The world will come to a standstill after soaking this abundant and unadulterated natural beauty in a day! Such was my experience, when I planned my excursion to Mount Titlis on the only off day that I had as part of a work trip in Switzerland.
Brief introduction of Mount Titlis
Titlis, is one of the many famous mountain developed for tourism in Switzerland. It is located in Uri Alps (central Switzerland), and boasts of being among the highest points in Europe with an elevation of 3,238 m. The mountain overlooks the beautiful little town of Engelberg, which is also the starting point of your cable car ride/hike to the top of the glacial peak.
How to reach top of the mountain
As the starting point for this trip is Engelberg, the best and most scenic way to reach this tiny hamlet is via Swiss Rail (SBB) - one of the cleanest, timely rail network in Europe. Typically, one would have to reach Lucerne first and then take a direct train to Engelberg. This section of the journey will pass through narrow alleys squeezed between mountains on one side and backyards of beautiful cottages on the other. Sitting inside the train, anyone is bound to get a feeling that everything is at an arm's distance. Does this not sound unreal?
After getting off at Engelberg, one will be required to walk approx. 1 km to reach the point of cable car. This walk will be full of umpteen stops as you would capture the magnificent sites both in your mind as well as cameras.
After buying the tickets (return tickets @CHF92), you will board a cable car that will take you to Trübsee, the first halt of the journey. After deboarding here, one can now board the famous Rotair (world's first revolving cable car) and get 360 degree panoramic views of Swiss Alps. (Note: one can also buy the tickets at SBB stations, combined with train tickets to Engelberg).
Alternatively, some people choose to take the hiking trail (in part or in full) as well.
Things to enjoy
Upon reaching the top, one would right away be greeted by chilly winds and a standee of Bollywood's iconic movie - Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. As an ardent movie buff, this definitely got me excited to another level.
After posing with the iconic couple, I decided to move to the outdoors. The first sight itself made me comprehend why the place is this famous and is thronged by tourists throughout the year. I could only see snow all around and immediately thought of playing snow games (snowman, snowfight, snowsliding to name a few) and of course clicking countless pictures.
Pro tip: do carry good sunglasses as sun rays reflecting from this white sheet of snow can cause eye burn.
After this unlimited fun in snow, it was time to head for some activities. There are several such activities already included in the price of the ticket - ice flyer, cliff walk, glacier cave.
Cliff walk - feel the thrill by crossing Europe's highest suspension bridge that connects two white peaks. There is an official camera placed for you to take picture with best view. You can then collect the picture at an additional cost at the photo counter.
Ice flyer - enjoy a ride in chair lift amidst the glacier
Glacier cave - a blue lit frozen world which can give you chills (literally)
Souvenir shop - a place where one can splurge to etch the trip forever in a tangible manner
Apart from these, one can enjoy other sports/activities such as skiing, tobaganning, sledging - all of which are more popular in winters.
Places to eat
There is a cafe and an ice cream parlour (selling famous Swiss movenpick) where one can relish quick bites while enjoying the glacial views.
There is also an Indian restaurant at Trübsee.
The prices here are obviously on a little higher side than what you would shell out in Lucerne.
The top of the mountain got me glued to itself. As I had a limited time at hand, I unwillingly decided to start my return journey. Again, I took the revolving of cable car to reach Trübsee. This time, I took a halt at this station and roamed around. Trübsee hosts an Indian restaurant (visible from the station itself) and a scenic lake. There is an option of canoeing and kayaking on this serene lake.
After spending some quiet time with myself, I took the last phase of cable car to reach Engelberg.
While I left the top with a heavy heart, but I must say that the downward journey was as beautiful as the upward trip.
Alternatively, one can also choose to follow a hike trail to return to Engelberg.
Do not leave a chance to take a walk around in Engelberg. It is as scenic as a fairytale town could be. As I moved for my onward journey to Lucerne, I instantly felt that this was a trip that would remain engraved in my memory forever and for good. Most importantly, the trip reinforced my faith in getting utmost happiness from smallest of things - a life mantra that I swear by.