seriously look like Salem old skool ciggie ad.

We squealed when we saw Malaysia. Didn't expect that.

We got higher and higher that we can barely see Engelberg. Ok, time to get down at 2nd station.

At the second station we hopped onto a bigger cable car.

So packed! We have to stand in this one and smell some armpits.

A frozen lake in Elsa's kingdom lol.

Final station and even more armpits to smell. We stood right at by the glass window or shall I say glued on the glass? It rotates very slowly so you wont be feeling dizzy.

More and more snow. I read that Mt. Titlis has snow all year round even during summer and hunks will show off their masculinity by taking off their shirts.

Oh why do they played the damn wiggle wiggle song when its rotating? YouTube doesn't mute so you can hear it.

OMG I wanted to sit there and sip on hot cocoa so badly!

Yay! Reached the peak after the longest cable car ride of my life. Ok la it was not that long but we had to transfer here and there.

See the directions when you arrive. There are some restaurants, souvenir and chocolate shops here but we will come again when we wanna get down.

Our first activity was walking in the Glacier cave. Just follow the signs an it will lead you.

We walked slowly and spent 10 minutes inside coz litteraly nothing except ice. Would appreciate more sculptures and colourful lights. Even the snow world in i-City and Jeju is better. Be extra careful and hold onto the railing coz the floor isn't carpeted. Whenever we heard a loud thud followed by screams we knew someone has fallen on their ass.

At the end of the cave you will be directed to the nerve-racking Titlis Cliff Walk. There's no turning back so I had to embrace myself to face my fear.

I was so afraid even when I waked down the stairs coz they had holes and you could see the bottom.

See my coward face. This spectacular suspension bridge holds the record for being the highest suspension bridge in Europe. Cliff Walk stretches fromglacier cave to the Ice Flyer glacier chair lift station. It is just one meter wide and 100 meters long.

I was trying to be brave!

OMG the view is breathtaking!

We love Mt. Titlis. Definitely recommended to come here. Enjoy the photos below. No more caption needed. I'm lazy to type too.

Don't forget to make snow angels.

Wtf was I doing?

Also don't forget to throw snowballs.

Makan ais kacang.

Photo for my sponsored Matsu Gloves. Would be better if they sent me a touchscreen one.

Awww so cute... the owners should wear clothes for it.

We waked higher to the top.

Review on our SJ4000 waterproof action camera here.

looking down at what where we walked just now. Scary right?

You need to hike up a bit to the viewing point. The cliff is scary that's why they installed these "prison" railings. Now I know why the floor is porous. Its for the melted snow to melt down.

Amazing panorama from the view point.

Most people who ski will crowd around at the glacier park. Apart from skiing you can also snowshoeing like a Bigfoot or spin on a snow tube for some adrenaline rush.

A week before starting my Europe trip, I always check on their live cam for weather. I think they fixed the camera at the tower or somewhere higher.

I noticed in Europe they like to put this kind of banner. Don't know what it says maybe its the brand of their ski equipment.

All the angmo are so tall. Hubby felt like a midget that he dare not go close. I have seen kids about 4-5 years skiing too so its a family friendly activity.

Oh now I get it. Titlis was a Bollywood film shooting site. Of course, the scenery is amazing and perfect for video clips. Btw beside this photobooth is an open air eatery. Hotdogs, french fries and other snacks are sold here. You don't have to buy anything to sit here imho.

Wefie again using our SJ4000 action cam. It's kinda like GoPro but much cheaper but equally good.You can see lotsa tables and benches fr you to dine while enjoying the spectacular Swiss Alps.

We got down via Titlis Rotair again. We also bought some Lindt chocolates in the store. Till today I am reluctant to finish my chocolates coz can't find those limited edition ones in Malaysia ...huhu crying!

Another one hour of cable car ride. Total spent on this place was 4 hours.

Sorry I was tired to the max.

Act cool at the ground station.

Me at the gift shop where we bought some key chains and fridge magnet.

It was already 3pm and we have to quickly head to Lucerne.

Very very beautiful scenery but I got to sleep.

Managed to capture the moment when I woke up. It's my cellphone shot of the day. Love how this picture tells a story of a lady was crossing the empty street alone on a cold winter's day. She might be heading home or meeting someone.

Wow! Lucerne is indeed enchanting. Feels so Chrismasy! those 2 peaks belong to Church of St. Leodegar.

Our bus dropped us opposite Lowen. Our next tourist attraction is the Lion Monument.

I've been looking forward to see this Old Swiss House.

From the Swiss house you just need to walk for a minute and turn some corners towards the left to arrive at this magnificent sculpture known as the Lion Monument or Lion of Lucerne. Here's a brief history...

The Lion Monument was designed by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen and hewn by Lukas Ahorn completed in 1821 out of natural rock in memory of the heroic deaths of the Swiss mercenaries at the Tuileries. Long story short, King Louis XVI had been forced out from the Palace of Versailles in Paris. In 1792, revolutionaries stormed the palace. Royal Family had been escorted from the Tuileries to take refuge with the Legislative Assembly. More than 600 Swiss Guards defending the Tuileries were killed. 

The monument is dedicated Helvetiorum Fidei ac Virtuti (To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss). The dying lion is portrayed impaled by a spear, covering a shield bearing the fleur-de-lis of the French monarchy. Beside him is another shield bearing the coat of arms of Switzerland. The inscription below the sculpture lists the names of the officers and gives the approximate numbers of soldiers who died and survived.

This place is seriously infested by tour groups from a certain country I am not fond of. They are loud and rude and barbaric imho.

Met a horse carriage along the way out.

Next, our bus took us to buy Rolex. As if la I'm so rich konon. Anyway, this shopping area is called Schwanenplatz.

Pretty Christmas theme displays I have ever seen behind the glass windows.

We decided not to shop and walk around Lucerne town. We came upon the Chapel Bridge. Will exlain some history in a bit.

This symbol of Switzerland is Chapel Bridge also known as Kapellbrücke. It was built in 1333. The bridge is a covered wooden footbridge spanning diagonally across the Reuss River. Named after the nearby St. Peter's Chapel, the bridge is unique since it contains a number of interior paintings dating back to the 17th century. Subsequently restored, the Kapellbrücke is the oldest covered bridge in Europe as well as the world's oldest surviving truss bridge.

Those alfresco tables and chair will probably be out in summer. No its winter and no one wants to sit in the cold.

 Gorgeous paintings on plain buildings. If only Malaysian buildings can be this artsy.

 Do you wish to rink a hot cuppa coffee here?

Wow! This Eco-friendly building looks amazing.

Here we have a wider angle of the Chapel Bridge.

Lol I joined in to feed the birds. Jangan kena bird flu sudah.

Jesuit Church (Jesuitenkirche) is the first large Swiss church in Baroque style was built between 1666 and 1677. Opposite to the east side of Jesuit Church we find city theater (Stadttheater).

 To me, Lucerne has one of the best river view. So glad my whole trip was filled with beautiful places.

Here's another bridge but its quite new and uncovered. I believe the greens above it are just for Christmas season. most bridges here are just for pedestrians but have to look out for bicycles.

Holly molly there's a castle on the hill! Apparently its just a château (mansion hotel) called Château Gütsch. Seriously you should check out their website for photos its damn gorgeous. A standard room which is already so pretty costs CHF229. I love the Alexandre suite the most coz its more spacious and minimal than the others but also the most expensive at CHF885 per night. I'm not paid to recommend this but I'm so in love with this hotel. Hope that Château Gütsch can offer me a staycation one day...I'm just dreaming zzz..

This is what I call the ultimate view of the day. Have seen this perspective in travel magazines and websites.

Playing with our SJCam again. You can see the video quality at the bottom of this article.

We walked up to the other side of Reuss River. Now we are heading to the Kapellbrücke.

You can get this iconic postcard perfect view from the opposite. I was speechless to see this in real life.You can see that the wooden bridge leads directly to St. Peter's Chapel.

View from the inside of the bridge. There were drawings o the ceiling but it was too dark for photos. During springtime, flowers will be decorated at the side of the bridge.

Here's the view of the "Christmas tree bridge" that we crossed a while ago. I named it so due to the grassy arch.

Awesome view of Hotel des Alps. You can check the room rates if you want. A standard twin with lakeside view is priced from CHF214 to CHF268. I think that hotels surrounding this area has he best views in town.

After we crossed the bridge we came back to the Rolex. Actually that building is named Bucherer. More like butchering your credit card.

We strolled around the lakeside looking for interesting things to spot.

I'm particularly attracted on the fully glass building with giant Christmas tree on the opposite. After some research, it is actually KKL Luzern (Culture and Convention Center). Spot a lonely swan swimming on the lake.

This is another prominent 5 star hotel in Lucerne called Hotel Schweiserhof Luzern. Small city but everything screams the word luxury here. The cheapest standard room costs CHF370 my goodness!

We walked further and....

Wheee a tall non-artificial Christmas tree! I can't brag enough being able to see real Christmas trees ad real snow during my first winter trip.

Then we walked back again to the Bucherer.

Do can explore the alley who knows you might find a Christmas market.

What a pretty display window.

Finally found this place. Saw it on the Internet and put it on the list of places to drop by. I can't explain how to get here coz we used our instinct but trust me you won't get lost. Just walk behind the Bucherer building and you'll find it. I wonder how they maintain the paintings despite the ever changing weather. Some of the buildings that we didn't visit were painted back in 19th century.

Amazing, right? Remember to slot a session to walk around the old town in your schedule if you visit Lucerne.

From the painted buildings, we walked out to Kapellplatz. Fritschi Fountain was built in 1918...almost a century old by now but so well maintained and working too. Here's the story...

The legend goes back to 1450 where brother Fritschi plays an important role in Lucerne's Carnival tradition. His grave is supposed to be under this fountain on the medieval graveyard attached to St. Peter's Chapel. The most probable explanation is that there was a farmer living outside town making jokes whenever he came to town. Medieval town clerk and chronist Cysat reports that Fritschi left some money to the Safran guild on condition that they serve wine to the poor during Fasacht. The guild is still fullfilling this obligation today and has dedicated one storey of their guild rooms in Nölliturm to Brother Fritschi.

It's getting late now...

Dusk view of Chapel Bridge. Goodbye, lovely swans.

I don't think the lights are up when it's not Christmas season.

Dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Zurich. I can still remember how cold it was walking up to the restaurant. The night view of the lake in Zurich is beautiful. Unable to get good pictures tho coz the bus was moving fast.

A warm cup of tea every evening is a bliss.

As usual we were served hot home cooked style dishes.

Here are some of our haul of the day for ourselves. So in love with this Hello series. So unfortunate that I am unable to find these Lindt flavours in Malaysia. Still left a few in my fridge too sayang to finish them.

Supper tonight with instant spaghetti. Maggi can you please bring this and instant mashed potato to Malaysia? Mashed potato is not sold in cups in my country. Goodnight and see you tomorrow as we head over to France.

Lastly, I leave you with a video of my trip capture using only cellphone. The last video was made by my husband using SJCam.

11th April is our 11th Anniversary
11th April is our 11th Anniversary.. A special dedication to my wife.. Love Love..
Posted by Keong Da'Great on Friday, 10 April 2015

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