Saturday, September 17, 2011

Europe 2002 Trip Reports Part 17 Vaduz, Zurich, and Luxemburg

This is the 17th of a series of posts recalling my trip to Europe, using e-mails sent at the time.  Unlike later trips, I didn’t e-mail people everyday.  Trip reports are largely as I wrote them at the time with two exceptions: I was usually pretty rushed due to Internet fees in Europe, so I’ve cleaned up my e-mails to make them more coherent, which wasn’t a priority at the time.  Also, in some blog posts I’ll add additional thoughts with the hindsight of nine years later or to add further clarification.  I’ll use “NOW” in such cases.

This 19h report covers Vaduz, Zurich, and the first part of Luxemburg.

Pardon the extra typos: this keyboard has a very different configuration.

[NOW:  I corrected all the typos, but there were indeed quite a number of them as a result of the different style keyboard. I took a train from Innsbruck to Buchs and grabbed a bus from there.]

Went to Vaduz Liechtenstein; I was charmed at first; the street map is hand lettered; at first the only disappointment was that the stamp museum was closed.

Then I got hungry enough to dare a pizzeria there; I noticed drinks started at SFr 4.50 (the Canadian dollar is about the same as a Swiss franc); I asked for tap water; the waitress agreed "normal water not mineral water", then gave me some not very good mineral water anyway and charged me the full SFr 4.50; since she repeated my order, there was no misunderstanding; this was deliberate.

[NOW: after exploring Vaduz I took a bus back to Buchs and got on another train.]

Arrived in Zurich; I was going to stay 2 nights but it’s very expensive there: a large McDonald’s meal was SFr 12. 

[NOW: I didn‘t actually eat at McDonald’s, but you can get a sense of how expensive a city is from the price of a large McDonald’s meal.  I did like their light rail system which offers a 24 hour pass; the time only starts when you start using the transportation.  As part of a promotion of the Spider-Man movie, the train station had a spider exhibit.  The second day there I would have liked to have visited an outdoor market, but you had to pay to get in and from outside you could only see the backs of the tent.  I also recall going up a field to get an aerial view of the city.]

Decided to take the night train today, only the night train was full so I left at 3pm instead No loss:  Zurich scenery unspectacular and prices again are ridiculous; got to Luxembourg at 8pm.  I got a real nice meal at the hostel.

Showers are same sex but otherwise no barriers; glad I brought short sleeve pants; I don’t feel like “comparing notes” with other guys.

Signing off now; probably more to tell but this keyboard is really hard to use; as you have no doubt noticed the letter q is where the a should be.

[NOW: Or rather you would have noticed had I not completely cleaned up this report.]

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