Day 06: Switzerland (Wildkirchi – An Adventure to REMEMBER)

Woke up with the excitement of getting our hands on our Iranian visa finally. Quickly enjoyed our breakfast, put our stuff back in the car and left for the Iranian Embassy. Upon arrival our eyes were searching for that familiar face who had helped us a lot yesterday. There he was on his counter, the smile he gave us as he saw us approaching widened our smiles further.

He gave us the good news that visa has been approved and now we need to go get the money order to pay for the visa expenses. There was a bank outside that issued them, so without wasting any time we were there in a jiffy. They asked us for our passports, we explained it to them that passports are with the embassy but they did not issue us the money order without the passports. so we had to go back to the embassy. Counselor refused to give us the passports without we paying the fee as the visa was already stamped, and suggested if we have the cash, we can pay cash so any other customer present in the embassy and request them if they can let us use their credit card. We found one kind gentlemen and in few minutes we were out of the embassy with our passports in our hands. Iran embassy had been very kind to us, and we were happier to see that they had stamped us a month visa .. Yey!!

Next milestone for us now was getting the Turkmenistan visa done as well. We both still did not have Turkmenistan Visa, Frankfurt is one of the places where Turkmenistan has their embassy. So, our plan was to visit the embassy on our way towards Switzerland.

It had started raining and we were kind of enjoying the weather. We arrived at the embassy but since we were not sure about the parking, Aarti stayed back and i walked into the embassy. By mistake i ended up ringing their bell twice (it was more of a house converted into an embassy). The ambassador come out to see a guest off and was pretty upset of me pressing the bell twice. His counselor told me to come in and explain why i was there. She is working their on internship and was very kind and helpful. Once i explained to them that me and my wife are looking for Turkmenistan visa and could not apply earlier as perquisite for Turkmenistan transit visa was to get Uzbekistan & Iran visa first. And since now we have both the visas we wanted to get started with the Turkmenistan procedure. There were no officials present in the embassy that day, so ambassador had to help me out himself. He was very kind and helpful as well. After gathering all the information (took me around 60 minutes), i left the embassy and we started for Switzerland.

Our plan was to dine at Wildkirchi and call it a day. We were running late and we wanted to reach Aescher (location where restaurant was) while there was enough sunlight to enjoy the view. We tried our best and by the time we reach the station, the last cable car was awaiting its last departure (1800hrs) for the day. The moment we entered Ebenalp station to buy cable car tickets for Wildkirchli, the station guy looked at us and told us that this was the last cable car for the day and there is no way we will find any transport on the way back. We started convincing them that we were expert trekkers and our plan was to trek our way down and that we were aware that it takes more than an hour and we came prepared. He looked at both of us  and said, “Sorry with those shoes”? I was wearing Converse trainers and Aarti had her Hunter boots on! He he.

Aarti ran back to the car, changed her shoes to “Scarpa” and obviously that did the trick and they agreed to let us go. Took us 10 minutes and we are at the Wildkirchli station. We still had to walk for another 5/10mins before we could reach the restaurant. We crossed few caves which were quite amazing and let me tell you that 5/10 minute walk is going to be one of the most memorable walk of your life (click to read restaurant review). You will end up spending lot of time on top of the hill capturing pictures. You have to force yourself to keep walking. If it is a sunny day then consider yourself to be lucky, we sure were 🙂

Yes, You have to pass through a Tunnel
On way to the Restaurant

Lovely people, delicious Rosti, great laugh and you see people getting drunk with the schnapps. We enjoyed our meal and decided to walk back around 7.45 PM. It has started getting dark and we still had 1hr 30mins walk back to the town where our car was parked.

Now comes the funny part as the trek was not going to be as easy as we thought. So we started trekking back after our meal talking how amazing day we had, lovely food and were patting ourselves that well done, bucket list ticked 🙂

Swiss flag on the Top
Not a very stranger friendly hiking route

So after 15mins of trek, we realised that we have no clue which directions to follow. We got to one point where you see the signs but there were signs for different village but nowhere for Wasserauen (where we parked our car). We were supposed to follow signs for Wasserauen. Still i told Aarti that lets follows signs for this village and then via main road we can reach our car but do wives listen? We started following our own way and realised after 40 mins we are in the middle of woods. I was kind of enjoying the adventure and things got scary for Aarti when some wild rabbits decided to run around in the dark making all kind of scary noises. I was carrying a torch and it was getting dark pretty quickly, switched it on but the battery was not showing much promise. We reached end of the woods and then there was no way forward but sudden drop which i thought we should try, fortunately or unfortunately Aarti was in no mood for adventure and decided to go back to the restaurant. I had no choice but to follow her. Torch was getting dimmer and so was the sun and we could barely see where we were going, Aarti was getting impatient and out of nowhere we saw two twinkling light coming down the hill. She started walking towards them and i like a sensible husband, just followed 😀

In another 20 minutes we were stone throw distance from the lights and were happily surprised to know that it was another couple who was walking down to the same parking spot we were. We request if we could join them and they were happy to help. They took us the same trail i was asking Aarti to take and the trail was not pointing to a different village but said “Hiking Track” in German 😐

After 40 mins walk, it started raining heavily. I was slipping and sliding in my Converse while all of them were trekking down the hill effortlessly. By the time we reached Wasserauen station, we were totally drenched. Our DSLR, shoes, clothes were all fully soaked but we were not complaining, it was an amazing adventure. This experience made our Aescher visit even more memorable and we had great laugh in the car on our way back. Experience which will live in our heart forever.

We changed out clothes and dried ourselves, then started looking for direction for the hotel we had booked. Aarti called them up as we were running and to our surprise, they told us that we cannot reach the hotel now as we need to take a cable car to reach them, now it was too late and last cable car was already gone. My personal travel expert immediately looked up and arranged for another accommodation, three cheers for her .. Hip Hip Hurrey!! 🙂

We drove to Zurich and checked into Marriott, the hotel staff was very kind to throw in quite some goodies complimentary. Three cheers for them as well 🙂

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