[Sept 15, 2007]
When we finally left Milan, we also left Italy behind us, and entered yet another country. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…
When we talk about Switzerland, I remember a few things about this country:
- Although surrounded by EU countries, Switzerland is not a full EU country (Paul’s words). As such, you cannot enter Switzerland from a neighboring country without a passport. Also, not all businesses and shops in this country accept the Euro, they retain their own currency, the Swiss Francs.
- Switzerland is expensive. Very expensive. This was the only country where Paul did not bring us for a Chinese dinner. He said eating out in Switzerland is much much more expensive compared to Germany or Italy, so we were advised to pack our dinners at the service area before entering Switzerland that evening.
We checked into a hotel in Engelberg quite late in the evening. I don’t remember much of our hotel. What I do remember is that we needed to take a tram uphill to reach the hotel.
Did I mention that Switzerland is very expensive? The internet access charges were a few times more expensive compared to hotels in other countries in Europe. Fortunately, someone (I think it was me) discovered that there was free wifi at the lobby and corridors of the hotel. Word spread, and soon…
We totally did our part in enhancing the “Asians are f**king cheapskates!” stereotype…
So, anyway, I was the first to finish whatever it is that we did with the internet, and then had dinner…
[Sept 16. 2007]
The next morning, we woke up to this view in front of our hotel.
Paul told us that we would be visiting Mount Titlis. The problem was, some of us had poor hearing and thought he said, Mount Tits? Mount Tities? And then some of us started laughing, to Paul’s confusion.
You know, back then, I was an idiot. I thought the Swiss Alps was a mountain. I didn’t know it is actually a mountain range. So I asked Paul “Why are we going to Mount Titlis instead of Mount Alps?“, and he answered: “Mount Alps is very crowded because it is the most famous, Mount Titlis is good enough, second most famous but very less crowded.”
It made me quite pissed off that we only settled for second best on our tour. Of course, later on when I came back to Malaysia and did some research, I discovered that the Alps is actually a vast network of mountain range, and Mount Titlis is just one of many tourist spots within the Alps.
Of course, this also meant that Paul didn’t really know what he was talking about. I wonder what he had in mind when he mentioned the most famous Mount Alps.
Anyway, okay… Mount Titlis…
So, to get to this mountain, we had to walk across Engelberg town to get to the cable car station.
To get to the top of Mount Titlis, you basically need to take three different cable cars through three stages of the mountain. First you take the small cable car, then you take the medium cable car, and finally you take the big cable car. It’s real, I am not trying to make a joke here.
I guess it is finally time to admit something: I am uncomfortable with heights. I have mild phobia of heights.
Strangely, I am not afraid of taking the plane. But I get slightly terrified when I am on top of a tall building, or, say, when I am inside a cable car. I guess I am not afraid of the height. What I am uncomfortable with is looking down to the ground from a place of height. When I put it this way, I guess this is something pretty normal, isn’t it?
Of course, staring at those cables did not help either. Especially the small cable car, there was only one main cable, with two quite thin strands of support cables. If the main cable did snap, I don’t believe that two small strands of wire would be of much help at all. So of course, throughout the entire cable car ride, I was constantly worrying if the cable will snap and if I will fall into the valley below.
3 cable car rides and 10000 feet above ground level later, we finally arrived at the top of Mount Titlis. We were quickly given a short tour of a glacier cave right next to the cable car station,
And then we were set loose to do whatever it is that we wanted to do.
You know, when you get to the top of a snowy mountain without any intentions to ski, it can be quite boring. I mean, almost everything around you is a pile of white.
Of course, it is also up to yourselves to make the most of the situation. For example…
Yeah, now you know where I got the idea to remove my jacket when I was at the Rocky Mountain…
By the way,
Do you wanna build a snowman?~~~