Week 5, part 1
Thursday, November 8, 2001

Obbie settles into his seat in one of our first class compartments.

We did not want to know the room rates for this hotel on the river in Thun.

We found this place to leave dead batteries for recycling in a Swiss supermarket.

By now we hope you've received and read our message from week 4, which was sent from Munich after two days of jumping through hoops, which included rescuing a crashed computer. Week 5 began with a romp through Switzerland and ended in Munich, so we will save our computer tales for the end of this week's update, as they were central to our oddyzee in Munich.

We left off on Monday, October 29 as we said a temporary good-by to our friends Bobber & Elena in Freiburg, Germany, and boarded a train bound for Basel, Switzerland. Our plan was to do three things: 1) to follow up on reports we'd read on the Swiss' relaxed attitude toward some popular stress relief medications; 2) to explore the region of the Alps south of Interlaken, which we later learned is known as the Jungfrau region; and 3) to ride a grand loop through southeaster Switzerland, including a train called the Glacier Express. We more or less succeeded on each of these missions, but not without a few unexpected adventures along the way.

Don't go to Switzerland without lots of money (or at least a well-fed credit card and/or ATM card) and lots of film. Never put your camera away. The Swiss are a culture that's been into the hospitality business since at least Roman times, and maybe even before, so the whole country feels like one big resort. While we were there, the weather was close to perfect (have we been lucky or what?), and the fall colors were at their peak (though more subdued than they can be in Wisconsin or New England). Somehow Obbie misunderstood the exchange rate as being 1.2 Swiss Francs to the dollar, so we kind of freaked out about prices for a while. When we later found the rate to be 1.6, things seemed a bit more reasonable, but still not cheap.

We had hoped to set up our base camp for two nights in Thun, which we thought would be cheaper than Interlaken while being close to it. We arrived there in the mid-afternoon, and found our way to the TI at the station to inquire about finding a room. With three or four people in the office and no other people waiting to be served, only one of the people was willing to even talk to us. We asked about zimmers and pensions, and she handed us a list of spendy hotels and pretty much told us to figure everything else out for ourselves. We were so disgusted by this condescending treatment that we hopped on the next train for Interlaken.

RoZ greets Obbie from her train seat as we pass through a tunnel.

A view of Lake Thun as seen through our train window.

Switzerland is so into the resort business, even the picnic area of outdoor junk food stands are decorated with artwork.

Part 2 ... Arrival in Interloken, and a back-track to Thun
Part 3 ... We climb the mountains of the Jungfrau region
Part 4 ... Riding on the Glacier Express
Part 5 ... We complete our loop through Switzerland
Part 6 ... The Black Forest and Buchloe
Part 7 ... Neushwanstein Castle
Part 8 ... Computer Hell part one - and pictures from Munich
Part 9 ... Computer Hell part two - and pictures from the Munich Rathaus
Part 10 ... Some talk about Munich, and a look at two of its churches.

purplearth 2001 europe oddyzee index
purplearth home

contact purplearth