Story behind our free ride on the ice flyer, Mount Titlis Switzerland
Don’t know how many of you have watched the cartoon series ‘Heidi’. It was about a girl growing up in the Swiss Alps with her grand-dad and my most favorite TV show.
Green Meadows, snow-capped mountains and placid lakes waiting on the other side of the world were completely unknown to me in the ages without internet. Growing up I never imagined such a place would even exist. They were only meant to be in animated movies or colorful books I thought.
Until the day, I first visited Europe and more specifically Swiss Alps. This place has the most stunning mountains and greenery you’ll ever see and twice as beautiful as you imagined possible! It was all real, right there.
Today I shall write about our visit to Engelberg, a quaint little village in the centre of Switzerland with Mount Titlis 10,000 ft above the sea level. They say, more than half a million tourists visit Mount Titlis from India alone, every year! Many Bollywood movies are filmed here as it offers the most perfect backdrop for a romantic song. And because it is freaking-ly beautiful.
Here is a list of things you will get to experience on your journey till the top of Mount Titlis (best things noted last) and also read about our story on how we got a free ride on the Ice Flyer:
> Cable Car ride – This cable car journey offers an enticing view of the mountain. You will constantly hear the iconic Swiss bells, tied to the Swiss cows. And that to me is one of the most pleasing sound ever! Also explains why DDLJ movie has given so much importance to the Swiss bell. We had Wallpaper and screensaver-like pictures clicked here.
First stop from the cable car, you will find a tranquil lake nearby. Enjoy some free time here if you are on your own and not with the tour package.
> Rotating Gondola Ride – this is the first rotating gondola ride in the world that rotates 360 degrees. This gondola will treat you with idyllic panoramic views and untouched beauty of snow-capped mountains stretched till far ends.
>Ice Glacier Walk – Long tunnel with ice carvings and freezing cold temperatures maintained inside
> Titlis Cliff Walk – Suspension bridge, highest in Europe. The best view here is at early morning when the fog is at its peak. It may look as if we have done all these activities at a stretch but the truth is, it gets difficult to stay outside for that long. Hence after every activity you can run back to the warm heater lobby and charge your batteries. haha
> Snow Tubing – Since we do not know much of skiing, snow tubing is one activity I enjoy the most in snow. The bumpy ride on a sliding tyre down the hill is really gratifying. Its the best way to bring your childhood days to life.
> Ice Flyer – Here is a little story of how we got a free ride on the Ice Flyer.
Since Switzerland is a very expensive country we had not bought the Ice Flyer tickets. Also cause we had no clue if it would be really worth that price.
The temperatures had dropped low and tourists struggled to stay out for long.
TIP – Carry warm clothes and dry fruits (especially Dates – trust me, always helps in extreme conditions).
Another important tip, be the first one at the top. Wake up as early as you can.
As most of you know, how much we like reaching our destinations early in the morning and recommend this in all our blogs. We had reached Mount Titlis at 7:00 AM and therefore enjoyed the place without much crowd and without any sun!
Back to our story on the Ice Flyer, so we met with an elderly couple from India who were visiting this place with their daughter settled in Europe. They found it difficult to be in the open for long. The Ice Flyer is about 2 minutes walk from the main station. Now 2 minutes climb in negative temperatures is not easy for people living in tropical regions. So, the elderly couple decided to quietly give away their tickets to us without telling their daughter, who probably paid for it. The old man walked to us and said ‘you guys will enjoy this ride more than us. We have two tickets at the Ice Flyer. Why don’t you take it?’ We were on top of the world with that gratitude. A stranger whom we never met in our lives, walked to us to offer free tickets! (Btw, we did offer him to pay but the gentleman refused).
After many confirmations and reassurance, we took the tickets and went running up the hill. But the story doesn’t end here. Our conscious which drives most of our decisions felt, it wasn’t right to do it because the daughter may be upset on them when she finds out. And so we walked back to find the elderly couple again. After a while of searching, we found the old man along with his daughter. We returned the tickets, told his daughter the whole story. Daughter confirmed again with her parents if they would make it till the Ice Flyer. They refused again. And this time, the daughter handed over the tickets to us with the same big smile as her father. This was no doubt one of the best experience and I would highly recommend all the visitors at Mount Titlis to not miss this chance on the Ice Flyer. The ride takes you up a snow mountain with no living or dead around. Its just white snow on that side of the world.
How to get to Mount Titlis?
Option 1) Zurich —–> Lucern —–> Engelberg
Train from Zurich to Lucern runs every 30 minutes. On reaching Lucern, take the next train to Engelberg (45 minutes journey). This train runs every one hour. You can open the train windows here and either side will give you picturesque views. There is no right or wrong side.
From Engelberg you can walk for 5 minutes to reach at the base of Mount Titlis or take a free bus.
TIP: If you are planning to travel by Swiss train at least 2 or 3 times, then Swiss Travel Pass is highly recommended. It also gives you good discount on Cable cars at Mount Titlis.
Option 2) Join a tour & travel agency
Hope you liked reading this post. More locations in Switzerland will follow.