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Archive for the ‘Switzerland’ Category

Switzerland

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

After Milan, the rest of our trek to Gimmelwald, Switzerland went relatively smooth. We caught our trains from Spiez to Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen, the bus to Stechelberg, and finally the cable car to Gimmelwald.

We spent three days in Switzerland (September 28 – October 1), based at the Mountain Hostel in Gimmelwald and Backpackers Villa in Interlaken.

Arriving to the Mountain Hostel.  September 28, 2007, 10:20pm, 41°F.

Milan Train Station

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

No matter how we looked at it, getting from the Cinque Terre to Gimmelwald, Switzerland was not going to be easy. I knew this from the instant I saw possible train schedules on the Swiss Rail website. The best trip would take nine hours and would involve six tight connections between five trains, a bus, and a cable car. Missing any one of these connections would leave us stranded in a train station late at night with no place to sleep and would set our trip behind by at least a day. We could not miss a connection.

As a testament to the difficulty of our plan, the friendly ticket lady in the Florence train station laughed at the schedule I handed her and called over her colleagues to look at it. Yes, even a seasoned railway employee thought we were nuts. We must’ve earned her respect, though, since she was more than eager to help us work out the details of the mandatory train reservations.

Swiss trains are notorious for their timeliness, literally departing and arriving within seconds of their scheduled times. Therefore, we were somewhat concerned when we pulled into the Milan train station with only ten minutes to get to some unknown platform and on the train to Switzerland. Needless to say, the instant the train stopped we had no choice but to run!

Dodging in and out of the crowd with full packs, we made our way to the front of the surprisingly long train on platform 18. We soon learned that our Swiss train was on platform 3, which was the complete opposite side of the station. Another run ensued, and we boarded just minutes before the conductor blew his whistle. We were off to Switzerland.

A date with destiny: my ticket to Switzerland.

T-minus 11 minutes and still on the train rolling into Milan.

We made it, with two minutes to spare!

Eurotrip I

Monday, October 8th, 2007

From September 25 – October 6, I traveled with a friend from Minnesota on a whistle-stop tour of Europe. Over 11 days, John and I managed to visit four countries (Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium), master public transportation, witness a small avalanche, hike into a glacier, eat amazing foods, participate in the world’s largest fair, and take over 1000 photos. Over the next few days I’ll be posting some of the highlights of the trip and my favorite photos.

To answer the popular question, yes I am taking classes this semester! Because of the scheduling here at TU Delft, though, I only have one class this quarter, which meets once a week. So, there’s some free time to explore a bit. :)