Tuesday, May 5, 2009


''Tujhe dekha toh ye jaana sanam..Pyar hota hai dewaana sanam..Ab yahan se kahan jaaye hum..teri bahon mein mar jaaye hum.. ''
The lovely song from the distinguished movie DDLJ where a young romance blossoms into eternal love between romantic Raj and simple Simran in the land of cow bells. Cowbell?  Hmm cowbell... Do you remember the recurring tingling sound of the cowbell which reminds Simran about her Raj? The same cowbell where he finds her address in India written on top of it. If you don't then you should watch the movie again and pay close attention to the picturesque scenes which add extra delight in watching the movie.
I am talking about that land which makes you fall in love, envelopes you in its charm to make you romantic and makes you forget about reality and welcomes you in its dream. Yes it is Switzerland. The most beautiful place my eyes have witnessed till date.

I wish I could hold time not to go away so soon. The time was too less to bask in the beauty and charisma Switzerland holds.But it is always like that, when we work the clock is the most laziest and when we are on a vacation the clock is the most active.

Let me rewind my life a bit.....When I was a child I was given Lactogen, when I was in school I loved eating Milkybar and when I went to college I loved eating Toblerone not knowing that the chocolate triangles represented Swiss mountains and when I was in university I drank Nescafe to keep me awake to study for exams. Swiss products had influence on my life early I can say, on all our lives to some extent.
The famous Nestle company was founded by Henry Nestle in Vevey, Switzerland. The company has expanded to the whole world and very famous for its products.

The Swizz chocolates such asToblerone, Lindt, Cailler are some of the world famous brands. They just send your taste buds into a trance and your salivary glands into a hypnotic flow. I happened to see a chocolate made by Lindt which has red chilly in it. The flavors of the chocolates can vary depending on your taste and preference. My favorite is the blueberry dark chocolate of Lindt.

Did you know that Omega, Rolex, Cartier, Tag Heuer, Brietling the world's leading brands of watches are Swiss made? As a teenager I remember being amazed by the handy swizz knife which had a bottle opener, file, screwdriver, reamer, can opener and many other things.

Switzerland is a small country in the western Europe with an area that is smaller than Karnataka of India. It is a house for the Alps, the breathtaking snow capped mountains. Heidi Klum, Martina Hingis and Roger Federer add to its list of famous people. How can I forget the Nobel prize winner Albert Einstein belongs to Switzerland [It is a shame I still don't understand his theory of relativity]

The quality of life in Swiss is one of the best in the world. It is a host for World Health Organization[WHO] ,RED CROSS ,International Federation for Association Football[FIFA],Union of European Football Association [UEFA]. The world's largest Particle Physics Laboratory that is CERN is situated in Switzerland.

The Swiss is also famous for its cheese and Fondues. You can come across 'La vache' at any supermarket which are small triangles in a circular box painted blue and white with a cow's face on it.

Its amazing how such a small country can be famous for so many things at a time. The electricity generated in swiss is mainly from hydroelectricity and the remaining from nuclear power. Only about 5% is manufactured from other sources nearly making it least CO2 free electricity. No wonder the trees and animals looked as if they are proud to be in a better state of health than me..!

Lastly, the renowned Swiss banks for its security and privacy. Though the book Da vinci code gives you a unrealistic picture of the bank, it does tell you about the 10 digit secret code to access the key which is known only to the owner of the account. Our Indian movies are also very famous for showing that villains and corrupted politicians keep their black money in Swiss banks.

This was just a brief introduction to the country which has made such a big mark in the world. Let me now tell you about my experience in this land. We reached Swiss Friday morning around 11 o clock in the morning after a 8 hour drive from Brussels in the car. We checked into the hotel in Interlaken, a beautiful wooden structure situated on the top of the mountain with its view of Alps from the window. Every time I peaked out of window I would stand several minutes gazing at its beauty.
We circled the beautiful town rich in natural beauty and cuckoo clock houses. By the way the cuckoo clock are one of the favorite souvenirs in Switzerland. We went up the peak close to Jungfrauh, the highest point in Europe in the cable car spellbound by the beauty of nature around us. As we climbed higher we saw snow on the mountains and finally when we reached there, it was pleasure to make snowballs.

The power of nature could be felt seeing the giant mountains standing tall supporting pine trees and various flora and fauna on its shoulders below the warm summer sun. The snow melting from the heat and flowing into crystal clean water streams from the mountain into weak and powerful waterfalls forming beautiful lakes at the foot of mountains where the cities flourish.

We headed back after wonderful shots captured by the camera which would refresh our memory at a later date, to have lunch at a restaurant. After a scrumptious meal we were on our way to the market place. I was amazed to see so many Indians strolling by and the number of Indian restaurants there. I was looking for a cowbell as a souvenir which I could take with me, but fell in love with a handy device by Victorinoix which had a nail cutter, a screwdriver and a nail filer all in one, a very sleek piece. We then shopped for swiss chocolates and and we returned late.

The next day we explored cities named Lusanne,Bern and Thun. We also visited the Trummelbach Falls, a fascinating place where a stream of water has cut its way through the hard rock, creating deep crevices and caves, only a few feet wide. A man-made series of tunnels lets visitors access the caves, and see the torrents of water cascading through the confined space. It was simply amazing. Check the videos below.

The third day was bright and sunny. After a lazy morning we went exploring Geneva. On the way, we stopped at many places to enjoy the beauty of the place. In Geneva, the lake was beautiful with its tallest fountain. The city centre of Geneva is a house for many world famous brand shops ranging from Tissot, Rolex, Louisvuitton, Armani, Dolce& Gabbana, Hugo Boss, Gucci, Omega, Cartier. Unfortunately, Sunday was a bad day as all the shops were closed. Nevertheless the galleries were open to make you ponder over the ridiculously high prices they quote.

It was late evening when we started back to Brussels and we reached early morning at 2.00 am tired and content with our trip. The next day when my eyes opened I was into the reality and the trip to Swiss was indeed like a beautiful dream which had past away leaving its everlasting impression on my mind.

''Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you... while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blending and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is sting-less indeed, and as beautiful as life.''-JOHN MUIR

So I end my blog with this quote and to tell you how important it is to conserve nature which is a mother to all the inhabitants of this world. I learnt to be wiser after seeing the Swiss respect nature in their country. Let us prevent destruction of nature. Let us plant more trees around our houses and encourage others. Lets make this world a greener place, a gift to our future generations to breath fresher air and lead healthier lives.
Until my next blog...keep smiling.