Sunday, June 20, 2010

Days 3 and 4: Innsbruck, Bludenz

We spent the next two days in Innsbruck. Cynthia had to do more bike gear shopping, and we had to figure out how to get over the pass without the train. We could bike, but the prospect of biking in the rain over either Silvretta or Arlberg pass did not appeal to either of the women. Looking at the weather forecast, we saw that the Interlaken area was projected to get dry weather on Monday. We were going to ride in that general direction, but starting there and doing the tour backwards would work as well.

With the trains out of service, we had to explore car rental options. The one way rental option with a drop off in Switzerland proved to be extremely expensive. However, since we were looking for rental during the weekend, we found the local Avis had a mini van rental which had a special weekend rate. Kekoa (who was the only regular stick shift driver amongst us) and I (since I could read German I figured it would be useful to have me in the navigator's seat) would drive the bikes over to Bludenz on Sunday, drop the bikes off at a hotel, and then shuttle back and we could all take the train together. Then on Monday we could take the train into Zurich, and then from there hop onto a train to Meiringen. It was an expensive transfer, costing us nearly 3 days, and more money than I wanted to think about, but since it was raining anyway, those days would have been spent riding in the rain, we thought the investment would pay off in better riding weather in Switzerland.

We picked up the car on Saturday, and spent the afternoon exploring Schloss Ambras, which was a good way to spend a rainy day. The castle featured lots of armor, old baths, and lots and lots of portraits. It was time well spent.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

Lisa found a restaurant that was famous for serving Tirolian food, but the service was abysmal. Phil ordered tea and got beer, and Lisa got the wrong dish. When we pointed that out to the waiter, she got all in a huff and refused to speak to us any further, pointing out that macaroni was similar to the dish Lisa ordered! I wanted to ask her if she thought that beer was the same as tea.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

The next day, we loaded up the bikes into the van and drove over to Bludenz, where near the train station we found lodging at a reasonable price. They were willing to let us leave our bikes in a covered parking area. By the time Kekoa and I drove back to Innsbruck it was 12:00pm, and we got to the train station in time to catch the 1:50 train which would dump us into Bludenz at 3:30pm.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

In Bludenz, I bought train tickets the next day for Zurich. It turned out that there was an early 8:05 train which would drop us into Zurich around 10:00am, meaning that we had a good chance of getting to Meiringen by Noon. With that in place, I bought the train tickets.

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