Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Bus Tour, Departure and night on bus 

Kay picked a tour from the many flyers I had sent her, she chose the 3 Country Tour from Enjoy Tours. Kenny and I had taken a tour with them years ago, and they are usually pretty good. We would be picked up at 8pm at Katterbach (the post closest to us - 20 min from the house) on Friday night. Kenny was sweet enough to watch Jacob for the weekend, since bus tours just aren't meant for toddlers. We arrived at the bus stop in rainy weather, but kept our fingers crossed for better weather on the trip. The bus showed up about 8:15 or so, and we settled in. We were early for the transfer point, so we stopped at an autobahn rest stop for about 45 minutes. Then the bus headed for the transfer point at Mannheim. (There was a mysterious older lady that appeared on the bus when we got back on at the rest stop---- didn't notice her previously and she looked a little lost. Kay thinks she was one of the drivers' mom, I think she got back on the wrong bus. There was another bus at the rest stop at the same time. But we don't know what happened to her after the transfer point!) The transfer point is in the Wal-mart parking lot in Mannheim (yes - they've invaded Germany too), here you get on the bus for your tour. We almost weren't able to get on the bus, because our tour guide demanded our receipt and I couldn't find it. Even with our names on the list --- she was adamant. Kay and I were getting on that bus, whether she wanted us to or not. Luckily I found the receipt, and we didn't have to cause an international incident. LOL The bus was full but we managed to get some people to switch so we could sit next to each other. And then the trip finally began!!!

We were seated behind 4 military people, 3 guys and a girl. They were obviously drunk, and passing around coke bottles that had a little something extra. I also saw/smelled a bottle of Ouzo as well. Maybe a 1/2 hour down the road, one of the guys (we named him "Uncle Fester" due to his size and bald head) stumbled to that bathroom on the bus and didn't come out for some time. And then in his seat for a few minutes, then back to bathroom. Obviously he was having some problems handling his alcohol, much to our amusement. His other buddy was sleeping, Kay and I weren't sure if he woke up at all the whole trip. But at least they quieted down, they were either passed out or getting sick in the rest room. (I'm not sharing this to complain, it really didn't affect us one way or the other. We actually had quite a few giggles over them, you'll hear more about them on Sunday morning) We had a quick bathroom break on the road, and then back onto the bus. It's about 2 am at this point, and then we drove on into Switzerland, arriving at a Moevenpick Autobahn Restaurant for breakfast at about 6 am (Saturday morning). (the site is in German, but it has a picture of the place) It was located in a region of Switzerland called Heidiland, because it is the setting of the story. Everyone was a little groggy, just not a good nights sleep on the bus. So we ate some breakfast, cleaned up a little and got ready for a busy day. After breakfast, everyone seemed a little more awake, and ready for some fun.

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