Saturday 29th May 2010
Day 1 comes to a close…..it was suppose to be a free day….but we already feel we have done so much…
It all started with the flight ..which was by and large uneventful….except it started a little late cause apparently two business class passengers were missing! The passangers would have been traced and we took off and landed early morning in Zurich Airport amid the clouds……
We had a big jing bang waiting to receive us at the airport with swiss flags…we had coffee from the food court…got our half ticket train passes ….discussed our itenary for the month …exchanged money and were off in the train form zurich airport to basel which was about an hour and a half ride…trains needless to say were clean…the scenery beautiful…the view of the road running by the tracks reminded me of DDLJ….the conversation was interting and the time just flew and we reached Basel station!
Here we got into our cars and were driven to the hotel where we were to spend day one which was officially free so we could get over our ‘jet lag’ but that was not to be!
We rushed in an hour and a half to shower and get dressed…and then we walked across the hotel to see a flea market on the road….yeah Switzerland also has flea markets on the road….apparently this one is set up once in 6 months and we were just lucky it was today…..so despite my best efforts to avoid anymore shopping..i picked up a red wind-sheather…..my logic…it was really cheap….and I needed one for the trip as they were predicting rain and I also need one when I go back to Mumbai!
After the shopping spree ….we then went to the Bhatnagar residence…they were graciously hosting us for the day…and the house which they claim to be a small house is three floors big with a lift to take them around…and a little hill garden and open area for a nice afternoon bruch!!
The brunch….actually late lunch but since we missed breakfast…can call it brunch was a very special bread with 5 different types of cheese….bread in switerland is apparently sold by the loaf and also the weight…..so we almost finished a 2 kg loaf of this special bread made by the farmers wife among 9 of us!
After lunch it was time to go sight seeing if we were up to it…..well we were not upto it….but we did not want to waste time sleeping in the room when the weather outside was sooo beautiful….it is like Mahableshwar in the winters…would be about 20 degrees…..pleasantly cold… and the two girls who had come to Mumbai for the GSE program were free today to take us around….so we jumped to the opportunity and into the tram…
When you come to Basel….Rhine river is the center of attraction….so that is where we headed to…..walked though the shopping distirct….sat on the river bank…..drank some exotic coolers in the café next to the bank……Gaso…Rivera…I have got the names wrong….but it was basically flavored sparkling water …the café also had an interesting rest room…..glass flooring with stones almost 3 feet down under….i some how did not expect a river-bank side open air café to have such an exotic rest room!
Btw…in case you don’t know…sparkling water is slightly carbonated water…..a milder version of the soada that we know in India…..here we have two options on mineral water…the sparkling water of the still water…water apparently can be drunk directly from the tap….have not tried that yet but will…..
After the drinks on the river bank….we decided to cross the river in a little boat…..hardly a 10 min ride…but we got to touch the water and know exactly how cold it is and not suitable for swimming yet!
We were exhausted by the end of it and finally got to come back home and crash for an hour….but then we had to rush again cause we had promised the bhatnagars that we would cook an Indian meal today…so we dragged ourseld out of the bed and walked to their house…prepared some exotic Indian dishes….but the best tasting dishes were made by Mrs Bhanagar…(Susan)…who btw is a Swiss national married to an Indian!!
Finally the day came to an end…..ofcouse after some yummy desert of strawberry and ice cream….yuuummmmm….I am EXHUSTED…but I had to write before I crash out..cause I had decided to!