Thursday, October 14, 2010

Time to face the inevitable - homeward bound!

Can't I please take these home?
September 21 - I awoke this morning to the sound of vendors setting up for the Tuesday market alongside the river in Lucerne.  Looking out from the balcony, I noticed beautiful flowers and plants as well as lots of produce.  I was ready to explore immediately after breakfast.  Doug stayed in the room to pack; it always takes him much longer than it takes me even though there are no decisions to be made - everything has to go home!

I loved the flowers especially the cute arrangements made with dried seed pods.  I was tempted to buy one to take home, but I don't think we can bring plant material into the states.  There was also lots of meat, cheese, and even fresh fish.
You can buy squash by the slice!

We strolled to the train station baggage trailing behind us and headed towards Kloten, a town near the Zurich airport.  I don't know whether I've admitted it here or not, but I have a fear of trains and train tracks.  Nothing has ever happened to me to cause this fear which, like most phobias, is completely illogical.  The problem dates back to my days working in New York in the early 60s and travelling the subway system.  Maybe I was tied to a railroad track in a former life?  Anyway, I was a bit concerned that this was going to be a problem during our trip.  I was able to get on and off the trains pretty easily and just bit the bullet and crossed the tracks when necessary.  Today, however, I had big problems in the Zurich train station.  The train from Zurich to Kloten left from a track three levels underground!  It was dark, damp, and dreary and about did me in.  Good thing this was our last train trip!

Last glimpse of the Alps across the lake at sunrise
 We walked a short distance to the Hotel Allegra.  "Allegra" means hello, happiness, and welcome in Switzerland’s 4th official language - Romansh.  This is the largest room we have had.  Obviously, this hotel caters to business travelers since we are so near the airport.

Swiss railroad clocks - always precise!
 We had a big salad at a local restaurant, toured the town a bit, then went back to the room for a final pack for the flight home.  We decided to pick up a "take away" dinner at Migros, one of the two major grocery store chains in Switzerland and turn in early for our 6:15 a.m. wakeup call!

Tomorrow, we fly home.  I'm certainly not looking forward to such a long day and utter fatigue at the end of it.  Fortunately, I'm reading a terrific book - Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Played with Fire.  Turning pages should keep me sane across the Atlantic, don't you think?

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