We have made it. It is Thursday morning. I have been up since 5am not being able to sleep so thought I would try out if I would be any good at this blog stuff.
If we do blog entries, there are probably a few things that you SHOULD definitely expect from them:
- They will probably sound like a 10 year olds recount of their holiday. “and then we did…. And then we”
- True to our style, there will be spelling and grammar mistakes and it probably won’t be proof read. (Time is short)
- They will not be regular and they will probably cease all together at some point.
Now, here is an update of our journey getting here starting from the point when we left the front door of home. (Just kidding).
Packing the bikes into the bike boxes took way longer than we thought. 4 hours to be precise. I was not much use really, although I did do some very technical bike holding while Andy did pretty much the rest. But he was a bike mechanic after all, which makes him way more qualified than me.
On the way to the airport, I was busy stressing out about all the things out of my control (What if they are too heavy? What if they lose the bikes? What if they get damaged? How are we going to get all these boxes from the airport – Airport train station – Zurich Train station – Gloshenberg Station – Andermatt Station) while Andy was kicking back in comfort in the back seat.
Planes really are boring. Here are my thoughts and comments:
- I shoulda packed my toothbrush!
- When you order a drink, don’t just order 1 like everyone else, order 7 at a time. (It’s the only way to staty hydrated)
- My personal space was very invaded constantly by strangers
- The people watching is good in such a populated space
- Dubai airport is amazingly grand
- Turns out that getting to Europe takes waaaayyyy longer than getting to Asia
- Dragging bike boxes plus other stuff at 75 kg total around really does suck and is extremely awkward
- Most other countries in the world are amazingly educated in language (from cleaning staff to baggage handlers, everyone speaks English) English speaking countries (me) are really slack only knowing 1 language
- It was the longest night ever!!! We took off from Melbourne in the dark and didn’t see daylight for an unnaturally long time as we were chasing the night time around the world. (Shoulda gone the other way round the earth)!
- Emerites airlines are amazingly strict. There will never be any danger of someone getting on the plane who shouldn’t be there as they check your passport and boarding pass 5 times in a 30m section. Seriously!
Surprisingly, everything worked out pretty well (even with all the bike boxes). The bikes and other boxes arrived at Zurich airport. My bike box was all bent up and out of shape though. I am still yet to see if there is any damage. We went up and down a few incorrect lifts to get to the train station below the airport and rolled up to the correct platform eventually and man-handled our bikes onto the train. Arrived in Zurich HB station and had to wait a short time for the change over. We got lots of weird looks from passers-by, probably wondering ‘why on earth have they got these bikes in a massive awkward box? Why aren’t they assembling their bikes and using the wheels that they so conveniently come with to get around?’ I was wondering the same thing! If we assembled our bikes at the airport, we wouldn’t have arrived in Andermatt last night as we just got the last train from Gossenen to Andermat that allow bikes on the train. We also saved ourselves a lot of money as assembled bikes cost a lot more than a cardboard box. The view from the train window was amazingly spectacular. We were like 2 excited kids not quite believing what we were seeing.
To be a spectator watching the 2 of us get these bike boxes on to the train and off again, would have been comical if not slightly concerning. The changeover at Glossenen was the worst! The absolute pits really. I felt so sorry for Andy carrying/dragging so much more than me. I had my bike box, handbag and a pannier bag. Andy had his bike box, laptop bag, pannier bag and a super heavy and awkward cardboard box with the additional 4 pannier bags in it. We had apparently 6 mins to get from one platform, down some stairs, up some stairs, down a busy platform and on to another train. Turns out we didn’t have 6 mins though, it was more like 3.5mins. We were running full pelt (as fast as we could go) to get this last train to Andermat. I was in front and was accidently / not really caring bashing in to people to get on the train. I looked back and saw Andy taking up about 3 meters(across ways) on the platform as he was dragging his bike box on one corner as it had tipped almost completely on its side. We made it though, just in time, Phew!
Got off at Andermatt and there was Glutentarg our host who is really called Welgar (nothing like Glutentarg except that’s what I have been calling her for the last few days as I couldn’t remember Welgar). I straight away got scalded for not calling her and telling her what train we were on. She had apparently come to the station 3 times looking for us that day. OOPS! With everything that has been going on and being so busy at home before we left, we forgot to write her phone number down and forgot to get my travel sim working properly. We loaded our bikes very precariously on the roof of Glutentargs car. Andy was bust ensuring that they were secured properly doing truckies hitches etc and Glutentarg was impatiently saying ‘Ok, that is OK. Will be fine, we go slow” Well we didn’t really go slow up the hill but they got here without falling off the back of the car. Had a massive Kebab down the road and went to bed. I think we were both asleep before our heads hit the pillow.
From the time we left Mum and Dads to arriving at Andermat Station, we had been on the move for 37 hours with maybe 2 hours sleep each in that time. Today will involve exploring Andermat and getting gear, bikes etc to go tomorrow.