Mt Titlis and Lucerne/Luzern Switzerland
Other peaks as seen from the summit of mt. Titlis.
The trip to Mt. Titlis was an optional trip meaning it wasn't included in the tour package. We had to pay an additioanl Euro40 each to enjoy the cable car ride up to the top of this mountain. At an altitude of 3020 meters or 10,000 ft, this mountain top enjoy snow all year round. Initially there were a few members who wanted to stay back and not join the trip but when the day came everybody was onboard the bus heading for the mountain. I guess being cooped up in the hotel room or roaming around the city of Luzern or Lucern as it is also known on your own ain't the better choice. The bus ride took us to the mountainous region of Switzerland.
Mt. Titlis is located near the town of Engelberg. Engelberg can be reached via road or train. The train ride will take about an hour. We were on a bus tour for the whole trip so of course we took the bus. When we reached the mountains only then that we experienced hairpin turns to reach this Alpine paradise. The bus ride wasn't as gut wrenching as the Raub - Kuala Kubu road via Gap, so none of us including the baby experienced any nauseating experience.When we reached the cable car station, only four other busses were already there meaning the crowd have yet to arrive.While waiting for our tour leader to purchase our tickets, I scouted around the area and saw this beautiful clear stream discharging its waters into the nearby lake.
Love the sight of this chalet very much.
Our group waiting for our turn to ride the firt cable cars.
The view of the lowest level of cable cars.
There were four cable car rides in all. Three levels to reach the summit and the last one was to go down the other side of the summit to reach the skiing station.
The first section was from the base to the first station on the slope. The car for this section can accomodate four adults and upon exiting this one we had to ride in another bigger ones to reach the next level. This car can accomodate as many as 20 adults and the operator will ride with us and he has the duty to put on the music to keep us in the groove. On the day that we rode his car, he was playing Santana's music one of which was the famous Black Magic Woman. The huge wheels turning the cable to move the cars.
Engelbert town as seen from the cable cars.
The tracks on Titlis. I guess they are meant for skiers and trekkers, not common tourists like us.
First things first. We have to record that we were really 10,000 ft up on Mt. titlis.
That done I went to grab a chunk of snow and took a bite of it. Now it is confirmed that ice on top of Mt. Titlis tasted the same as the ones back home in Malaysia. if only we had brought along a bottle of syrup, we could be enjoying 'ayer batu kepal' like we did when we were children. Back then 'air' was spelt 'ayer'. Me taking a bite of snow.
We were on th etop of the world.
The other half in front of an igloo.
Tuan Haji Zakaria from Perlis reenacting his 'bersanding' in an igloo on top of Mt. Titlis.
A trueblue Kelantanese with his 'semutar'. Mekyam of new york has noted that this is history in the making as I must be the first man to wear a 'semutar' on the Alps. How great is that?
Jubilation after ascending a 10,000 ft mountain albeit with the help of cable cars. remeber a certain tourism minister fron an Asean country ascended to base camp of Mount Everest in a helicopter. Same difference right?
Some of the ladies in our group taking a group photograph.
To go to the skiing station requires another ride down a slope and cost another 9 Euro a person. I decided to forgo the ride as any slippage may result in a swelling of my joints and the trauma may put me out of action entirely. So forget about skiing, I am not going to do it.
There were more arrival of tourists and the mountain top was getting crowded. We did some body slides down a small slope. Doing these childish acts seems to enjoyable again when you are approaching 60's.
After that we headed for the cable car stations for the return journey. The first cable car down was a Rotair. It is considered the first rotating car where the riders can see a 360 degrees panorama when the car rotated. Since it was becoming cloudy, there was not much to see outside and our attention turned to Ana the car operator. I was eating some 'kerepak sagu' brought all the way from Malaysia. I gave Ana two pieces and she ate it.
She had this ecstatic look at the taste of the kerepek. When asked if she wanted more she said "Yes! Only that I feel ashmaed to ask for more" Of course I gave her more.
The bus ride back to Lucerne was a quiet one as most of us were enjoying the sight of the landscape. Some were still playing the experince of being on top of Mt. Titlis on their mind.
We had lunch in our room and did the solat for both Zuhur and Asar.
At 2.30 PM our local guide Rosemary came to take us for a walking tour of the city of Lucerne. This tourist city of 60,000 has all the old buildings intact. Switzerland was fortunate in that it was not involved in any wars and all the buildings reamain for all to see and enjoy.
Rosemary in dark glasses explaining to the group about Lucerne. She was very knowledgeable and very professional in her dissemination of information. Unfortunately I was easily distracted by many things around us such as the passing city train below.
A bicycle with a baby carriage in tow distracted me.
The briefing in front of Bucherer was where the Rolex and other quality merchandise were being sold.
A Rolex is synonymous with Switzerland thatis quality watches. A few of us bought their watches at this outlet as the selection available are wider though the price maybe higher than back home. Pak Zawi will make do with a Seiko Kinetic as it has been keeping good times both in Malaysia and Europe. What more can I ask for in a watch?
One of the staff initially told ma that I can take photograph inside as long as they are not of the watches. Another staff later told me I can't even take any photograph. Anyway the Saworski crystals were already taken and they allowed me to keep that.
The beautifully painted restaurant.
Riverside cafe and hotels.
Colorful flowers always make a patio great looking.
The Chapel Bridge is the oldest wooden bridge in Europe as it was built in 1333. The bridge which span the Reuss River in Luzern is 204 meters long. Due to a freak accident involving a boat in 1993, it was gutted down by fire some years ago and it was rebuilt using wood. Many old paintings dating back to the 17th fcentury found on the bridge were also destroyed.
One of the paintings that survived the fire.
Fast flowing clear blue water of the Reuss River passing right through Lucerne.
Swans and ducks thrive on the river. (Thanks to Ee Lynn for correcting me that they were swans and not geese)
A stretched limusine (a Mercedez no less) for a newly wedded couple infront of a church in the city.
Pak Zawi captured the occassion on camera.
There are other bridges nearby. Pedesterians dont have to go far to cross the river to theother side of town.
The final briefing before we were allowed to go on our own to roam the city as it wasn't very far from our hotel. Shopping was the order of the day.
The group photograph on the steps leading to the river and bridge. Pak Zawi is of course behind the camera.
I saw this girl playing this instrument. Can anybody name it? Mekyam correctly noted it as a Swiss harp. The side profile clearly shows the harpsicord like strings on the instrument. Awang Goneng gave it more specific names. The little girl ran away when I tried to photograph her.
A girl enjoying a quiet smoke caught my attention.
This couple must be exchanging phone numbers. Finally on the way back to the hotel, the other half stopped to buy some souvenirs. I was surprised to see an Asian face manning the counter. My initial guess she was a filipina. I was totally wrong as she was from Thailand and had been here since 9 years ago. I asked her if she married a local. She said no, still single and available. Any bachelors heading for Lucerne, please look her up. An Asian beauty stands out like a shining star among the caucasians. If you know a few words of the Thai language, the ice can be broken faster.