8 Dec 2007 (Saturday): Zurich - Schaffhausen - Titisee - Lucerne

This was counted as Day 2 of the trip already... after a long journey... from Singapore to Colombo to Dubai, and at last to Zurich.

We had several meals on the plane... hm... the orange meringue (dessert) was nice :D Thought of sending a postcard from 'air'... while, no luck - Emirates does not have postcards available on board.

To my pleasant surprise, each seat comes with a touch screen. And yes, the range of movies it offers... (even before the plane takes off!). "Watched" a few movies on the way...

  • Hairspray - a musical... on how a plump girl pursued a passion to be a dancer...
    Ratatouille - story about mice(?) Ying Leng said it was nice... Hm... watched part of it... slept through part of it... in the end... could not figure out the head/tail of the story line.
  • Mr Bean on Holiday - a funny show to destress... hahaha... oh yes, there were scenes of Paris - the Eiffel Tower!!! Oh yes, would be there in a week's time!
  • Harry Potter - hm... think it's the 3rd sequel. Well, have not read the book, have not watched any of its movie... for curiosity... wondering why it whipped up so much interest. Well, not my cup of tea.
  • One more ... can't quite remember the name, but it's a comedy... something to do with Funeral.. recommended by Chai Noi. Well, slept through the show...
The rest of the time? Sleeeeeeeep.............

We arrived at Zurich in the early afternoon (near 2 pm). Nevertheless, by the time we waited for all to board the coach, it was already over 3 pm... and the sky started to dim...

Zurich City Tour

  • We remained in the coach throughout... Hm... refreshing look - compared to what we have back at home... A city well laid-out with huge buildings with a river runs through,... the big train stations, etc... Hm... compared with other cities, not very impressive though. Well, reminded myself, it's only the 1st day in Switzerland... Let's look out for more.
  • Did not have much info about the city... Commentary? Hm... not really, info in my research handouts were more useful.

Schaffhausen - Rheinfall/Rhinefall

  • We drove up to Schaffhausen for the Rheinfall. This was the first sightseeing stop. Heard about the name... Ee? Isn't there a Rhein River (莱茵河) that runs through Germany? So, they are connected!
  • As of the Rheinfall, it's supposed one of the most impressive falls in Europe, with a width of 150m. Yes, the water rushing down so vigorously...
  • Hm... wondering if it's because of the angle? We saw it from the west/north shore... did not feel that kind of "grandness"... perhaps the view from the south shore would be different!
  • Have the first taste of cold... pretty windy... luckily had my gloves and coat with me!

Titisee - a town at the German-Swiss border

Heard about blackforest? oh! That reminded me of the blackforest cake... (that was mentioned in the itinerary)!!! Lunch??? No, it's already dinner time, yet we were just making our way there... Oh no... no sign of the forest... 'cos it already started getting dark... there went my blackforest cake :-(

  • No, we did not have dinner at Titisee... though our body told us it's bedtime and far after dining time already! At last we arrived! Just to see the cuckoo clocks! What??? Cuckoo clocks??? In fact, I hope that we had given it a miss! What's big deal??? That could be one of the items to any Germany trips! That's not in our main course!

  • Click at the clip at the side bar to watch the Cuckoo clock introduction and demonstration.


  • At last, we drove back to Lucerne - it was a detour! Cold and hungry, we arrived at the hotel near 9 pm!
  • Our dinner? Saltish soup and saltish chicken! It's the first time white rice became the limelight on the plate. Hm... the last item - ICE CREAM is the saving grace :D
  • Was still thinking of the blackforest cake when I went to bed.

9 Dec 2007 (Sunday): Lucerne - Interlaken

The morning was cold... it was rainy since the previous night (oh yes, we had been checking out the weather from the balcony window).

Mt Titlis

  • We were fully-geared up for the day, forewarned by Rin (our tour leader) the previous night. The thickest cap, sun glasses, chemical warmers, thick socks... hahaha... have everything with us... Oh yes, also an umbrella.
  • Mt Titlis is 3020 m above sea level and we went up by cable cars - in 3 stages. The first one could only take up to 6 people whereas the next 2 can take up to 80 passengers per trip!
    It was exciting, when we saw so many people geared up for skiing!!! Yes, in the 1st car, we were with 2 Swiss boys who are barely beyond 10... and yes, they were all ready for the activity!

  • The 3rd cable car was a special one, which is the Rotair... It rotates!!!

  • Up in the top of Mt Titlis, it was very very cold... with one end closed because of the storm in the previous night. It was windy! haha... but we had some fun playing with the snow :D Hm... not much of scenery except the snow-coated slopes and trees!

  • Oh yes, by chance, we saw some people sat on the chairlift... and some skiing too!

Ah ha... 'performing' my travel 'ritual

  • We also had our lunch there... surprising, a Chinese meal at the summit! There were sausages, chicken, vegetables, soup, etc...

  • Our backdrop for lunch was the steep cliff coated with snow, with the afternoon sun piercing through the snow.

  • Oh yes, also had my first cone of ice cream in Switzerland! Hm... yummy yummy... it's pear-flavoured (except that I finished it before boarding the cable car...)

  • View the clips on Mt Titlis on the right panel


  • Back to the city, on the way to see the famous lion monument, we pass by the Old Swiss House... probably nothing special about it (since no one stopped to alert of any happenings here?). But I guess, it's something unique to the Swiss-style houses... white background and lots of lines that go across... It can be red, brown or black... Oh yes, look at the roof! Hey, now I know why the 'roof' of houses in areas that snow are slanted... U know why? (Learnt this during my Hokkaido trip last year)

  • The lion monument... it was emphasized several times that the lion was dying, rather than looking sleepy. Of course, there's some significance to it... but did not register the commentary in my head.
  • Next was the Chapel Bridge, that spans across the 2 banks of a river. It's a mix of old and new (where the central portion was rebuilt after a fire).
  • The Chapel Bridge reminded me of the Long Corridor at Summer Palace in Beijing.
  • Here, we also saw lots of geese and ducks in the river... hey, they were not afraid of mankind!
  • Not much time for us to hang around... it's a pity.


  • At last we arrived at the Lucerne City. It was shopping time! The coach parked beside the train station and the whole group followed Rin, walked down the street. God knows, our hotel was just among the buildings that we walked past!
  • What lousy planning!!! The guide could have checked us in before sending us out for a shopping spree! At least, that would offer a choice to shop or not. Not only walked extra in the cold and wet weather, also waited for almost an hour in the coach! What a waste of time and energy!!!

Our Dinner

  • This was recommended by the tour leader.
  • At Bebbies, we had Fondue feast - Cheese fondue, Meat fondue (that's like steamboat) and Chocolate fondue! Oh yes, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melted in the chocolate! Believe the cheese fondue had wine added to the melted cheese though the owner clarified the frangance and bitterness was due to the cheese reaction to heating.
  • Among the three, I like the cheese one... hm... :P

10 Dec 2007 (Monday): Interlaken

Jungfraujoch (yung-fow-yok)

We joined the optional tour to go up to Jungfraujoch, a much-talkabout place. It cost us CHF185 (including lunch).

  • It is known as the "Top of Europe" - not the highest peak, but the highest point reachable by a train. The famous red train that climbs through a tunnel, through the mountain! It passes by Eiger, Monch and eventually Jungfrau.
  • When approaching the base station, we were amazed by the christmasiee view... So beautiful, so postcard like! It reminded me of the beautiful Otaro in Hokkaido! There's a river that breaks the monotony of the snowy land.

  • Really marvel the kind of technology the Swiss used, to make the mountain accessible to just anybody!
  • We went to ice palace where figures such as bears were crafted out from ice.
  • After passing through a dim tunnel, we took a lift to ascent to the Sphinx (3571m above sea level). It was unusually windy and cold (Was told by Adeline that it's the calmer side of the mountain).

  • Most of us did not have much problem until after lunch when we started feeling the high-altitude effect... Oops! Wish we could have taken the 2 pm train down the mountain...

11 Dec 2007 (Tuesday): Interlaken - Bern - Geneva


  • This medieval city (listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983) was our first stop for the day. See, the ground looks different, right? Hey, it reminded me of Toledo, Spain.
  • The Rose Garden was suppose to be the selling point, being the home to more than 200 types of roses, 200 types of irises and moor beds with 28 different types of rhododendrons. (Ah ha! This reminded me of the rhododendrons I saw on my way from Thimphu to Phunakha. Nevertheless, we did not see any roses. Instead, saw the christmassie mistletoe :D
  • We also saw the 2 bears in the Bear Pit. Very different from the bear we saw in Hokkaido - smaller in size and were not hungry for food. They were not as fierce though.
  • We then adjourned to the city centre where we heard the astronomical clock struck at 11 am. The Clock Tower (Zeitglockenturm) was Bern's first western city gate and formed the boundary of the first city's extension. We also saw the turning of the figures installed as part of the decoration.
  • Then, in the city centre, we also saw some of the over 100 fountains.
  • Also, we tasted Swiss roasted chestnuts!
  • Click at the videoclip on the right to see the astronomical clock at work.

  • The city tour was led by a local guide, who showed us the various important buildings in the city, those of the UN, Red Cross & Red Crescent, etc...
  • Yes, also the interesting intallation of the Broken Chair right in front of UN HQ was something that I could still remember. The Broken Chair was ade for Handicapped International, an anti-landmine NGO by Swiss Visual Artist, Daniel Berset in 1997. It represents the victims of landmines.
  • Click at the videoclip on the right for the scenic view on the way to Geneva.

Our Accommodation in Switzerland (8-11 Dec)

For the 1st night (8 Dec), we put up at Astoria Hotel. It was a quick check-in check-out thing. Did not bother too much what's available since only there one night.

Breakfast? Just bread and juices.


For the next 2 nights (9-10 Dec), we checked in to Chalet Hotel Oberland (Best Western group)... wondering... it's 2* or 3*? The mattresses were even softer and the beds were lower than the ones in the previous hotel.

The "best" part of it: We have to 'ration' for hot water... Haha... that allows me to discover another habit of Chai Noi! :D

Oh yes, here, I borrowed the power adaptor with a CHF10 as a deposit. Of course, did not forget returning :D

On the other hand, it's the only hotel (among all in this trip) that offers miso soup and white rice among the others for breakfast. Oh yes, the waitresses here were fierce too... Saw them stopping another group entering the dining room where our group was... 'cos they were suppose to go for one with another 'range' of breakfast spread?

The most "NE" part of it is that it comes with an antique lift...

Last but not least, it's the first time I came across 2* door key - that was so sensitive to handphone and credit cards that I had mine re-programmed 3 times in the 2-day stay! This did not happen to any other hotel keys!


On 11 Dec, we put up at Hotel Chavannes-de-Bogis (another one under the Best Western group). In terms of environment and ambience, this was better, compared to the chalet.
Oh yes, it has the biggest bath room among all the hotels we stayed (in this trip), though a bit odd in shape.

By the way, it has the cutest and heaviest room key, too!

Itinerary (Switzerland) - by Travel Agency

Day 1: Singapore - Zurich

  • Singapore Changi Airport - Dubai Airport (Transit) - Switzerland Zurich Airport

Day 2: Zurich - Schaffhausen - Titisee - Lucerne

  • Arrive at Zurich - Switzerland's largest city, a financial, economic adn commercial centre
  • Brief orientation tour of the city passing by Bahnhofstrasse - the exclusive and attractive, elegant shopping street in the world.
  • Drive northward to Schaffhausen
  • Schaffhausen - The Rhine Falls
  • Info from Lonely Planet ; Der Rheinfall: official website ; http://switzerland.isyours.com/e/guide/northeast/rhinefalls.html
  • Head further north to cross the Swiss-German border - lush valleys and pine-clad hills of the Black Forest
  • Titisee - a German village renowed for its Black Forest Cake and Cuckoo Clocks
  • Return to Zurich and via Alpine route to Lucerne
  • The Alps, surrounded by its lake and embellished by the clear mountain waters of the River Reuss.

  • Lucerne
  • The Lion Monument, carved from limestone cliff to commemorate the bravery of the Swiss Guards during the French Revolution.
  • Info from Lonely Planet ; Info from Frommers ; Map of Walking Tour (Frommers)
  • 14th century covered wooden Chapel Bridge which depicts the local history.
  • Info from Lonely Planet ; Info from Frommers ; Map of Walking Tour (Frommers)
  • Leisure to shop... chocolates, music boxes, swiss knives, watches...
  • Stroll through the streets of fine 15th & 15th century houses..
  • Bucherer, Europe's number one shop for Watches and jewellery

Day 3: Lucerne - Interlaken

  • Drive up the snow-capped Mount Titlis for a panoramic view at 10,000 feet from the roof of the Alps.
  • Journey over to Bruniq pass to the postcard perfect Interlaken.
  • Info from Frommer's
  • The Bernese Oberland resort beautifuly situated between 2 sparking lakes and beneath the towering Jungfrau

Day 4: Interlaken

  • Leisure...
  • [Optional] To Grindelwald
  • [Optional] To "Valley of Waterfalls"
  • [Optional] To "Top of Europe" Jungfrau by a spectacular train ride or... drop in Burcherer.
  • Info from Frommers : Get copy of "What to Do in Interlaken" from the tourist office. It maps out walks for both young and more mature visitors.

Day 5: Interlaken - Berne - Geneva

  • Travel to capital of Swiss Confederation, Berne - a charming town with arcade shops, carved fountains and towers.
  • Berne: Bear Pit... followed by monumental Federal Palace and the beautifully preserved medieval Old Town.
  • Info from Frommer's ; Map of Walking Tour (Frommer's)
  • Witness the hourly parade of painted figures at the Clock Tower and take pictures of ornate, flower-adorned fountains.
  • Continue journey to Geneva

Day 6: Geneva - Paris

  • Geneva sightseeing passes the United Nation Palace, the colourful Flower Clock, the Jetd'Eau fountain, soaring over 400-feet into the air and Reformation Monument, a reminder that this town of John Calvin.
  • Drive through the rolling pine forest of the Jura Hills, crossing the French border.
  • Passing medieval Beaunne via Fountainebleau forest to "Gay Paree"