First European trip

Switzerland 1976

First European trip taken with S.Q. Based in Zurich we visited Berne, Grindenwald, Principality of Lichtenstein, Austria, Germany and Italy.  The first new experience we had, was taking the local train in Zurich. Their practice is the honor system, whereby you purchased the train ticket but no one collected it on embarking on the train, however, there could be spot checks by the authorities at any time. Well we purchased our ticket in the hotel got on the train and somewhere during our trip to where we were going we realized we were going in the wrong direction. We wondered what to do whether we were required to purchase another ticket or just change trains going in the opposite direction as we do at home in the States. We decided to just change trains and mused at the idea if we did something wrong and was put in jail.

Our next experience was attempting to cross the street, I believe we were at the cross walk/pedestrian crossing but stood waiting for the traffic to go by. Cars stopped, but we still stood waiting for the traffic to go and they were looking at us we thought they were intrigued because we were black. Well I forgot how we discovered they were waiting on us to cross the street as that was the law. The joke was on us. We enjoyed the food at this restaurant that we visited more than once to enjoy chicken cordon bleu with dumplings and rice.    

We joined a tour that took us to Grindenwald, Berne, Lucerne and a boat ride across to Italy. We traveled by a train for a few hours ride. Our guide made it quite clear that we were governed by the train schedule and therefore should be mindful of the time and not be late to designated meeting points, if not it would be a costly adventure to get back to Zurich. Of course all were compliant except one member and her son who were left behind and incurred quite a bill to return to Zurich. In Grindenwald took a ride on the chair lift listening to cowbells ringing as we ascended the mountainside. I did not think about the possible danger until I was actually on the lift. As I started the journey I thought, what if I fell then I looked down and realized the ride hugged the  mountainside and so I thought if I fell I might break a limb but surely would not die. As we ascended there was a jolt, which startled us at first, we soon realized that was normal.  It was what I called a power surge at certain points of the ride up. The return was uneventful as the ride up. As we walked around in the town I was tempted to hit those cow bells (souvenirs) hanging at the entrances of the souvenir shops. Can’t forget the old man who slapped S. on her behind while we were in Appenzell, see sexual harassment has been around for a long time.

To be continued

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