Thursday, March 07, 2019

A memorable train journey in Switzerland

In January 2000, I was invited to attend an insurance conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The host arranged for a limousine to drive me from Zurich airport to St. Moritz.

I enquired about the cost of the limousine. It was more than $1,000, and more than the cost of the economy airfare from Singapore to Zurich. I cancelled the limousine.

At Zurich airport, I went to the train station to buy a ticket to St. Moritz. The staff did a lot of work and arranged the itinerary. The cost was only $50 (or thereabouts).

I was horrified to see the itinerary. I had to take three separate trains. Will there be enough time to move from one platform to another at the connecting station? I also had to carry heavy luggage.

This was the first time that I had taken a train in Switzerland or in Europe, for that matter.

I could not communicate with the staff because he spoken German and had a poor command of English.

The journey turned out to be quite easy. The staff made sure that the connecting train is on the same platform that I alighted. The interval was just a few minutes. The train in Switzerland are punctual.

The journey was quite effortless.

The train went up the mountain. It was early winter and snowing lightly. Along the way, I saw the mountain scenery and passed the Swiss cottages. It was exactly as shown in the postcards.

It was a memorable journey.

I wanted to make another journey to Switzerland in winter. 19 years have passed, and I have still not found the opportunity.

Tan Kin Lian

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