Erin: Day 18: Bern, Switzerland
Today marked our second day in Bern and it was actually a great day! We woke up super early (6:30AM) and headed to the train station. We had tickets to Paris that left at 8:23am but we wanted to change them because of our lack of a hotel for the evening of the 21st. So, we spoke to the agent who at first was unwilling to change them but changed her mind when I told her that we needed a late train because we were homeless in Paris and had nowhere to go. I definitely played that fiddle but hey – 10 Euros later and she changed our tickets for us.
So, with our victory behind us, we headed back to the hotel for some free breakfast. It was actually a pretty great free breakfast! Eggs, bacon, fruit, toast, yogurt, cereal, croissants, coffee, juices, etc. made it a great stop after such an early morning. We filled up and headed back to our room.
Trina decided to get some more sleep while I worked. Around 9:30am, I headed down to do some laundry as I was getting pretty tired of wearing the same clothes as much as I have… It’s funny though how much your tolerance changes when you actually get out and backpack for three weeks. Laundry started, we grabbed some Starbucks and worked a bit longer after convincing the guy at the counter to let us have a late checkout (he gave us an extra hour!) Showered and packed up, we headed to grab my newly washed and dried clothes and then it was on to the bear pits again.
Did I mention I love bear pits?
Ok, so after we extended our baggage hold for as long as we felt polite, we grabbed our stuff and headed to Starbucks to sneak in a few more hours of work. The Swiss plug-ins (note to travelers) do not work well with conversion kits. The conversion kit adapter worked perfectly everywhere else except for in public areas in Switzerland. They are shaped like triangles there while the conversion kit is a rectangle. And anyone who had one of those “fit the shapes in the proper openings” toys as a kid, you know that just won’t work! So, needless to say, Trina’s laptop died almost instantaneously (she has a battery-eater for a laptop) yet mine kept on going… In fact, two hours of sitting in the coffee shop and now an hour on the train and I still have an hour and 23 minutes remaining… Not bad for this little ol’ laptop! Anyway, we stayed until our 24 hours of Internet time that we purchased the day before ran out and then headed to the train station.
We grabbed some food, found our platform and hung out on the benches until the train showed up. We’ve been on it since. It’s now 7:29pm and we’re due to arrive in Paris in about 2 more hours. We’re halfway through the journey now.
Security on this train is super tight. Because you cross Switzerland’s border and enter France’s, both sets of officials come on board and both sweep the train for not only travel documents (train tickets, passports, etc.) but they also bring a dog on board to sweep for drug activity. People were getting their purses torn apart and bags checked but Trina and I were completely safe… I attribute that to the Canadian passport.
Trina almost had a moment though when the dog that was on duty would not stop sniffing her bag and had its head almost inside of it… Until she realized that she had pizza in her bag and the dog was apt to get at it. We told the security official and he just laughed… thankfully! I really don’t want to add arrest by a French official to my blog anytime soon! Anyhow, we’ve been asked for our passports and tickets at least five times now but luckily, no grilling or no baggage searches. I mean, there’s nothing TO hide but it’s always more relaxing when your bag is not being torn apart by a stranger.
Once we get to Paris, we’re making our way to the airport to bunker down for the night. I really hope that we (a) are allowed to go inside and (b) don’t get kicked out because it’ll be a long night in the rain if that happens… Although, I’ve slept in more airports than I can count so I’m sure it’ll all work out… My main hope though is that they have Wi-Fi…
Ciao for now….