Not one of my best photos, but when you rise at the crack of dawn to reach the train that departs at 9.00 a.m. in the morning, you are already suffering from time theft. The train was not exactly crowded, but I am one of those people that like to travel in the direction that the train is moving. Anything else complicates my nervous and digestive system. When you enter the carriage it is already clear that there will be no empty seating arrangements to choose and so you pick the place nearest to the exit, bcause all other suitable seats are facing backwards. You seat next to a stranger who is generally not Swiss, and seeing the passing landscape for the first time in his life.
Where is Mr. Swiss? He is not as picky as I am about his seat, so he is on the other side of the seat corridor facing the wrong way (in my travel conception, thus he took the photo. This time the journey was amongst the common folk, 2nd class, after discovering that the price of first class was no longer realistic, but the seats were comfortable and as I did not need to plug in my laptop there was no need for something more exclusive. The train arrived on time and so it ambled along to the programmed stops to Zürich, an hour’s journey. We had chosen a carriage near the beginning of the train as that would mean there would be less walking to do in Zürich from platform to platform.
And on time we arrived at Zürich main station on platform 12. This was all programmed as it meant that we only had to shift to four platforms further on with 20 minutes to spare. Had we followed the official Swiss railway timetable we would have rushed at superspeed and dashed down the escalator to a platform 44 which was laying in un-navigated depths and it would have all become a journey into space and time and we would defintely have missed the connection.
I am armed with a very nice designer stick, but designs do not add speed to a walk, Perhaps people stop to stare and take notice how original it is, but that does not help us to move faster. I am not able to stand up whilst the train is slowing to a stop, as when the train finally applies the brakes with a jolt, it could be that I lose my balance, with or without stick.
We walked onto our next connection which was only five platforms futher and saw our next train finding its way into the station. Mr. Swiss pulled our case into the train and I followed climbing the steps into the carriage one by one and uttering profanities that pehaps our trains could be designed with more thought to walking sticks and golden oldies. Again we were on the search for something moving in the direction of the train destination. This time we had more luck. Zürich is a popular place to go, but Schaffhausen not so much.
This stretch was unknown territory to me so after finding a suitable window seat, opposite Mr. Swiss, I removed my camera from my bag and began to shoot. By the time we arrived in Schaffhausen I had collected the first 20 photos. I am glad to say that the train ambled on its way. I only wished that our Swiss train service paid more attention to cleaning their windows as the photos would have been better.
After a further hour we ambled into the station at Schaffhausen. Again I waited for the train to stop before I dared to ascend the three life threatening steps to the platform. If I had not left the train, it would have speeded on with me to Stuttgart in Germany as this was a so-called IC train (inter city) and the cities lay all over Europe.
No. 2 son was already similing at me through the train window from the platform when we arrived, so I knew we were there.
Ambling is the only way that Mr. Swiss and I take longer journeys, if at all. Our general idea of going places is the local supermarket and into town. We have a direct train to Bern from Solothurn, which is the capital of Switzerland and a very nice place to visit. The journey is only an hour, and that train really ambles. However, we discovered it must be at least five years since we went to Bern by train. No. 2 son lives in Schaffhausen with his wife and I will become grandmother in a month, so it was time to see the shape of things to come, which is quite a bump at the moment.