Wednesday, July 22, 2009

EU trip (Switzerland), Day 14

DAY 14 – Lets Conquer Mount Titlis

We had a good few hours’ sleep as we slept late last night but still the night was quite comfortable and was not very cold either. Morning was very nice and bright. An opportunity for us to use the best bathrooms once again and we did justice to that. Breakfast was simple with some eggs and bread. Today we would go up to Mt. Titlis via three different cable cars while Sohail and family would go to another ski place on the opposite side via cable cars.

After we were ready we went to the information centre to purchase tickets to Titlis. We got a deal for three adults and three kids for 200 franks and headed to the cable car station that was just half a mile away to catch the cable car. As soon as we got in line a couple of buses came in a lot of rush accumulated behind us. To reach the top there were three stages and at each stage we had to change the cable car. First of all there is a small size cabin that took us to the first stage, it could only accommodate 6 people. The second stage was a big bus kind of cable car that could accommodate 81 standing people. And the third stage was a circular cable car that revolved around while going up and it could also accommodate about 80 standing people. There were stunning views from the cable cars at each stage, but the side windows and glass in all sides of the cable cars were badly scratched as these were used for people going up for skiing in the winters and they carry their gear and skis, which scratched the sides. On the smaller sized cable cars, there were flags of all the countries or may be flags of those countries where there are mountains and glaciers…I’m not sure about that. Anyhow we enjoyed the ride specially the kids. It took about 45 minutes to complete one side but it took us longer to finish one side as due to some problem we were hung in the air for more than 15 minutes in the third stage.

On the last stop we saw a lot of snow. It was very cold up here. There were indoor viewing rooms for people who did not want to go out. But we had purchased the ticket to the Glacier Park as well to have some fun, therefore we had to walk on the snow for some time to catch an open flying chair which took us down for 10 minutes to reach the Glacier Park on one side of the Mount Titlis. These are the similar kind of chairs used by the skiers to go up or down for shorter distances. There were six seats on one flat surface and we were six people so we all sat on one long chair. The flying chair went over glacial surfaces and crevasses; it was terrible to see those holes in the glaciers. There were snow-capped mountains all around; one would feel like at the top of the world here. This 10 minutes flying over the glaciers was very nice, and once we were dropped at the glacier park kids started to get the two rides available there. Both these rides were not like electric rides but in natural settings, one was a tubing over the glacial surface and nice carved slide that took the tube to high speed and then stopped at a place a couple of hundred meters away down in the valley, and the other one was different types of sledges and a sliding area. Both of them were very interesting. Despite being so cold children didn’t want to go back from here. Running in the snow made our feet wet and some parts of cloths were wet too, but the adrenaline rush kept us going in the cold temperatures. We moved back before getting sick because of the cold after a couple of hours of fun in the snow. This reminded us of snowing in Canada when we used to run to the slopes in a park near by, with our sledges. It was an amazing experience. We came back to the main building/station of Titlis and got some snaps outside. Then had a lunch break in the viewing room on the 4th floor. Day was absolutely clear today and all the mountains in the region were visible with naked eye or with the binocular.

We also visited the Glacier caves here that are nicely carved caves within the glaciers. There was very good lighting arrangement in the ice walls. It was a short walk but worth it.

On the way back we got down on the second stage, as there was a nice lake just 10 minutes walk from the stop. We enjoyed the lake view with stunning surroundings and took a lot of pictures in this area. This hour’s break was very soothing for the eyes due to the fresh green color around and the lake giving us reflection of the mountains. There was abundance of fish in the lake and one could see schools of fish very close to the edges also.

The next stop was on the Engelberg station from where we started this morning. This was the end of a thrilling ride to Mt. Titlis. We walked for half a mile to reach the main street where Sohail joined us and the kids got company. They all rented bicycles to enjoy on the small streets of the town and we headed back to the campsite. Iman and Hassan stayed with us, as they were not big enough to ride bikes on the hilly surface.

The site was full of life with a lot of kids playing in the play areas and running around. Our kids joined them for the fun too. The evening was very pleasant and not cold at all. We enjoyed sitting in the sun for a while, walked on the green pastures and enjoyed the clear view of waterfall just above our camp. A river was passing just behind our tent and was producing rapids and a noise that we didn’t mind rather enjoyed as the music of the environment.

Night was approaching and the rest of the gang also joined us after some time. Tonight we would be cooking Daal Chaawal for all of us. Kids went to play area while we started our cooking. Another delicious meal was served after an hour or so. The environment added a lot of tasted to it without doubt.

After the dinner we all went for bicycle ride / walked further north from our site and crossed some nice fields and golf course. We returned back when it started to get darker. One bike also started to give trouble and its wheel was jamming again and again so it was time to quite cycling for tonight. We all came back to the site and Sohail and family said good-bye and returned to their hotel. We wrapped up as much as we could, as we would be leaving this place the next morning. The night was as interesting as the previous one and we really enjoyed the bedtime talk. Another day and another amazing finish to it.

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