Zurich, Switzerland: Move along, people, nothing to see here. Today was our longest travel day (since flying from Los Angeles to Paris). We have been going 110% the past few weeks, especially the past four days and wanted a rest. I was never so happy to board a 4-hour train from Innsbruck to Zurich. I do not need to tell you My Driver worked-out this morning before leaving Austria?
I have not mentioned our hotel in Innsbruck because there is nothing to write about. It was another free-with-miles hotel and I now feel if you book a hotel with airline miles they give you the smallest room in the back of the hotel? As with most every hotel in Europe, a breakfast buffet is included in the price of the room and we have yet to experience a bad hotel breakfast buffet... even at our non-descript hotel in Innsbruck. The Innsbruck hotel can't have 60 rooms, and they put out food for so many people. The fruit selection alone (exotic SE Asian fruits like rambutan, mangosteen and dragon fruit), plus about 20 other fruits an American would be more familiar with, including passion fruit, figs, and all sorts of citrus and melon. We rarely see a banana though. Anyway, we have our breakfast in the regular dining room of the hotel, which could be in any hotel in any town any where. Just a usual dining room. But this morning we discovered another dining room behind the main room that was decorated in the Tyrolean style with amazing pine floors, walls and ceiling. Complete with pine tables and chairs. It was amazing:
We checked-out after breakfast and went directly to the nearby train station and boarded a train to Zurich. There is a big grocery store in the Innsbruck train station - and a cured meat shop:
We had first-class tickets and were in a little bubble with three seats. The third seat was claimed by an 82-year-old woman from Vienna on her way to Bern, Switzerland to visit her sister. She spoke not a word of English (except okay), but with my understanding of basic German, she was most helpful telling us about what we were seeing along our route. She also told us about all her many visits to America, places she went (lots of National Parks) and then about a Caribbean cruise she took along the east coast of Mexico. (I only had to use google translate twice.)
It is now my habit to book our next train trip while we are on the current train ride. I have all the apps on my phone, and it really only takes a few minutes to book the trains. It is so easy to show the QR code to the ticket-takers as they come by (if they come by) and we can still get the senior rate.
Though I was stitching much of the time, the views were extraordinary all day (except for the many times we we traveled through super-long tunnels). Seriously a lot of time in tunnels in these mountains - just like our drive yesterday. A group of immigration/border guards/police (?) boarded the train when we crossed between Austria and Switzerland while the train stopped for a few minutes. They walked through every car, but completely ignored us, so we are not sure what they were looking for. Our seatmate seemed to think they do not always board. Dave and I commented to each other several times about the tidyness of the homes. No piles of junk anywhere. No old cars parked in the lawn. Neat lawns. Pretty flowers. Homes in good repair. Obviously real pride in their property.
As the train approached Zurich, it travels past two huge lakes. The first is the Walensee, and then Zurichsee (see=lake). Zurich sits on the northern-most tip of Zurichsee. Crazy gorgeous views with sheer cliffs dropping into the two lakes, filled with pretty sailboats.
We checked into another free-with-points hotel. This hotel is quite fancy, but our room is a bit small. It has everything we need though, is super-clean, nicely furnished and we had turn-down service while we were out walking this evening (little linen mats placed bedside - with slippers!).
We had a cocktail in the very nice hotel bar, walked around town for an hour or so. (I told DT I did not want to go over 5000 steps today.) I have mapped out a big walking tour for us tomorrow, so wanted to keep close to our hotel tonight. We found a little place for a snack and went back to our room to watch a track meet on television. DT is happy. I am exhausted.
Until tomorrow, I remain, your Swiss Miss correspondent.
Pedometer: 7,000 steps. I tried.