Day 20: Luck is Not Always With You.

The threatening grey clouds made good on their appearance, dumping torrents of rain upon us and lashing the sky with flashes of white lightning. On the one hand it was a welcome change, the sweltering heat of the day melting away in the cool showers, but on the other it torpedoed any semblance of a plan we might have had for the day. Thankfully I had found out that our target for the day, Mount Rigi, had webcams at the top so I could see before going there that it would not be worth our time. I had a backup plan however: Mount Uetilberg, a dwarf of the Swiss Alps that was a mere 30 minute train ride from Zurich central station.

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We boarded the train and then settled in for the journey to come, me with my phone games (I left my Kindle at home this time) and my wife with her book. However due to us both being distracted we didn’t notice that this particular train, even though it was the right one on the right route, didn’t go all the way up the mountain. So we found ourselves right back at Zurich central after 20 minutes or so, bewildered as to how we got there. This problem was later solved by getting off at the last stop of the current train and getting on another, one which seemed to go the full route. There was no discernable difference we could see so we chalked it up to something that only the locals could have known.

The journey up the hill saw the view quickly turn from one with all of Zurich below us to that of thick fog, our visibility dropping to maybe a hundred meters or so. I had hoped that the relative low altitude of this mountain would afford us some view from the summit however it appears that was not to be, our entire world shrouded by cloud. We persisted with a journey to the summit however and it was an interesting enough walk by itself, even though it was bereft of the breathtaking views that it promised.

My wife had read online that whilst the Lindt factory no longer offered tours there was a kind of museum there that we could wander through and, without any other good options, we decided to give it a go. We boarded another train to Kilchberg and made our way over to the factory outlet. Unfortunately it appears that the Internet had lead us astray as the sales clerks said there was no such thing around and the tours had long since stopped for “health concerns”. Disappointed we consoled ourselves by buying some discount chocolate and some souvenirs for our family at home.

After spending a lazy afternoon in our now livable hotel room we decided we should at least attempt to see our surrounding area a little before we departed tomorrow. We wandered around downtown Zurich, taking in the various sights. My wife was ever so patient with me and my camera, even holding the umbrella above me as I took pictures of the various things that took my interest. We even walked down what must’ve been the most expensive street in Zurich, a horrifying prospect given how ludicrously expensive everything is here (try $60+ for 2 simple curry dishes with drinks, a travesty even at Canberra prices).

We capped off the night with a simple spread we bought from one of the local supermarkets, washed down by some thankfully cheap beers. In all honesty it felt like that was probably the only sensible reaction to the weather as pretty much all the available options were rendered unpalatable by the rain.

Tomorrow we’ll lazily make our way to Munich, hopefully arriving at a far more reasonable time than what we did here. In all honesty I’m going to be very glad to see the back of this place as it really has been one of the worst hotels we’ve stayed at. I’m hopeful that the rest won’t be this bad since it’d take a lot to beat this place. That and the fact that everything will be reasonably priced again.

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