My trip to Switzerland was only for a week but that was enough for me to realize that travel in Switzerland is more than just tasting cheese and chocolates!
We had rented a car and zip zapped through villages and a lot of one-ways. By following the road signs that looked interesting and playing around with our GPS, we stumbled across a lot of places, which made me see Switzerland beyond the obvious.
St. Beatus Caves
I was curious from the start for this one. First of all, this was my first time going to a cave and secondly, I didn’t know this country had one! (What was there beyond chocolates & cheese anyway?) As we got out of our car, we saw stairs leading up to a top of a hill to a restaurant with a brilliant view and a great waterfall right underneath.This in itself was such a pretty sight that it took us 45 minutes just to reach the top, stopping everywhere to savor the view and click some pictures!
The whole stretch, inside the caves that we walked, was filled with all kinds of silent life forms. There were areas that were eerily silent but you were always just a corner away from the thunderous sound of flowing water.The stalactites and the stalagmites at every corner had a story to say and the reflections of the cave on small collections of extremely still water were a very precise imitation of those from a very clean mirror.
Photo credit here
I learnt here that 20% of Switzerland’s land is made of limestones which are ideal for the formation of caves. Apparently, the country has around 9000+ caves; some of those pictures can be seen in the museum downstairs. Most of them are not accessible to public and for a good reason too! But the beauty that I saw in those pictures of caves untouched by man was simply something that left me amazed.
Photo credit here
Who would think Switzerland has Iglus? This was a major bucket-list moment for me. This makes me want to go to Greenland even more!
The Iglu- Dorf in Zermatt is hugely commercialized. Every winter, they rebuild it under extreme conditions to create something very beautiful.
This is also an ideal place to sun- bath in the Alps with a beer in your hand and a hot burger in the other! Yes, that is right! A good day with no clouds to hide the sun can give enough warmth for you to peel off all those layers of clothes you had piled on yourself. In the midst of all the snow around, we were walking like regular people down the streets of Boston during spring!
Geissbach waterfalls is near the Grandhotel of Geissbach, which reminded me of ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’; the majestic conical roofs with grand chimneys overlooking an entire valley and an extremely tall seven-stepped waterfall that seems to come straight out of the heavens.
The trees were lush and the hike to the top is just unnaturally pretty! The small bridges that allow you to walk under the roaring water are just a small added pleasure. A hike to this wilderness ending with a good snack from the cafe at the Grand hotel is just a perfect way to complete a beautiful day.
Im Viadukt, Zurich
Now, this is nothing like the other places I have described above. This, in fact, is an old industrialized town now converted into a whole new artsy neighborhood. Im Viadukt in particular is a street with a series of shops under a railway viaduct. The trains run above as usual with not a care in the world for the activities that go on underneath.
Walk through the tiny lefts and rights and you will come across many stores which are simply mind-blowing! The creativity that people have demonstrated here to showcase their product is just at a level which I can’t fathom!
The numerous cafes and day bars and pubs plus a 5-floor store completely made of recycled and reused freight containers with a rusty decor made my day.
As I read the other travel blogs, I feel I have not done justice by giving this place only a week! Give me a shout out and let me know what other beautiful awesomeness I may have missed! Switzerland Toursim did help me a lot to plan my itinerary in advance though!