Another early start to get on the road to Salzburg, first the coach to the station then… well we had to wait for the coaches for a while then off to the station to get a train to get to Zurich. We had very little notice of what platform to use and then even less time to get the whole tour party, including the ever heavier suitcases on before the train left. Picture this – a line of 70 complete with luggage, looking for carriages 14, 15 and 16 on a train at least half a mile long. Success – we found it. We only had a few minutes to get on and we knew the train would leave regardless of suitcases on the platform, people half hanging out of doors so we ended up throwing the last of the luggage on and people on top of the pile just as the whistle blew. Phew.
Arriving at Zurich after 4 1/2 hours, we had to change trains so once again the military plan was put into action and we left the train (this time without throwing anyone on a pile of luggage), collated the baggage and grabbed some lunch whilst trying to track down the next platform which was signaled in code. Finally after an anxious wait, the platform number came up and we were off – a line a mile long trundling suitcases under strict orders of who was to get on, who was to throw luggage and who was to catch the luggage. It was the Male Choir performing luggage ballet, a symphony to behold. We all got on just before the whistle went so big relief was felt all round. However, military planning began again in earnest when we were told we had only 3 minutes to disembark at Salzburg. After another journey of 5 hours 20mins, we threw ourselves off the train and prayed no-one or nothing was left behind.
Salzburg greeted us with torrential rain and the coaches to take us to our hotel were a long walk away so off we trundled, the mile long snake continuing the theme of Europe – walking- to the buses avoiding puddles, leaky gutters and getting too wet.
We arrived at the hotel to find it in a bit of a state of array. There was one poor guy on reception who dutifully handed out the room keys only to have many return because rooms hadn´t been serviced, had leaks etc. Full marks to the lad, he managed to serve Kiwis at the bar, service rooms, placate everyone and keep smiling! A decent sleep and a reasonably late start to Salzburg tomorrow.