Leaving Switzerland headed to Germany

Trip Start May 18, 2007
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Trip End Jul 18, 2007


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Flag of Germany  ,
Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Hi everyone:
 
Sadly we bid farewell to Murren, Switzerland and so far our favorite stop along our journey. After one last yummy Hotel Alpenruh breakfast gazing over the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau one last time, we dragged our extra heavy baggage up main street to the train station headed for Grutschalp. We will miss the symphony of transportation, all in sync with each other as the Swiss don't miss a beat and on-time trains rock! This place truly runs like a Swiss clock and we know we will long for this once we get to Italy!
 
The train ride to the gondola to the long journey to Germany began smoothly until we hit Olten, Switzerland where the conductor made the announcement in only German and French that the track signals were broken along the route to Basel and everyone had to get off the train. A nice German woman translated for us, recognizing we were not German, and another nice man told us where to go to catch the detoured train.
 
All for naught! We were wisked away by the scads of florescent-vested train dudes and dudettes, off to get into a taxi to Basel as that was apparently the only connection for us. After an hour of waiting with another 15 people for taxis that did not show up, the vested troups guided us to a mysterious train routed to Brugg, where we would get off there and transfer to yet another train to Basel. From there, dragging our luggage for the 8th time from one platform to another, we got on another train from Basel to Mannheim to Mainz. Once in Mainz, we got cocky and got on what we believed to be the final train to Bacharach, according to a local on board. Once again, Laurie was not quite comfortable with the quick answer from someone who spoke not one lick of English so she asked the conductor if this train that we were so relaxed on was the one to Bacharach. "No, get off" was the answer so we whipped our bags around and on the platform we went; Laurie scurried to find help as it was now 7:45pm and we were aware there were not too many trains going in our direction at this hour. She found a nice man who helped her and we waited for the LAST train of the night, departing at 8:30pm for Bacharach. Once on board we had a short ride down the Rhine River and reached our destination at 9:00pm.
 
Again, we dragged our bags up to the only street in Bacharach, wobbled ourselves down a heavily cobbled street to our Pension Lettie, just a few blocks into the small heart of Bacharach. We were not alone. We were followed by a friendly family of 3 from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who we ended up sharing cold drinks with and "Rick Steve's stories" at the Hotel Kranenturm. Paul, Kathy and Julia Freeman (8 yrs old and a good little traveler) were a lot of fun and enjoyed their company!
 
Lettie at Pension Lettie pension.letie@t-online.de welcomed us with open arms and showed us to our "cozy" room. Lettie took one look at Ryan, put her hand to the top of her head and laughed hard at how tall Ryan was, knowing the size of the bed and the room! We made it work and cozy it was.
 
What began as a rather short train journey, ended out to be one of the most difficult travel day with countless transfers and running around but we finally got here, safe and sound.
 
Tomorrow we are off to explore the Rhine River and the shoreline castles.
 
Today's walk: 5.1 miles
Total for the journey (106 miles, 20 days)
 
Love,
Ryan and Laurie
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