Our travels through Switzerland provided a fitting end to our 15-day Train Odyssey. Our day (as well as the trip as a whole) left us…
Pondering the meaning of it all
Feeling on top of the world
Overwhelmed with beauty
And the list goes on and on. The train ride through the Swiss Alps had all the contrasts we’ve come to expect from our time riding the rails. The weather was cold and gloomy for much of the ride, somewhat mirroring our moods after a repeatedly interrupted sleep on the night train from Amsterdam to Basel. However, as we climbed in elevation between Interlaken and Lucerne, the sun emerged in full force and opened up sunny vistas that took our breath away. While the sun once again retreated behind the clouds as we approached Lucerne, the day still had several more unexpected moments of brilliance.
We arrived in Lucerne for the final day of Fasnacht, Switzerland’s version of Carnival. We were swept right up in the celebration the moment we stepped off the train. Countless people were strolling every which way wearing Carnival costumes, and the main hall of the train station displayed some favorite floats from the many parades. After stopping to watch a bubble artist at work, we set out to explore the lovely city. Music was coming from just about everywhere, and we followed the brass notes and drum beats through countless squares and wooden bridges that criss-cross the Reuss River cutting through the city. Lucerne was in full celebration mode, and given the thousands of kilometers of train track behind us (over 7900 km, to be exact), so were we. If the train tracks went in a straight line from our starting point of Split, Croatia going east, we would have ended up crossing Asia, making it just past Beijing to the Pacific Ocean!
In the end, the Swiss newspaper we skimmed through that morning on the train got it right. Our “Odyssee” sure did have a “Happy End.” And what an Incredible Journey it has been!