Easter Sunday in Innsbruck, Austria (Day 31)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Innsbruck Highlights:

  • Easter Sunday Service (in German) at St. Jakob
  • Train from Innsbruck to Geneva, Switzerland

I can now say that I saw a Catholic Easter Sunday Service in all German. It was a beautiful cathedral. The choir’s songs filled every crack with a beautiful symphony. I didn’t understand a single word.

2010.04.04 Innsbruck, Austria

I went to pack up the rest of my stuff and said goodbye to my hostel room at Nepomuk’s. I’m reminded of a child’s room almost, but it was very nice and comfortable. I definitely recommend it, other than not having internet available. I also took with me a travel guide book off the shelf that someone had left previously. It seemed like it had potential to be very useful.

2010.04.04 Innsbruck, Austria

Then it was off walking with everything on my back the few blocks to the train station. There is a small shop next to the station where you can make phone calls for relatively cheap prices. I called home but got answering machines. I tried calling my contacts in Geneva, but I could not figure out how to dial the number correctly. The guy behind the counter looked bored. He just told me he couldn’t help me even in all my frustration. I think it is their policy so that I don’t accidentally call Antarctica and blame them for it. I didn’t figure it out until much later than when dialing the international code in most countries, that you take off the leading zero. As it is, I left the shop a few euros lighter and was not able to contact Geneva.

I got on my train and watched Zurich go by along the way. My friend Colin from Venice who had gone straight to Zurich had told me recently that it was snowing there and I had enough of snow and cold at this point. I was trying to stay calm on the train. I had no contact. No place to stay. No map. No phone. And realized when I got to Geneva that my euros wouldn’t work here. They still use Swiss Francs.

I found pay phones and after a lot of contemplating decided that this was enough of an emergency that whatever fees I might incur would be worth it. I put in a credit card and called my cousin in Geneva. I got a response this time…once again with a language barrier as they only spoke French and Vietnamese. From what I could gather though, they had not received any of my emails and did not know that I was in town. With the language barrier it was very difficult to get across the message that I was here. We hung up and I called America. Then I was instructed by my mom to wait by the phone until someone called it back, while she translated my English to Vietnamese and told them they could speak to me slowly in French. There are ups and downs of every journey. At this point it should have been okay, but I was already trying to hold back tears.

I got a call on the phone eventually. I was guarding my phone stall with all my stuff just leaning against the wall. I was hungry and wanted to get food but was nervous about the phone ringing while I was gone and I would have to pick up all my stuff and carry it on my back and in my arms. It was dark. I was tired. When I picked up, the person on the other end sounded very friendly and with lots of energy and enthusiasm that I had to laugh. In broken English I got across “Don’t worry”, “We’ll be there soon”, “Station is small I find you no problem”. And though I was lost, they showed up and found me no problem. Then I was in a car with a family and driving the scenic route through the city by night and back at a nice clean home where dinner was made and I could shower and unpack and sleep in a bed in a private room (the son Timothy offered up his room… probably not by choice lol but he was so nice and sweet I hardly think he minded). And so I had time to finally sit back and marvel that I was in Geneva, Switzerland…alive. And that I was only halfway through my trip.

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