Monday, 4 September 2017

Up early this morning to prepare for a day of traveling from Darmstadt to Lucerne. As mentioned in yesterday’s post, there will a few train and bus transfers along the way. Definitely, not a straight shot between the two cities.

Even though I was up early, I wanted to get the post from yesterday published before I left. As a result, taking a bus to the station from the hotel was not something I was comfortable doing – given that I wasn’t sure that the bus would arrive at the station on time. Yes, I chickened out.

The taxi got me to the station well before I needed to leave. It gave me time to review my train (and bus) schedule before getting on the train that would take me to Frankfurt. Yes, that is in the opposite direction, but was the mandatory starting point for today’s journey.

Actually, I made all of the connections until I arrived at Basel. My ticket said Basel SBB and got off the train when I heard “Basel”. This was wrong. As a result, I needed to board the train again in this “Basel” and proceed to Basel SBB. But I wasn’t the only one. I had met an American couple in Frankfurt who were also traveling to Lucerne today. Guess who I met at the “Basel” (the non-SBB station). Yes, they also got off the train too early. They actually took another train because their tickets were specific for a scheduled train. I had an open ticket so I could take any train from Basel SBB to Lucerne.

I was helped at several stations by train staff and other travelers in getting my suitcase up and down a few flights of stairs and onto the trains. I could have done it myself, but wasn’t going to turn down an offer of help.

My total travel time, including waiting for trains, was a little over 6 hours. When I reached Lucerne (in German, it is Luzern) I was relieved and ready for the last leg which was getting to my hotel. The taxi ride was fairly quick (10 minutes?), but cost over $20 US Dollars – plus $1 per bag. The taxi driver pointed out the new snow up on the higher peaks that surround Lucerne. Yes, the cooler weather of Autumn has started to arrive.

The hotel is very nice and right on Lake Lucerne. The reception staff were very professional and the woman who registered me escorted me to the room and explained what I needed to know. No air conditioning, but I opened the wide windows facing the lake and the room was cool within 15 minutes. Very quiet here and can hear the water from the lake lapping at the shore. Well, there is the occasional boat the blows their horn, but think that will stop when it gets dark.

I sent a thank you to Ori and Molly to let them know how much I appreciated their hospitality while I was in Darmstadt and that I arrived safely in Lucerne.

This evening, I booked my train to Genoa for Thursday. It took some time to make the reservation because the website was all in German, with no option for English. I used the camera on my phone and Google Translate to read the German words that I didn’t know. I still need to find out how to get from Genoa to Cinque Terre (Monterosso Al Mare), but have two days to figure that one out.

Tomorrow, the weather is expected to be sunny and dry. I’d like to take a boat ride around the lake and also explore the old town. I found out that I have a free bus pass into the city while I’m staying here. No more expensive taxi rides.

 

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