Just call me: Little Cousin :)

Three trains…Lyon to Mulhouse Ville, France…Mulhouse to Basel, SWITZERLAND!!…Basel to Lucerne…and then SEE COUSIN CHRISTINA!!

It sounded easy enough…haha, but traveling has to have its surprises.

My first train ride went fine actually, but then around the time we had been scheduled to pull into the station where I would catch my second train I realize…we are not there.  This was ok, I thought, but I would have even less time to transfer trains and I wasn’t given much flexibility to begin with.  Still I thought, oh trains are never too late…I should be fine. WRONG!!  We pulled into the station about 10 minutes after my other train LEFT.  Sweet.

Luckily the guy working the platform was super nice, and even though he didn’t speak much english when I showed him my tickets he understood my dilemma and promptly explained/showed me where to go for help.  Thank God again for nice people.  So I get my new departure time, and wait about 30 minutes for the next train to Basel.

In Basel, due to my delay earlier in the day I had also missed the first train to Lucerne, I had about an hour and a half to kill before the next train.  Now, usually when I get to a town I have any amount of time to stay in, I am sleeping there so I can go to my hostel and unload my giant backpack.  Not the case this time…but there was NO WAY I was going to just sit in the train station when I could go out and explore a new country(…this was my first stop in Switzerland.  And as soon as I stepped out of the station it was VERY clear how NOT IN FRANCE I was.  If you have never been to Switzerland, I would probably compare it closest to Germany…but don’t tell them I said that.  Because Christina later told me the Swiss are not thrilled with being associated with Germany, even though they speak and use German in language and writing…THEY ARE SWISS and you best know it 🙂 Haha.  Anyway, it was once again an exciting change in scenery and culture,) and though I had about 20 kilos on my back I was going to explore this city, dang it.

For the next hour or so I sweated and walked and observed the lovely city of Basel.  And just my luck it would be a day that Switzerland was playing in the World Cup…so everyone and their dog, or girlfriend, or family…everyone! was out and watching the game in the little street cafes.  Since I didn’t have too long, I kept my eye on my watch…which sadly started to go ka-put at this time, and began heading back towards the station when there was about 45 minutes before the next train.  This was a good thing, because I actually ended up getting slightly lost and had to ask a random guy on a bike how to get to the station.  Thankfully he spoke excellent English, and directed me in the right way.  Which was good, because I at this point I was pretty much blindly following his directions, so should they have been wrong…another train would have left without me.  But no worries, that did not happen 🙂

Back to the station…third and final (?) train boarded…oh I was SO ready to get to Lucerne and see my cousin.

Arrive in Lucerne…walk outside the station…and really like the look of the town.  Cool.  I am excited to spend some time here.  It is a bit chilly, but hey this is mountain country and you can even see some of them off in the distance.  Heck YES!!  I may have been entranced for a while by the beach…but truly my heart still belongs in the mountains.  Ahhh…

I excitedly text Christina to let her know I had arrived, and she responds asking that I wait for her in the tourist office by the train station.  Cool, I can do that.  I go into the info office and collect as many items of information I can read about Lucerne and then pick a spot and camp out for the next 45 minutes just reading and thinking and resting.

Then I receive a text…Christina says she is here…but asks where am I?  We do not see each other.  Strange, it is not a big tourist office.  So maybe we are in different tourist offices.  I try to describe where the office is and where I am and blah, blah.  It went on for a few minutes, us texting back and forth, and then she sent a silly little joke message asking me “what town are you in?”  Oh, haha funny cousin…what town would I be in?  I am in Lucerne of course…

BUT SHE LIVES IN ZURICH!!! HAHAHAHA…how did I mess that one up.  Seriously I had been thinking for like the past two months she lived in Lucerne.  It wasn’t just a momentary mistake or mishap, I had honestly thought she lived in Lucerne.  Weird.  Anyway, we quickly analyze the situation.  And though I was lucky enough to have a back-up travel option to Zurich because Christina’s boyfriend, Patrick, was in Lucerne that day and could take me later that night, I was SICK of being in travel and just wanted to get there.  I told Chris I would get a ticket for the next train to Zurich, which thankfully left soon and was only about a 40 minute ride.  UHHH.

Finally, I board my for-real last train of the day…and an hour later I have been happily greeted by my AWESOME cousin under the big, blue angel in the train station in Zurich, Switzerland.  It was SO NICE.  Even though we had never met in person before, we were connected by blood and in heart from the start.  The conversation flowed easily and we both had so much to talk about, and did talk about.

She took me to the apartment, which she never called her apartment, but mine, rather, since I would be living here for the next week.  Originally I had planned to only stay through the night of the 25th of June, but within the hour she had convinced me i must stay for the weekend too.  Then she would be free from work and we could go play and hike and hang out.  Next she treated me to a delicious bowl of pesto and parmesan cheese pasta she made for me while we talked, and talked, and talked.  If ever i was spoiled…DEFINITELY I am here.  She gave me free reign of the apartment, food, bed, balcony, computer.  Essentially anything I want I can have or do…and she doesn’t even require I ask.  She just wants me to enjoy and relax and feel welcome…and I definitely do feel that way.

To describe Christina would take a post of its own…which probably will happen, but for now I think it is safe to say she has already become one of my idols and I really hope when am her age I am as young, lively, fun, helpful, successful, beautiful inside and out…as she is 🙂

So this is the morning of my fourth day in Zurich, and believe me I have some more nice posts to write, but I have been blogging for about an hour, and I need to get out and do things.  On that note, I have come to the conclusion as of late that sitting still for too long, especially while on my travels, is REDICULOUSLY difficult for me.  Even if I just walk around in the same places, or randomly explore whatever…I feel like I need to be out and doing…because I am only here for a limited time and I want to experience it as much as possible.

O-Tay…over and out for now.  Kisses and hugs…and thanks for the comments, both posted and for the ones you all know you want to post.  Just do it 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Just call me: Little Cousin :)

  1. Rachel,
    Missing rendezvous locations must be a family thing. Yesterday I remembered the time Frode came to the US and I was to meet him in Sedalia, MO. I told him we would meet at the Days Inn hotel the night before our scheduled meeting. He didn’t realize that was the name of the hotel, so he got a room at the first hotel he came to. I waited for him all evening, but figured we would meet up the next morning. When we met in the morning, we recognized the translation confusion and had a laugh. Pass on the story to Christina and enjoy it when you are with him in a few days. Love, Dad

  2. Hi Rachel,
    For the last 2 weeks I was unbeknownst (is that a word??) to me, dropped from your email update list. (I saw your Mom last night and she assured me I wasn’t purposely dropped so I resubscribed:) Anyway, I caught up on the installments I had missed and loved the Lucerne/Zurich mix-up story. Once again you just roll with the punches. BTW, the mother in me makes me have to ask… how is the rash? Just ran across this cartoon and I think you could relate perfectly.
    http://xkcd.com/77/
    Made me think of you. Keep the words flowing and be safe. Take care, Terri
    PS BE SURE to fill us in on the canyoning!

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