Unfortunately those haven't existed for me today.
I took an impromptu trip to Munich this weekend. It was great. I met new people, took part in a very German celebration in a bierhalle that involved lederhosen and dirndls (if only I had known I would have brought mine!), learned some Bavarian German (different than both regular and Swiss German!), and overall just had a really great time!
My train left Munich at 2:30 this afternoon, and I was scheduled to get back at 7:50, in just enough time for the weekly pub quiz.
It's now midnight, and I'm still on a stupid train.
From Ulm, my first stopover, it should have been 2 hours to Schaffhausen, in Switzerland, and then not far to Zurich and then to Luzern. However, 2 hours after leaving Ulm, I found myself not in Schaffhausen, but right back in Ulm where I started.
It was infuriating.
I was bewildered, and wondered if I was just a complete idiot. But I knew I got on the right train, so really I was just bewildered.
Turns out that the "mountain had fallen" on part of path between Ulm and Schaffhausen, and the train couldn't pass, so it turned around and went back. If there was an announcement, my engrossing book and lack of German skills would explain why I didn't get any of that.
My new itinerary had me sprinting to the train and adding 4 stopovers and 5 hours to my trip. Then at the next stop I had to move cars because they were leaving the one I was in at the station. That would have been quite a surprise to watch the train move away without me. Then, of course, the next train was delayed for an hour, making me miss my other connections.
Have you ever felt like the world is having a laugh at your expense?
So here I sit, nearly 10 hours later, still on a train.
It brought to mind stories of being stranded overnight in a tiny Italian town with no train, no taxi, and no hotel, but that's another story.
Living in Switzerland can sometimes be like living in a bubble. But as much as I enjoy embracing the unexpected when I'm traveling to other places, I'm quite content to return to the predictable, reliable trains of such an organized country. 5 minutes to Luzern :)
Kelly is an American teacher living in Switzerland and enjoying everything the country has to offer.