Etching dreams on the white paper of memories…

Archive for November, 2013

ZERMATT-My first trip in Switzerland

Early dawn, I walked towards the tram stop , with my hands in winter jacket pockets , head kept low, a sling bag across my shoulders and brown boots. It was never a planned trip to the alpine canton of Swiss. But there I was , all set for the journey from Basel to Zermatt with friends- Ashok, Tripti, Ravi and Suraj. The train at the Basel SBB arrived, we had spinach crossiant and coffee during the travel. As we neared the town of Visp, it was already snowing outside, and then I truly started feeling, that the Trip actually BEGAN!

The sun looked shy behing the curtains of snow fall. I was so amazed to see that scenery. It was my first view of snowfall in my life. I was just waiting to get out of the train and feel the snow. We reached Zermatt and I rushed to nearby store to buy myself a pair of gloves. I got a brown furry one, with the RED + symbol on the wrist. It costed me 80 Francs!!, But I was too sure of buying it ! It somehow matched the mindset I was in… in SWISS! People with cup of hot coffe, a beer, with their ski gears, apline enthusiasts everywhere. The whole place was car-free and zero pollution. It was way different from Kulu or Manali in India which are also having such snow capped mountains. The air smelt of raw snow here.

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We bought the tickets to the mountain train, which goes on steep areas , taking us to varoius points of snow capped mountains of that region. The tranquility was so devouring. I knew I was already in love with this magical town. I felt i was on a pilgrimage whee I could meditate for ages without being distracted. We decided to get down at  Gornergrat. All i could see was snow, white and peaceful and mountain sof them , glaciers everywhere. We had brunch and some red wine. All set, we decide to sledge, ( skiing was not our cup of tea!) But it kept snowing and the officials refused to lend us the sledge. So we decided to enjoy with ourselves and the vastness of white mountains kept calling us. We removed our warm jackets and gloves. I felt the snow on my bare hand skin.. A fluff on my face, a fluff on my tongue. It was heavenly. It never felt cold. It felt like god kissed as I stood looking towards the sky and closing my eyes.

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‘ThUD’ , my back hurt..OUCH suraj! I yelled..It was my friend throwing snow balls at me. I joined the fun. The sledging was the fun part of the trip. Sliding down the mountain of snow, in full speed and no breaks 😛 and then falling (it doesnt hurt a bit ). We played till our lungs ached to get some oxygen. It was the most satisfying trip I could have asked for. My first experience with snow, and the BEST one too 🙂

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We decided to go to view the MATTERHORN, the best and one of the largest in the alps. We took cable cars in various direction, some of them went up so steep that I felt I was on the way to heaven! Every bit of the day was a new experience, and I was so excited. The sun-kissed matterhorn and the village below with woodden houses, the views from the cable car were astounding. Being so high up in the air has something which shows you, how small we are in god’s perspective 🙂

I truly felt blessed. As the day ended, we didnt wanna leave ZERMATT. Time seemed to have stopped for us. The sun, the snow and chill winds had brought us to experience a life we never knew before.

My experiences in Switzerland-1

When one dreams of a far off land, abroad.. saat samundar paar ( across seven oceans)! We do have numerous ideas and imaginations of how that place could be and what’s actually in store for you there.

After rejecting onsite opportunities thrice in my 5 year career , owing to one main reason in any girl’s life and to put it in parent’s words “We are searching for a groom, its your marriage next month, you can go with your husband later too ” blah blah… So it was my “marraigeable age” that stood as a culprit in my onsite dreams!

But one can put it, NASEEB( luck) can make anything happen. After 1 year of my marriage I got a change to go to Switzerland for 6 whole months. This was a life changing opprtunity which , yes, I accepted. 🙂 🙂 Thanks to my parents, husband and in-laws for being supportive in this matter and allowing me to go to Europe all alone.

Switzerland- dream destination for any couple, heaven on earth, the awesome scenes we watch in movies, most bollywood songs being picturised there. I was extremely thrilled and curious to explore this part of the world. My flight was from Bangalore to Delhi. It was at 1.15 am , I was walking towards the flight, it was raining with mild lightning and thunder, (That was how I was feeling within me too). I could see faintly, the words SWISS AIRWAYS on the flight body. It made me smile. Somehow in all the childish fears in me, this word SWISS gave me a dose of tonic to calm and smile. It was a night long flight journey from Delhi to Zurich. I did sleep well I can say.

Next morning 6.05am (Zurich time) which is 9.35 am in Bangalore , I landed at Zurich Flughafen. There began my day 1 in Switzerland. It was too good to be true. I was still thanking god for and trying to pinch myself to believe where I exactly was. After the immigration custom checks, I got my luggage and came down to the train station. I was awesome feeling of high speed sharp on time trains. Everything was FIRST class. I tried calling up home with my phone which had international roaming active and 3000Rs recharged. But all the efforts went down the drain. The call refused to connect. I panicked  a bit. I was supposed to track my friend who would come to pick me up. Now I looked stranded in the german speaking land with no swiss francs in my pocket! I sat on a bench with all my luggage trying to think of a way. 10 minutes and nothing flashed, the train station was so scantily populated. people were all too fast moving, like their trains.

It was cold, I found a young lady getting down from the train and as if she heard my inner voice, came and sat on the same bench as I. I didnt know if I was right, but I had to ask her for help. I explained to her in English , and she , like a fellow sister, asked me the number I wanted to contact. She dialed it for me and handed her phone to me. I spoke to my friend and told my location. He came down in a couple of minutes. I could not thank that lady better. I was full of gratitude. “Thank you so much mam, You really helped when I needed it the most.”, I said.. “My pleasure. Now you are ok? Have a great day and Enjoy in swiss”.. she said. My first impression of people in swiss was that they helped and they were humane and they trusted people. I knew I was at the right country for my first onsite trip 🙂 🙂

I took the ticket to Basel (with the help of my friend who came to pick me up) and sat in the train. I cant explain in words the beauty that I could see outside. The greenery there had a magical freshness. The weather was, by default, air conditioned.  I called up home from my friend’s phone. I could hear happiness in my parent’s moist voices. I could hear how much I was missed in my husband’s voice. I knew I felt these too but the SWISS air had somethign in it which overwhelmed everything else at that moment. I was too happy. Happier than happiness I could say.

I reached Basel, I could hear German announcements, people around looked so well-dressed, so well-kempt, with furry jackets, high rise boots. The first surprise awaiting me was Mercedes Benz, the local taxi there. uff. I was already on a high as I reached my colleague’s home, for resting for the next few hours. When I woke, it took me a while to realize that I was more than 6000 kilometers away from my homeland!! 

There was a whole new land and people and food to explore in the days to come. It only made me more happy everytime to think how lucky I was to be there.

 

to be continued…..