10 April 2008

The Back End of Switzerland

As I left Switzerland a 6 weeks ago, I really need to be done with this! I will be filing my taxes for 2005 after I post this, I am an equal opportunity procrastinator to be sure.....

The above photos is the always filled ashtray outside the Jelmoli department store. Clearly the Swiss have money to burn as they do not even finish their ciggies!! There is still a die hard cadre of smokers here, even Starbucks has a clever invention outside their shop, a metal square, hollow on the sides. You keep your drink below and your cig/ashtray on top,your hot drink is safe from ashes that way...

This is one of those twisty and steep streets in the Niederdorf section of town. Sobriety essential when negotiating these steps!!

This hand is above the door of a youth hostel in Zurich. It is there to remind you of the man above, and why the hostel is there.

You are never far from a cow or cow merchandise in Switzerland. I think this cow stayed behind when the tour of cows came through here years ago.

The Easter bunnies wear their national flag. I would find this offensive practically anywhere else, but the Swiss flag is so iconic it doesn't bother me here.

Getting to Zurich and my time was such a pleasure. leaving was a bi***. The day I had to travel to Garmisch-Partenkirchen , mother nature finally dumped snow here. Flight were cancelled in every direction. Swiss efficiency is amazing when things run according to plan, but they freak out when the unexpected happens. Over 50 flights cancelled and there were 4 agents to sort out hundreds of peoples problems. When you are travelling on a standby ticket, your woes are about as important to them as who won the elections in Zimbabwe. I slunk out to baggage claim and got my bag back. Several frantic phone calls to my friends house, they located a train I could take to get me to Garmisch with only one change. It even left from the airport ( if only US airports could have long distance train stations in airports!) in 5 hours. 5 hours to lug around my stuff. 1 meal, one grocery store visit, much fabulous people watching and one book shop visit later, the train came. 6 hour ride...
At least I was headed in the right direction. Until the train broke down. Then was fixed an hour later. Thank god for the expensive but lifesaving English language book from the bookstore, my iPod was running out of juice!! ( I do speak German but reading a paperback is somewhat headache inducing unless I am in the perfect surroundings).
Finally at 9 pm I arrived in Garmisch, ahead of my friends whose flights diverted or had luggage lost. To think I was worried about being the last to arrive!!

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