What is so peculiar about Switzerland that many call it 'heaven on earth'? I remember that as a young child I had visited this awesome place but back then I was not so mesmerized by it as I am now. I was not able to understand and appreciate its calmness and beauty. This time I looked and viewed it not only from the eyes of a tourist but from the perspective of a nature lover and this view was more mature than the one I held from my earlier visit. Everybody is aware that Switzerland is the perfect place on the earth. Beautiful, picturesque, serene, scenic ..you can use umpteen words to describe it. But this time I have viewed it from a different angle.
We landed in Interlaken, which is a small and beautiful town in Switzerland, divided into east and west. You could almost walk through both the parts and enjoy the walk. We took the Swiss rail as we had got passes for traveling. The first thing that you shall notice in this small country is the respect that people have for pedestrians. You step on the zebra crossing and the moment cars and vehicles notice that you are crossing the road, they stop at a distance and let you proceed. This respect for pedestrians, you shall observe across Europe and America. We were amazed at this courtesy shown because back in India we are so used to hearing abuses from drivers who want to just speed up and ram their vehicles on poor people crossing the road. The privilege given to pedestrians was a striking feature and I fell in love with the country on the day I landed in it.Can we dream of such a thing happening in India? Here, instead of letting the pedestrian cross the road smoothly, the vehicle owner is bound to bring his/her vehicle almost very close to the pedestrian and abuse him for coming in the way. As I had begun to observe, the difference was in the cultural ethos. In Switzerland, we saw respect for people from all walks of life. If a nation is built on such an edifice, it is bound to progress and prosper. Switzerland is of course famous for being the paradise on earth and being heaven (this has been reinforced by all Bollywood movies shot in Switzerland ...especially Yash Chopra movies), but very few tourists will realize that this is a country where people live by discipline, respect, cleanliness and above all love and pride for their nation which is evident in their actions.
I was just exploring and discovering this great country and our wonderful journey had only begun with our stay in Interlaken ...
More to come in Part II