From Lake Como...

Almost to Zurich on the train from Stuttgart. I have been rotating and deleting and organizing photos for the past two hours. This morning we woke up at 6:30am as planned, but just couldn’t handle it and “slept in” until 7:30. At that point I took a shower and packed up and was downstairs with my pack b 8:00. I found the breakfast room while Corey was finishing up packing. The hotel we stayed at, Achat, was great. For $57USD we got separate beds, a private bathroom, a large operable window, and an amazing breakfast. Everything was very clean throughout the hotel. We ate salmon, many different kinds of sausage, and some pastry for breakfast, with orange juice and coffee to drink. After eating we left the hotel and headed to the train station, stopping next door to the hotel to get some bottles of water for the day. These would come handy later. We got to the train station at 9:55am and went to the DB (Deutche-Bahn) desk to ask about getting reservations on the next train to Zurich. Turns out that the first train this morning left for Zurich at 9:55am, so we missed it by literally a minute or two. The next direct train is the one that we’re on, which left at 11:53am. Having two hours to kill and not wanting to sit in the train station for that time, Corey and I made a flash decision to hit the Mercedes Museum for a very quick excursion. We hopped on the S-Bahn 1 and were there in about 15 mins. We arrived at the museum after about a 5 minute walk. Okay, the train is coming into Zurich, I’ll finish this one later.
We arrived at the museum after about a 5 minute walk. It was a lot more impressive than either of us expected, and the inside layout was very reminiscent of the Guggenheim, where you take an elevator to the top and walk down through “galleries,” in this case of cars, to the bottom. The coolest things there to me car-wise were definitely the 300SL and the 300SLR. I had never seen either of those in person before, and they were amazing as one might expect. Time-wise, we expected it to take about 20 mins plus 5 mins walking to get back to the main station where we would catch the train to Zurich, and at the point that we bought our tickets for the museum, we had exactly half an hour to get through the entire thing. We started out blitzing through the VERY old cars, then slowed down, perhaps too much, going through the recognizable classics. Before we realized it we were left with 12 mins to finish and we were still on the second level. We hurried on through and were just arriving at the gift shop (the universal sign for the end of the museum) Corey’s timer went off signaling that we needed to head out. Trouble was, we couldn’t figure out how to get back to the entrance area where we checked our packs in lockers. After about 6 or 7 mins of looking, we found the lockers and grabbed our packs, running out the door with them. We were running LATE. We ran as fast as we possibly could with our large packs to get back to the Mercedes S-Bahn station, and waited pretty impatiently another 8 mins for the train to come. At this point Corey was sure we would miss the train to Zurich, which left at 11:53, but I was confident that we would make it if we ran for it as soon as the S-Bahn made it into the main station. After a grueling 10ish minute ride, the train came into the main station in Stuttgart, and I pulled the handle to open the side door just before the train came to a halt. We jumped out sprinting as the train stopped and ran like hell up the 2 levels of stairs to the real trains. We emerged onto the platform and were relieved to see that the train was still there. Pretty much all the other passengers were already on board, so we climbed on the first car we saw. This was first class, but we went to our reserved seats later. The train left about 2 mins after we got on it… We both agreed to not cut any of our remaining connections so close in the future.

I will write more later... There is a lot to talk about from Zurich and Como, and I need to catch things up, but we have been so busy it's hard to find the time. I fell asleep on my laptop trying to write more last night. We're having a great time. We're in a cafe in Como right by the lake now. Headed next to Villa Olmo right outside then hopping on a train bound for Milan. Should be a very short ride, about 30 mins. I kind of miss having a longer train ride to write and sort through pictures, but I can't complain about having a larger portion of the day to see the places we've come to see. If I CAN get online in our hotel in Milan tonight, I'll do it at midnight, so that's 6pm yall's time. Hope to maybe see one or two of you on skype or gmail then.


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