I could blame it on the Swiss…but I won’t. I love Switzerland! Everything about it makes me happy…the people, the food, the weather, the picture perfect mountains. It is a beautiful country and I was happy to call it home at one point in my life. The Swiss are known for their efficiency. Now, that’s not a bad thing. Every year as we approach Easter I am reminded just how EFFICIENT they are…especially with train schedules.
Let me give you some background information. My family loved to visit Switzerland and since I always had a kazillion TWA miles (remember TWA?) due to work, I was happy to use them for frequent vacations. I suppose I should be thanking Clinique at this point…for the work which provided the frequent flier miles. Let’s just move on…
We planned a trip to Switzerland during Easter (Spring break was called Easter break back in the day when my boys were young) break. At the last minute, my oldest decided he did not want to go so alternate plans were made for him (he was a teenager). J.W and I would go alone and be back in time for Easter. That was important to me.
Now remember, this was the day when you could have quite a few carry on items as well as checked bags. Back then, I traveled with A LOT of stuff. You never knew. I could blame that on Clinique and I actually will. As an Education Manager, I traveled with many pieces of luggage (training cases), boxes, overhead projector…you name it…it was probably in my checked, overweight, excess luggage. I was used to packing everything so when we traveled personally, everything went. I was prepared for anything. I was a Mother with a capital M (don’t go there).
J.W and I flew to St. Louis and then connected to Zurich. No problem. We arrived in Zurich and discovered one checked bag was missing. We were taking the train to Luzern (the train station was in the airport) so the TWA crew advised they would put the bag on a train when it was located. They would notify the hotel when the bag was to arrive at the train station so it could be picked up. We went on our way and later that evening the bag arrived. No problem. They were very efficient…loved it.
We had a great time. We visited some favorite areas and I took J.W to a few places he hadn’t visited. Please keep the words that are in bold print in your mind as I finish my tale.
Such a cutie. He had on two hats…don’t ask. You can tell he was a Phoenix Suns fan. He was always true to the home team.
This photo was taken in Interlaken. If you ever have the chance to visit, do NOT hesitate. It is very charming and a good base for many day trips. I love these photos. O.K, let’s continue.
It was the day before we were to fly back to AZ. We took the train to the Zurich Airport Centre Station. As mentioned earlier, we had many bags. We gathered the bags and stepped off the train. I was counting the bags and thought one had been left behind. J.W. jumped back onto the train. SWISS trains run on schedule, they are very efficient. I turned around to see the doors close, the train starting to move and my son’s frightened face. I did what any mother would do…I let out a primal scream which echoed in the underground station. There were no people around only those DANG bags. Keep in mind, I had all his medication with me and he spoke very little German. Crying, I grabbed a luggage cart, threw the bags on the cart and took the escalator up to the terminal. I ran to a counter and explained what happened. I was told to go to LOST AND FOUND. At this point I am ugly crying and I scream that my son is on a train…by himself. Again, I am told to go to LOST AND FOUND. The gentleman points the way and I fly into LOST AND FOUND. I explain to the gentleman what has happened. He says, “No problem. He is on his way to GERMANY (remember those words in BOLD print ?). I will contact the conductor, you wait.” Like I was really going to leave at this point. I continued to ugly cry. After speaking to the conductor and laughing quite a lot, he told me what the plan was. “Your son is O.K. A nice woman saw what happened and he is sitting with her. When they get to the first stop the conductor will put him on a train coming back to the airport. It should be about 2 1/2 hours. I suggest you have something to eat.” I thanked him for his assistance and immediately dragged everything back down the escalator to the platform to wait.
The longest 2 1/2 hours. I heard the train coming before I saw it. I stood up and moved to the edge of the platform. As the train slowed, I moved with it. I finally saw my son by the door. The train stopped and he jumped off. We hugged and hugged. He was just fine. He told me the woman he sat with on the way to Germany was very nice. She told him, “Someday you and your mother will laugh about this experience.” He told her, “I don’t think we ever will.” Obviously, we did…many times over the years. He used to tease that I tried to send him to a place he hadn’t visited by himself. I can tell you I never took that amount of luggage again. Lesson learned.
Good memories. Thank you for visiting.