Friday, September 7, 2012
Wernigerode to Zurich
Today’s journey takes us from Wernigerode to Zurich Flughafen. The first two trains are local trains from Wernigerode to Viennenburg and then onto Braunschweig Hbf. The first train was HEX 80926. These HEX trains are operated by Veolia for the local state government and run throughout the region. And even on the weekends to berlin. They are DMUs railcars that have diesel engines coupled through a transmission to move the train. It’s strange being on a railcar that shifts. Upon arriving at Viennenburg we came in on track 3, and our connecting train RB 14257 was on track 1, Viennenburg has a high overpass with no elevator, so we drug our bags up the 1.5 flights to this overpass to the gentle ramp that took us back down to track level. Since we had a short layover in Viennenburg I couldn’t checkout the small rail museum located on a couple of disconnected spur tracks on the opposite side of the station building. The Regio Bahn train to Braunschweig was uneventful, using older high floor DMU equipment.
At Braunschweig we had to transfer to IC 871, on track 6 from track 2. The elevator on track 6 was in good working order, however when we got to track 2, it was being repaired. Again we had to drag our bags up the stairs and Jim helped out a couple old ladies doing the same. After we got on IC871 we found a spot for our baggage and took a seat, which turned out was reserved, and they were the only reserved seats in the car. We found some seats a couple of rows up, however they lacked a window. At Frankfurt (main) Hbf we moved back a row to a seat with a window. After arriving in Basel, we got our tickets validated for the SBB and got on an IR train direct to Zurich Flughafen. At this time our friend and tour guide Carl fowler got on the train. We started to get into a delightful conversation about politics when a Canadian tourist who was sitting a couple of rows behind us in 1st class came up and joined in the conversation.
Since we had Carl as a guide, we got off the train at Zurich Oerlikon Bahnhof and went to the hotel. After getting checked in Jim and carl went for dinner in the hotel restaurant while I went to go find a pizzeria. I took the #10 line back towards town, I saw a pizzeria near the Oerlikon Bahnhof and when I went go find again I couldn’t! I walked by everything in the neighborhood from the Mickey D’s to the peepshow (I was walking down the street looking at the businesses, than I looked at one I saw a flyer of a half nude lady advertising the peepshow! They are not as modest in Europe, as most of the newsstands have adult magazines out in the open and not hidden from the public) but I couldn’t find this restaurant. I even saw one of the Zurich historic trams out being exercised!
After making it back to the #10 line I followed it back (it diverged at the intersection) did I find it, Pizza- blitz. I had a salami pizza and a coke, and they charged a very reasonable price and had very good food. After walking back to the #10 line, I needed to get new power adapters since my ones I had worked in Germany but not in Switzerland. I went up to the airport and after finding the electronics discount store, I purchased two of them that work in both Germany and Switzerland (Switzerland uses round plugs like Germany but they are thinner….). After that adventure I got back to the hotel for the night.