Thank Goodness we are in Switzerland!

Finhaut Travel Blog

 › entry 10 of 32 › view all entries
Wednesday. After brkfst, wandered one more time past the long entrance line to see David, on to the Duomo in pure sunshine now, collect a few post cards... and walk back to the big train station. I get us the required last supplementi for the Eurocity train to the Swiss border/Brig. We wait until beyond the departure time nearly for the 12 car train to arrive. Our car is car #1 but is 12 cars away. We get settled, and talk with a Schering-Plough executive who draws me Italy and explains all in Italian about his country. We have a grande time together passing the Tuscana. J says rain is dumping when we are standing in the station at Bologna. Arrived a bit late into Milano Centrale. Saw the 14:25 train to Schaffausen and yelled TRACK 7 to Judge. The closer we got to car 312 the more I was noticing that Brig was not at all in the routing, stopped him, TV said 14:25 to Geneva was track 5! Arrgh. We Raced to the right train and car, and hopped on. Whew... confirmed with J we made a 3 minute connection instead of one of 25 minutes. It's a nice SWISS car too!
We waste no time leaving right on the money. We strike up a conversation with a couple from Minnesota. He has all sorts of questions about the scenic train rides but especially about my favourite place, the Jungfrau Region, and the lucky guy got my paper placemat of the whole Jungfrau for his ready reference. They were with another couple. Before it was over Judge was describing his wild gestures at the Italian in the Audi and the of us were all laughing heartily! They got off at Stresa, a beautiful area in the Italian north with a huge lake and even a village sitting there on this island. Neet. We go through one very long tunnel and arrive in Brig! Yeee-hah! We made it!!! We waste no time going downstairs, we change a total of $300 USD to Swiss Francs and get back less than 300 for the first time ever! Dang. Head right over to the little store in the station and get a snack/dinner to go. I set my watch to Swiss Railway time, and Judge shakes my hand..."We made it, man." he says. Yes, we did indeed. I recall to him that bus ride Positano to Sorrento trying to focus on this moment now. There are no words I can think of to properly convey the relief and joy I/we are feeling in this moment in Switzerland. We are passing vineyards and excited to see some remaining snow way high up in the mountains. Our regional train is going very fast! Another really nice first class car. We can't wait to eat and do so. A lear jet lands adjacent to the train, wiggling with the winds that are blowing hard. We see two huge propellers turning for electricity. An hour later we are at Martigny, for our last train of 4 today. It's a little one and it climbs right up on it's rack railway. A private RR.
32 minutes later at 6:32 we arrive Finhaut, not too far from the French border. A car and driver awaits us and takes us way up to the Hotel Sejour where I discovered it on a lark in 2005. Mountain view with balcony not necessary to fight over, there's no other guests here! We walk first way up to the road towards Emillon dam and lake, see a lot of big black snails, and but find a pathway to walk on. J takes pictures of our valley, etc. We are now in a forest with moss and dark. Great overlooks. This is our kind of place. It's so quiet here, just robins and a distant waterfall. We walk back the other way, to town which is closed, and wonder if anyone lives here in any of the buildings. Eerily quiet it is, and very hard to believe that it was the same day we were seeing the Duomo in all that traffic! We laugh as I make the horn sound of the busses along the Amalfi coast when we only saw 3 cars in an hour. We agree the mountains are the real cathedrals here.
Came back to the hotel and went into the bar. Our driver/bartender serves J a coke and me a good wine. I am sitting next to the only other patron. I venture a "bon soir" to him, and soon he asks me in french, of course, if we are traveling by car. I say only by train, and somehow it comes out that we both work on the railway. I give him a silver dollar, and he brags to the bartender that we are colleges! neet! He also tells us that at 8am tomorrow all of the French railways are on strike for 24 hours! Well, that blows our chance to go to Chamonix then! Good heavens, if we had come by lift up and over the way I had been exploring, we may have been hit with a pricey taxi to the Swiss border. That was lucky.
We sit out on the patio for a while until its just a wee bit too cold. J checks for wireless, yes, but password required. I play some Swiss music and we work together on our respective travel logs. What fun! Judge and I seem to agree on sooo many things. J makes up stories about the gnomes invading our room after lights out...alas the hotel is completely silent. He is developing a movie with gnomes in it. This would be a place you could easily get creeped out, being little used. Then about 1am we hear some real noises downstairs, some people are talking and walking around for a few seconds, I ask "was that You?" knowing it wasn't. No more noises after that.
JudgeDredd says:
That was a LONG DAY!!
Posted on: Oct 05, 2008
JudgeDredd says:
The GNOMES!! "Heeeeeee.."
Posted on: Oct 05, 2008
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