Enough has been said about the charms of travel by trains and many a traveller has waxed eloquently about the delights of journey through Europe by trains. Of course the imaginative mind immediately conjures up images of chance encounters, thrilling adventures and the like, well portrayed in several books and films. Mountain trains add an all new dimension to the experience of a traveller, one that seeks solitude and probably little adventure than to immerse oneself in the journey than the destination. In one such journey over destination preference, I planned on taking the little known “Train des Merveilles” from Nice to a mountain village called Tende in France.
I love crossing borders by train. The changing scenery, the rapid shifting of languages, stations with unfamiliar local names; its an experience in itself. Therefore it was obvious that I would get into Switzerland by train from Paris. Alas, I fall asleep and miss the transformation only to wake up in time for catching my connecting train from Basel to Lucerne, where I am to meet a dear friend for an exciting week in the Swiss Alps. A drastic change from the historic and vivacious Paris, I am welcomed into Switzerland amidst nature’s ubiquitous presence.
A guest post from my dear friend with whom I had had the chance to travel with, to Lucerne:
Welcome to the Land of the Alps, the country that immediately brings to mind the aromatic romance of chocolate, the silent whirring of the gears of a Swiss watch or the gentle swish of the blades of a Swiss-knife. Welcome to Switzerland where Mother Nature has taken the time to carve this land into a masterpiece of eternal beauty.
If the heart asks me where I would want to be again, in a flutter I would answer – Chamonix. The vistas overlooking the Mt Blanc would release the floodgates of artistic excellence of even a pedestrian poet. Such is the grandeur of the Alps that as they traverse through the lengths of Austria and Switzerland and make their way into France, they seem to have run through their crests and troughs, but, just as the proverbial candle flame, they seem to have reserved their best for the last – in the hearts of Chamonix.
My time in Innsbruck may be defined by one word: Heavenly. I was either running, hiking, scrambling or even climbing my way to what was one of the most beautiful nights I’ve ever witnessed. If one were to enjoy the Alps in its pristine beauty far from the madding crowd, a hike up to Pfeishutte is highly recommended.