Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fries and a Coke

4/18/09
Yesturday we mostly stuck just to the scheudled trip because we went to the island of manau. Its a big floral island in the bodensee (lake Kostance) and is actually rather scenic. they are suppose to have the largest field of wild tulips and they do, its quite the sight. Anyways the day started out with a train trip to Glossau, where we boarded a older thurbo trainset to Weinfelden, and than a Thurbo train the rest of the way to Konstanz. From there we boarded a boat (the dock was right behind the station) to the island, in which we boarded the Badau, built in 1935 during the era of the Third Reich, which as a WWII history buff was rather neat to be on a boat that probally once few the nazi flag. of course all signs of that era are long gone on that boat but it was still neat. We went to the island which is linked by a road bridge, saw all the flowers and other displays, including going inside the butterfly house and exotic plants green house, and did all the touresty trap things (which is the whole island basecally) and than back on the train, Konstanz is in germany so we did cross the border again, and took two thurbo sets one from Konstanz to Kreuzlingen, which is just across the border but you really cant tell where the border is since its so developed and there are no more checkpoints, infact the border crossing in the station still had all the equipment in place from the days of being an active border crossing (it was kind of stark and cold-war like which made it neat) and the guard there really dident give a damn, since apparantly you have to decalre stuff but he was next to asleep during the time we passed through. Anyways after getting to Kreuzligen we tok another thurbo the S3 Line which went over SOB trackage to St Gallen than the AB back to Appenzell. Dinner was had at the same pizza/bar as the night before but i had a salami pizza and got pepperoni. was really nice and tasty. dident have any tomato sauce on it though, kinda intresting but really good.


4/20/09
Stayed the last day in Appenzell, in Chur now. Took the Appenzellenbahn to Alstatten Stat, The only time that the trains dont connect. Apparantly 30 years ago the community dident want the train running through to to the bahnhof because they had to take in all their street furniture as the streets were so narrow. So now the train stops outside of town. Arrangement was made with the local bus company to supply a bigger bus to transport the group since the mini-bus would not handle 40 people. they sent a mercedees citaro articulated coach, a real nice bus to take us to the train station. Also arrangement was made with the SBB to provide a first class coach on the local train we rode, which they did. Since we wanted to visit Liechtenstien, we got off in Buchs took the Lichenstien bus (Similar to the Swiss Post bus/semi-suburban buses) to Valdus with a transfer in Schaan, and i got plenty of pictures of buses in both cities, got some souvienrs in Valdus and took the Lichenstien bus to Sargens to get back on the train to Chur. Afterwards we made a trip on the Rietianbahn to the ski town of Arosa. The line is a narrow guage line like all the Rhb, and made many twists and turns to the ski town. Took some pictures there including picurues of the buses in the bus yard since they were not running before taking the line back. After that we had an arranged dinner however since i dident want what was on the menu i skipped that and went and explored town. There is no bar/club district in chur, and onnly a few restuarants that i have found and otherwise not much of a night life. The train station is intresting as it has 3 decks, the train platform level which is at ground level, the subterranian passeges and shopping mall/car park/ and a 3rd bus deck for the post buses. Since i dident care for whats on the menu (the daily special, pork and whatnot covered in stuff plus soup and a deserrt, i went to mc d's and reasonably well ordered my meal on my own. I got my Pommus Fritus (French Fries) and Coke. Intresting things about Mc D's here is they only have the "mini" "small" and "Meidum" sizes, which are roughly equivialant to the "small" "medium" and "large" sizes in the US, i think they have removed the large size to make their products more "healthy" but in reality just relabeled everything. Internet access at this hotel is not free so you have to buy internet access in the form of cards for 30 minutes (but i think you can pay online too, but the signal quality is good i will say. now if my laptop was better...

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