Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fussen, Germany to Interlaken, Switzerland

Hey thanks for all the comments - glad you're enjoying the reading. We are in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland now and have FREE internet!! and an american laptop so i don't have to search for keys. yay! This place rules! Before I get into that I'll post about yesterday so I don't forget.

Yesterday we got up pretty early so we could make the trip from Fussen, Germany to Interlaken, Switzerland. Hao Hung, the guy from Taiwan that was staying in the same room as us, came with to the train/bus stop because he was also heading out of Fussen.

We got an itinerary from the helpers in the station and realized we had like 6 trains to switch to so we were a little worried we'd miss some. The first thing we had to get on was a bus because the trains out of Fussen weren't running.

We headed out of Fussen on the bus at about 8am and enjoyed views of the castles and the Bavarian alps while we were heading out of town.

When we got to our first stop, Hao Hung helped us figure out which platform we needed to be on and showed us a machine we could print out an updated itinerary from. It was confusing because our schedule just said platform A but there were platforms A1, A2, A3, etc. Turns out it really didn't matter which one you were on cuz the train just parked wherever on the A platform and you had to hop on. So, we made it onto our first train just fine and were ahead of schedule because the train came early. At the next stop we were on our own because Hao Hung headed a different direction.

We realized the next tricky part of finding the right train was that we thought it would say our next destination on the outside of it like the first one had, but they didn't always. So after standing there and debating if it was the right train or not we jumped on because it was at the right platform at the right time and we figured it had to be it. Luckily it was and on the inside there was a screen that said the destination we wanted to get to!
One of our many stops.

We needed to get on the train at 12:29 to St. Margrethen via Bregenz. Bregenz is actually in Austria so we passed through three countries on our trip!

Grant checking the schedule on the machine Hao Hung showed us how to use!

Looks like we got on the right train to St. Margrethen!

While on the train there is always an announcement saying what the next stop is - of course it was all in German so we couldn't understand it. The screen also always changed with the different stops. The words that came on first were: Nachster Halt/Next Stop. I totally thought that meant the town Nachster Halt was the next stop. But after the first few stops were all called Nachster Halt, I realized Nachster Halt is actually 'next stop' in German ... yeah ... we're learning :)

Another stop!

Next we needed to go to St. Gallen and this appears to be the correct platform!

Another switch in Zurich.

In Germany/Europe there are different types of trains. Some are fast trains and some are slower trains. After we switched trains about three times on the slower trains we were close to Switzerland and had to ride three faster trains across Switzerland. We hopped on the first fast train with no problem cuz we were starting to get the hang of it. Once we got all situated I was looking around reading all the signs and saw one that said 1. Klasse. I didn't think much at first but after awhile it sunk in and I was like ... oh shoot ... we're in 1st class! There was another German sign that said something about paying extra from what I could decipher so I said we better move quick before the ticket-checker person comes by. So we moved and were fine. The next train we got on was a double decker (two floors with a restaurant on the first floor) and was pretty cool. We hopped on and Grant asked if I just wanted to sit right by the door and I said sure, as long as it's not in 1st class!

So we sat and the ticket-checker came by and said 'umm... you're sitting in 1st class and your tickets are for 2nd.' ... oops!! so we packed up and headed to 2nd class again.
I think this is Bern. We also switched trains there.

When we got on the next train we thought for sure we had it figured out and sat down in what we thought was 2nd class.
Those chairs do look suspiciously like first class though. hmm.

Sure enough, the ticket checker informed us we were once again in 1st class. Dangit!! At least they didn't charge us extra for not knowing where we were sitting. So once again we moved back to 2nd class and this time when we got off the train we looked at the outside of the cars and realized there are 1s and 2s on the outside of all the cars. It's confusing though because they're not in any order - you'd think 1st class would be at the front and 2nd class at the back but that's not the case. They're all mixed up throughout the train. Yeah, we'll definitely be checking that when we get on next time!

We made it through all those stops and ended up in Interlaken, Switzerland around 5pm.

It's a very pretty city with cool Swiss-looking buildings and mountains and lakes all around.
There are definitely a lot of people though. Especially in our hostel :) When I booked the room at the Happy Inn it said 6-8 person dorm. So we checked in and found out we were in the 8 person room that should have probably only had about 4 people in it. There were only 6 lockers and one was broken so Grant and I just left our packs out since everyone else had already taken the others. We ate supper at the restaurant in the Happy Inn because everything else around town was really expensive. We ate some cheese fondue which was ok - not my favorite but we had to try it since we were in Switzerland!

Then we walked around the town and took some pictures of the mountains and buildings before heading back to get ready for bed.



There were two Canadian guys in our room and two girls that didn't say much. Sometime in the middle of the night the 8th guy checked in too so it was a full room! We were glad to only be staying one night. :) that's our story of our trip from Fussen to Interlaken!

2 comments:

  1. Glad you made it on all of those trains--wow! I love the stories of mistranslated German ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow that was a full day and good try with getting in first class. At some point they may have left you there.

    Dad

    ReplyDelete

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