Swiss Tour Days 6 & 7: Swiss Family ‘Trains’

Posted by Steve Sweeney
on Tuesday, September 18, 2018

MONTREUX, Switzerland — That’s my tour group. 

Get that?! MY group.

In the picture above, we’re waiting on a train to take us from the Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva back to Montreux, where we’re staying two nights. Sunday and Monday were designed to be two easy days because we needed it. We’ve been walking constantly. Eating meals late, getting up early, and keeping each other awake. 

We were polite with one another from the first night, but after all this time and all these adventures, we’re closer. 

For lack of better words, we take care of each other.

That was all the more important because one person lost their passport last weekend. And with that, they lost their money and train pass while also unnecessarily taking on a sense of hopelessness and low self worth. 

I mention this because the response from the rest of the group was amazing. One person filed a lost item report with Swiss Railways, another checked on information with the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland to see what would need to be done to replace the passport, and we all comforted this person in the meantime.

After a day and a lot of worry, the Swiss found the missing bag with the needed contents and said where they could be picked up, about 90 minutes away by train. 

A nearby hotel we had stayed at agreed to go fetch the passport before the rail office closed, and one in our group acted as an escort to the pick up location. 

All items were recovered safe and sound. Oddly, Swiss Railways policies prevent them from returning money, so they cashed the U.S. dollars and gave the person back the equivalent in Swiss francs minus a mandatory finders fee.

On the train ride home, the person who lost items recounted the whole story to a fellow passenger on the train. The passenger politely smiled and affirmed what the next stop was as she listened. 

After the hurried recitation, she simply said, “Welcome to Switzerland.”

”It is very rare that anything lost will not be found.”

That’s just the way it is here. 

Next stop! Junfraujoch: Europe’s highest train station.

Onward!

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