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Published: November 15th 2019
Sunset in Zurich
Sanctuary! Sanctuary! The view from our terrace. Oh, my, yes. And that is the largest clock face in Europe.
November 15, Swiss railroad to Zurich
Zipping through the lovely Swiss countryside, wondering who in this rather wealthy country is poor enough that they have to live right beside the railroad tracks. I am, I assure you, immensely relieved to be here at all.
Beginning with yesterday: so much rain we decided to call a cab to take us to the museum. Sorry, sir, we have no cabs. Good luck, aura revoir. So we walked through a light but steady onslaught. Okay, not too bad. Except for the glaringly empty and available cabs which kept going by on the wrong side of the street.
Having endured, er, enjoyed the delights of the Yves St. Laurent exhibit yesterday, we came out to find that it was pouring rain. We actually knew that from the exhibit because you had to go through the locker area to store your coats and umbrellas and THEN back outside into a courtyard – back into the COLD and the RAIN - to get to the door of the exhibit hall. And, leaving, the same in reverse.
Okay. I guess. Nice dresses, though, and Susan was enthralled. (For the record, we did Christian Dior dresses in Calgary in June and now Yves St Laurent in Lyon in November. I may need a testosterone shot after this.)
We grabbed a nice lunch at an Italian place – yay, Italian food! – and came back out to find it was raining even harder. That led to a certain moment of “oh, to hell with it, our feet will dry out eventually” and we just walked straight home. Wine, cheese, bread and a lot of mystery novels later, it was time to go out for dinner.
By this point, it is SNOWING! Of course. And half the town has shut down. The nice Lebanese place was dark as midnight when we went by 10 minutes after opening time. So we ended up at a tiny little place just up the hill from us with a fascinating menu, an enthusiastic chef and ZERO other customers. None. The main courses were brilliant, the dessert custom made for me to exclude chocolate, and the side dishes were imaginative and interesting. A couple of them didn’t taste all that good but, heck, he was tryin’. And then there was the service. Or perhaps more accurately, there was not the service. The pretty young woman who ushered us to a table was even more a source of fascination to the chef (who was, I believe, also the owner) than was his food. She was much more interested in what he had to say to her than in the progress of our meal. She may have spent more time pouring wine for him than she did for Susan. The music, which had started off as pleasant, deteriorated through rap into something which I can only describe as crescendoingly atonal – and nearly unending.
So back home, having left an actual tip for the fact they were open than anything else.
And off to the train station this morning. To find that EVERYTHING is late because of the previous night’s snow. Which is all gone in the city by that point.
BUT a train from the other part of Lyon is TWO HOURS late in its journey to the station we are in. It’s about a mile and a half away. Things are so crazy there is a security checkpoint outside the doors to the ticket office and four armed police inside to control the vast and frantic crowd.
We have tickets so we stand and wait. There is nowhere really to sit down. And we wait. And we watch the boards. Our train is 10 minutes late, they say. No, 15 minutes late. No, 20 minutes late.
Etc. Etc. I wander over to cross check with the arrivals board, since our train is arriving in Lyon from Marseille, and departing Lyon for Mulhouse. Yes, it will be 10 minutes late arriving, then 20, then . . . . You get the picture.
Eventually, it becomes a little surreal, as the arrivals board shows the train will arrive in 20 minutes, and the departure board says it will leave in 19. How positively non-Einstein-ien.
Given that we have only 14 minutes in Mulhouse to make our original connection, I buy us Mulhouse to Zurich tickets on a train that will leave Mulhouse 40 minutes after the original (which is now impossible without even greater breeches in the space-time continuum than are currently showing on the boards).
But time continues to tick and just as I leave Susan to check even later connections, miracle of miracles, our train arrives, only 40 minutes late. We will have a second 14 minute gap to exploit!
The train has to slow and stop for several minutes a couple of times. Tick tick tick. Can we make it? Or will I have to buy another ticket. Blast. This is making me twitchy. Tick tick tick is becoming tic tic tic. We make it to Mulhouse with 3 minutes to get to the next train. Off our train, drag the suitcases, realize we have to climb stairs, grab the big suitcase, RUN up the stairs (trusting Susan is behind me SOMEWHERE) and down to the first platform that reports a train departing for Basel. Except it is a different train which will depart in 15 minutes, not OUR train which will depart in 2 minutes. This is platform FIVE, we need platform THREE. Back to the stairs, pick up the heavy bag (bugger), RUN up the stairs (again!! I am too OLD for this!) and down to the next platform. The train swooshes in, we throw ourselves in the first available carriage and sit down. "We," fortunately, as Susan was able to keep up.
Crisis averted, train caught, off to Basel, straight on to our train and here we are at Zurich station. Taxi and then hotel.
Nothin’ to it.
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