Lake Thun and Lake Brienz in Interlaken – A Pure Refreshment!

Lake Thun and Lake Brienz in Interlaken – A Pure Refreshment!

Keeping Interlaken as one of the destination for our first ever Europe trip turned out to be the best decision. This nature filled small town comes with so much of natural beauty and pure breath that you actually feel to get settle down there. I actually had a thought if I would ever need to leave my job and to decide on one place to settle down, Interlaken will be the first choice.

On our 1st day when we landed to Interlaken, we didn’t have any specific plan. We decided to just roam around and see the beauty of this nature heaven. Since our hotel was very near to Interlaken West Station and adjacent to that, there was a bus transportation facility, we got a bus towards Lake Thun. I would like to mention here that people from interlaken are very friendly and of helping nature. The bus conductor dropped us exactly to the point of Lake Thun.

we reached to Lake Thun and not to mention here that it was one of the most wonderful view I had ever dreamt of. Cold breeze, snow-capped mountains covered with mild clouds, equally settled carpet with green grass, beautiful trees and then crystal clear stunning Thun lake. What a breathtaking view!

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The best way to explore the lake is to opt out for cruise boat option.There are several boat trip options available and any one could make out your day. The main one is from Interlaken to Thun and it takes about 2 hours. We didn’t have luxury of time so we couldn’t make out of it, but boat option is a must if you really want to explore the beauty of lakes.

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After spending approx. of 1 hour, we were back to Interlaken West station. From here we headed to Interlaken OST station to have a  glimpse of Lake Brienz. We couldn’t find it prettier than Lake Thun, though it is said by the locals and bloggers that cruise boat trip from Lake Brienz is more prettier than Lake Thun. Since I couldn’t experience it personally, I rest it with the bloggers choice. Here are few clicks;img_4205

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After witnessing these beauties, we headed to Harder Kulm, Top of Interlaken. It is at walking distance from Interlaken OST Station and one of the must visit site. Here is my detailed blog on Harder Kulm;

Harder Kulm – Not Just Top of Interlaken, It’s Much More!

 

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Harder Kulm – Not Just Top of Interlaken, It’s Much More!

Harder Kulm – Not Just Top of Interlaken, It’s Much More!

On 25th April’16, we reached around 2 PM to our hotel. After getting refreshed, we were out at 3 PM and started exploring the place on our own. Having no pre-planning where to go, still we were confident that we will make most out of this place. We had a complimentary bus pass given by the hotel staff by using that we could go near-by places and can avail some discounts as well at railway tickets. After spending couple of hours exploring nearby scenic views, Lakes and Mountains, we moved to Interlaken OST railway station. From here we came to know about Harder Kulm, mostly known as Top of Interlaken. We didn’t read about it before travelling to Interlaken though were convinced to be at this place by the ticket operator at OST station. In her words, for me this place is like, “Reach in the morning, had couple of beers, read a book, enjoy the city view surrounded by mountains covered with eternal snow. You guys will definitely like it. Though you are starting late, but still you should go.” And we were convinced. Rest is the story that we would have missed out a big if we missed it. Thanks to the ticket operator who made our day!

How to Reach

The journey from Interlaken to the Harder Kulm (Interlaken’s local mountain), takes ten minutes by cable train. Harder Kulm station is at walking distance from OST station. Tickets can be bought from OST station or from Harder Kulm station itself. Ticket price is around CHF 15 for one.

Train Journey

Before we could witness Interlaken view from altitude of 1322 meter height, we enjoyed 10 minutes cable train journey at fullest. Almost 90′ steep train journey, it is no less than an adventure in itself. Constructed by cutting the mountains, it gives a breathtaking view and thrill while reaching up to the harder Kulm mountain station. It is said that it has been more than 100 years for cable train serving the tourists.

Harder Kulm Mountain station to the Viewing Deck

It is around 5 minutes picturesque view walk from mountain station to the viewing deck. On the way you witness the calmness of mountain which are filled with eternal snow and slow moving clouds. You feel the almighty nature and believes why it is called God’s heaven. Viewing deck just out of the mountain and you can’t beat the view that Harder Kulm offers from here. A wonderful panorama view of the Alps, two lakes and the beautiful city of Interlaken. It is just an amazing view which is a must experience if you are in Interlaken. If luck favors and weather is clear, the view is going to be incredible.

Restaurant

At harder Kulm, there is a standalone restaurant just in front of viewing deck. At 2 degree of temperature, when we were freezing outside viewing one of the most incredible view, we had no choice but to get inside the restaurant. A warm feeling sitting inside and watching the view from wall size glass windows, we ordered Swiss homemade beer and red wine. We spend around 1 hour sitting there and ordered few drinks. Its little expensive restaurant but looking at the warmth and feel it gives at the top of Interlaken, it’s worth spending time there. The only drawback here, you just can’t sit idle even for 5 minutes, stewards will keep asking you on frequent interval to order something even if restaurant is empty and there is no customer. We faced such incident there.

Nearby Attractions

The Harder Kulm is a starting point for mountain hikes. It also offers a beautiful view of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains as well as Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Folklore evenings are held regularly on the Harder Kulm. There’s fun at the playground for children.

Overall Rating

A must visit place if you are in Interlaken. You need to keep 2-3 hours aside for this place including cable train waiting and travel time. Though it all depends on your schedule and mood. Overall I give 4 out of 5 rating to this place for cable train journey and incredible view from viewing deck.

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A Day in Milan, Italy

A Day in Milan, Italy

Travelling for our first ever Europe trip and keeping 3 days for Italy, we never kept Milan in our plan. Having Venice a definite one of the destination, we were not sure for the 2nd destination. We wanted to cover two cities in Italy and along with Venice, we were always confused with Florence or Rome. But finally we ended up choosing Milan. Why we chosen Milan on top of Rome and Florence, there were two reasons, first one day was not enough to discover Rome or Florence and second was to cut our travelling time to Switzerland which was our next destination after Italy. Having Venice reaching point, Milan was a stopover when we finally headed to Interlaken (Switzerland).

Milan is never in the top travelling destination when heading to Italy and same way I was not convinced to have Milan in our trip plan. Though I must say that I was proven wrong and to admit that it was actually the sweetest mistake we made in our plan 🙂 A warm stay in Four Points by Sheraton hotel, Beautiful Weather, visit to Duomo cathedral (the third largest Gothic cathedral in the world), Museum and Shopping, all which turned one day experience to a lifetime experience.

Start of the Day

We started around 10.30 AM from hotel and by 10.45 we were at Milano Central Railway Station buying Metro pass. We bought Metro pass valid for 24 hours costing 4.5 Euro each. After a very short journey of 10 minutes, we got down to Duomo M3 station. This station exit is just in front of Duomo Cathedral Church which is the third largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Just walk out of the Metro station and the majestic view of Gothic cathedral welcomes you.

Duomo Cathedral

Duomo Cathedral is referred with many names i.e. Duomo di Milano, Milan Cathedral, and Domm di Milan. It is dedicated to St Mary of the Nativity, it is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan, currently Cardinal Angelo Scola. The Gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete. It is the largest church in Italy (the larger St. Peter’s Basilica is in the State of Vatican City) and the fifth largest in the world. (Source: wiki)

Duomo square, the outside area of church is filled with tourists from all over the world. Tourists taking selfies, feeding Pigeons or just sitting and looking at this mammoth structure beauty mention a lot about this stunning place.

Entry Ticket

We paid around 15 Euro each which included access to Church, Terrace by lift, Duomo Museum. After waiting for around an hour, we got entered into the Duomo Church. It is advised to buy tickets online to avoid long queues in buying the ticket at counter and then getting into another queue for entrance. It will easily eat up minimum of 1 hour and may be longer if you are there on weekends or at holiday time.

Church inside and Terrace View

 A church with many historical evidence speak a lot about its archaeological beauty. It is a wonder in itself and surprised us of how this structure was built at that time when we hardly had such Equipment like today. A divine calmness you feel inside attracts you towards the eternal almighty. There are few interesting facts about this church which includes;

  • It is the fifth largest Christian church in the world.
  • It has the most statues than any other building in the world. There are 3,400 statues, 135 gargoyles and 700 figures that decorate Milan Duomo.
  • It took thousands of workers and over six centuries to complete this enormous church and the work still going on.

Climb the stairs or take the lift to the rooftop to fully appreciate the architecture. Since we bought the tickets including lift to the rooftop, we bypassed the stairs tiredness. From the terrace, you will see breathtaking views across Milan. On clear days, you would see snow-capped peaks of the Alps. Gold-coloured statue of Mary that stands on the highest spire looks awe-inspiring.

Duomo Museum

Just across the Duomo square, Duomo Museum is a must visit place. After visiting the church we got entry to Museum with the same ticket. If your ticket didn’t include Museum entry, you can buy a separate ticket for Museum entry. Museum gives a perfect glimpse of the quality of sculpture and architecture of the renaissance period in Europe. There are several sections in museum and each section speaks its own story. There are many sculpture so alive, it feels they are talking to you. The central piece of the Museum is the model of the Duomo. In a short, it’s a kind of museum which thrills you and keep you bonded.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

By the time we got free from Museum, it was around 5 PM. We walked around the streets and went to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This is a shopping area just next to the Duomo Square. It is really lovely and picturesque complex. It’s very busy and also very expensive. To eat there, prices are triple as compared to other restaurants. Though, more interesting part was the architecture than the shops. Especially the spiral glass dome is amazingly beautiful.

Street Walk, Shop & Eat

It was around 6.30 PM and we were quite hungry. Just behind the Duomo, we could find out McDonald and we were just more than happy. We had a Veg and another Chicken dinner deal. Since it was McDonald so price was reasonable as compared to the other eatery shops. After that, we walked around the shopping street which was again just across the Duomo square. We could find lot of branded shops there and Milan didn’t let us down. We bought lot of stuff from the shopping street and once we were done from the shopping, we had a delicious double scoops ice cream. Now it was around 9:00 PM and we were quite surprised that we spend full day just around the Duomo square only and time went like quick. We got our Metro back to the nearest station and walked to the Hotel. Wish we could stay in Milan for one more day!

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Eiffel Tower, Paris – It’s Not Just A Tower!

Eiffel Tower, Paris – It’s Not Just A Tower!

For our first ever Europe trip, we kept 3 days or rather 2.5 days for Paris. City of Love, City of Fashion, City of Lights, Paris is always in top list for any traveller. With the same height of love with Paris, we kept Paris as one of our destination. We planned this trip in April’16 and we felt freezing there. It was cold and windy and I surprised how natives would be surviving when its actually winter. We landed to Paris on 27th afternoon and by 5 PM, we were in the hotel. What to do with the first evening in Paris, with no doubts we had tickets for Eiffel Tower. This is one of the most recognisable structure in the world and has become a global culture icon of France. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world.

Tickets Booking

We booked our tickets online 1 month in advance from Eiffel Tower official website http://www.toureiffel.paris/en/preparing-your-visit/buying-your-tickets.html. If you are planning Paris trip, we recommend you to book your tickets much in advance. Specially, the top floor is not easily available and you need to keep a watch on available slots.

Ticket Price, Timings and Other Info

Ticket price is 17 Euro and I felt it is not that too expensive. For timings and other info, we recommend to keep checking official website. There may be changes in visiting timings by the officials and info is updated on the site.

Around the Eiffel Tower

You will find lot of street Vendors around the Eiffel tower selling Junk Food, Drinks, Accessories, Eiffel Tower Show Pieces and sometimes you will find them selling Liquor also late night. Sometimes these street Vendors may be annoying and try hard to sell their stuff. Being a tourist you need to be smart to avoid them.

Please Hold my Camera, I need a Memorable Click

Before travelling, I read lot of reviews suggesting not to handover your camera to unknown. There are cases when this unknown may run away with your camera and there is no one to help you. The strangers may be well dressed so you better not to trust anyone. With these reviews back in my mind, I was very cautious asking someone to capture a life time click of mine. Thanks to the invention of selfie! Jokes apart, you need to be cautious and that’s the only precaution.

Overall Experience

One of the dream came true when we witnessed this world famous monument. Paris evening with an amazing weather, glittering lights glazing around the Eiffel Tower, a mesmerising view from top of the tower, it was an unforgettable evening. Hope to see this beauty again!

 

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Shilthorn Mountain – Weather Dependent, Expensive Yet Recommended!

Shilthorn Mountain – Weather Dependent, Expensive Yet Recommended!

In our 9 days Europe trip plan, we had 2 days or rather 1.5 day for Interlaken (Switzerland). Switzerland, the name itself brings lot of joy inside and all beautiful nature filled mountains with full of greenery comes to your mind. For anyone, any day, I must say Switzerland is a dream place to be. We had the same sort of feelings and were thrilled to be part of this life time experience. Since we had no prior bookings for any adventure, we had two choices to witness the top of Europe; Jungfraujoch (top of Europe) or Schilthorn (007 famed). Jungfraujoch lies at a height of 3,466 meters (11,371 ft) above sea level and Schilthorn is at height of 2,970 metres (9744 ft). Looking at the weather reports, day schedule and ticket price, we went with Schilthorn option and must say it didn’t put us down.

Start of the Day

To reach any of the mountain, we had to board the train for which no prior booking is needed. We reached to Interlaken OST station around 11.45 AM and I must say it was a very late start. Though we were committed to see one of the top mountains.

Weather Conditions

It is most benefited to go to such a top place when weather is sunny. Though most of the time it is not like that and on top of that you can’t predict. One moment it is sunny and another moment, it could be cloudy. We had a moderate weather prediction and coming to such a place I didn’t want to miss the change to go there.

Ticket Price

Jungfraujoch ticket was around 200 Euro and for Schilthorn it was costing around 120 Euro per person. Looking at the weather report, day schedule and price factor, we decided to go ahead with Schilthorn. Our purpose was to be on one of the top mountain and if it comes with 80 Euro less price then why not to go save something.

007 Factor

Schilthorn mountain is more famous for its connection with James Bond 007 fame movie ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’.  

Culinary Aspects

Revolving restaurant with panoramic view, James Bond champagne breakfast, 007-Burger.

Accessibility 
Train from Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen, Postbus to Stechelberg, cable car in four sections via Gimmelwald, Mürren and Birg to the Schilthorn; or from Lauterbrunnen cable car to the Grütschalp, narrow-gauge train to Mürren, on foot through the village (15 minutes) and cable car to the Schilthorn.

Journey Experience

A life time encounter with majestic mountain peaks on the Swiss skyline with Eiger, Munch and Jungfrau and 200 other summits. A breathtaking view and feeling like being in heaven ensures you the worth of money paid. The journey to reach from Interlaken OST station to Lauterbrunnen and then further connecting cable car is itself enthralling and filled with dream come true feeling. So beautiful, so amazed mountains covered with snow, Christmas trees with snow toppings, what more you could think of nature. You feel just be part of this breathtaking view and never go back.

 

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Disney Land Paris – An Absolute Fun Land!

Disney Land Paris – An Absolute Fun Land!

A fairy-tale story we all would have heard in the childhood, a world of cartoon characters (as we name them) which always attracts us, those smiley faces who are always filled with joy, all these you experience when you land into Disneyland. It looks you got an entry into a whole new world which is full of magic and fun. This place may be more attracted to child per say, but were not you kids at one point of time. As a child, we always wished to be part of their life and so everyone enjoys and be the part of this fantasy Disney world. Our whole day went into straight fun and we didn’t realize the tiredness or dizziness.

We got entry into Walt Disney Studios around 11 AM. Entrance welcomes you with musical band and few shops with magical lightening.

Once you are through the lobby, you get into an open space and there are different blocks/building to visit per your interests. To name few; Disney classic Theatre which takes around 30-45 minutes depending on the visitors queue, Studio Tram Tour which takes 45-60 minutes depending on the queue again. We started with Disney Classic Theatre which I would call not so exiciting.

Then we headed to Studio Tram Tour which was worth visiting. On this small train journey, we seen small studio setup (which they call Behind the Magic tour) where many movies have been filmed.

Our next stop was ‘Lincoln Logs’ which we felt we could have avoided. Long waiting queue and it consumed almost 1 hour and then we found it was actually meant for children. Though if your wife or girlfriend is scared of thrill rides, this smaller one will please you for sure.

Next ride was ‘RC Racer’. Worth being there for me but may not be for my wife. It was thrilled compared to the others but not too scary. So far this was the one I enjoyed.

Now we headed to ‘Hollywood Tower’ and experience was great. It looked like visiting a ghost bungalow where every possible thing was presented as scary as possible. Then finally main attraction of this tower was life threatening lift ride. Since no click was allowed inside so we couldn’t take one. But it’s a must go place.

Then we spend time walking around this park and took some nice clicks with our favourite characters. Had a refreshment with rolls and coffee and by 5.30 we headed to ‘Disneyland Park’. The lobby itself is beautiful and once you come out of it, you witness the most awaited ‘Sleeping Beauty Castle’.

We selected ‘Space Mountain’ as our first ride and I think I made the mistake here. It was the most thrilled ride there and my wife almost vomited and got severe headache. Thanks to the evening parade which we joined just after this ride and was so joyful that we forgot the last experience.

Evening parade was just after the ‘Space Mountain’ and it was the best entertainment we called so far. It is a don’t-miss-at-any-cost-event.

Sleeping beauty castle was the next place and it was as beautiful as heaven. A perfect place to get some life time memorable clicks.

Sleeping beauty castle walk-through is an amusing walk. You have a couple of joy rides also to feel like a kid.

Our last ride was ‘Car driving’. With mild rain, this car drive was a good choice, though we waited for approx. 45 minutes in queue.

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Now it was almost 9 O’clock and we were damn hungry. we grabbed two subs and coke to fuel our empty tanks.

When we were about to leave, to our surprise, we witnessed the magical night show just over the castle. It was a storyteller show which was mixed with 3D images, fireworks and music. What a way to finish our day. With lots of memories in our mind and camera, we boarded the metro to back to our hotel.

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8 Locations in Europe for an ideal summer vacations!

8 Locations in Europe for an ideal summer vacations!

Planning to go abroad for the summer vacation? If not, then these places will surely convince you to plan your travel here. Here is the chance to go to the most peaceful and naturally beautiful places in Europe that have always been in your bucket list. With the longest vacation approaching, we bring you 8 Locations in Europe for an ideal summer vacations to utilize this time and explore Europe at its best.

Santorini, Greece

Come and indulge in the Greek culture in Santorini and savor the food and wines and stay at the most cozy hotels here. The neatly white washed buildings have made this island one of the world’s top islands to be traveled to.

Santorini, Greece

 

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Bask in the sun on this beautiful Italian coast. Amalfi coast stretches on southern coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula and attracts tourists from all around the world through its beautiful beaches.

amalfi coast

Colmar, France

This town probably just remained as a fraction of your imagination, until now. The streets of Colmar are just like a fairytale, with all the buildings painted in beautiful colours. The town is situated on the Alsatian Wine Route and is widely known as the “capital of Alsatian wine”.

Colmar

Bavaria, Germany

If you travel for history and culture, Bavaria is your paradise. It offers a great deal of history of the duchy empire, the Neuschwanstein Castle, and also attracts thousands of tourists to indulge in the abundant scenic beauty.

Bavaria

Bernese Oberland, Switzerland

Bernese Oberland offers you lush green forests, high mountains and peaks covered with snow, all in the same place. It is ideal to travel in summers, so that you can enjoy greenery and snow covered areas, and even try skiing in their summer glaciers.

BerneseOberland

Gruyères, Switzerland

The land where the famous Gruyères cheese is made, is a beautiful place to spend your vacations in. Travel here to enjoy the pleasant weather and the cheese and wine tasting. Apart from the cheese and wine, the hotels too, are a great deal of attraction here.

Gruyeres

High Tatras Mountains, Slovakia

The High Tatras Mountains are a mountain range that runs along the border of northern Slovakia and southern Poland in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship. The range offers its visitors thousands of scenic views from various points. It truly is a paradise for mountain climbers and has a lot of activity going on in summers related to hiking and mountain climbing.

High Tatra mountains

Bled, Slovania

Bled attracts tourists every year through its mesmerizing blue Lake Bled. Away from all the hustling cities, this place has all kinds of serenity and peace to offer. The scenic beauty here melts you down so much so that you would never want to leave this place.

Bled

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