Saturday, April 25, 2009

Milan, Interlaken, and Self Abuse

Today started out with a side trip to Milan. Boarded a train for Bellinoza this morning at a bright and early 645 am, than transferred to a 7 something Cisalpino to Milan. Due to equipment shortages the CisAlpino equipment is a mix of clapped out old compartment cars, and other various cars pulled from the SBB. the locomotive used was from SBB Cargo (http://www.sbbcargo.ch) The compartment car we rode on was quite beat, the compartment's blower was making all sort of sick noises, the car was dirty, although better than some trentitalia equipment that has been seen to date (covered in grafitti or the remnants of, dirty, rusty, in general poor state of things). The train station in milan is impressive. 21 tracks, the largest trainshed i have ever seen (apparantly moussilini boasted this fact too) and enough people inside the station to populate a small town. Checked out the newsstands, they do love to read but there are no erotik magazine sections that seem to populate the Kiosk stores on the SBB lines. Too bad too as i was going to check out the local porn, see if any of it featured the fine women of the country (which is amazing considering from what i have seen of italy, the rest of the country is a bit run down and dirty, just everything the trains, buildings, grounds all of it). Of course having 2 hours in milan had to work a trolley trip into the picture somewhere, so we rode a tram out a ways, a pre-wwII peter witt car, like those used in san francisco (which actually came from milan and are called by the SF natives "milanos"). Rode out and got off in some small shopping district, and went to ride one back but none came. Seems a trip got missed somewhere. finally caught one back, got a few pictures of the trams and buses and went to board the cisalpino back to bellinzola. this time it was an actual cisalpino tilting set, which rode really nice but was quite small and cramped even comparted to modern ICN trainsets built by bombardier/alstom that are employed by the SBB. Upon arriving back in Locarno (took a couple of the TILO trains with their 5 car stadler EMU sets) lunch was had at the local mc donalds were the always attractive counter attendant spoke engish. from there we rode the FART train from Locarno to Domodossola Italy. The FART is a narrow guage line that to Domodossola from the subway station in locarno, infact its station in Domodossola is also in a subway, but the rest of the line runs above ground over quite scenic country side. The equipment being used was the panoramic cars with tall glass windows, and with one seat facing forward looking out the front window. I got that seat :-)

After winding up in Interlaken Ost took a postal bus to the hotel which is on the beautiful Lake Breinz and from the room have a stunning view of the lake and mountains. Tommorw a visit to the swiss transport museum. As for the self abuse part of todays story, no i was not killing any kittens, but thats a good thought, i had pizza at the hotel's bar/pizzeria. With my unique dietary tastes and just general hattrid for any plated meal in which i get absoutly no choice. The pizza was made with spicy italian salami which is the equivilant to pepperoni in the states and very very good, so much so i burned the roof of my mouth on it.

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