Snow White & The 5 Travelers – Interlaken

When we were planning our Euro Trip, this place was suggested by my friend. Since I have never heard of this town, I decided to stay-put and let the place surprise me. It did, more than once. With scary walks on on deserted roads in the lanes (Surprise 1 – the town shuts down at 7 pm, INCLUDING public transport), bumping into my friends who headed off in the opposite direction a while ago (Surprise 2 – It takes around around 40 mins to walk from Interlaken OST to Interlaken WEST, you have to explore rest of the city in between these 2 points). We stayed at Balmers’- it had awesome facilities at affordable rates, its own lively pub, reading room, lounge, pool table, foozball & other entertainment.

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Balmers, Interlaken

As soon as we reached hotel, we booked a paragliding tour. Apart from the view, the feeling of seeing your legs floating at such high altitude & Swiss alps to your left surrounded by those crystal blue waters and the super-talented paragliding instructor only made the ride better. He was funny too. In his own words – “The water is so blue that it hurts my eyes.”

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Paragliding with instructor (he has been doing this for the last 20 years, best job in the world!)

Next day, we went to Jungfraugch, one of the highest peaks of Europe. It was the first time in my life that I saw snow. So much can be said about the beauty but one thing that stuck was the 30 odd names engraved on the hill-top. These are the names of the workers who died during construction of the railway to the hill. This was around 100 years ago. My respect for Swiss people just boosted then.

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Jungfraugch

On the way back, our train compartment was filled with Telugu speaking people – I was surprised at how we are everywhere! In the next train, we met this Indian looking woman who had a cute blue-eyed kid in her lap. We started talking, and she told me that her mother was from Mangalore. When her Swiss father was visiting India, he met her mother. In her won words- “2 weeks later, I was on the way”. Her father took her mother with him on further travels and this lady was born in Nepal. Their family moved to Switzerland after that and lived there ever since. She did not go to college and was working as a waitress to make ends meet before her kid was born. I noticed 2 things here – 1. Her mother was super-brave. 2. This lady was so confident and happy, despite not going to college or having a seal of marriage assure her relationship. More often than not, we run after goals and tie our happiness to it. We need to ask ourselves – “How much is enough?”

Finally, our Interlaken journey ended with a visit to the Balmers pub in the night surrounded with lively & good music. This was a fun experience!

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