Nom de Plumage

May 13, 2013

Some Days Are Not Meant To Be Easy

Filed under: Travel Journal — nomdeplumage @ 10:07 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

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That age-old cliché of learning when to listen to my ‘gut instinct’, forever challenges me on my travels. I can only justify some of my actions as either being lazy or believing that things will turn out for the best. Of course, events usually do, but not without  a great deal of stress and a lot of swearing.

It was another day travelling the length of Europe from the Netherlands to Lucerne in Switzerland. Sometimes I question my foley and other times I remain stead-fast in overcoming issues that either haunt me or really piss me off. My memories of Switzerland have not been great and I left almost two months ago very saddened and ashamed of the ending of an old friendship. I was resolved to stay away from the country and that is something I never wanted to happen. One cannot deny the countries beauty and amazing landscape and knowing that I may never have this opportunity again, I decided to return, albeit far away from Zürich and the memories. But to get there, now that is the challenge.

Winter is heavy and the snow and ice, thick and treacherous. I had to wake early and get to the train station for a 6:45 am departure. I was told when I purchased my ticket to look out for possible train changes to make sure I get to my destination on time. I got comfortable and warm on the train and even cocky because I believed that there is nothing I should be worried about, At Gouda, the majority of the passengers got off and I took one look at my heavy bag and decided to remain. The train departed and barely a few minutes passed when the other train sped past on a direct route to Utrecht. Ok, now is when the stress kicked in because my train is an all station and when I did the math, it meant that  I would arrive with only minutes to spare for my connecting train to Basel. Twenty minutes became an eternity and when the train arrived on time, I flew out the door and ran up the escalator looking for my platform and found it within seconds and then ran down the escalator only to hear the train conductor blow his whistle. What saved me, was the conductor and the entrance door to the train was right at the end of the escalator and he saw me and being a cheeky German, had to make a smart comment of my cutting it close. I smiled and entered the train. It soon became apparent and something I have learnt on my journey, is that ideally one should make a reservation for a seat (at a cost of course), but the majority do not, therefore the train becomes packed with commuters who have no seat and I had to walk the length of the train to find my reserved seat, stepping over people, luggage and squeezing past narrow passages. It was an effort.

The journey was never going to be without issues and my early start of chaos would be the predominant theme throughout my day. At each major station the train had to stop for longer periods to remove ice from the wheels and breaks and this would continue all the way and at each stop, delaying estimated time of arrival in Basel. This subsequent delay and any information pertaining to the troubles is informed via the conductor in German. Now my understanding of the language is good but not enough to understand the complicated instructions given and so I, along with many others, were in the dark to the change in plans. At Mannerheim, the train is delayed longer and we the English-speaking tourists, were at a lost to know what is happening. Luckily, another tourist got some information and we had to get off the train and change. I quickly jumped off with seconds to spare before the train departs and stood on the platform confused and hoping that I will get to Basel sometime today.

One hour standing in blizzard like conditions, not knowing when the train will arrive, tested my patience. It eventually arrived and if you have not already guessed it – PACKED! People are hanging out the door. There is no room and yet the platform was also full with passengers desperate to get out of the cold and to their destination. I somehow managed to get on and spent a very uncomfortable two hours squashed between irate people and hard luggage. I got to Basel four hours late and thankfully only waited fifteen minutes for my connecting service to Lucerne. At Lucerne, I missed the last bus to the hostel and needed to find  an alternative way to get there. Problem was, I did not have the correct currency. After some conferring among the taxi drivers, I was able to find a driver who would accept my currency and drive me to my hostel. Expensive trip to cap off a very long day, I arrive and once I am booked in, I go straight to my room and only want a shower and my bed. My roommate has other plans and wishes to talk about her life story. Why me! It would be the start of a memorable few days and not for the right reasons.

 

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1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on news, movies,photos,musics,all available hereeeeeeee.

    Comment by always new — May 13, 2013 @ 6:11 pm | Reply


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