For those who didn’t know, I had traveled to Switzerland in August 2015 to shoot for a TV show called Swiss Made Grand Tour.
The show was aired every Wednesday on NDTV Goodtimes (November-December 2015) and the last episode went live later at 8:30 PM yesterday.
For those who wish to watch these episodes online, hop on to these links below:
Episode 1: Introduction & Entry in Switzerland
Episode 2: Hello Zurich!
Episode 3: Grand Tour Hits A Thrilling Peak
Here’s a chronological arrangement of our entire road-journey around Switzerland. Hope you like this exclusive album!
|En route in Swiss International Air Lines with this wonderful view above 45,000 feet as company.|
|After a quick check-in, we were off to Mount Pilatus in one of these punctual and super-fast trains!|
|After a long train journey, we took a bus and got off at this spot in Luzern City.|
|Choosing to do this immediately after our flight, was probably not the best idea.
But hey, we’re here to see Switzerland, so let’s keep walking to the cable-car point!
|Mount Pilatus, here we come!|
|After taking our first cable car ride, we decided to stop for a while.
And enjoy some coffee while watching people try their luck at cable-wire-walking.
|Cycling at 7000 feet, has to be something only the locals have the courage to do.
We noticed and realised how active and fit people are in Switzerland, on our very first day.
|Time to go all the way to the top of Pilatus, which is at a whopping peak of 6982 ft above sea level!|
|Hello from the top of Mount Pilatus!|
|The view from that point, is worth to be preserved in your mind forever.|
|THIS is the view from that point! Told ya!|
|Yeh haseen waadiyaan, yeh khula aasmaan!|
|This was definitely the best beer I tried on my entire trip in Switzerland.
Let the hogging begin! Yeehaw!
|Okay enough sight-seeing, it’s time to have lunch at 7000 ft! Pilatus-Kulm!|
|Have you ever enjoyed eating lunch while enjoying watching a magnificent view like this one?|
|I see him getting our first course and I can’t stop smiling!|
|“I’d like to have a medium-rare steak with some crispy fries and rocket leaves on the side.”|
|Cordon Bleu: veal pounded thin and wrapped around a slice of ham,
and stuffed with Swiss Cheese, breaded and then fried to crispy perfection.
|I left Mumbai only with the hope of capturing mightly landscape of Switzerland.
I’m glad our first day was all about our journey to Mount Pilatus – 7000 feet above sea level!
|Meet the world’s steepest cogwheel railway.
From Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm, this cogwheel winds up through lush meadows carpeted
with Alpine flowers, passing sparkling mountain streams and fascinating rock faces.
|Alright, lunch is done and it’s time to leave Mount Pilatus and go down to Alpnachstad train station.
But before we hop into the world’s steepest cogwheel, see what I got from a vending machine!
|How does it feel to be inside the world’s steepest cogwheel?
It feels great, it involves a kind of silence that we share, that we all need and wish for.
|See ya, mighty mountain!
Here’s me saying goodbye to you from the cogwheel!
|Finally met the entire crew (Neha, Arun, Jalaj, Mandy, Ritu & Dheeraj) back at our hotel in Zurich.
We visited a lakeside restaurant for dinner, where I enjoyed this fresh salmon in red Thai curry.
|DAY 2 began at Zürich Oerlikon railway station, where we met Regi,
our local guide, who took us for a long walk to explore the city.
|Hello, Lake Zürich!|
|I loved the artwork in these small bylanes of the market in Zürich.
Don’t you love those flags too?
|Care for some real good Swiss cheese?|
|After a quick stroll, we finally met Neha Dixit, the host of Swiss Made Grand Tour.|
|Our table inside the lunch cruise was ready for us.
Yes, we ate food while the cruise took us around the lake.
Unique and unforgettable experience!
|Fresh handmade stuffed-raviolis from the chef! Bon apetit!|
|After lunch, we decided to head back to the hotel by bus and relax till dinner-time.|
|Before we left Zürich, we decided to get a new car on rent.
Say hello to our new ride: VW Beetle Convertible!
|Day 3 began with a long drive to our next destination.
Europe’s largest plain waterfall: RHEINFALL.
|Let me in, LET ME IN!|
|Meet the crew:
[L to R]
Neha Dixit (host)
Mandakini Malla (Director)
Ritu Sharma (Tour leader, Swiss Tourism)
Tanya Müller (Swiss Tourism)
|Never managed to take a selfie with a waterfall before.
There’s always a first time for everything!
|Wondering what the view is like from up there?|
Here’s what the view looks like!
|It’s time to take a boat to the other side!|
|Time to check out the view from the other side of the waterfall!|
|Hi from the other side of Rheinfall!|
|After Rheinfall, we drove along the Rhine and reached this beautiful waterfront restaurant in Büsingen. Büsingen city is situated on in Germany, just a few miles away from the Switzerland border.|
|First course: White wine and fresh cream soup with crispy croutons.|
|Seared local fish on a bed of spinach with capers, lemon juice, potatoes and lots and lots of butter.|
|See how perfectly cooked that fish was!|
|Fresh and sweet Swiss dairy cream with fresh and juicy tangy berries.
What a simple yet impressive dessert!
|After lunch, Neha and I decided to try our hand (quite literally) at canoeing.|
|I wasn’t expecting the water rapids to go crazy while we rowed, rowed, rowed the boat.
What a mad experience this was!
If you wanna see how much fun this was, click here to check out the episode on their website.
|It was Sonam’s birthday that day, so we surprised her with a bottle of champagne and a cow mug!|
|After surprising Sonam, we walked to our hotel just a few meters away, called Hotel Chlosterhof.|
|Fish served with 3 different kinds of ravioli.|
|Another day, another early morning drive, another day full of adventures!
Hotel Chlosterhof, you’ll be missed! Especially this view from my room!
|Another day, another long drive, another journey to discover more awesomeness!|
|Driving in the morning, is probably the best time to drive in Switzerland!|
|Senorita, DDLJ yaad aaya ya nahi?|
|We had no idea where to stop, so here’s where had picnic that day!
At Arbon in Switzerland!
What a relaxing lunch out in the open!
|What do I do after a heavy picnic lunch at Arbon?
Take a quick nap of course!
|An early à la carte dinner at “Seerestaurant”
First course was this beautifully presented and perfectly seasoned Beef Tartare!
|Roshni and I also shared this veal dish prepared with white wine sauce and handmade fettuccine.
This was definitely the best dish we tried at “See Restaurant” that night!
|A dessert platter with soft-centered chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, berry sorbet and fruits with cream.|
|Our breakfast next morning at Hotel Mozart, before we left for Davos!|
|We’re in Liechtenstein! One of the smallest countries in the world!
Liechtenstein is a German-speaking, 25km-long principality between Austria and Switzerland.
|Colour cafe, colourful coffee-break memories!|
|En route to Madrisa Land!|
|NDTV’s cameraman caught on camera.
|If you visit Switzerland, get used to experiencing cable-car rides frequently.|
|Welcome to Madrisa Land.
An amusement park 2000m above sea level.
|I went to the top for a picture of the entire park.
Wasn’t it worth it?
|Madrisa Land is a happy place for kids and people who are still kids mentally, like me!|
|Team lunch time!|
|First course: fresh local salad with croutons.|
Handmade fettuccine with perfectly cooked salmon and cherry tomatoes, topped with parmesan and fresh ground pepper.
|View from our lunch table!|
|The best room we got to stay in, was definitely at this four star hotel called Turmhotel Victoria at Davos.
The room had a living area, a pantry, two bathrooms (1 with a huge bathtub in it), a huge balcony and a master-bedroom.
|Clicked it before I got in!
Another day ends well!
|After dinner at Turmhotel Victoria, we slept off early and headed straight up to Hotel Schatzalp.
For some breakfast, a tobogganing ride and a tour around the entire hotel property.
|The panoramic view from this place, was something I dream about even today.|
|Imagine having coffee with this panoramic view in front of you.
It seems unreal, doesn’t it?
|Some fresh pastries and cold coffee for breakfast!|
|Tobogganing was so much fun!|
|En route to Sertig Valley for lunch!|
|Most residents of Switzerland consider Rösti as their national dish.
It’s almost like a hash brown pancake, served with veggies and cheese usually.
Don’t forget to try this dish when you are in Switzerland!
|Capuns is a traditional food from the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland, predominantly made in the western part of Grisons. They are made from Spätzle dough with pieces of dried meat and rolled in a chard leaf.|
|Perfect dessert for a perfect meal at Sertig valley! Traditional almond cake!
It’s time to hit the road again!
|After lunch, we drove up to a brewery at probably the highest altitude in the world: BierVision Monstein.
Their tagline was “Last Beer Stop Before Heaven”
|The owner of BierVision Monstein, Claudia, was very sweet, hospitable and generous.
We were unusually happy after we left her brewery. Here’s the evidence!
|Medium rare steak with fried mashed potatoes on a bed of veggies!
Yes, those little curls of joy are balls of fried mashed potatoes!
|En route to Locarno, to Verzasca Dam, where I was going to bungee jump from 220m above the water level!|
|What is the biggest advantage of a convertible?
|What a beautiful chapel!|
|We just had to stop and take pictures at this spot.
We just had to stare at this house and wonder what would it be like to live here.
|Before reaching Verzasca Dam, we took a detour and landed up at this unrealistically serene spot called:
|Just look at this spot! Perfect for our short halt!
I clicked this while being seated on a bench!
What a divine experience this was!
|Lagori in Switzerland?|
|Here’s a panoramic view of San Bernardino!|
You’ll be missed!
|Nervous for the bungee jump, not for a picture of myself.|
|THAT’S ME! I DID IT!
I AM NOW AS COOL AS JAMES BOND!
|Honoured to have earned this certificate!|
|What is one supposed to do after jumping off a plank 220m away from landing?
Embrace the soil and smile in peace, I guess?
|We’re now off to our last destination: our hotel in LUGARNO!|
|Dinner time started with this wonderful caesar salad with crispy bacon at Hotel De la Paix in Lugarno!|
|Undoubtedly one of the best Tiramisu I’ve had in my life so far, at HOTEL DE LA PAIX, Davos.|
|Last day, last lunch, last selfie maybe?|
|Our last lunch on this trip was at Grotto San Grocco, which started with this beautiful platter of bruschetta, beer battered sage leaves, pickled olives and cheesy polenta.|
|Last day is always liberating for everyone!|
|Goodbyes are never easy, especially when you’ve fallen truly madly and deeply in love with a place that is as unforgettable as Switzerland.|
|It rained just before we left Ticino! Perfect timing, nature!|
|Hope you enjoyed this album filled with pictures of comforting food, serene locations, panoramic shots of scenery and also this selfie of me enjoying a vanilla gelato on the last day of #swissmade #grandtour!|
|Our trip ended under the stars, at the Festival del Film Locarno.|
|Rules are rules!|
|Last meal had to be an Italian pizza in Locarno!|
|I shopped for a lot of meat and Swiss cheeses from the iconic Gabbani deli, before I left for aamchi Mumbai.|
|Gabbani, I’ll be back for more!|
|Wish I could buy everything out there and pack it in my bags before I left!|