Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Switzerland- Europe My Travel Journey Part-6

Visit to Switzerland

Switzerland travel is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. Switzerland just may be the most beautiful country in Europe . Everywhere you look in Switzerland, beauty is all around you. 

 From towering mountain peaks that are snow-capped even in summer, to crystal clear lakes, well-preserved medieval cities, lush alpine pastures and charming villages, it just goes on and on.  Switzerland has it all. Switzerland you should visit, most of the way either by car or by train.

Switzerland may be a small country but there is so much to see and experience here that you may feel that 3 days is not enough. There are more than 200 peaks, several ancient castles, a lake within every 10 km and breath taking views of the countryside that you will never get over in this lifetime. We stayed in Fluhli.

Bern Old Town, which is proud to be a UNESCO world heritage site. Looping around the city in a horse-shoe bend is the spectacular River Aare. Bright turquoise in colour, The River Aare is incredibly clean and swimming in it is a part of daily life for many locals. 

Bern is a compact city so it’s easy to walk around on foot, there are also impressive fountains scattered all over this medieval old town.
 Our first stop was the 16th-century Zytglogge Astronomical Clock — a Bern landmark since around 1530. It still works (!!), in keeping with Switzerland’s reputation for classic, well-made clocks and watches
Nestled between a backdrop of towering mountains and a sparkling lake, Lucerne (called Luzern in German) is one of Switzerland’s most visited cities. Offering a host of things to see and do, Lucerne makes a wonderful holiday destination.

Chapel Bridge and Spreuer Bridge
Without doubt, one of the most popular Lucerne attractions is the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke). Dating back to 1333, the medieval bridge is just one of many that straddles the River Reuss, but this one is recognizable by its distinctive water tower with an octagonal roof.

A fire in 1993 all but destroyed the famous Lucerne wooden bridge, and even though it was rebuilt, fire damage can still be seen on the remaining 17th century pictorial panels which are a feature under the eaves. Lucerne’s other famous covered bridge, Spreuer Bridge, was finished in 1408 as part of the city’s fortification. Kaspar Meglinger added 67 paintings representing the "Dance of Death" between 1626 and 1635. This covered bridge dates back to the 14th century and it is absolutely gorgeous.
Mount Titlis:
A day trip to Mt Titlis from Lucerne is a perfect way to spending one whole day in the Swiss Alps. 
Mount Titlis is more than 3,000 meter high (10,000 ft) so you will need warm clothing the whole year round, even in summer, especially if you want to go inside the ice cave or pay a visit to the glacier snow park.more breath taking views of what seemed to be a perpetual picture perfect world, we finally reached Engelberg, just below Mt. Titlis, from where our journey of two different cable cars — a standard cable car, and a revolving one, called the Rotair, started.

As I got into the first one and journeyed towards a whopping 10,000 feet above sea level, I wondered how they managed to the setup and an observatory at such challenging landscapes. But you do not need to worry as the entire seemingly breathtaking facilities are more than safe.
The revolving Rotair wounded its way up towards the snow-covered summit as I was reminded by someone that it was perhaps the world’s first revolving gondola that can accommodate up to 50 people and can reach to an altitude of 10,000 feet above the sea level.

The gondola revolved 360 degrees during its five-minute trip, treating its passengers to idyllic panoramic views of steep rock faces, deep crevasses, and the prominent snow-covered mountain peaks. It took a little less than half an hour before I was on the top of Mount Titlis — with a few dozen other happy tourists, half of whom appeared to be Asian.
There were a few activities on Mount Titlis besides feeling awed sitting inside a cable car. This included the cliff walk, Europe’s highest suspension bridge, a glacier cave, and an ice flyer. Out of all of them, however, I particularly loved walking through the glacier cave, where the ice appeared to lit up in different colors, and the temperature felt at least a few degrees below zero.
Gruyères is a beautiful, walled medieval town with cobbled streets and its own castle. Gruyères is located at the base of the Swiss Prealps in the French-speaking canton of Fribourg. In the 13th century, the Count of Gruyeres built his castle at the top of the hill to control the upper Saanen Valley and the town was developed thereafter. 

The historic town of Gruyères has been unaffected by time and takes pride in their exceptional art and cultural exhibitions. You will be enchanted by the architectural charm of Gruyères and enjoy some of the most breathtaking views in Switzerland.
La Maison du Gruyère:

This is the only cheese factory in Switzerland within the walls of a monastery, where you can watch cheese making live-being produced by hand right before your eyes. High on the list of any visit to Gruyères is a visit to the local cheese factory,
 where you can watch the master cheesemakers hard at work perfecting enormous round slabs of famous Gruyère. It’s located outside the old town at the foot of the hill. 
Here, you’ll learn the history of the cheese and the intricate details of how it is made After it's done, visitors can enjoy the delicious, freshly made products in the cheese factory's restaurant. At the restaurant you can taste local delicacies featuring the cheese itself.It’s used in many of the classic Swiss dishes like raclette and fondue, so, if you’re a cheese fan, you simply have to visit La Maison du Gruyère.
Cailler Chocolate Factory:
You can catch a train from the Gruyères train station to Broc and visit the Cailler chocolate factory, which should take about 25 minutes by train. Cailler is the oldest chocolate manufacturer in Switzerland and is known as one of the world's finest chocolates. Its brands include Frigor and Cailler, which are still made in the company's factory in Broc. Cailler is not widely exported . 
Upon taking a tour of the factory and learning about the history of chocolate, you can enjoy the chocolate sample room where you can try as much chocolate as you want. There is also a large gift shop selling all varieties of Cailler chocolate so you can be sure to stock up.
Rhine Falls:
To stand high above Europe's largest waterfall, feeling the roar and vibration of the water over one's entire body - this can be experienced at the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen.The 150 m wide and 23 m high waterfall is located near the village of Neuhausen in Northern Switzerland. The nearby city of Schaffhausen is commonly associated with the falls too. Even though the Rhine Fall is a form of mass tourism, the natural beauty is overwhelming and for sure worth your time. May/June is the best time to visit because the amount of water peaks then.
To really appreciate the spectacular scenery the country has to offer you need to leave the cities and head to the countryside.  It’s here you can breathe in the crisp alpine air, walk amongst lush fields and enjoy a look at what life in a smaller Swiss town is really like. 

Switzerland, with its fairy tale locations and rustic wood chalets, makes it impossible to leave.
 Switzerland trip remains incomplete if you don’t hog on their world-famous cheese and hot chocolate. After all the excitement, it’s time to leave but hopefully, had the best 10-days seeing the best places in Europe. It really is so incredible.I have to thank My daughter and Soninlaw for arranging this beautiful trip.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Paris-France My travel Journal Part-5

Paris Trip
I had dreamed of visiting Paris since I was a little girl and I finally got the chance .Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world and one of the most romantic cities in Europe. It’s a beautiful city, easy to walk around, with an interesting history, and with lots of things to see and do. The history, the culture, the lifestyle are fascinating and will certainly give you a new perspective on life. Paris is overflowing with beautiful, world-famous buildings and monuments – like Sacre Cœur, the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Pompidou Centre, Luxembourg Palace, Les Invalides and the Opéra Garnier 
The elegant boulevards, iconic architecture, beautiful parks, and delicious food really do make this a magical city and one we never tire of exploring. The view from the Arc de Triomphe is breath-taking, especially at sunset, and the queues aren’t as long as at the Eiffel Tower. Even if you only have one day in Paris you can still see and eat a lot.

We went to Paris on two day trip. We explore Paris city by walk, train ,bus and in cruise. In a city like Paris almost all of the buses pass by different monuments and beautiful spots more than once, and if you have the time, you can truly get some serious sightseeing done on the way to your actual destination.

 When it comes to Paris Hop On Hop Off tours, Open Tour Paris is one of the city’s finest hop on hop off providers. With open air-top double decker buses, and audio guides in over ten languages, Open Tour Paris provides a fun and convenient way of exploring the City of Lights. It allows you to choose from tour variations of 1/2/3 days. These multiple Day hop on hop off tours allow you to explore Paris with flexibility.
While there are many ways to discover this stunning city, one of the most favoured way is through the Paris Hop on hop off bus tours. These tours cover almost all the famous landmarks of the city giving you a great presentation of what all the city has to offer. Following your own pace and having the flexibility at hand make Hop on hop off bus/Bigbus tours one of the best options to explore the splendid city of Paris.
 We preferred Hop On Hop Off bus service to explore the city. This will give you a more leisurely opportunity to explore the city, taking in almost every major sight… without the need to navigate public transport of course! I took had free commentary running. All I had to do was grab a pair of headphones, sit back and listen to tons of interesting info about the many sights I was viewing out of the window!Way more interesting than having my head buried in a Paris guidebook, it was great to hear about the history behind what I was actually looking at!

head to Ile de la Cité, an island in the middle of the Seine that is home to some of the most popular tourist destinations in Paris. Take a stroll on the historic island before you make your way to the Eiffel Tower. Spend some time enjoying the stunning views of Paris from the summit of the tower. Once you've visited the Eiffel Tower, head for a sightseeing cruise on the Seine river that will show you important highlights and landmarks of the city. In the evening, head to the Louvre Museum to admire the most important works of art in the world. Finally, end your day at another iconic Parisian landmark, Arc de Triomphe.
In 2 days in Paris we visited- Notre Dame Cathedral, Eiffel Tower, Sightseeing Seine Cruise, Louvre Museum, Arc De Triomphe

Notre Dame Cathedral:
the Île de la Cité, a historic island in the heart of Paris full of beautiful historic buildings. The most important of them all is the Notre Dame Cathedral.

 The iconic church that was built almost eight centuries ago is another monument that is considered the pride of Paris. This notable cathedral is located on a small island (Île de la Cite) in the middle of river Seine. The 800 year old church displays its tragic as well as glorious moments through the history of Paris. Through its phase of being almost demolished to being restored to its former beauty, a visit to Notre Dame is nothing less than taking a stroll down the valiant history of France. Be sure to catch a glimpse of the sparkling river Seine as well as historical artefacts housed within the Church once you’re in it.
Eiffel Tower:
The Eiffel Tower is the emblem of Paris, 325 meters high (or 1066 ft), the Eiffel Tower was built for the Paris World Exhibition of 1889 by Gustave Eiffel. 
the tower has become a symbol of France and is recognised world wide as a defining moment of the industrial era in the country. Today, this glorious work of art attracts as many as 7 million visitors annually, making the Eiffel Tower the most visited monument around the world. 
Comprising of three levels, you are greeted to a unique panoramic view of the city and the glittering skies during night-time. In fact, the beautiful tower is also a renowned stage for numerous international events as well.
Seine River Cruise:
Find the best way to visit the "City of Light" enjoying a cruise on the Seine, especially at night. Seine River Cruise. These are a really popular way to sight-see in Paris, and a number of Seine River cruises depart from right next to the Eiffel Tower. We went by 9 pm on cruise. 
When the sun sets,( Here sun sets by 9 pm) the monuments are lit slowly. You get a panoramic view to the forefront so you can enjoy the beauty of Paris: Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Pont Alexandre III and many more. The Seine river delimits the left bank and the right bank of Paris. All about it is so magical. 
The bridges, the docks, and its historical islands can best be seen during a boat cruise This leisurely, hour long cruise takes you past some of the most iconic Parisian monuments afloat. Admire prestigious landmarks such as Assemblee Nationale, Musee d'Orsay, Institut de France, Pantheon, Cite de la Mode, Hotel de Ville, Notre Dame, Conciergerie, and more. The mesmerising cruise also allows you to enjoy an exhilarating experience from on top of the boat’s terrace and passageways. It provides a complete new perspective on the city and its monuments!
The Banks of the Seine can be considered as the beaches of Paris. The Parisians like going there to relax and have a drink when it is sunny. The best spot is probably at the western tip of the Saint-Louis Island. At night, you will experience the typical Parisian lifestyle. People are playing the guitar and drinking either beer or wine! Surrounded by locals, it can turn out to be an unforgettable and one-of-a-kind moment!
Louvre Museum:
A sumptuous palace that was once the home of France's Kings, the Louvre is the most important of Paris' top museums. 
Visitors enter the museum in the courtyard of the palace at the glass pyramid (designed by Ieoh Ming Pei in 1917). 
The Louvre Museum possesses more than 30,000 artworks (many considered masterpieces)-from antiquities to European paintings of the 15th to 19th centuries. The most famous piece is the Mona Lisa or La Gioconda (or La Joconde in French) painted by Leonardo da Vinci in 1503-1505.
today, it is the world’s largest art museum, and is home to over 380,000 objects, with 35,000 on display at any one time. Highlights include the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, but as you would imagine, there’s a great deal to see here. In fact, you could probably spend a full day (or more!) just exploring the Louvre.

The collection is divided into eight departments:
    Egyptian antiquities
    Oriental antiquities
    Greek, Etruscan and Roman
    Islamic Art
    Sculptures of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Modern Times
    Objects of art    Paintings
    Graphic arts.

The timeless glass pyramid that has now become a symbol of sophistication and elegance is also one of the most photographed monument of the city. Apart from a myriad of paintings, the museum also hosts intricate sculptures within its premises.
Arc De Triomphe:
The Arc de Triomphe is a massive monument in the shape of an arch. Under the spell of ancient Roman architecture, Napoleon commissioned Jean Chalgrin the design of a triumphal arch dedicated to the glory of imperial armies. 
The panoramic terrace above the door offers a beautiful view of Paris. 50 meters high, 45 meters wide and 22 meters deep, the Arc de Triomphe is located on the Place de l'Etoile which leads to the Champs Elysees which is nicknamed "the most beautiful avenue in the world." . In addition, the names of 558 generals and the great victories are engraved on the top of the arc. Today, the Arc de Triomphe stands alongside the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre as a must-visit location in Paris.
Palais Garnier, Opéra National de Paris
One of the most elaborate buildings in Paris, this stunning late 19th century building is also known as Palais Garnier or Garnier Opera House. Ile de Cité is the birthplace of Paris and the link between the two banks. 
Even though this small piece of land in the middle of the Seine has been deeply modified over the centuries. The Palais Garnier is undoubtedly one of the main landmarks of the city. You will love to look at its details: it is adorned with mirrors, mosaics and chandeliers – not to mention the impressive Grand Staircase. Well worth a visit, you’ll feel like royalty within its walls. it is adorned with mirrors, mosaics and chandeliers, the gold, marbles, and the precious fabrics that decorate the facade, the stairs, and the theatre. But also its dome that was decorated by March Chagall. not to mention the impressive Grand Staircase. Well worth a visit, you’ll feel like royalty within its walls.
Moulin Rouge
Paris’ Moulin Rouge (built in 1885) is known for its Champagne-filled parties that pioneered cabaret and the famous French cancan dance.

 For more than a century, cabarets and dinner shows have been an essential part of the Parisian night scene. Today, French cabarets are a very popular. we started with the Moulin Rouge, then headed up to Le Mur Des Jet’aime where you’ll see “I love you” written out in 300 languages. You can also pass by famous cafes.
We spent two days in Paris were dedicated to art, mostly Impressionism and modern architecture. I also tried to learn more about their culture. 
We are wandering among some of the main attractions, stopping for café lattes and macaroons, shopping in the boutique stores and generally loving every corner of this gorgeous city. And that French are some of the nicest people and they really know how to enjoy life. Well, maybe my next visit should be dedicated to learning how to enjoy life like a Parisian.