The train from Zurich to Geneva (and return) was one of those very fancy double-decker trains and naturally we just had to go upstairs! This train was even carpeted in second class so Jochen was quite comfortable. Sorry about the light into the camera but it was the only way to take the photo. I was half-way down the stairs when I took it and the sun was in the 'wrong' place.
Backpacking through Switzerland with a German Shepherd Dog!!!
Is that a grimace on my face? Look at the size of the back pack!
It was amazing how much gear I had to take for three days. But effectively I was carrying for two people. I had to take training clothes including safety hemet and wet weather gear plus a change of clothing for me. I also had to have a day backpack with all of Jochen's training gear plus food, water for us both for the journey, collapsible bowl and towel for him. So I packed all of his stuff into the day pack, stuffed that into the big backpack and then fitted all my stuff around it. I don't know how much it weighed but must have been awfully close to 15+ kg. Once on my back it was OK but just lifting it was very hard. I had to 'back into' the backpack to manage.
As my funds are really looking very meagre, it was crucial that I find a hotel room that did not break my tiny bank account. Andrea, who has become a very good friend over the years, came up trumps. After extensive searching she finally had to look for something across the border in France and came up with this hotel.
When we arrived we looked it over, looked at each other, decided to leave Jochen in the car for the moment and check this out. The place was locked and there was a note on the door telling us to go to another hotel 100 meters down the road to get the key, which was actually a code number, headed back and still leaving Jochen in the car, we took courage in both hands, as it were, and tried the code. It worked.
To say it was run-down is not an exaggeration. Andrea took a deep breath and said that at least I had Jochen with me and if anyone tried to get into my room he would know what to do.
I keyed into my room, Andrea very gingerly opened the door with me looking over her shoulder, and we beheld the THE ROOM in all its glory. Tiny, stained walls (which don't come up on the photos), carpet - well, lets not say anything, and the curtain with a few hooks missing. The mattress was on a wooden board chip board.
The toilet/shower section was actually a step up and looked as if it had been saved from a camper-van or train. The shelf was missing and the shower head was wonky. Well!!!! Andrea very carefully lifted the bed spread back and then gingerly started peeling back the sheet as if expecting to find a whole army of bed bugs. It was actually quite funny.
As dubious as all that might sound, it was however perfectly fine. As far as I was concerned, Andrea had found a 'goldmine'. On closer inspection, the sheets were pristine, as were the towels and the shower cubicle, Jochen was able to stay for free and the two nights cost me Eu85.40 which is very cheap. On top of that, it was only five minutes by car to Andrea's place and en route to the training site at Epeisses which meant that in looking after us, we were not the burden we otherwise might have been.
I found an area to walk Jochen and as we only had to sleep there, it was really fine and if I have to stay in Geneva again during this trip, then I will choose this hotel, as dreadful as it first appears to be.
Andrea and I went out to dinner at one of her local and favourite restaurants and we caught up on small talk, interesting details and just simply enjoyed being able to relax without the pressure of the dog training that usually surrounds us.
So that was Jochen's and my first day on this particular journey.