(This post follows Exploring Zermatt posted on 8 Jan 2017.)
After exploring Zermatt, we were ready to drive to our next destination, Chur, which is about 200 kms far. We wanted to leave early so that we could reach in time for lunch and the designated check-in time at the hotel, but not without seeing the horses. 🙂 There were about 3 or 4 of them; the furriest I had ever seen. We took pictures from a distance as they were guarded by electric wires.
We drove back to Visp and passed Brig. Then, we came across the most beautiful village. The German houses were just too pretty to pass by. We wanted to see this village. So we drove into its narrow alleys. The streets were lined with huge wooden structures; they looked untidy. So, I am guessing they were sheds or barns. Nevertheless, it was a treat to our eyes because we hadn’t seen something like that before. We also saw an open area which could be something like a public square.
Further down the street, there were wooden structures that were pretty. These were definitely houses, probably of the richest Swiss nationals. Even though Munster is a village, the houses looked elite and as is typical of German houses, they were adorned with petunias. The last house on the road was my favourite. It was surrounded by green pastures from all sides. I wish that was my permanent address!
Even in a remote area like that, there were hotels. European villages are indeed blessed with good infrastructure. Not only do they have uninterrupted supply of water and electricity (which is still a dream for many Indian villages), but also good roads, sign boards, banks, ATMs, retail shops and of course telepherique and cable cars.
Snapshots from Munster…
We got back on the main road towards Chur and drove for about 15 minutes. We were surprised when we were stopped by a gate barrier. We were very confused. The GPS navigation system insisted that we had to move on. However, we didn’t know why there was a gate barrier, why it wouldn’t open and how to get it opened. We looked around; there was no body to whom we could have asked for clarification. We reversed and parked our car in the designated area. We walked back towards the gate. We were at Oberwald railway station.
Then, we saw a car drive up towards us. A young man, seemingly European, got off. He explained that this route is for those who wish to go through the Furka Base Tunnel instead of Furka Pass. We were still very confused. What was Furka Base Tunnel and what was Furka Pass?
Apparently, there were two ways to cross the mountainous region. Furka Pass was the road route and Furka Base Tunnel was the rail route. We could embark the train with our cars. It was then that I realised that the navigation system had repeated that this route involved multiple modes of transport. And for some reason, I had ignored that.
The European man informed us that the next train was to leave after an hour. We didn’t think it would be worth waiting for the train. So, we decided to take Furka Pass.
However, before that, we wanted to take a good look at the Oberwald station. It was a cute little station. The platforms were not raised. The tracks were on the same level. This was fun. A train had stopped on the farther platform. I felt tempted to cross the tracks and skip to the other platform.
Snapshots of Oberwald station
We headed back to our car. We took the parallel road that we had missed and continued on to Furka Pass. Somewhere along the road, we got lost.
To be continued…
Good to know (links from the official tourism portal of Switzerland)