We had flown the Swissair nonstop from Los Angeles to Zürich but needed to go on to Munich. Of course, we could have flown immediately from Zürich but decided, because we wanted a night in the city and to recover a bit from the jet lag, to take the train the following day.

It would be fun, relaxing, scenic and we would save money by renting a car in Germany instead of Switzerland (a midsize car in Germany is $19 per day plus 15% tax vs the same car in Switzerland for $41 per day plus 6.5% value added tax, plus an additional 11% tax if picked up at the Zürich airport - a difference over 14 days of about $368.)

The fare is about $115 first class and $74 second class if you don't have a rail pass as we didn't.

We rode the EC 167 EuroCity Albert Einstein which leaves Zürich at 9:41 a.m. This train originates in Interlaken and finishes in Prague. Of course, we were only on the Zürich-Munich portion which takes about four hours. Short stops were made at Winterthur, St. Gallen, St. Margarethen, Bregenz in Austria, Lindau and Kempten.

The route clips the east end of the Bodensee (Lake Constance) and then, once in Bavaria, the scenery really begins to strut its stuff.

We had an entire first class compartment (six seats) to ourselves the whole trip. After a big, rather late breakfast in Zürich, we weren't hungry enough for the dining car so we read, dozed, watched the scenery slide by, bought a soft drink from the vending cart and soon were in Munich. Very pleasant.

As we rolled along, a great old tune from childhood invaded my brain and played itself over and over. It was, of course, Johnny Mercers Chattanooga Choo Choo but somewhat altered:

Pardon me boy, is that the EuroCity Albert Einstein?

On Track 29. Say, can you give me a shine?

You leave the Zürich railway station bout a quarter to ten

Read a magazine and you're in St. Margarethen

Würstel in the diner, nothin could be finer,

than to sip a frothy glass of Veltliner.

When you see those painted houses outside your car

then you know that Lindau is not very far.

Do a little snoozin, north of Biessenhofen

Woo, woo Bavaria, here we are!!

I would like to go on and tinker with the gonna-be-a-certain-party-at-the station-satin-and-lace-funny-face part but I must stop now. You see they've come for me...

August 1996