life, love, travel

Interlaken

Scent of flowers, fresh breeze, dew drops and uplifting sunshine were some of the treasures that greeted us when we stepped our first foot out of the train at Interlaken Ost station!

Selfie with beautiful black tulips

A small town situated in the German speaking part of Swiss canton of Bern literally meaning ” Between the lakes” in German language. This was our next destination in line. With an average of 23,000 inhabitants this dreamland is a perfect delight for any withered soul. What makes it different from any other Swiss town is the lovely landscape bestowed with unforgettable natural beauty which also equates to the adrenaline surge that it gives to young paragliders and sky diving enthusiasts !

Our stay started with the enjoyable cycle ride for exploring this city.

4 seater cycle ride

The vintage cafe’s on the roadside coupled with small souvenir shops were in middle of snow laden mountains were straight out of some fairytale! It was difficult to discern the dreamy picture with reality and of course I had to pinch myself twice! Yes, such natural gorgeousness does exist and I was lucky enough to witness that.

On the roads of Interlaken you can easily find exotic varieties of tulips and roses. Black tulips are extremely rare to find but rather easily spotted here. The mountain winds are loaded with fresh aroma of these wonderful creations of nature. This is precisely why I found it as treat to my senses !

With my brother in front of a cathedral

Our cycling spree led us to the beautiful Brienz lake. With an impressive dimension of 29.8 square kilometers, the emerald green waters were a visual delight.

Beautiful Brienz lake

We further explored this lake by taking a leisurely boat ride where we saw few locals fishing. The sight of the waters was akin to a floating paradise. This is a place where the vehichle horns and mindless chatter of surroundings is replaced by flowing waters and chirping of birds. The locals were extremely warm and friendly and reminded me of the famous Swiss hospitality.

After spending a wonderful afternoon we decided to explore some local shops. We found a little wood carvings shop which sold artistically designed handmade items by the locals. It had pretty little things and I picked up a candle holder carved out of wood for myself.

This little log of wood carved as a candle holder was a piece of Interlaken that I carried with me to my home in Mumbai

Our day ended with a delightful dinner in Swiss cuisine consisting of deliciously cooked ravioli.

After an amazing day spent in this wonderland, I hit the sack for being ready for another exiting day for our Jungfraujoch trip which was next in schedule!

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journey, life, love, travel

Trip to Mount Titlis

The second jewel on the crown of our Switzerland trip was the visit to Mount Titlis. This was one of the things I had checked on my bucket list.

Some basic facts about Mount Titlis for the beginniners. Titlis is a mountain of Uri Alps located on the border between cantons of Obwalden and Bern. It stands tall at 10,623 feet above the sea level and is famous for the world’s first revolving cable car the “Rotair”.

From lucerne bahnof we boarded the Zentralbahn railway to Engelberg which was a 45 minutes long scenic journey. From the Engelberg station we took the bus shuttle service to the Mount Titlis base.

Up the mountain:

An 8- seater Titlis Xpress cable car transported us from Engelberg village to the Stand station. We got down at the Trubsee middle station and spend some time playing in the ice. I have always fancied the idea of enjoying the snow capped mountains and playing in the ice and this was the perfect place for it!

This is me playing like a child with my elder brother!
The 8 seater Titlis Xpress cable car for the first leg of the journey

The second phase:

The second phase of the journey was a trip to the peak of Mount Titlis in the world’s first revolving cable car, also known as the “Rotair”.

The Rotair pic that I clicked just before we boarded it

What makes Rotair special is that it takes a mid-air 360 degrees turn and gives a panoramic breathtaking view of the virgin mountains of the Swiss alps. The rotation is so swift that you can hardly feel any giddiness or jerk. The comfort and technology behind this amazing structure is incredible.

After steering through the mist and fog of the sub-zero temperature we finally reached the summit. The chilly stromg winds were piercing my skin but my happiness knew no bounds. My eyes were greeted with pure eternal beauty.

The snow covered pine trees

The snow clad mountains smiling were at me like a bride. The pine trees adding to its charm. The peace at the mountain summit was inexpressible. I was awestruck like a kid who was shown magic!

We did the famous cliff walk and Glacier cave expedition and after an hour were back our way to Engelberg village.

That night as I closed my eyes to sleep, my mind was fixated by the magnificent views of the sheer beauty that I had witnessed during the day.

That was the allure of Titlis- the enchantress that had casted her spell on me!

journey, life, travel

Lucerne- Chappel bridge and Water Tower

My first Swiss expedition started with the city of Lucerne. If you are a fan of medival history and architecture like me, then this is the right place for you!

In the heart of the city, spanning 170 m diagonally across the magnificent river Reuss stands the ancient Chappel bridge. It derives its name from German language being referred to as “Kappelbruck” meaning literally Chappel. The bridge connects “Altstadt” meaning old town to the newer part of the city.

The bridge dates back to 14th century and boasts of being the oldest surviving wooden structure in Europe and enjoys the rich heritage of 17th century paintings. One of the key attraction of this bridge is the painting hanging below its roof which depicts the events from history of Lucern. The events that present the life and death of city’s patron Saint Leger and another patron Saint Maurice painted in the 17th century by Hans Heinrich Wagmann.

In the year 1993 due to a possible spark of a cigarette a massive fire broke out leading and led to destruction of paintings. Out of the 147 paintings only 30 could be restored. The majority of paintings that you could see are the recreated versions of the paintings and not the original ones.

Another majestic monument standing tall adjacent to the bridge is the Water Tower. It enjoys special attention as it is situated in the middle of the river. The tower is older than bridge by 30 years and served as a prison and archive.

Spending relaxed evening sipping my favourite coffee by the river side in Altstadt was something I really enjoyed. The buildings are ornately designed with random paintings on the walls. The vintage construction and designs give a peek of its heritage appearin straight out of a fairytale.

Owing to the old worldly charisma surrounding the bridge, I would recommend this heritage to anyone visiting the lucerne city and you would be undoubtedly smitten by it’s charm the way I was!

introspection, life, love

De-clutter your home de-clutter your life!!!

The idea of writing this post popped up instinctively following a simple act of cleaning my closet.

Yes, as simple as it sounds. A post inspired by a mountain of messed up innumerable clothes, shoes, bags and a cupboard loaded with things enough to put infinity to shame!!!

So, this impromptu adventure started with loosing an important piece of possession. What initially appeared as a wild goose chase ended up becoming one of the most profound lessons of my life.

My mind initially reacted to the clutter by being resistant, burdened and frustrated by the idea of spending a considerable amount of time in cleaning it up. But with lot of reluctance, I decided to do it anyway.

As I started with de-cluttering process, I realized that there were many things that I had bought but never really used them. Those things were my “desires” but not “needs”. I probably purchased them out of sheer impulse, fancy or just because they were a part of some random stock clearance sale. Over a period of one year I had piled them up incessantly.

The more I organized and cleared my wardrobe, the more clear I was feeling in my mind. It is said that humans are visual creatures. The clutter in front of our eyes competes for our attention. The end result being constantly distracted by haphazard things lying around and not to forget the stress that it creates. I could sense that the more I got rid of the mess around me, the better I felt from energy perspective.

So what is the energy perspective of clutter?

In feng shui there is a concept of “Chi” that means energy. When we live in a house filled with disarray we inevitably block the flow of life force in the house. This blockage can manifest in our life in myriad of ways. Be it toxic relationships, bad habits, ill health or lost opportunities and the list is never ending.

This is precisely why great saints and wise people have emphasized on the importance of cleanliness and orderliness in the house to invite the same in one’s life.

After spending my entire afternoon doing up my wardrobe, my eyes finally met the sight of wonderfully arranged shelves with cleaned up interiors. The satisfaction of this otherwise mundane activity was beyond measures.

As the famous author Magdalena Vandenberg has rightly said

“Clear clutter, Make space for you”

I have made a pact with myself to never leave my stuff unattended and clean it up before I am drowned in the ocean of mess again!!!

introspection, life, love, spirituality

Breath….

Being a working girl staying in a rushed city like Mumbai has it’s own set of challenges.

My day starts with maddening traffic filled with chaos enough to sap your energy out during the morning hours itself! As if the hectic pace of work was not enough to suck the very life out of me.

With an urgent request to complete an article this afternoon, my adrenaline rush had skyrocketed.I have a strong sense of body consciousness and I could quickly sense the throbbing tension in my nerves building up.

With my heart thumping like a raging horse, the voice in my head uttered “breath”. The mounting pressure of work had taken over much of my head space and there ought to be a pause. But the article had to be submitted within next hour and the pause was simply unaffordable!

It’s no surprise that one cannot find a corner in the office and sit in a lotus pose and start doing pranayam and meditation. The ever demanding world does not give us this privilege. So I decided that I would continue writing the article and breath deeply simultaneously!

This was awkward for first few minutes but soon i found my body had started easying out and the fog in my mind had cleared. I could easily complete my article without undue stress and of course without running to the Himalayas like a yogi!

The very act of deep breathing worked wonders and the mindful deep breathing alleviated my stress while sitting right at my desk without having to move anywhere.

So a piece of advice, always remember to practice deep breathing whenever possible and experience the stunning results like I did today!

introspection, journey, life, travel

Bedtime fables

When I was a little girl my parents had a bedtime ritual of reading a story book to me. That used to be the best time of the day for me as I would be drowned in awe of the wonderful characters and scenes in those fables.

Looking back in time, growing up has taken away from us the capacity of feeling awestruck by little things. The characters of stories at bedtime are replaced by the constant chattering of negative self talk of how the presentation didn’t go well in office or how the client meeting turned out to be a disaster or what kind of moron is that driver who had cut the lane and ended up making you late at work.

Alas the list is endless.

But what if we could start our bed time storytelling sessions again? The only difference would be that it would be our life story. The story where our character is our own mind telling us tales of hope, love and joy in this “not so perfect” life. Would it bring back our old childlike innocence to feel amused at our own life?

Well, the answer might come when we become our own story tellers!