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Thursday, July 18

dreams comes true in Switzerland

Visiting Switzerland has been a dream of my mother’s. It is one of those she thinks is magical. When my parents planned to visit in April (they were one of the guests in the midst of all the visitors), we agreed to visit Switzerland. My dad wanted to see the day to day European life and visit Italy but with a trip to Switzerland, Italy couldn’t be planned. Plus we had just visited Firenze and Pisa with other guests before my parents arrived.

With Indian (& some German) junk food on hand and playing cards packed, we drove. With couple mini breaks, we arrived in Interlaken that afternoon. The clouds were moving in with predicted storms but we trekked to the city to wonder around and eat dinner. Having had a long day in the car, we ate early and headed back to our Inn. We played cards for couple hours while it rained outside. Traveling or at home, we often played cards with the guests and it made all their visits fun.

The next morning the weather was better, especially on the peaks. We drove to couple waterfalls and learned because Interlaken and surrounding villages are in the Alps, there are plenty of waterfalls due to the melting snow. In the afternoon, we headed to Lauterbrunnen, a tiny village near Interlaken, to take the funicular to the top. Instead of Jungfrau, we chose Schilthorn because of its proximity. There are multiple changes on the funicular before arriving. Like true Indians, we brought food to eat at the top. For April, there were few visitors. To say the views were spectacular would be an understatement. No words can describe the scenery better than being there in person. More than any one of us, my mom was delighted. There is one café and one fancy restaurant but we opted to eat the food we brought. There were couple tables and chairs in café/souvenir shop and asked the woman behind the counter if we could eat our own food. Typical Indians. She was very nice and permitted; she suggested we buy drinks which we did. Indian food, beer and coffee and the Alps surrounding us was remarkable.

We took the funicular until Mürren and walked around the village. It was Sunday so everything was closed. I still loved photographing the homes and shops.

For dinner we ate a pizza restaurant in Interlaken, suggested by our Inn owner. As we walked around the city for the 2nd time, we noticed the surprisingly high number of Indian restaurants and Indian visitors. Having lived in Europe for 2 years now, I was not expecting to see so many Indians. We asked the restaurant owner (Sri Lankan) why there were so many brown people. And he explained since many Bollywood movies (especially in the 90s) were shot in Switzerland, some Swiss cities have developed partnership with Indian tour agencies to increase tourism. It makes sense; my mom fascination with Switzerland stems from seeing the Bollywood movies. Like my mom, these Indians were fulfilling their dream. There are also tons of watch stores selling Swiss watches and shops selling chocolates.

We left Interlaken the next morning and stopped at Lake Brienz for an hour. It’s a gorgeous lake divided in two. We didn’t walk around the lake but it seems possible. Heading to Lake Constance, Bodensee, on the back roads we saw signs for cheese and braked at one. When we pulled up, a man in overalls waved us in. We asked if he was selling cheese and he greeted us with a big smile. We entered a small room in the farm house where he told us to wait. He brought his young toddler and offered us cheeses to try. Having tried various aged cheese, we bought half kilo of the cheeses. We loved seeing the young toddler plead for more cheese. In Europe, they start eating delectable food young! Then he offered to try Apple schnapps which we did and after the first tasting we declined. It was too early to keep drinking shots of schnapps. If you ever see an Alpkäse sign, stop and buy some cheese. It is worth it!

We arrived to Lake Constance where we stayed at a unique bed and breakfast near the lake. The Romantik Hotel die Krone (in Gottlieben) is a restored and modernized to fit today’s wishes. It even boasts a small theater room. And the rooms are named after European kings and royalty, clever. For lunch we ate at the restaurant in the B&B. The selection consisted of local meats, fish from the lake with sides of seasonal vegetables. The wine options include local and international wine.

We dedicated half day to Lake Constance and the city, which is adequate to see the sights and walk in old town. It’s a university town with some sights. There are Roman ruins near the Constance Cathedral. To our surprise, we were yelled at by an older woman in the Cathedral's square. The husband was looking for a restaurant for dinner and an older woman approached us and lectured us for using our phone in an historic area of the city. She said she was offended we were being rude and didn’t appreciate the city and its history. It makes sense (if you're living in 19th century) but we laughed it off when she left. We found a fantastic Italian restaurant nearby, thank you technology. Pinocchio serves pizza and pasta and we all opted for the pasta.  Simple and tasty. 

We stopped at a busy chocolatier shop in the city to buy chocolates. Both mom and I were happy to have chocolates for the road.

When we were walking around Constance, we saw information for Burg Meersburg (Alte Burg) so of course we had to go! Before heading home, I was happy to make the trek to Meersburg because we found a wine store in the city that makes its own wine in a vineyard nearby. The day we went, the castle was closed to tours so we walked around the gardens. And the view of the lake from the castle grounds was spectacular, even with the clouds.

Swizterland is exactly as we imagined; beautiful rolling hills with manicured grass and waterfalls in the foreground and the snow covered Alps in the back. Jersey cows and sheep grazing. This was a picture perfect trip with many memories.


  1. that's an interesting bit about bollywood movies shot in switzerland!

    and that mountain photo is amazing!

    1. Yes- if you watch 90s Bollywood movies with some love theme, they're running around and dancing on the Swiss hills.