My Life as a Traveler

From Mishaps to Montarina

Editor’s note: For those of you who like to go straight to the pics, just scroll down to the bottom of the post. I’ve lowered the resolution so it will be faster to download when you click on it for a bigger view.

Today we leave our mountain home of Gimmelwald. It’s raining a bit, which seems fitting for the sadness we feel. There are so many hiking trails, paragliding adventures, and fresh cheese from the village that we didn’t get a chance to try. Next time, I guess. As we dragged our luggage down the gravel path to the cable car, our sheep neighbors stuck their heads out of the barn and maaaa’ed us farewell.

Ever have one of those days when things don’t work out how you would like them to and, even more, when just plain bad things happen? Well, today was one of those days. Lots of mishaps. Check it out:

First mishap:  We travel via cable car to bus to train to train to train. We had planned to take the famous Glacier Express train on our way to Lugano, our next destination. However, when I checked with the train guy in Interlaken, he said that yes, we can use our pass, and no, no reservation is required. Our train to catch the Glacier Express was running late, so when we got to Brig to board it; it was pulling out of the station. It stopped for us, but the conductor woman said that without a reservation, we could not board. We should have listened to Rick Steves, of the Rick Steves guidebook, who told us that a reservation was mandatory. Lesson learned: always ask at least 3 people when you don’t know something. I put more credence in the train guy than in Rick. Who knew?

So we took the next train. Not an express, because it is stopping at every little hamlet going up the pass. However, it turned out well, we have the entire car to ourselves and can move about freely instead of being confined to a reserved seat. I figured out how to open the window for fresh air while Susie is in the bathroom, and can’t wait to tell her when she gets back.

Second Mishap: Susie returns and is ecstatic about how the windows slide down to open. We open every window within reach, so excited to get fresh air and better pictures. While we were basking in the breeze, I heard Susie exclaim “Oh no!” and saw part of her windbreaker flapping in the open window. The windbreaker that was under her quilted jacket. The quilted jacket that was sucked out the window as the train was travelling through the countryside. Buh-byeeee.

Third Mishap: We got in to Lugano a little late. We rolled up to our hotel, checked in and left our bags, then hurried down to catch one of the last lake steamers for a nice cruise on the lake. As we were running to catch the boat that was closing it’s gate, I tripped and fell flat on my face on the cement sidewalk. Ow. Good thing I knew how to breakfall – landing on my forearms with no scratches or bruises, just wounded pride.

Fourth Mishap: We made the ship and cruised to this lovely little town. Walked around a bit, then tried to find a place for a glass of wine on the lake. It’s low season and all the restaurants are closed but one. That one had a closed in terrace over the lake and it was filled with smoke and smokers. Bummer. Our wine and appetizers we were looking forward to became an apple and leftover packaged cheese from the USAir lounge.

Fifth mishap: Turns out the cable car we were going to take up to San Salvatore closed at 6pm. We were too late.

We ate our leftover bread, cheese, and dessert on the patio of our gorgeous little hotel. It rained.

I’ll include pics of our room tomorrow, when the sun is shining.

All in all, for me, I still believe that the worst day travelling is better than the best day sitting home.

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