Saturday 1 September 2012

Switzerland: The Land of Mountains & Swiss Watches

We start our journey around the world with our first destination, Switzerland.

I've always wanted to visit the Swiss Alps so we made it one of the 2 countries we visited (the other was Italy) for our honeymoon! As we had already spent most of our time planning for the wedding, the hubby and I agreed that we should leave our trip in the hands of a tour agency.

Day 1: Rheinfalls, Schaffhausen
We landed in Zurich and made our first stop at Rheinfalls, the largest waterfall in Europe.

Our first stop at Rheinfalls, Schaffhausen

It looks small in the pictures because we're a long distance away but trust me, it was huge! And if you would like to see it up, close and personal, you can board a boat that will take you to a rock structure where you will be just above the falls. We didn't as it was already late in the afternoon and we had to rush to another place for dinner.

Day 2: Lucerne
The next day we explored cultured Lucerne, which is the birth place of Swiss watch retailer, Bucherer.

Bucherer and other shops

Just a short distance away is the famous Lion Monument, which was carved out of natural rock (cool right?) to commemorate the death of more than 800 Swiss mercenaries while defending the residence of King Louis XVI during the French Revolution.

Walking the streets leading to the Lion Monument

You can't see it very clearly but there is a spear that pierced the lion and even as it is dying, it was still protecting its shield. It's one of the saddest yet most meaningful sculptures I've ever seen.

We then proceeded on to Mount Titlis, one of the most famous mountains in Switzerland.

So beautiful it should be a painting.. hey, I could paint this! *laughs*

It's so high up, we need to take 3 different types of gondolas and a total of 45 minutes in order to get to the top.

Taking the cable cars up the mountain

Once we disembarked the Rotair, which rotates 360 degrees high up in the mountains, we didn't immediately reach the peak. Instead, we were brought into the Titlis Glacier cave, where the ice glistens and air was colder than outside!

Check us out in full winter gear

Of course we didn't stay there for long as we were too excited to get to the whole reason why we were there.

Reaching the peak!

This was the very first time that the hubby and I touched real snow and had our first snow ball fight! *laughs*

Fooling around in the snow
More fooling around

We were like children in a candy store! It was really fun =)

Later on we had lunch at a restaurant, which had awesome views of the mountains.

Lunching with a view

And to top it off, we ate ice-cream outside in the snow =)

Oh this is the life!

If you're wondering, yes, the hubby took off all his 'winter' gear 'cos he claimed it was not cold at all.. which made sense because we went in the Summer but still.. -_-

One of the reasons why we love Switzerland! The mountains are so majestic and cool (literally *laughs*).

Day 3: Berne
We explored the streets of Berne, the old capital of Switzerland, the next day.

The Old Part of Town Berne

The Old Part of Berne is actually one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites since 1983. It is home to the Haus of Einstein and the famous Zytglogge Clock Tower.

Einstein's house in Berne
Zytglogge Clock Tower

The clock and the moving figures was built in 1530 and still works today. As you can see in my photo above, the minute hand is about to hit the hour mark so we were all waiting patiently for the clock to chime =)

The hubby didn't really enjoy this place (cos he's not really a cultural/arty kind of person) but I think this place is still worth a visit if you love traditional old-school architecture.

Day 4: Interlaken
We travelled for many hours and finally arrived at scenic Interlaken.

Jung Frau in the backdrop

Interlaken is a small town at the base of Jung Frau, whose peak Jung Frau Joch is also known as the Top of Europe. We were given a choice to pay an additional 100 Euros per person to visit Jung Frau Joch but as we were young and really broke, we decided to give it a pass and explore the town instead.

Walking around & exploring Interlaken

It was in the midst of our exploration that we bought swiss army knives and a small traditional music box that we found in a small quaint store. And like true Singaporeans, we were delighted to stumble upon a supermarket down the road where we had local delights for lunch and bought the sweetest strawberries I've ever eaten! =)

Yummy food at Interlaken

I also got a chance to try blowing the alpine horn, which was really harder than expected.

I could hardly get a sound out despite blowing really hard

But eventually I did it, even though it wasn't very loud.. but still.. *laughs* We really had a great time at Interlaken! Really enjoyable place to visit =)

Day 5: Zermatt
Our final 2 days in Switzerland was spent in Zermatt, a small village at the foot of the Matterhorn.

We had to take a train to reach the beautiful town

You know the Matterhorn right?

Our best picture of the tip of the Matterhorn

It is only one of the most famous and most photographed mountains in the world! Plus, you see it all the time.. on the box of every Toblerone! =)

And the best thing about this village is that all the vehicles here (including the train we took to reach it) are all electric, so there are zero emissions!

Our electric taxi

As a result, the air is always fresh, clear and dry.

Enjoying the fresh air and the amazing view

It is thus not surprising that this little village was the hubby's favourite destination of the whole trip. Sipping wine in the cold.. that's the life man! We had such a great time bonding in Switzerland =)

Spending quality time together

If you enjoy seeing majestic mountains everywhere you go (like we do), you would love Switzerland! This is definitely one of my favourite destinations in the world =)

Tomorrow, Ling Siew from A View from Mama’s Desk will be bringing you to Sunny California. She'll be highlighting places where you and your kids will enjoy and also offer a suggested itinerary for those who are planning to visit California soon.

About Ling Siew

Ling Siew is a mother to two boys – Nathan (almost 3 years old) and Noah (1 year old). She recently quit her full time job so that she’ll have more time for her boys. It took her a long time before she decided to stay home full time, and boy is she glad she did. She started Mama Shoppe which she operates out of home. Ling Siew blogs at A View from Mama’s Desk where she writes about her boys’ adventures at school, at ‘work’ and at play.

This post is part of a Blog Train hosted by me! =)
Check back everyday to continue your journey around the world!


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