Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Rat House

Reposted from http://busdude.livejournal.com/
Today is the last day in Europe. Day started out riding the HSB http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harzer_Schmalspurbahnen. Rode up to the top of the Broken, the trains were packed being mayday weekend. Saw a nice museum with a room full of old soviet hardware which used to reside on the top of the broken http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brocken. It was neat, you could even go to the top of one of the buildings and go on the roof and see inside one of the old radar/antenna domes. really neat. Coming back down the broken we passed 3 trains that were full of tourists. most visitoers to the broken are german speaking, its kind of a hidden attraction of thiers. The mountain is a national park and rivals mt rainier for beauty. After coming back to Wernigrode we took an Regional train back to Hannover, after of course buying some more DVDs at the local kiosk/general merchandisers in the train station. This makes 14 DVDs bought on this trip. some in NTSC but most in PAL, which i can watch on the computer. Although i may have to hook up an old DVD drive to my PC and set it for a diffrent region to play the DVDs well.. Got back to Hannover, checked in at the hotel and my Tmobile wi-fi 30 day pass which i only paid 30 euro's for worked like a charm (was hoping it would, so i can get my moneys worth out of it), and went and rode some of the local tramlines and had pizza at pizza hut. Never saw any in switzerland, but saw a few in germany. The food quality is about the same as in the US, however they do not have a "thin" crust as we know it. also their pepperoni is known as salami as it usually is in germany. I think if i ordered a salmi supereme pizza from my local PH they would think i have gone flippo and ordered something diffrent, than wonder wtf salami is when in reality it is what we know as pepperoni.

Tommorw is the flight home. Hopefully should be back to seattle before my dinner time at ten oclock, or atleast thats the hope. Hopefully wont encounter too many problems with a 9 hour flight back to the US, than all the hostilities involved with re-entering your own country. Lots of time on an airplane thats for sure :-( Even though the train may be slower, its a much much much more civilized way to travel, even if you are crammed in a compartment with 4 other people you dont know and who are not speaking your language.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Matterhorn

Reposted from http://busdude.livejournal.com/

Today was the last formal day of the tour, and we went to the matterhorn. First we took a SBB train to Spiez, using old Co-Rail equipment, than a ride to Visp over the new tunnel route which is a base tunnel under the alps. Afterwards we went to transfer to the train to Zermatt. Only problem with that was we had to take a bus to St. Nicholas, since the line was severed with a rock slide that morning. The buses were very crowded. The rest of line was very scenic, and very covered in fresh snow, so much so that when i got to Zermatt, i had to go to the Kiosk and bought a pair of sunglasses. After that we got on the train to Gornergrat. It was a narrow guage line up the hill to a viewing post to see the matterhorn, plus shop and eat and the like. The line was very scenic, lots of snow there. the matterhorn was out, not sourrounded by clouds and infront of a beautiful blue sky. I did visit the shops there, and purchased a 16GB Swiss Army Pen knife, not only does it have a flashlight, USB stick, cisssors, screwdriver, pen its also really really nifty. After that we came back down, had to take the bus, and back the way we came. I will post pictures in a few days, probally on flickr or some such so all in sundry can see them. Tommorw is heading for germany, than a ride on the hartz mountain railroad, than home. This trip has gone by fast.

Mayday

Reposted from http://busdude.livejournal.com/

Spent the day travelling from Interlaken to Wernigrode. Only staying one night in Wernigrode, which is a nice german town with a large car-less plaza. The ride up was relativly uneventful, although i did ride on a very full ICE Train from Basil to Hannover, than a local train with a DMU (yes, rode my first non electric train today) from Hannover to Wernigrode. The train from Interlaken to Basil was a typical SBB RE train, with added corail cars on the front for added capasity. the ICE train was very full with the mayday holiday, luggage was spread anywhere, if its any shortcoming of the european train system is that they dont have enough luggage capasity, especally for large bags. Everyone is off on holiday this weekend so everything was very busy, there was a long line in the bord bistro, and luggage everywhere in the asles. Also because of mayday, there were police everywhere in Hannover, probally had a bit of drunken revelry or something. Anyways tommorw the Brocken Bahn and back to hannover in the evening, since no one speaks english over here it will be intresting to see if we can get a ride on the Brocken Bahn.