Category Archives: Switzerland

Solo travel – I finally did it!

So, I’ve finally crossed solo travel off my bucket list! Truly, when you want something bad enough, the entire universe conspires to make it happen for you. Kind of. You do have to jump at the opportunity yourself.

This isn’t the first time I’ve traveled alone since I’ve done so a couple of times for work, especially in the past two years. But this was my first time, going on a vacation alone. It was truly a relaxing and fun vacation for me.

Since it was my first solo trip, I was looking to go somewhere safe (it was between Switzerland and New Zealand) and Switzerland seemed like the best choice! Print screen from my iPhoto places.

Places I've been to in Switzerland

What I didn’t quite like about solo travel:

– No one to share food with!

Since I’ve a relatively small appetite, its all I could do to finish off a main course. No appetizers and no desserts. Or no mains, just desserts (HA). Especially in Switzerland where it is literally impossible to finish off half a french loaf and 5 baked potatoes which came with a cheese fondue for one!

Swiss fondue for one at Bussalp Restaurant (potatoes not photographed). The owner gave me a weird look when I ordered it while this lovely old couple sitting beside me kept staring at me while I ate too. Do people not eat cheese fondue alone?

Swiss Fondue at Bussalp Restaurant

– No one to share my excitement with.

I had the most amazing experience walking around St Moritz randomly. Saw this huge flat piece of snow covered land which I assumed was a park since there were quite a few people taking slow walks with their dogs. While walking on it, I decided to check out Lake St Moritz since i recalled it being somewhere close by. It was there and then, when Google Maps informed me that I was walking ON the lake (apparently frozen and covered in snow). Of course, I instinctively wanted to run (as lightly as possible) back to the ground but after I got over that, I felt super excited but had no one to share my excitement with. Thank god for Steve, iMessage, Whatsapp and 4G. Hahahaha.

Lake St Moritz, Switzerland

– Accommodation gets a little pricey if you’re not open to hostels or single rooms with a shared bathroom (which I’m not). I haven’t had any experience staying in hostels and I wasn’t keen to experience that alone.

– Safety. To be honest, I’m not sure how much the safety factor increases when you travel with a partner. But psychologically, I do feel safer with someone beside me.

What I loved about it!

– Complete and utter freedom! You and you alone, call the shots! No matter how accommodating your travel partner (LF is totally accommodating), nothing compares to the freedom from traveling alone. There are days when I have absolutely nothing planned, I wake up, check the weather of a couple of places, check the routes and depending on train schedule, sometimes jump out of bed and make a mad rush for the train. Random walks, abrupt change of plans and decisions to skip “places of interest”.

I made a (regretful) decision to walk 2 hours (according to wiki travel) through Unterseen to Neuhaus to check out a lake when I should have gotten a bike but it was my decision and I didn’t have to worry that someone else was suffering because of my decision. Although, the start of the walk was rather enjoyable.

Random walk around Interlaken, Switzerland

– You tend to be more observant to your surroundings rather than walking around blindly while chattering on with your travel partner. I love observing people on the streets, their facial expressions and gestures while wondering (and making up my own version) about their lives. Plus, I get to practice my (non existent) french by listening to the conversations around me.

– After being alone for a while, you tend to be slightly more sociable no matter how socially awkward you are. This is a huge step out for me. I absolutely love (no matter how awkward I feel) learning about the lives of others and how starkly different our ways, culture and thinking are! Without someone by your side, your focus is entirely on the person you’ve just met, listening to their experience and asking questions. So much to learn from!

Train buddies (from London) who made the ride on the Glacier Express more enjoyable with their ton of snacks!

Train buddies onboard the Glacier Express, Switzerland

I have also encountered plenty of super nice people who would offer to take photos of me when I’m randomly taking photos of the place. There was an old lady to so kindly offered to take a shot of me and ended up taking 114 photos (in burst mode) all at once. Too many choices! Hurhur.

I do feel quite accomplished after this trip. It was a good start and a safe first solo trip. I do think I could have done more, be more adventurous, talk to more people and what not, but all in all, it was great!

To be honest, I don’t actually have a preference for solo travel but I guess I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again if I had to (especially if it was just too troublesome to coordinate everyone’s schedule).

In conclusion, I DID IT (I did take a selfie with Frosty!)! *Pats self on shoulder*

Selfie with Frosty, Grindelwald, Switzerland

Skydiving in Interlaken, Switzerland

Skydiving in Interlaken, Switzerland

Doing up a post on skydiving mainly cause I’ve paid 180SGD for a series of unglam shots and of course, I’ve to make full use of the photos. So Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and my blog. Am I missing anywhere else?

I’m a little half hearted here cause I’m also trying to figure out what to do at Zermatt over the next two days. Apparently, nothing. I guess I’ll be sitting at cafes/by the balcony enjoying the car free city. Oh, build a snowman. Maybe check out the igloo village.

Anyway, skydiving. Really glad to finally check this off my bucket list. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. I was a little nervous on the car ride to the helicopter but was just too busy checking out the helicopter as I stepped on and too mesmerised by the view at 14 000 feet to be afraid. Hehehehe.

Blessed with amazing blue skies on that day. Pick up arrived at my hotel at 12 and we headed down to the skydive centre where we signed our lives away, paid for it, did 1 min of tummy time (the position we’re to be in when free falling), another minute on lifting out legs up for landing and we were ready!

That’s me all geared up in a nice orange overall.

Skydiving in Interlaken, Switzerland

My ride up. Also my first time on a helicopter! Killing two birds with one stone! I’m guessing that’s my “I’m flying” pose. Hahahaha.

Skydiving in Interlaken, Switzerland

Up up and away. Seriously, GoPro fisheye effects are just NOT flattering la. Still, 180SGD, must post!

Skydiving in Interlaken, Switzerland

Preparing to jump! How can anyone not be mesmerised by the view. Way above the top of Europe (Jungfraujoch, in case anyone is wondering)?!

Skydiving in Interlaken, Switzerland

And we jump! Falling at 200km/hr (woohoo!!). Tony taps my shoulder and shouts at me to look at the camera. Victory pose! Why are my eyes so small?

Skydiving in Interlaken, Switzerland

Check out that windblown hair and my facial fats getting an au naturale massage.

Skydiving at Interlaken, Switzerland

Parachute successfully deployed! I WILL SURVIVE!

Skydiving at Interlaken, Switzerland

Hanging out. Literally. And pretending that I’m controlling the parachute.

Skydiving at Interlaken, Switzerland

Then we spin around just for the fun of it.

Skydiving at Interlaken, Switzerland

And we land safely on our butts.

Skydiving at Interlaken, Switzerland

The first thing that came to mind upon landing was, god my ears are frozen. Hahahaha.

And that is my first ever skydiving experience. I can’t wait to do it again! No concrete plans but I’m hoping to work something out and get my skydiving license in Spain!

Oh boy, its way past my bedtime!

Over and out. 9.50PM.

 

Morning train ride up Üetliberg

Tofu waiting for the train at Üetliberg, Zurich, SwitzerlandI am so envious of people living in Zurich where they can do morning hikes up Üetliberg before heading off to work. One mountain, countless trails! The plan was to hike up in the morning but since it was too slippery in winter, we took the train, S10, up and had really awesome coffee.

The walk up from the train station.

Üetliberg, Zurich, Switzerland

The view of Lake Zurich from the lookout tower (the wind was crazy cold).

Üetliberg, Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich old town, where I was the day before.

Üetliberg, Zurich, Switzerland

This would be a great spot for a game of chess or a simple meal. If only my ears weren’t freezing.

Üetliberg, Zurich, Switzerland

My trusty travel buddy waiting for the train back to Zurich HB. Lucky for him, he didn’t have to worry about his ears getting frozen since he has none to begin with. 😛

Tofu waiting for the train at Üetliberg, Zurich, Switzerland

My favorite city yet, Lucerne!

I’ve only been to three cities (in three days!) in Switzerland so far but Lucerne is currently at the top of the list.

The GORGEOUS view from just about 100 metres (this is random since I’ve completely no gauge of 100 metres but it sounds appropriate. HA) out of the station.

On my right, Lake Lucerne surrounded by the Alps. On a side note, I can’t wait to hit the swiss alps!

Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

On my left, the Chapel Bridge.

The Chapel Bridge, Lucerne, Switzerland

I absolutely couldn’t wait to take a long walk by the lake. And walk I did (after a very expensive and delicious lunch).

Here comes the hard part, picking out the photos for this post. This is gonna take a while.

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Photos below taking with my beloved iPhone 5S, unedited.

 

Walking by Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

Walking by Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

Walking by Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

Walking by Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

Walking by Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

Walking by Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

Walking by Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

Walking by Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

<3

Touched down in Zurich!

Limmatquai, Zurich, Switzerland

I know right, what a boring title. This is my favorite shot from today.

Anyway, highlight of the day was definitely lunch with Yumi! Tried rabbit pie (rabbit meat actually) for the first time ever! YUCK. I wasn’t sure if it was the weird taste of rabbit meat or the ton of carrots that came with it, it might have been a psychological aversion as well. First bite and the last for sure.

And I finally went down the slide at the Zurich office! Lunch time is definitely not the ideal time since you would land awkwardly right in front of a bunch of people having lunch. Then again, they are probably used to it. Hurhur.

Slide at Google Zurich

Random photos from my random walk after lunch.

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

I really liked how peaceful and quiet the city was plus the weather was perfect.

And now (9pm) is time for me to get my 8 hours of sleep. Till tomorrow!