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Friday, September 09, 2022

July 5-6: Epilogue - Luzern

 It was still drizzling in the morning when we woke up, so we ate breakfast, and took a brief walk to say goodbye before the bus came. Reversing the route we'd taken on Sunday, we took the bus to Meiringen, then to Luzern where the weather got progressively better and better until it was sunny in Luzern. Savitha would take the next train to Zurich, but it was pointless going back too early anyway, since the hotel wouldn't let us checkin until 3:00pm, so we bought a lunch at the train station and ate it next to a fountain upon the lake, then saw the famous covered bridges of Luzern.

The other famous sight in Luzern was the wounded lion, a symbol of all the Swiss who were paid to fight for other countries, in many cases dying for a foreign cross.

When we were done with all that, we caught the next train to Zurich, where there was a slide in the family car of the train! Bowen showed no interest, but Boen had to try it for it was so exotic. It wasn't a very satisfactory slide, but it was better than nothing.
We went back to the hotel and checked in right at 2:50pm, taking the luggage we were going to repack out of storage. We had time, so we headed back downtown to Sprungli, where by coincidence one of Xiaoqin's friends had just flown into Zurich the night before, so they joined us, after which we went to a Thai restaurant in a part of town I'd never been to before, on the Zurich version of a bike boulevard. The Thai restaurant was actually quite authentic.

After that, we went back to the hotel where I discovered that the shuttle I'd booked for the airport hadn't actually been booked, so I rebooked it. For some reason that didn't take, since the next morning I had to rebook it again! While the tram would take any passengers directly to the airport, with 3 large pieces of luggage it was better to take a dedicated bus.

Once at the airport it was a major scramble to find the obscure United Airlines checkin counter. This time, the gate agent didn't even weigh the bike boxes or try to charge us, and we were waved straight to the gate. The big drama was that the airplane had arrived with half the toilets on board broken. The airline tried to fix it, but it's not the sort of thing you can fix in 2 hours. They eventually decided, 90 minutes in, to fly with the toilets broken. I had guessed that that was a likely outcome, since European regulations would have meant paying out 300 Euros per passenger if the plane was more than 2 hours late, and it was a very full flight, with no other direct flights to San Francisco that weren't fully booked for at least the next week!

Arriving back in San Francisco our wait for the baggage and exit from customs was shorter than our wait for the same airport shuttle to take us home. I had one final mishap which was leaving my precious hydroflask trail series water bottle was left behind on the plane.

Our trip was over.

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