Wednesday, July 22, 2009

EU trip (Switzerland), Day 13

DAY 13
Morning was quite clear with some sunny start. We bought some supplies from the super market and then started off to visit Bern the Swiss capital. It is about an hour drive from Interlaken. We had left Interlaken with some very good memories and given a chance would definitely visit this place again.

The drive was alongside the lake for some time and then on a highway through the mountains towards the capital. We would be finishing our drive at Engelberg just at the base of Mt. Titlis and in the Luzern area. Mount Titlis is another famous mountain of Swiss.

We had another task in Bern to find some Halal meat for the feast tonight as my bro and his family was going to the same place via rail and would join us for the dinner. They were on the run for about a month and desperately wanted to eat something like that. After reaching Bern we parked in the main parking in the center of the city just above the main station and went to the info center for some help. Then we started our city walk to cover the major places on foot. It didn’t take us long to complete our tour, hence we started to find some Asian store for the meat. It wasn’t long when we found the appropriate store and bought some good chicken from there, and some more spices those were running out from our kitchen.

Bern is a nice little town with some great tram system in place. It has a lot of historic buildings in the city like most of the other EU cities. All EU cities are trying to sell their Art and Culture that they’ve preserved pretty well. The city tours are usually consisted of few churches, some govt. buildings, a few museums and a few parks. The architecture is very much similar to each other, to be very honest. The other thing they sell is the liberty they provide to the youngsters in terms of drinking and smoking. Switzerland in this sense is very lucky that it has something extra and that is the natural beauty but very well maintained. Bern was just another city in Swiss and I didn’t find anything really special about it. So we moved on to pass Luzern and reach Engelberg, it was another couple of hours from there.

Drive was through some highways with fairly nice views and we made it to Engelberg without anything special but we knew that tonight’s dinner was going to be a good one. Excitement ran through my spine and I couldn’t wait to eat that. We were camping tonight and tomorrow. This was a very pretty little town with a few streams and rivers going through the town. Mountains on both sides, trees and plantation everywhere, flowers filled windows of each and every house. Despite being a tiny town it had a vibrant feeling and the little main street was busy enough. The station was small but it gets busy for a couple of minutes as soon as a train arrives. We were just about the finish using the bathroom facilities at the station when we received a call from my bro that they were just about to arrive in town. What a perfect timing for us to be at the right place at the right time. So just after a couple of minutes here they were. Small World!!

We left the kids at a park to play and burn their excessive energies and went out to find a hotel for them and a campsite for us. Sohail had stayed here before and he wanted to find the same place for themselves so it took us some time to find the same hotel but finally we found it and also got the booking in it. Then we went to find the campsite and that wasn’t difficult to find either. There is only one campsite here and it is next to a hotel and a trailer park. So this facility has all sorts of flavors having all types of accommodation available. They gave us a site in no time and we were quite happy to find this one as we had a full view of a waterfall from the place we selected for us to pitch our tent.

Let me approve of this campsite being the best of all I’ve stayed at and I’ve been to several other campsites. This was best in terms of the bathroom, laundry and other facilities not from the site perspective. The sites were not bad as well but these are in EU and I explained earlier how are the campsites in EU. There was a big laundry room with drying fans in the basement. Bathrooms were excellent having all five star facilities, but for showers we had to pay 2 euro and the showers worked for 4 minutes. The place was extremely clean and they had some nice play areas for children including a small pond with wooden logs for kids to experience with bamboos to float around. Overall I’ll give full marks to this place, a very well organized and managed place.

After finding a good pitch we erected our tent and set up our beds. The evening was quite chilly and we were using our wind blockers or jumpers to protect ourselves. It was late but for us to start cooking the best dinner of our trip. Sohail and family arrived after setting them up at the hotel. We only had a small utensil to cook so we had to make two or three rounds of cooking to cook for everybody. We had all the necessary stuff to cook the meal as we cooked at home but the environment and the place added some extra taste in our food and without doubt this was our best meal in 15 days. We got fresh bread from the camp store to eat with it. An awesome evening and what a finish to a days excursion. We wrapped up and as usual Wasim did the dishes. We had a nice walk in the area to explore it further and after that came back to the tent to call it a day. Another beautiful night and another wonderful day finished. A lot of memories collected to cherish in the years to come. Good Night!!

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