Friday, June 10, 2011

The Journey So Far

The view from my balcony - isn't it dreamy?

Years ago I kept a travel journal where I recorded the interesting or strange things that happened along the way, this blog has taken that journal's place.  So this post may bore everyone but my mom, but it's late here and I'm tired, but I'm determined to record a few memories. 
  • When I got a look at my itinerary, with multiple layovers, a hotel stay and a train ride all before I made it to Lausanne (my destination) I decided if ever there was a trip that called for carry on only, this was it.  It wasn't easy to pack for a 3 week business trip in carry on luggage, but I managed it (barely.)  The lack of room in my suitcase will keep me from shopping which is a good thing.  The bad news is I sacrificed my good camera and just brought my point and shoot, here's hoping I can still get a few good shots.
  • I spent 9 long hours in the Madrid airport, what a gorgeous airport, I just wish I had been less interested in sleep and more interested in exploring the architecture.
  • I finally arrived in Lausanne at 6:30 PM, raced to find the train from the airport to the main train station - raced because I'd been told SwissCom closed between 7 and 8 and I needed a Swiss SIM card - my lovely Verizon phone doesn't work here.
  • After what felt like forever wandering around the station I finally found SwissCom, where a nice guy hooked me up - so glad he spoke English!
  • Now it was time to find my hotel.  Lesson for next trip - don't print driving directions when you need to walk.  I got hopelessly lost - what should have been a 7 minute walk was at least 30 - better yet it was raining.   
  • Finally found the hotel, went to my room and couldn't get the key to work, back to the desk, back up to the room, still didn't work, back to the desk, this time they came with me.  Oh no, I was trying the wrong room, how embarrassing - I blame it all on jet lag.
  • Slept til 5 AM (more jet lag) then up and back to the train station.  Figure out how to buy a ticket to Lausanne and where to find the right platform.  I was 45 minutes early because I was afraid of getting lost, good time for people watching.
  • Beautiful train ride, met at the airport by old friends and co-workers.  It is so nice to be here.
  • Discover the plan is for me to stay in a colleague's apartment (he's out of town) and drive his car.  Sadly, I can't drive a stick shift - and I don't plan to learn in his fancy car in a city built on a hill!
  • Beg a ride for Friday morning and convince everyone I can indeed ride the bus and hike up the hill at the end of the day.
  • Spend a good part of the day trying to decide what to do over a long weekend - so many choices.  Still trying to work it out at 10 PM.  
  • Figure out the bus route, hit the station to buy a pass, discover I need a photo to do so, get lucky and actually get a GOOD photo out of a vending machine - why doesn't that happen at the DMV?
  • Works over, time to try the bus.  I make all the stops and even manage to do a bit of grocery shopping when I transfer lines.  I feel completely empowered, I am set for transport on this trip.  Watch out Switzerland, I'm exploring you every weekend.
  • Then the really scary part - trying to use a map to find the apartment (that hill was steep, I'm going to have strong legs and buns when I get home.)  Get lost, see the apartment beyond the vineyard, take a shortcut through said vineyard, get to apartment but must climb over a fence to get there (wearing a dress!)  Finally get to the apartment and find a gate that I can open with my key, think I've lost my key, think about crying, find my key, ahhhh  I made it.  
  • Sitting on the balcony eating pears and cheese for dinner - perfect way to spend a Friday evening.
  • What's that flash of light - fireworks over the lake - they must be celebrating my arrival (or whatever holiday is on Monday?)
Good thing I enjoy getting a bit lost when I travel and having things go not quite as I planned.  I figure I'll not only get a good story, I'll find things I never would have seen if everything had gone as planned.  I can't wait to see what adventures the 3 day weekend will bring, it's a holiday here on Monday - am I lucky or what?

I listened to this on the train ride from Zurich - it was gorgeous accompanied by the Swiss countryside.
Brooke Fraser & Aqualung - Who Are We Fooling (feat. Aqualung)
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24 comments:

R Montalban said...

Have a great long weekend :-)

Stampmouse said...

wow gorgeous view. Loved the story great "journal" I especially loved how they welcomed you with fireworks. Enjoy and hope you have comfortable shoes for walking

Carrie @ Hazardous Design said...

I enjoyed your travel notes. It is so easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated when traveling in a foreign country. Empowered is a good word you used to describe overcoming such annoyances :)
Enjoy that view!

urban muser said...

wow, what a view. i laughed imagining you climbing over that fence!

Karen said...

Well, I'm not your mom, but I really enjoyed reading about the trip. What a fabulous view from your balcony! Your point and shoot will do just great!

Joanne said...

Thanks dear daughter! I can almost picture your travels. I wish I was with you, only we both know I could not have climbed over that fence! Hope you have a wonderful time, and I do want to go on another adventure with you sometime. Love you

Joanne said...

Oh, and that view is so beautiful! good picture

tinajo said...

Love the view - enjoy and enjoy you lucky girl! :-)

Angie Willis said...

You're a great story teller Jamie! I hope you have a really great time in Switzerland and get some fabulous photos. Point and shoot are great when you don't have much space. I take mine everywhere with me, just in case...

justine said...

what a view! wonderful! what a great trip too

Diana Joy said...

I've been without a computer all week... oh mercy; awful.. so

now I know you are working in Switzerland.. how cool. The pic you posted today is so serene and what a pretty one. Ok..off to catch up on your past posts this week.

Rikki said...

I loved reading about your first days! It sounds exciting. Have a fun adventure. BTW, we got the mailboxes and post approved by the OA and Adam got it in. Hopefully we'll start getting mail again soon.

blue elephant photography said...

i love your travel stories!!!

Dorian Susan said...

Jamie I so love this post. Adventure. It's great.
If I ever decide to sign up for "The Amazing Race"...I want to go with you, but I want to hold the map. :)
Hope that your point and shoot offers lots of wonderful photo ops and you have fun exploring. Thinking of you.

Ms. Becky said...

I'd never thought about the map part- printing it for driving directions when walking. what a great tale you tell. sounds like a wonderful adventure in spite of the turnarounds and stops and starts and eek - scaling a fence in a dress! you seem like a master traveler and that's pretty darn admirable.
have a fun weekend Jamie.

Nicole said...

How is it that I know how to drive a stick, and you don't? If either of us had an un-automatic car, I'd teach you. Of course, dad taught me on the hills above Aurora, but I bet the hills up here would work just fine. :) We love you and miss you. M & T have been asking for you.

Dagmar said...

great news for you and closing on your new home...I was born in Switzerland and have been back several times since..it is such a beautiful country...enchanting really..
thank you so much for your kind words about my little grandkids...and thank you for continuing to read and be interested in my blog!
ox

Clare B said...

I was curious about the long weekend too - it's WhitSunday (50 days after easter). Hope you have some better luck with all the little things so that you can enjoy exploring a little more.

Marcie said...

So important to record and remember the little things along the way. Wonderful'accounting'!

Anika said...

Sounds like you have the perfect traveling attitude-getting a bit lost or being ahead of schedule...going with the flow seems to make for great times. I also love taking public transportation in a foreign land- it DOES make you feel empowered ;)
Have fun!!

Courtney said...

Girl, what an adventure! Haha! So glad you're such a trooper. I'd have probably cried a million times by now. Hope you're enjoying the long weekend!

Anna said...

What a gorgeous view! After all that, you must have the feeling that you can do or accomplish anything! Hope your weekend was happy.

katOUT said...

travel stories are something to be remembered, i think that this is a wonderful idea! Loved reading it!

Clinton Painter said...

A couple of things. #1 When you get back, drop me a line. I will teach you how to drive a standard. My little Toyota is standard and easy to drive. #2 Loved this blog. The items noted are those things that make a trip memorable. #3 I have never clicked on the "You might also like" thumbnails on your blog. I clicked on Epiphany today and laughed as your post directed back to one of my old posts. Good times. Thanks for sharing.

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