Honeymoon in Switzerland, Germany, Austria

Dec. 27, 1983 - Jan. 16, 1984

Liza in the snow in

On the train to Interlaken

On the train to Interlaken
We were married 3 December 1983 in San Pedro, California, but decided not to go on our honeymoon "proper" until after Christmas.   Robert planned out the itinerary well in advance - and you have to remember this was before everyone had email and well before the world-wide web...taking us to Switzerland (Zurich, Interlaken, Grindelwald in the Bernese Oberland), Germany (Munich), and Austria (Innsbruck).  It was Liza's first trip to Europe, and it was...magical!  And also really, really cold for a California girl.

Robert had wanted all along to go to Grindelwald, but couldn't initially get reservations.  Then the travel service at USC contacted him and said there was a place available...the Hotel Silberhorn.  When we arrived at the Grindelwald train station, we found a direction sign for the hotel...in blue letters and in Hebrew.  Big clue!  We were staying at the only kosher hotel in Switzerland - they made an assumption based on our last name...needless to say we were a bit like fish out of water there.

Other great experiences on this trip...seeing a world cup ski-jumping competition in Innsbruck, getting sick on "bad Speck", Robert going out into the snowy night to get Liza some medicine (with his coat on over his pajamas - luckily the policeman he ran into didn't arrest him, but took him to a night pharmacy), cross-country skiing outside Munich with great friends Hans and Lisa Prugger, seeing the marionnette theatre in Salzburg, visiting King Ludwig's castle Neuschwanstein, a day trip to Oberammergau, enjoying Glühwein and Graukäse...

Liza's trip journal is below.

Robert in Grindelwald

Robert in Innsbruck

Grindelwald train station -
if you look at the larger version,
you can see Robert on the platform
in his big coat


Lisa Prugger at Neuschwanstein

In the horse-drawn carriage at

Tuesday/Wednesday, Dec. 27-28 - LA to Zürich

Christmas is barely over and we're off on our slightly-delayed honeymoon! We flew into NYC/Kennedy at around 4:30 pm EST, and departed for Zürich on Pan Am at 8:00 pm EST. Arrived in Zürich Wednesday morning at about 9:00 am local time. The airport is absolutely empty! Our luggage, somewhat thoughtlessly, decided to stay on the first plane and vacation in Paris instead of accompanying us to Zürich, but it should catch up with us soon. It seems somewhat funny now - kind of the typical honeymoon horror story, but I was none too pleased when the baggage claim carousel stopped moving and our bags were nowhere to be found. The Swiss are nothing if not efficient, though, so this shouldn't be a problem.

From the Zürich Flughafen we took a train over to the Zürich Hauptbahnhof, made some reservations, validated our Eurail passes, then connected to another train destined for Interlaken. The train to Interlaken was posted as leaving at 10:01, and they weren't kidding! The train pulled into Bern, where Robert bought a sandwich while I mostly slept; I just couldn't keep my eyes open any longer, a real shame because I missed some spectacular mountain scenery. Phooey.

At any rate, we connected in Interlaken to a cog railway up to Grindelwald. Great weather - 27°F low, 40°F high, clear, and snowy - and the train station in Grindelwald is so quaint and charming! There were signs all over for the various hotels, but we didn't see ours right away; it finally dawned on us that the sign for our hotel, the Hotel Silberhorn, was the one in Hebrew. Hmm, this is going to be interesting! We checked in at the hotel; it is a little more expensive than we anticipated, about 250 SF per night, including meals, but it's a little late to do anything about that right now. The hotel is Jewish-owned and all the guests seem to be Jewish as well; they probably assumed that the Weisslers were, too. Oh well!

The room certainly is nice enough, a great view of the Eiger outside our window, and we have a wonderful down mattress, a thick down comforter, and big squishy down pillows. Wunderbar! We gratefully crept into our down bed and slept from 1:00 - 8:00 pm. Almost missed dinner, but the hotel proprietor called us from the lobby to tell us to come down. Down we went to the dining room for a relatively plain but good dinner. Good news during dinner, too - our luggage is on its way. Seems like everyone knows our name here! Makes it very pleasant, and it seems so familiar and cosy. Spent the rest of the evening writing postcards, listening to Schweizer-Deutsche radio, and trying to pick up a few words here and there, despite being incredibly sleepy.

Thursday, Dec. 29 - Grindelwald

Had breakfast at the hotel - cereal, eggs, rolls, coffee, juice - very good! We walked to the post office and mailed our post cards, then walked to the Gletscher-schluct, the crevice of the mountain that takes you to the edge of the glacier. It was closed, though, so we started back along the same trail. Slippery, lots of snow and icy patches. So we walked back up to the Grindelwald Kirche and went in; it was built in 1793. Beautiful altar, some stained glass. Afterwards we walked down to the center of Grindelwald again and stopped at a snack bar for a coke (coke is expensive here, Robert says I should be drinking beer). Then we headed out to the Oberer Gletscher, a pretty fair walk. My legs were real tired by then! but we kept going up as far as we could. Couldn't go the last part of the trail because of an avalanche sign warning us not to proceed.

Took a bus back down to Grindelwald, then walked back to the hotel, buying some Emmentaler Käse on the way. I slept for a few hours (still jet-lagged!) while Robert looked at maps, then we went down to dinner at 7:00 pm - corned and roast beef, boiled potatoes and veggies and apricot compote. Again, nothing terribly fancy, but filling and good. Our toilet broke, but it has been fixed.

Friday, Dec. 30 - Grindelwald

We were awake early, but managed to sleep a few more hours until 8:30 am. Had breakfast, then set out for Wengen. We had to take the train from the Grindelwald Bahnhof to Zweilütschinen, then transferred to one to Lauterbrunnen, then took a cog railway up to Wengen - a steep rail with an absolutely gorgeous view! It was a little cloudy when we got there, but perfect for photos of the valley.

We had bad train connection times so we only had an hour there, but we strolled around, looked up at Männlichen (at the Luftseilbahn)) and saw two hang-gliders come down and land on a little ski slope (the Ski Schule). Bought some more postcards and chocolate, then rode down and back over to Grindelwald. Changed some money, walked to hotel, paid bill early (tomorrow is Jewish sabbath, and we'll leave while office is closed). 493 Swiss francs! Ugh. On top of the 270 SF deposit.

After that sobering payment, we walked back through the village, looking in the shops, past an ice hockey rink (Eishockey) and outdoor ice skating. Visited a bar (coke for me, beer for Robert) then back to the Käse shop for some Bernerkäse. Dinner is soon, then I'm going to sleep! I'm so tired. Tomorrow we're off for Zürich, in the morning. Robert's been teasing all day about Schynige Platte. Dinner tonight was duck à la orange, and we watched some Jewish sabbath rituals - a lot of chanting and singing, men separate from the women, and a special dance for two newlyweds from New York. Several people must have realized that we didn't have a clue about what was happening, because they kindly came over to our table to explain to us that the tradition is to celebrate a wedding with seven days of dancing and a special blessing. One man who talked to us for a bit told us that this particular hotel is the only kosher hotel in Switzerland, thus many people gravitate to it. (That would tend to explain the friendliness of everyone and the feeling of warmth and hospitality, I think.) It's a great atmosphere!

Saturday, Dec. 31 - Grindelwald to Zürich

We left Grindelwald shortly after breakfast, following a nice conversation we had with two women and a little girl in our hotel from Tennessee. They were nice people, and the little girl had a cute little stuffed St. Bernard. One of them said to us, "we thought we were the only Americans here!"; to which we replied that there was a couple from New York, and the woman responded "oh we meant not Jewish". Oh well! They also told us that there was only one or two centimeters of snow on the vaunted Grindelwald First ski run; if you came here for a ski vacation, that would be a real bummer.

At any rate, we caught the 10:45 train down to Interlaken Ost, then connected to a train headed for Luzern, where we arrived at 1:40 pm. We checked our bags and went walking around the city, looking in shop windows at watches and other jewelry, and to a gorgeous baroque church with wooden pews. It wasn't much, but I left 25 pfennig in the "alms for the poor" slot. Another church we went to had iron grillwork all on the altar, and oil paintings on the sides; I've never seen anything like this. We walked over an old, covered wooden bridge that dates back to the 14th century, looked at the old wall of the city and its towers, watched a Mute Swan waddle down the sidewalk, and then went past a little food place called "McCheaper" with "Big Cheap" and "Doppelcheaper" hamburgers. We caught the 4:07 pm (no kidding) train to Zürich and arrived at about 5:00 pm. We walked to our hotel, the Scheuble on Mühle-Gasse. Had dinner (after walking for hours, it seems, and getting very tired and annoyed; guess New Year's Eve is not the time to be wandering around looking for a restaurant!) at a little fondue place. We managed to consume a cheese and mushroom fondue, and half a liter of white wine, then walked back to the hotel past the main streets of Zürich, all lit with hanging strings of lights - beautiful! Celebrated the New Year as best we could in our room, considering we were schnockered by the fondue and wine, and fell asleep very early.

Sunday, Jan. 1 - Zürich

The city was fogged in pretty well today, so we escaped out to the countryside and went to the Einsiedeln monastery. Beautiful old cloister, baroque style, delicate, gorgeous! I lit a candle for one franc for us, on the left side of the little altar shrine where the black Madonna stands, middle row of five, far left candle (red), just for us and our love for each other. Afterwards, we bought some postcards, took the train back to Arth-Goldau, then back to Zürich and our hotel. We watched "Johanna der Jungfrau" (Joan of Arc, with Ingrid Bergman. dubbed) on television, then had dinner at a little Bierhalle where we had bratwurst, pommes frites, and beer, all for 20 francs! Back to the hotel, where we wound up watching the ZDP version of the Love Boat (Das Traum Schiff); what a hoot! Tomorrow we're off to Innsbruck.

Monday, Jan. 2 - Zürich to Innsbruck

Woke up pretty early. Robert went to change $$ to pay the hotel bill, while I got ready. We decided to take the 9:26 am train to Innsbruck (an Intercity train), so we gobbled breakfast, paid the bill, and ran to the train. Got to the Hauptbahnhof with about a minute to spare, but had to run down the tracks looking for a second class car; made it onboard with only 30 seconds left! I was all hot and sweaty from running, but at least we made it. We found an empty compartment, but it was for "Rauchers" (smokers)...oh well. The Austrian border patrol got on at Buchs and asked for our passports, but didn't even want to see them! Talked to three students (Taiwan, Korea) who got in our compartment and smoked us out, practically, kind of disgusting but considering we were in a smoking compartment, there wasn't anything we could do about it. We arrived in Innsbruck at 1:24 pm, made hotel reservations at a bureau at the Hauptbahnhof, then walked up to the hotel, the Neue Post on Maximilian Straße. Walked about the city a bit, decided to go get a beer before dinner, and wandered into a local tavern, where a man (obviously drunk) started talking to us really loudly. He went on and on about how we weren't in Österreich, but in Tirol, how Tirol was a big country to Tirolers but Österreich was just Scheiße. He spoke almost exclusively in German (his only words in English were, "I speak perfect English"), and was quite entertaining; kind of like an Austrian version of Norm on "Cheers". An older woman came in, who spoke excellent English, and translated some of what the guy was saying to me. The fellow kept buying us drinks - we each had three - on an empty stomach, no less. The man's wife finally came to get him; he had said that he stays there all day and she picks him up after work, but we thought he was exaggerating; guess not! We left when he did, and got dinner: Wienerschnitzel for Robert, Hauswürst for me, with Tirolergraukäse with onions and oil - yummy! Not to mention more beer, this time a Tiroler beer called Adambräu. Came back to the hotel and simply passed out at 8:00 pm. Woke up briefly at midnight, the radio was playing the Little River Band's "Lady"; I love that song, but I don't remember much else...

Tuesday, Jan. 3 - Innsbruck

Surprisingly (or maybe not, considering how much beer we drank), we slept until 8:00 am - that's 12 hours! Had our continental breakfast in the hotel, then walked along the river to the tram that took us from Innsbruck up to Hungerburg, then a Luftseilbahn up to Seegrube (5000 ft), then up again to Hafelekar (7000 ft). It was windy and freezing at the top! We managed to take a few pictures without dying of cold. A gorgeous view, so high up.

Eventually we came down and walked through town some more. Bought some Tiroler speck, then cruised back to the hotel. Bought a little blue notebook on the way, and spent part of the afternoon copying notes that I had scribbled on odd bits of paper in Grindelwald and Zürich.

Tomorrow we're planning on going to see a ski jumping competition at Bergisel! Then onto Salzburg the following day. We had dinner at the hotel: Wienerschnitzel for me, Rahmschnitzel for Robert, and Apfelstrudel for dessert. A crowd of loud Americans in the lobby made asses of themselves, very boorish. It's enough to make you want to pretend you're from somewhere else. We spent our evening reading the Fodor travel book, Robert reading maps, and both of us writing a few more postcards.

Wednesday, Jan. 4 - Innsbruck

Up at about 8:00; I wasn't feeling too great, but it seemed to be passing. Had breakfast in the hotel. The weather was very foggy early on; couldn't see the mountains from the window. But by 10:00 it was much clearer. The high today is supposed to be 34°F.

We walked over to Bergisel for the ski jumping. I felt pretty bad all the way there, especially when walking past the Würst vendors - gag! One really cute thing that happened was when the mayor was about to speak, and the announcer over the loudspeaker said "Der Burgermeister spricht!" And this little kid in front of us who had obviously misheard the announcer looked up very surprised and said, "Der Burgermeister springt???"

At any rate, I saw the first 20-25 jumps, then felt so awful I had to leave Robert there alone (I couldn't ask him to leave on my account, didn't seem fair). I stood in line for the restroom like a good person but finally had to cut ahead of some people and run inside; to my chagrin I wound up in the men's restroom, something I didn't notice until I was leaving, that's how lousy I felt!

I did manage to make it back to the hotel by 1:00 pm and crawled into bed, running a fever. Robert came in at around 5:00 pm looking a little on the green side himself; whatever it is, we both have it, maybe it was the Speck? You never know.

Somehow I managed to go down for dinner and have a bowl of soup in the hotel restaurant. I don't like the waiter very much, I feel as if he is treating me worse than the others, perhaps that is what I get for not speaking any German (rats). French onion soup and two small cokes cost only 60 schillings, around $3. The cokes were 16 schillings each, the soup 28. Funny how coke is so expensive here. I think maybe my fever broke, I was sweating like the proverbial pig at dinner. I wanted to bring some food up for mein Mann, but they didn't have anything cold and light, and they wanted to reserve a time to serve him. No good! He's asleep now, poor thing. He's in the middle of the fever now, about where I was four hours ago.

Just to mention it, when walking back to the hotel earlier, I walked past a store that had Elna sewing machines for a mere 5,000-16,000 schillings...!

Thursday, Jan. 5 - Innsbruck

After having an absolutely killer headache last night, so bad I couldn't stay in bed, or lie down, or even think, all I could do was cry, Robert went out at 11:30 pm to look for some aspirin for me. The poor guy didn't feel too hot himself (at least his fever had subsided) and went out in his coat over his pajamas. With the help of a friendly policeman, he got to an all-night 'Nachdienst' Apotheke and got some great Schmerzkopftabletten for me. They really did the trick; I was able to get back to sleep after taking a couple of those suckers. I don't imagine Robert was too comfortable being on the street at midnight in his pajamas and overcoat, but what a sweetheart!

Around 8:00 am, we choked down some breakfast, checked out of the Neue Post and went to the Hauptbahnhof. Our train wasn't scheduled to leave for an hour, but it was sitting there, so I talked Robert into getting onboard and getting a good seat for ourselves. Big mistake! Almost as soon as we got on, it started moving, took us out to the Innsbruck West Bahnhof, and stopped. And while we tried to collect our thoughts on the mess we had gotten into, a cleaning crew came aboard and said that the train wouldn't be going to Salzburg until 4:00 or 5:00 pm. (They must have thought we were pretty crazy.) So off the train we went, lugging our bags and jumping tracks in the rail yard to get to the platform. Luckily we got an incoming Innsbruck train that stopped at the outer station at 11:07, and we were back in the old Hauptbahnhof at 11:09, and were able to catch our train to Salzburg at 11:35. Arrived around 1:30 pm; used the tourist service and got a room at the Hotel Hohenstauffen. Nice place! Big four-poster canopy bed, beautiful decor, very nice room for 720 AS/night.

Got dinner at a deli - just bought some rolls, salami, and "stink cheese", and some cokes for 52 AS. Then we went to the Marionetten Theatre and saw "Die Zauberflöte"; it was great! There were a few bozos taking photographs during the performance, conveniently ignoring the "Verboten" signs posted everywhere, and a Val behind us being a complete airhead. Oh well, the music was good! I made a snide remark to the photographer at the end, and Robert got annoyed with me, but we were ok once back at the hotel.

Friday, Jan. 6 - Salzburg

Woke up around 8:00 am, but we're still tired because of our late night. Walked around the city this morning, but it was so cold, only 2°F and windy. I was miserable, my hands hurt so badly! We went to the Lanz store, but it was closed as today, Epiphany (12th night) is a national holiday. We went to the cathedral in the center of town and heard a special mass, with Schubert's mass in B-major (according to classical music expert Robert!). Even though the mass was in German, I could follow what was happening because the priest sang his lines in the same way that Father Tom at Holy Trinity does. Actually, there were many priests there, and the ancient Archbishop of Salzburg; he looked so old, I kind of wondered if he even knew where he was. I went up for communion, and got past the faux pas of expecting to be handed the wafer (guess that isn't done here). The organ music was divine, along with the chorus and the small chamber orchestra, and after the mass they performed a version of Silent Night (Heilige Nacht) that was enough to make you cry, it was so beautiful.

After the mass, and not feeling up to facing the cold weather much longer, we decided to trip over to the Hauptbahnhof and catch a train to Linz. It was pretty darn cold there, too, such that I didn't want to go outside, just ride back to Salzburg. (I know, you're thinking, what a stick in the mud, but it was COLD!) We sat for an hour in the station, but Robert didn't want to leave, so he coerced me out and we walked to a nearby church, which was closed. (I thought churches were always open.) We walked a bit more, then went back to the station and missed our train because the tracks were numbered dumb - 2-1-3 instead of 1-2-3! I was a little ticked off but got over it. We caught a train one hour later, the "Orient Express"! and returned to Salzburg at about 6:20 pm. Dinner at a corner restaurant near the hotel, and back early to sleep, listening to the radio a little, and writing another postcard or two.

Saturday, Jan. 7 - Salzburg

Beautiful day! Walked to the center of Salzburg again, but the weather was much, much better - clear, sunny, no wind, and lots of people out. We went back to the Lanz store but didn't see anything that I had to have (all the nightgowns were made in the US, and the dresses and skirts were wildly expensive). I did buy two cashmere scarves at another store, for 570 AS apiece, beautiful "Dress Stewart" scarves made in Edinburgh.

This afternoon we went to Berchtesgaden, and spotted Hitler's Eagle's Nest from the bus that we took to the Königssee. We saw some beautiful Canada geese at the lake, that's the first time I'd seen geese so close. We also got a good close look at a luge run, and saw some lugers practicing; one apparently fell, because his luge went whistling past us empty, and he came trudging along a few minutes later asking if we had seen it. Boy, they go fast. We puttered around a little more, then headed back to Salzburg, arriving around 6:30 pm. I simply couldn't stomach the thought of any more wurst, so we went to McDonald's for dinner instead. (One big difference between McDonald's here and at home: they serve beer here.)

The "American Top 40" is on the radio tonight - hurray! Something in English! It's amazing how difficult it can be to not speak the language, not even a little. I'm almost desperate to hear something I recognize.

Sunday, Jan. 8 - Salzburg to Munich

We left Salzburg at 11:56, arrived in Munich around 1:30 pm. Robert called his friends the Pruggers (Hans Prugger worked with Garry as a post-doc at USC) from the Hauptbahnhof and arranged for Lisa to pick us up at the Pullach station at 3:00 pm. She insisted that we stay with them, although we hadn't intended to bother them, so we didn't make any hotel reservations. We missed the S-bahn by going to the wrong tracks; kind of stupid, but it did give us a chance to see an Italian train pulling into the station, absolutely hilarious! People were running, throwing luggage, babies, and cheese out the windows, all before the train even came to a complete stop! And to top it off, once most people had gotten off the train, a rail worker guy came along and started hosing the train off. I laughed so hard that I was in tears!

At any rate, we did finally find the S-bahn, and got to Pullach at 3:40 pm. Lisa hugged Robert really hard, and me too! We had tea with the family: Lisa, Hans, Florian, and Franzi. Lisa, Hans, and Florian all speak wonderful English; Franzi doesn't, but enough people translated for me that we could all talk. What fun, no wonder Robert thinks this family is so wonderful. They have a nice piano, too; I played it a little. They actually have Joplin's Fig Leaf Rag (one I've never found at home).

Monday, Jan. 9 - Munich

After Liza played some Joplin piano rags, we went to the Marienplatz and shopped in the Fußgängerzone. Among the gifts we purchased were a candle decorated with flowers (for Luci), a beer mug (for Steve Martinovich), a tiny cuckoo clock (for Elaine Elmayan), and for ourselves a pewter candle holder. As the afternoon wore on, it snowed quite a bit. We ducked into the Theatinerkirche to get away from the snow, and later had a few drinks in the Hofbräuhaus. Dinner was a mix of "Brezel" and McDonald's. I think we've had enough of heavy dinners for now. I'm looking forward to purchasing a cuckoo clock in Freiburg. We saw some very nice ones in a shop next to the Marienplatz. [-Robert]

Tuesday, Jan. 10 - Munich

Spent the entire afternoon in the Deutsches Museum, a kind of Smithsonian dedicated to science and technology. Tremendous models with great detail. All the signs, of course, were in German, so it was difficult for me, but Robert bought me a guidebook in English and that helped tremendously. In particular, I went through the areas on paper, writing, and printing, and we both went through construction exhibits.

After dinner in a restaurant we went by U-bahn to the University, but it was very dark and hard to see anything. We then visited Bodo Liebergesell at his apartment; this is the fellow Robert roomed with during his year in Germany after getting his Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering. I listened, but participated little, in the discussion he and Robert had on politics, the US, economy, etc. (I spent more time watching the cat who would not set foot in the room we were in; apparently he had been trained to not enter the room by having pillows thrown at him.) We were also given advice on how our children should have dual citizenship somewhere like New Zealand so that we'd have somewhere to escape to when the nuclear war started. Bodo then drove us back to the Pruggers so we would not have to take the trains. Very cold today - cloudy and rather gloomy.

Wednesday, Jan. 11 - Munich

Quite a change from yesterday! Very bright and sunny, a beautiful day. Lisa drove us to Wies, first off, to the Wieskirche, a gorgeous lemon-yellow and white baroque church, with incredibly detailed ceiling paintings, and a lot of cherubim/seraphim. Afterwards, we went to Neuschwanstein, "crazy" King Ludwig's castle near Fussen. We parked and hiked up a steep trail with switchbacks to get to the top; a little strenuous, and I had a bad cold too, sneezing all day, only to find there was both an easier road and rides up for only 2 DM. Oh well! We got into an English group for the tour, lucked into it actually. The group was a musical group from Oklahoma that had arranged for the English tour in advance. Together we went through part of the castle. In the Singers' Hall, the group sang a lovely chorale. Not only was it beautiful to listen to, but also demonstrated the fine acoustics of the room.

Robert and I rode down after the tour in a horse-drawn carriage (Lisa walked), and we had a "picnic" in the car, walked to the lake (Alpsee), and watched the sun set behind the mountains (although it was only 3:45 pm). Once back in the sun we tried a little cross-country skiing, my first time! I only fell once, and had a lot of fun. It was so cold though, when we finished my hands hurt so much I couldn't keep from crying (I need a better pair of gloves, obviously). Eventually they warmed up, and we went for tea at a little restaurant in Oberammergau. I had some Glühwein and some more Camembert cheese, yum! And Lisa sang us a little musical tongue-twister about Oberammergau, namely:

Heut kommt der Hans zu Ihr
Freut sich die Lies!
Ob er aber über Oberammergau,
Oder aber über Unterammergau
Oder aber überhaupt nicht kommt
Ist nicht gewiß

Try singing that three times fast! It was fun. We drove back to Pullach on the autobahn, mostly. Tomorrow we go on to Freiburg.

Thursday, Jan. 12 - Munich to Freiburg

Robert's birthday! Franzi made him a birthday cake which Lisa, Florian and the two of us had for breakfast. They gave him a record by Schumann, and to us a glass heart to hang in the window. Lisa also packed us a big lunch for on the train: sandwiches, fruit, chocolate, and more of the cake. My cold was very bad today, my nose was completely stuffed. The train ride was miserable. We arrived in Freiburg at 16:25, I stayed in the Bahnhof while Robert found a hotel, right across the street as it turns out. Dinner in a local place next door, dessert in the hotel across the street (ice cream). Wish I could breathe.

Friday, Jan. 13 - Freiburg

After breakfast in the hotel, we walked to the center of the city, not too far, through the old city gate, looking for a clock shop. My cold is still bad, and Robert has a sore throat now. We found a nice shop, looked at the styles, and finally ordered a beautiful eight-day clock, walnut with the hunting motif. It was about $100, and the store is shipping it so it will take five to six weeks to arrive. We had it sent to Mom's house since we're never home.

Came back to the hotel, I slept a few hours. We watched a women's downhill ski competition on television. Robert is out shopping now for gifts for his parents and for Steve Lenker.

Saturday, Jan. 14 - Freiburg to Zürich

We left Freiburg at 10:03 am, on an IC to Basel, connected to a 10:58 on to Zürich, arriving right around noon. Went straight to hotel, then went out shopping. Went to the Bucherer store on the Bahnhofstrasse and found a gorgeous gold watch with a dark face, for 480 SF. While they were adjusting the bracelet, we went to a candy store and bought about $35 worth of chocolate (for gifts and stuff). Back to the hotel, spending the afternoon watching an ice dancing competition from Budapest on television, and admiring my new watch.

Sunday, Jan. 15 - Zürich

Lee's birthday! We spent the day on the train, going to the Flughafen to confirm our flight tomorrow morning at 9:25 am, then onto St. Gallen, Arth-Goldau, then back to Zürich. Went to Burger King for dinner, finished packing, showered tonight since we have an early start tomorrow (6:00 am). We're watching the Thorn Birds on television right now, but it is in French, so neither of us have a clue what's going on!

This has been an absolutely marvelous trip; I couldn't have asked for a better first trip to Europe. What could have been nicer was our reception back in the US; our Pan Am flight was delayed, so we missed our connection in New York, and the airline pretty much abandoned us with the statement that other airlines would honor our tickets. Customs at Kennedy was surly, plus we weren't in a good mood missing our connection anyway. We ran outside and got a wild taxi ride over to the American terminal, where after standing in line for what seemed like hours (really only a few minutes) we were told that Pan Am should have given us a voucher. Well, Pan Am gave us nothing, and Robert got ticked at that point and told the American agent tough cookies, we had nothing from Pan Am and we wanted to get on the damn American flight. They let us on.

Robert's mom and dad met us at LAX and took us back home to San Pedro; that was nice. Even though we were beat, we were so keyed up we could have talked for hours. And when we got back to the apartment, Luci and Steve had left us a big Welcome Home sign; what a treat! I'm glad to be home, but it seems like it ended too soon. I hope we can go back someday.