So, at the lake we took a ferry. We had bought the day-pass for our travel; it is convenient because it can be used for travel on train, bus, tram and ferry within Switzerland. We need not buy any other ticket. The ferry was a huge one, I should call it a small ship. It had a drive-through for cars. People were taking their cars, scooters, even the bicycles along to go to other places. I was told it was a common practice. All the notices, instructions were in German language.
For me, everything was new and extremely exhilarating. It being my first-ever boat ride in life, there I was, sipping coffee, mesmerized by the beautiful surroundings, green calm waters, cool breeze and the boat itself.
All my three travel companions were quite familiar with this kind of beauty as each one of them had been in Switzerland for more than two years and had seen the neighbouring countries as well. So, all the decisions of where’s & how’s were taken by them and I was just following them like a small kid. After sometime they turned to me & said “We are getting off at the next stop”. After that point they wanted to explore the roads to go back.
Again, all the boards, notices etc were in German. But as soon as we touched the land and started getting off, one of them asked us to stop !! We could see some custom people at a small check post checking everyone’s papers and I was wondering why the hell they have to check within a country. I was confused. I asked my colleagues the reason to stop, they just smiled. Apparently, they did not want me to get anxious.
Nonetheless, we came back, reseated and continued our journey in the same ferry and got down somewhere only to find another check post !! I looked at my colleagues; they were chewing Chiclets & were as cool as a cucumber. That reassured me to think it was a routine thing to check papers.
And when my turn came, those people in uniform stopped me !! Out of that ferry load of people they singled out only me !! They said something in German which obviously I could not understand but it was evident that they were not happy with my papers. And then like a bomb everything fell on me. Do you know why ?
Since I was on a short trip to Switzerland, I had a single entry visa for it (which I had already utilized by virtue of my landing there a month back) & according to them (and to my surprise) at that moment of time I was coming from Germany, trying to get into Switzerland ‘illegally’ !!
Since Germany & Switzerland share the lake, we had crossed over to German side without our knowledge and then we were coming back again to Switzerland. And the first check post where we had earlier thought of getting down, was in Germany !!
There I stood like an illegal immigrant fool not knowing what to do and my companions cursing themselves for their brilliant idea of boat ride. The custom people were not allowing me to enter into Switzerland and since I didn’t have visa for Germany, according to them, I could not go back as well !! One of them even wanted to deport me ! I want to think that he was kidding.
My three companions had made Schengen visa for traveling within Europe. And for your information, Schengen visa is required to move within EU (European Union) countries and Switzerland is not a part of EU.
So, to enter only Switzerland (as my case was) one does not really need a Schengen visa & that’s what my company had done. It had applied for a single entry visa for me. I think we should blame them for this stupidity and not me.
Well, we had to request, plea for my ‘release’ by telling them that it was a grave mistake on our part, we did not have any bad intentions, showing them our other papers etc. etc. Then after checking everyone’s papers to their satisfaction they let me go.
I had learnt a lesson again.
Note:– All the photos are from analogue camera.
If you want to travel places with me, I suggest you to join me on my Facebook travel page.
P.S.- This article belongs to www.lemonicks.com. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. If you are viewing this on a website instead of your RSS feed reader, then that website is guilty of stealing my content. Kindly do me a favour. Please visit my site and help me taking action by letting me know against this theft. Thank you.