Day 3: Zurich to Wengen
|Eiger in the clouds|
Weather: in the 70s; raining in Zurich, hard at times; high 60s and light rain in Wengen
My heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds
That rise from the lake to the trees
That rise from the lake to the trees
|My heart is beating|
THB could’ve used a bit more sleep: up late and up early. It’s raining hard this morning, so we postpone our trip to John Baker for a while. Okay, enough is enough, we use the hotel’s umbrellas and a) visit an ATM to withdraw $400 – that’s two 200 Swiss franc bills; b) visit the train station to verify that our pre-paid tickets are ready to go…they are, we just need to buy one local ticket to go back to the main train station, $5.20; ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, we are finally at John Baker for breads and pastries and two cappuccinos and one more small coffee for DB.
Time to shower and pack-up before meeting up with SC and JW for a taxi ride to the Museum Reitberg ($25) and another great Dada exhibit. This time the match is with Dadaist works and African art, and it is exceptional (and, once again with Dada work: no photos allowed). Also in the museum is an exhibit re-imaging of famous gardens, and this includes one of THB’s favorite artists, David Hockney, doing his Polaroid thing for one of THB’s favorite gardens, Ryoan-ji, in Kyoto. Both worth seeing!
So, how expensive are cabs in Zurich? THB and DB walk back to the hotel from the Reitberg (in the rain…bonus points!) in around 25 minutes. So, that works out to about $15/cab mile, and only a few minutes slower than it took the cab.
Lunch at Tibits where THB finds out that the tuna he had two days ago was vegetarian…and that THB can be fooled twice because today he orders the tuna sandwich. Pretty decent, and DB gets one also, plus a large lemonade, $22.
THB, DB, SC, and JW are now re-united at the hotel, walk up to the train station, go back one stop to the main Zurich train station and get on the 1:32 to Bern. Train is right on time, and stuffed with people with huge (and medium sized…and small sized) bags. Train is right on time and we move up and down the stairs on to the train to Interlaken Ost, even less crowded. The train is right on time and we make our final transfer on to an even smaller train (a bit crowded) for the short ride up to Wengen, at 4100 feet.
|On several trains, the overhead racks won't hold even small bags|
We were to meet the other four of our group in Bern, they are coming from near Heidelberg, Germany. They decided to take a later train or we moved our departure up; they land in Wengen 20 minutes after we do.
Okay, where are we? The train station says Wengen, the address for the Schoenegg is Grindelwald.
No matter what, the surrounding mountains are encased in clouds and it is raining slightly. Still, the temperature is very pleasant out, and our room is lovely, with a large shared deck. The room is hot (we’re not sure why, there’s a radiator that is off) and so we leave the deck door and windows wide open.
|SC's room has real birch trees|
A full unpacking, we’re here for 3 or 4 nights (and the hotel is moving our bags to Muerren…or is it Murren…in a few days).
A meet up in one of the common rooms for a glass of wine, then dinner downstairs. DB and THB share a salad of beets and smoked, whipped cheese and hazelnuts, we each get the perch served over cubed potatoes with pieces of ham, and THB has a local draft and DB shares a bottle of sauvignon blanc with several others. Costs will be split equally at the end of the trip (a great way to do the apportioning).
It’s still light at 9:15, and the mountains are still clouded over and the temperature feels very reasonable.
Book Review: Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche by Haruki Murakami. The attack was in 1995, this non-fiction book was published in English in the late 1990s. THB is just now getting around to reading it, the only book by Murakami read by THB (he’s a big time best selling author in fiction). It’s also translated (though Murikami does speak English) and THB doesn’t read many translated books. The first 2/3 of the book is a series of interviews Murakami conducted with the victims of the sarin gas attack by Aum Shinrikyo (cult or religion?) and the other 1/3 is interviews with members of Aum. No interview is particularly compelling; collectively they make quite a statement about Japanese and their views as victims and as perpetrators, and real insight into how the Aum members are cultivated into becoming terrorists. Recommended