Monday, April 27, 2009

Castles and Bern

Today an adventure into French speaking Switzerland. The country is divided into 3 main language portions, with German and English being the most common, as english is quickly becoming a universal standard. Frist a ride on the Golden Pass route from Interlaken to Zweismmen, on the narrow guage BOB railroad. The golden pass line actually coveres 3 diffrent railroads, and 2 guages. the first and last segments are standard guage and the middle, over the BOB is narrow. The equipment we got was a "pullman" car which is more like a parlour car with some forward facing and some swivel seating, a very nice car. We transferred in Zweisimmen to the standard guage portion using more modern "dome" equipment similar to what was used on the glacier express, however being standard guage and the floor was raised up a bit to give a better view out the window. We arrivied in Montreux, and boarded a boat for the ride ot the Chillon Castle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chillon_Castle, which is a castle built in the 17th century and is in very good condition. We only had an hour but got a full tour of the midevil castle, the interior appointments are rather spartan but it did have a dungeon, and stores, even still a rope for taking care of people. Unfourtunatly the tour guide told us to wait at the gift shop for further instruction to the train station, And our most elderly gentleman at 89 years of age decided to go to the train station ahead of time, and we never saw him again. We did a quick search, checking both the road and trail to the train station but never saw him. After that we boarded a local train in Veytaux-Chillon to Lausanne which was using single level commuter equipment that was about twenty years old. After making a transfer to a train in bern using standard double deck IR equipment built by Bombardier/Adtrans/Stadler. After arriving in Bern we stayed behind to check out the city for tommorw, and i have never seen so many buses and trains in one area before. Tommorw morning is a semi-guided tour of bern, than a boat back to Interlaken. I may decide to skip the boat and ride the buses and trains for the rest of the afternoon and come back by train in the afternoon. Listening to the news today this swine flu seems to be quite the growing concearn in mexico.

Anyways i just got back from Interlaken Ost, i had talked to the tour manager in the hall and he said if the old guy was coming back on the train it would be in a half hour or so, so i decided to go down to the bahnhof and watch the trains, wander around a bit and keep my eye out for him. Got off the bus and was going to the platform to check and see the arrivals and low and behold there he was. a bit disorentated but he was there. Apparantly he had walked by the train station in Veytaux-Chillon which is kinda hidden and if you dont know where it is you will have problems finding it, and hitched a ride into town to the train station there and got put on a train back for Interlaken Ost. He wanted to get back for dinner and so we hopped a cab back and came back to a roaring applause. They were congradulating me for finding him well i really dident just wandered down to see if he was there and all and sure enough he was. so i did my good deed for the day. now i can resume being naughty again. Apparantly tonight theres also a desert bar so i may have to stop by the dining room later on to see whats left. And unfortunatly i dident get to wander the town, so i will have to do that tommorw, when the pizzaria is closed.

so all in all a good end for the day.

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