3.20am — picked up in a gracefully aging BMW outside the punk bar next to my place. He’s a pilot for Austrian Airlines, actually a subsidiary of Austrian Airlines, part of Star Alliance.
4.55am — we get stopped at the german/swiss border, probably because i offered with little provocation that I was off to Liechtenstein. they had our passports 10 minutes and 7 cars that came in while we were waiting just got waved through. They pulled us out of the car, more or less completely went through my backpack.
5.35am — i’m dropped off at Rorschach, Switzerland on the south side of Lake Constance. the driver often pointed out the black hole dark lake but I could never see anything, i paid him 13 euros for the ride.. the first train for me is at 6.21am. the station is not open yet and so i sit at the platform, watch two trains come and go before mine came. It was cold, just a couple of degrees above freezing. At times that train, which I was in until 7.10am-ish was a full-on commuter train, but also for students. It was shocking how packed that train was at 6.50am.
7.14am — i file out of the train with everyone else in the cold gray haze of 5 or so buses waiting to go different directions. we were literally a long golf hole from Liechtenstein at that point.
7.25am — the capital of liechtenstein, vaduz, has 5,000 inhabitants, i was the first person to walk into the main church that day, as it had been locked and then i saw lights and then went back and went in, then mailed a postcard and got a stamp in my journal, went to a cafe across the “street”, has a cafe creme and a gipfel which is nuss hoernle, weissch? That was 6.30Sfr.
8.15am — i’m walking towards the Rhine River, then cross it in the old wooden bridge, cut south and end up walking until almost 10.30am along the river on a bike path with huge mountains on the left, snow on top and still fall foliage in the bottom third.
10.30am — i try to hitchhike from Truebbach to Chur but am unsucessful. I miss another bus and another while discovering that the next train isn’t for 90 minutes. I sit and wait 20 minutes for the post bus at the post office in that village.
11.33am — i board a train from sargans to chur, 19 minutes and it costs 10 USD.
noon-5pm — was shown Switzerland’s oldest city by a couchsurfer named Martina, a girl who now works at the library of her fachhochschule. we shared a plate of fries. 7.30euros
5-8pm — sat in the passenger seat and discussed many difficult topics in german with the other three people in the car.
it’s almost midnight now, i’m exhausted but just think, in a 17 hour stretch, that’s what I did. I’m proud of today.