The Night Train to Zürich

This was noteworthy enough I thought to record my thoughts while I still could remember them.  The trip was… interesting. Not bad, per se, but not one I have any eagerness to repeat any time soon (really, at all).  We got a ‘room’ that ‘slept two.’ Why the quotes? I’m sure prison cells are larger for one person and we squeezed in two, plus our luggage.  Bunk beds, and the bottom was slightly longer than the top, which just allowed me to lie on my belly, with my head touching one wall and my feet the other.

The main issue I had was the necessity to have the purser (or whatever he’s called) fold the upper bunk up/down instead of doing it ourselves, as there was no way for me to sit with the top bunk down.  Eliz and I attempted to sleep together on the bottom bunk, but it only took 10 or 15 minutes for us to realize neither of us would get any sort of quality sleep and rang for the purser to fold the top back down again.

I’ve never actually been in a coffin, but I’ve looked at a number, several with people inside.  The bed felt very much like it was coffin sized, particularly given the closet on one side of my head, the wall between compartments on the other and the above bunk less than two feet from my face.  I banged my elbows several times during the night as well as my head a time or two.

All that being said, according to my wife I slept soundly, at least I snored a lot.  I didn’t feel like I slept at all, though I didn’t feel that tired when we got up (around 7 AM, I believe, after getting on the train at 9:30 PM and probably being ready for sleep by 11).  The train stopped many times and I felt like I was awake each time that happened, but perhaps I was awakened each time from a dreamless sleep.

The food was OK. Not great, though no doubt better than prison food.  Comparable to airplane food. They took our order that night and delivered it in the morning.  After we got the purser to put the top bunk up again. How they expect people to sit there without the top bunk folded is beyond me.

I do believe my wife lacks any sort of romance at all.  A night train, alone in a compartment. How many steamy novels have been written around that?  Well, no steaming in our compartment, that’s for sure. Granted, she may have been practical, as she is the very soul of practicality nearly 100% of the time, and it would have been very impractical indeed.  Imagine a space slightly bigger than twice the size of an airplane bathroom. But people join the mile high club all the time, so I figured there’d be all sorts of interesting things to investigate. Instead we went to sleep.

We’re in Zurich now.  We got here too early to get all our rooms.  The hotel cleared one out so we could pile our baggage in it.  They left for their adventures, I left for a jog. I felt light headed when I started and wondered if it were the altitude, but Google just told me we’re only at 408 meters (1,340 feet).  Perhaps it’s just the travel catching up with me. My jog was probably around two miles, though attempting to measure it via Google Maps has proved too painful to continue ,so it’s just a guess.  The water in the river Limmat, the outlet for Lake Zurich, is very clear. Probably the clearest water I’ve seen since we’ve been here. Most of the rivers are totally opaque, from the glacial ‘flour’ ground off the rocks. And the river is flowing quite well. I saw several people swimming in it.  Even swimming upstream, most people will still going down stream. At least where the people were swimming there were ladders at regular intervals (the sides are mortared stone), so they wouldn’t get swept to wherever the Limmat goes to.

Once again, no AC in the hotel.  The train was very pleasantly cold, though.  Indeed, one of my sisters-in-law remarked the train was the first time she was comfortable since we’ve got here.  And, again, the hotel window has no screen. They do have a Dyson fan, which I placed in the window, so I have a slight breeze blowing over me, cooling and drying me (yes, I sweat like a pig – and it’s really gross).

I got some good writing in yesterday, I’m close to 30 pages.  My goal is around 100, so nearly a third of the way. I’m not sure if I’ll get more writing done today – despite the relatively good sleep my body apparently got, my brain isn’t convinced it got what it needs.  I’m writing this blog post instead of napping because, well, there are bags on the three beds in the room and I’m still sweaty from my jog. I’ll probably Reddit or something until they get back and we can get our own rooms.  If not tonight, then hopefully tomorrow before the train ride (thankfully only around 4 hours, and during the day; there was very little to see out the window last night, though I did enjoy watching the scenery for an hour or so this morning).  And we have some time in Munich before we head to the airport, so some possibility there.

Oh, almost forgot: our train was a half hour late getting to Zurich.  What about the famous punctuality of European transportation? I was rather disappointed!

Author: Tfoui

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