Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 12: Monza to Zurich

Claudio's parents kindly took us to the train station in Monza where we had a short ride to Milan. Once in Milan, we had a little bit of a wait until our train to take us to Zurich. We would spend the night in Zurich and catch a flight around noon from there to New York, ending our European adventure :(

The Milan train station is pretty impressive in itself.

The train ride from Milan to Zurich is beautiful, and we were lucky enough to enjoy it twice. This time it was late afternoon, so we got some dramatic shadows from the setting sun.

"The Lizard Bathroom" (i.e. a blatant abuse of green penny tile...I think it might have even been on the ceiling!)

Even though our trip was drawing to a close, it wasn't smooth sailing yet. Our train was not scheduled to get to Zurich until close to 11pm. However, the hostel we had arranged to stay at only held check-in until 10:30pm. Kurt foresaw this conflict and emailed the hostel about the issue before we even left the states. Their response was to call the day we were set to arrive and let the receptionist know. Someone would either wait up a little longer or tell us where to locate the key. This all sounded good and fine, but when we decided to call from the Milan train station, the phone number we had on our reservation was wrong. We thought to look it up online but then Kurt's computer was dead and there is no such thing as free Wi-fi in Europe (except at McDonald's...even then, it's not technically free). Our train was about to leave, so we had to get on it. We crossed our fingers that somehow it would work out in Zurich.

It did not. Once we arrived in Switzerland, we found the hostel easily but, of course, the door was locked and no one was around. We found a pay phone and the correct number and no one answered. Great. We halfway expected this to happen, so we had been working out alternate plans and we moved on to Plan B (I think Plan E was to sleep in the train station until we had to head to the airport the next day). We found a Starbucks, bought a little something, and used their internet to look up alternate hotels or hostels in the area. We made a list of ones that seemed reasonably priced and set off to try them one by one until someone would take pity on us and give us a room. We struck out at 5 or 6 places! Apparently there was some sort of triathlon the next day and most hotels were booked. We were getting tired and I was almost convinced we were never going to find anything. Plan E didn't sound half bad as long as I could take off my heavy backpack!

After wandering around some more, we came across a small hotel we hadn't seen online. Kurt suggested we try it. In all reality we had nothing to lose. There was a cute old man at the front desk. Miraculously he had one room available. We'll take it! I didn't even care how much is cost. I wanted to sleep. He checked us in and we headed for our room. It wasn't anything special (or gross, for that matter). It was a simple room with two twin beds and the what we called "the lizard bathroom." It even ended up being pretty inexpensive. What a day, though!

1 comment:

  1. So my version of the last hotel with the little old man:

    We walk in, and I ask, do you have a room for two for the night? He says no. I almost turn around to walk out and I asked, do you have a room for one? I thought to myself, eh, Melissa can sleep on the floor! And he says, yes, they have a room with one bed. I said great, we'll take it. The room was in a building on a different street and block from where the lobby was and when he said 'guesthouse' in a different building I thought to myself what the hell is this going to be? some shanty lean-to? While Melissa was thinking the exact opposite, in her mind guesthouse would be a fancy and very expensive accommodation. It was neither, but it did have two beds, and a lizard themed bathroom. Score.

    Bad news, once we were returned home the other hostel charged me for the night. Bastards.


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