Day 34: Day of the Crowded Train Under the Alps August 3
Started off the morning with a wonderful breakfast with Daniel and Karin. They both needed to head off to work, so we said our thank you's and goodbyes, then we changed into bathing suits. We walked down to where we had dessert last night on the lake and went swimming in the Thunnersee at the foot of the alps!!! There were so many swans where we had originally planned to swim, we shifted our swimming area about 50meters away almost into the do not swim area. If you read the post from a few days ago, you know why we didn't want to swim with those beasts. After a refreshing dip, Andrea sun bathed on the wall (at the foot of the alps) while Bruce found shade nearby. We had the morning to relax because our train to Milan didn't leave until 2pm. So we headed back to the apartment to pick up our bikes and bags (which they let us leave at their place! How nice!!!) then we headed off to catch the train! Wow was it crowded!!! First, we got the bikes into car 5 with tickets and there was NO ROOM!!! The bike racks are also luggage racks on this train and there were so many suitcases they were spilling into the rest of the compartment. So the nice ticket lady who checked our tickets made room in the next car's bike racks, so we had to get off at the next stop and run the bikes down one car, get back on the train, unpack the bikes, store them hanging from the front wheel from the ceiling of the luggage racks all in this tiny space with a train bathroom narrowing the space even more! People trying to get to their seats were huffy with us but what else could we do? And we paid CHF20 ($21) per bike for this space so they needed to wait. So after all of that, the bikes were hanging, the bags were stored and we went to get our seat. They were taken by two Chinese girls who looked terribly confused when we asked them what seat number their ticket had. They didn't seem to have tickets. So we got them out of our seats (there were no others to sit in) and watched the alps go by out the window. For the next 3 hours we did one of 3 things; 1. watch the Alps get bigger and bigger until the train dove through one or another miles long tunnel, 2. Jump up and protect the bikes from inconsiderate passengers who kept using them to swing into the next carriage, or 3. Protecting our own seats from seat vultures. There were a ton of people on this train without a ticket. I'm talking while families with eight suitcases without tickets, who stood in the aisle making it impossible to pass, or trying to sit in any empty seat they could find. It was really chaotic. Bruce even had to deal with a stupid American tourist being a bully about the bikes. Really??!!?? The mountains were amazing and the lady who sat next to us (from Italy) saw that I was amazed by the scenery and told us the names of some of the mountains and of the islands in the Italian lake we came to next. We finally made it to Milan. We had to get the bikes and all of our gear onto the platform while beating off abusive grannies who pushed Andrea when she tried to get her bike down from the train. Really??!!?? We made it out of the train station and Bruce navigated us to the hotel we booked. Really classy!!! They had a looked courtyard for our bikes. We went out for an aperitivo which is a drink with free buffet for happy hour. It is getting very hot again but we have AC in our apartment. We made a mad dash through the subway for the supermarket when we realized they were going to close. It was closed but there was a little corner shop open, so we got some cold drinks and headed back for some sleep... We didn't cycle at all today but damn are we tired! Tomorrow we are taking a rest day to tour Milan.
The World is Ours!