Travel

Switzerland and Snow

It has been just over 1 year since I started the blog and since then I have been to a number of European countries. Even though my blog description states that I write about travel too, I have not posted a single travel post yet. Writing about my Switzerland experience is the perfect way to kick start travel posts.
Living in UAE for nearly all my life, I have never had the chance to experience snow and it has been my dream to roam around in the snow covered mountains in Switzerland. My dream finally came true in December last year when me and a friend planned a Euro trip which included 2 days in Switzerland.
Even though Euros are accepted all around Switzerland, it is a good idea to carry a few Swiss Francs. I would suggest exchanging money in the country where you reside since you can get better rates from currency exchange houses.

Our journey to Switzerland commenced with a road trip from Frankfurt in Germany to Zurich. We reached Zurich in the afternoon and parked the car in a parking lot. It was time to explore the market and grab something to eat. As we walked around the streets of Zurich, snow was visible at the side of the roads indicating that it had snowed recently.

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Shot from the Zurich Marketplace

The market was lively with a number of cheerful people going around the market. Christmas celebrations were visible with decorated Christmas Trees outside shops. As we went ahead, we came across trams on the road. A few banks could be seen in the distance (hard to imagine Zurich without sighting a few banks).ย 

After buying a few souvenirs from a shop, we walked near the sea and enjoyed the view. We could see a few ducks swimming in the cold water. It wasn’t long before I felt something cold on my nose. As I touched to see what it was, it started snowing heavily and we started running back to the parking lot without visiting the nearby Christmas market. On the way back, I grabbed a burger from McDonalds and ate it in the car itself.
We left the parking lot and moved on the roads making our way out of the busy market. The signals in the market are very short and there are a number of radars. One needs to be pretty careful while driving here since the fines are pretty hefty as well. Once out of Zurich, we made our way to our hotel in Lucerne. The drive was not a long one which was a good thing since we were pretty tired after the long day. It was already dark as we began our search for the hotel.
Railway Tracks behind the Hotel
It wasn’t long before we found our hotel. To cut down on costs, we had booked a 2 night stay at the Ibis Budget Hotel, Lucerne. We got a decent room at a good rate and an underground parking space for the rented car at a minimal charge. Too tired to do anything more, my friend grabbed a pizza from a nearby eatery. After gobbling down the pizza, we dozed off so that we could explore in the morning.
A quick breakfast (which included Swiss cheese and Swiss chocolate) ensured that we had enough time to explore the city. We drove a few kilometers towards Interlaken to check out the scenic beauty of Switzerland and I was completely impressed by it. The photograph below shows a glimpse of what we witnessed. I was already in love with Switzerland by now.
On our way to Interlaken
Since we had a tight schedule, we could not explore further and headed straight to Engelberg to visit the beautiful Mt. Titlis. It wasn’t difficult to find Mt. Titlis thanks to the GPS in our car. As we drove to the foot on the mountain, I was awed by the beauty of Switzerland. There was plenty of paid parking available.
Getting out of the car was not an easy task since the temperature read at -9 degree Celsius. We changed into our snow shoes and walked up to the entrance. Forgetting my muffler was one of the biggest mistakes I made; luckily a store at the entrance offered one and I purchased it without hesitating a bit. I suggest that you bring along all your warm clothes since the cost of items at Mt. Titlis is pretty high.
Photo Studio at Mt. Titlis
After purchasing our tickets we started walking towards the cable cars which took us a bit higher and then to the next one till we reached near the top. From photo studios (photograph above) to restaurants, each floor has something different to offer.

Not wasting more time we headed to the top of Mt. Titlis. The weather was pleasant with the sun shining but it was still pretty cold.

At the Top of Mt. Titlis
At 10,000 feet above the ground, the view was spectacular and mesmerizing. I had never experienced anything like this ever. It didn’t matter that the temperature was atleast 15 degrees below freezing point. What mattered was that the beautiful view from the top.
I took a good view of the snowcapped peaks all around me as my eyes tried to absorb the beauty around me. I highly recommend anyone travelling to Switzerland to visit Mt. Titlis.
A view from the top
Before making our way back down, we visited the watch showroom on the top floor (who doesn’t like Swiss watches?) and then went to the restaurant in order to have a warm beverage to beat the cold weather.
On the way down, we got the chance to experience the Rotair once again. Rotair, is a cable car with turning interiors. The interior of the cable car moves in a circle offering different views without having to move around yourself. The other cable cars also have to offer amazing views.
View from a cable car
Tired but happy after having a great time at Mt. Titlis, we drove back to our hotel to crash for a bit before we drove back to Frankfurt to catch our flight to Milan.

We woke up early in the morning and after taking a shower, we packed and checked out of the hotel. Driving our way out of Lucerne and Switzerland we had smiles on our faces and memories to cherish for the rest of our lives.

Travel Tips:
– Since hotels in Switzerland are expensive, choose a budget hotel so that you can save money and spend it on something more useful like buying souvenirs.
– Carry snow shoes and warm clothes including mufflers if travelling during winters as it can get pretty cold.
– Wake up early to check out the city and marketplace since shops close earlier in European countries.
– Carry cash and credit cards. Exchange cash in the country you reside in.
– Check out offers at tourist spots. We missed out the discount at Mt. Titlis since we had no idea that rates for entry post 12 p.m. were lower.
– Plan your trip in advance and keep the trip long enough to travel all the good places (something we missed out on).
– Don’t miss to try Swiss Cheese and Swiss Chocolate.
– Click loads of photographs and have a fun time.

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