Monday, May 23, 2005

Mittaghorn, Gimmelwald

As I sit and stare at my monitor trying to make some meaning out of the K245s that I am going through, I long for this place called Gimmlwald... Nestled comfortably admist the imposing mountains that constitute the Alps, is this tiny(micro) village called Gimmelwald, that holds lots of dear memories for me ..
I heard of this place, when my husband sent me a link to read up on one of the places where we would be staying during our honeymoon in the SWISS... I always thought a honeymoon has to be spent in a nice cosy , post hotel ... so was a bit skeptical when my husband sent me this link : http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/switz/pics.htm , but was intrigued at the same time because one of my all time fav characters has been Heidi and she lived in the alps ...
Gimmelwald is this cute little village, located at a height of nearly 4000 ft above sea level. There are only two means to reach this fantasy land - a narrow winding bicycle path that is inclined steep of 40-50 degrees, or take a cable card from the village of Scheltelberg .... From the neart point of modernization , which is Lauterbrunen it takes easily about 40 mintues to reach this little heidi land ...
The whole village is composed of only about 40 houses , each with its own distinct name , engraved in the same font that you would see on all houses.... Each house is decorated beautifully with wood carvings , paintings , what-nots on the outer walls, and pretty little gnome statues in the gardens ... brightly painted windows are opened to the outside to show a view of tiny neat rooms through the slits of white laced curtains ...
A walk around the entire village atmost takes 30 mintues .... but will give you the sense of being alive a million times ...
Not a single thing is left to spare here , decorations are made out of worn out boots to torn note papers ... everythign here is simple natural and so authentic ... We were soo suprised to see a house completely decorated with only scrap things ...
In India , we never see a single decoration done to the outer walls of homes , so this was indeed a sight and learning for us ..
Mittaghorn , the hotel we stayed in Gimmelwald is a world of its own. Owned and maintained by a single person called Walter, this place is epitome of cleanliness. It contains about 15 rooms , all cleaned and looked after by this 60-odd old man ... Every nook and corner is clean , every single object is its own place, clean sheets are put everyday.... For about 4-5 months , the peak tourist season, I am told this whole place is occupied. Wonder how this lone man manages it all. B'fast is ready at dot 7:30 ... clean plates are set with fork and spoon on the right sides , clean napkins , fresh cheese cubes adorn the plates... Fresh milk , soft break , butter and jam with the best orange juice in the world will make you feel that you had the best meal ever ....
Those four days we stayed in the alps , we felt we were transported to an entirely different world .. A world that knew nothing of computers, traffic jams , crowded places... a place that knew of only belled cows, green pastures , cheese , break , eggs, long walks in evenings, chirping of birds and peace ....
My eyes long to see the sprawling grassy pastures among the snowy mountains, my ears ache to hear the tinkling of the bells around the necks of dozens of grazing lazy cows, my nose twitches for the earthly natural smell of the cow barns, my tongues longs to taste the fresh bread and home made jam of Esther's ...... Ah! how i long to be back in the Alps ...

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