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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Good Advice

Saturday, September 6
Madiswil to Zurich

It was far from the most restful night of the tour. Trying to sleep sitting up, getting twinges with even the most careful of moves. I was glad when it was finally late enough to get up. I began to develop the moves necessary to get dressed. On this first morning, it was getting on my socks.

The big issue of the day would be transporting the bikes and bags by train to the Zurich airport. BIll had already decided he'd go with me instead of finishing out the ride to Basel, but dealing with two bike boxes, two suitcases would not be easy. The trip we had bought the tickets for had one 3 minute connection and one of 5 minutes. Not possible, of course. But the major hassle that this could have been was avoided, thanks to Laurenz. He could not take all of our baggage AND us, so he agreed to bring our bikes and suitcases to the airport hotel, leaving us to take the train with only our backpacks to deal with.

With Laurenz before we depart for Zurich

There is a book entitled When I'm an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple. Laurenz, it would seem, is working on the companion volume, When I'm an Old Man, I Shall Wear Clashing Plaids.

On the first leg of the trip to Zurich, I got into a conversation with a group of hikers on their way out of town. I explained what happened as best I could (in German) and learned that they were members of a club that sponsored regular weekend treks. We were changing trains at the same stop, so they suggested we follow them (remember, this was the 3 minute connection) since they knew exactly where to go. We arrived on track 3 and left on track 32, but they weren't nearly so far apart as the numbering might suggest. One of the men offered insisted he carry my pack. We made the next train in good shape. We had no problems at the next stop, either, but we did have every bit of FIVE minutes. No challenge there.

As I have done on many occasions, I decided to get a room at a nice hotel as near the airport as I could. The SAS Radisson at Zurich was basically part of the terminal complex. Bill was not too happy about not being able to spend the night in the communal bunk room at the spartan hostel in Basel, but he'd get over it. We settled into a comfortable seating area in the lobby, had beers brought to us on trays, and waited for Laurenz. After he dropped off our stuff and headed on to Austria for a family celebration, we took my bags into the terminal. Here we took advantage of one of the best travel ideas I've seen - we could check our bags and get boarding passes for tomorrow's flights today.

I had to check in at one desk, arrange for payment of the fee for carting the bike at another and actually deposit the bike at a third location. When I paid the fee, I had a chance to chat with the agent. She asked about the trip and we got into the accident, the broken collarbone, etc. She looked at me and asked, "Are you just learning to ride?" "Nooooo..... Although I could see how she might think that. Then, expressing her concern for my future, she added, "You really should not go down hills like that." Good advice.

After a trip into Zurich, we came back to the very nice hotel restaurant for dinner. I had a steak that was about as good as any I've had anywhere. Add to this the fact that our waitress cut my food for me... well, it was a pretty nice evening, break or no break.

Place for Fine Dining at the Zurich Airport Hotel

Tomorrow - the long trip home.

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