Switzerland, for Indians, has always been an attraction for its well-distinguished countryside. For us, it’s a country to skip the big towns, wander off the highway onto the back roads, and experience those unforgettable Bollywood movie sequences we’ve grown up watching. From Sangam (released in 1960s) to Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaege, Indian cinema’s fascination for romantic songs and dreamy sequences, being shot in Switzerland, never took a step back.
And to personally experience the never-ending fascination for Swiss countryside and its Alps, I decided to leave Zurich behind, and do a day trip to the mount of Titlis on the very first day I arrived in the country.
[Also Read: A Scenic Bus Ride In Switzerland]
For those who don’t know, Mount Titlis is a mountain located at 10,000 feet above sea level, in the Urner Alps of Switzerland. It is easily accessible from Zurich, via train, but the best way to explore it is by booking a day trip. This is for two reasons: one because it’s convenient and saves you time, and two because by doing so you get to explore another highlight in Switzerland, and that is the beautiful town of Luzern — all in one day!
First Stop: The Town Of Luzern
I booked my trip with a tour company called ‘The Best Of Switzerland’, and it couldn’t be any better — thanks to a lovely company of fellow tourists, a super-affable tour guide Marseille and his quirky sense of humor.
We started from Zurich at 9:30 in the morning, by passing a few smaller towns and a conduit of ever impressive highways, before reaching our first stop at the town of Luzern. And it turned out to be one of those picturesque ancient towns, I definitely did not want to miss during my visit to Switzerland.
Located, almost blissfully, in the central part of Switzerland, Luzern can only be best enjoyed on foot and marveling at its prettily painted historic houses. We had more than an hour to explore the town of Luzern and its number of notable medieval landmarks including the Chapel Bridge, one of Europe’s oldest covered bridges.
Though Luzern is historic, you should not expect it to be any seemingly medieval looking, or rustic. Exemplified by the architecturally impressive Culture and Convention Center and designed by a French architect, the many breathtaking new-age buildings in Luzern allow you to find a perfect balance between the time of yesterday, and of tomorrow.
Next Stop: The Town of Engelberg And The Mount Of Titlis
After a wee ride from Luzern, and more breathtaking views of what seemed to be a perpetual picture perfect world, we finally reached Engelberg, just below Mt. Titlis, from where our journey of two different cable cars — a standard cable car, and a revolving one, called the Rotair, started.
As I got into the first one and journeyed towards a whopping 10,000 feet above sea level, I wondered how they managed to the setup and an observatory at such challenging landscapes. But you do not need to worry as the entire seemingly breathtaking facilities are more than safe.
The revolving Rotair wounded its way up towards the snow-covered summit as I was reminded by someone that it was perhaps the world’s first revolving gondola that can accommodate up to 50 people and can reach to an altitude of 10,000 feet above the sea level.
The gondola revolved 360 degrees during its five-minute trip, treating its passengers to idyllic panoramic views of steep rock faces, deep crevasses, and the prominent snow-covered mountain peaks.
It took a little less than half an hour before I was on the top of Mount Titlis — with a few dozen other happy tourists, half of whom appeared to be Asian.
There were a few activities on Mount Titlis besides feeling awed sitting inside a cable car. This included the cliff walk, Europe’s highest suspension bridge, a glacier cave, and an ice flyer. Out of all of them, however, I particularly loved walking through the glacier cave, where the ice appeared to lit up in different colors, and the temperature felt at least a few degrees below zero.
A Few Tips To Plan Your Trip Better
- Wear warm clothes, gloves, and good shoes. Though you don’t need any snow gear having warm clothes is important.
- Inside the rotating gondola (the Rotair) get closer to the window, any window, because as the whole cabin starts rotating you get 360-degree panoramic views of the alps.
- If time allows, explore the town of Engleberg. It is one of those fairytale-like towns that make you believe that Switzerland was rather painted and not born. Here the hills appear soft, rolling and bright green.
Also Read: How To Spend 24 Hours In Zurich