Trains and Automobiles

In over eight months since we’ve been here, we have gotten used to the freedom of not owning a car. This is easy to do since the Swiss transportation system is fabulous. You can get to the remotest parts of the country on trains, trams, busses, gondolas, funiculars, boats and also by hiking and biking. We have gotten used to not having to pay for repairs, gas, insurance and parking. Oh, yes, I think there is a yearly sticker you have to buy if you want to drive on the Swiss Autobahn. We had an advert in the post box yesterday offering a parking place for 230 CHF / month. I don’t even want to think about the cost of insuring a car. And I especially don’t want to think about driving one in Zürich. I’ve read too many stories about tickets, and the streets bewilder me. Then, to find a parking place in the city would probably have me swearing. We have not been in a traffic jam this year, either.

This past weekend, though, we enjoyed the freedom of driving a car for the first time in over eight months! (Although we first took the train to Basel and then into Lörrach, Germany.) Once across the border, we rented a Skoda Octavia (a diesel car made in the Czech Republic). No need to wait for a train, or a bus, or a tram. We drove through lovely roads in the Schwarzwald (Germany’s Black Forest) and saw scenery we would have missed from the train. With all that space, we could just throw our stuff into the back seat or the very back of the car and not have to keep it so tidy all the time. H drove the Autobahn and lived to tell the tale.

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