Daily Archives: December 2, 2023

Day 17 – Switzerland


I can’t sleep more, for me it is already 9:40. The night was quite bad, I had hard time sleeping. There was a constant ventilation noise and the air was very dry. I really prefer Russian trains. When I look at the phone, I find out the train was rerouted and we will have 90 minutes delay. I look at my watch and it shows the end of a race.

Outside it snows. I ask the conductor for my breakfast, he says the bread will only come in Innsbruck. I request to fold the upper bed, so that I can seat correctly. This wagon is not made to be seated.

Soon after I see we are in Innsbruck and the train is 3h20 late already. Nothing happens from now on. The panel outside says “Undefined delay”. I wait. And wait.


The train is canceled, all should get out. “A replacement bus to Zurich will be provided”. I dress up warm, ask again for my breakfast which I get partially on a bag and go out to where the replacement bus leave. More and more people come, but no news. I use my small Swiss knife to prepare the two bread I’ve got. A while after a person comes and says she got the information that no bus is planned and we should wait inside the station until more information comes.


I decide to take a regional train to Landeck, with the hope maybe from there I can go further. Half way there is a replacement bus. At 11h I arrive to Landeck and there are no more trains or buses. Fortunately in Austria there are bakeries in every train station with tables and nice things to eat. I get a café latte and a cake.

Finally a train direction Zurich left Innsbruck at 11:46 and should arrive here at 12:56. I hope so. I see now that I missed a bus connection from here to the Swiss border. The next one is at 12:55, but is much slower than the train. I’ll wait for the train.


I’m on the train direction Zurich, but they just said that “because of the huge delay”, it will end at Buchs SG, the first station inside Switzerland. Next connection to Zurich is 25 minutes later, with change in Sargans. The platform gets full of people. I’m happy that since 1st December (yesterday) I’ve a first class pass paid by my new job.

I take the train to Sargans, then wait for the connection to Zurich. In Zurich I finally take the train to Bern.


It is 18:05 when I arrive. Just 30 minutes later as my initial plan from one month (without the flight).

I’m tired, there is beautiful snow everywhere. Eva is on the way home from Geneva.

Looking forward for the next adventure.

Day 16 – Vienna


I woke up at 8:30 and went for breakfast, which was in the hotel next to mine. It was the best breakfast apart from couchsurfing that I had in this trip.

 Against the initial plans, I will have to take a plane. I fly to Vienna with Wizzair. I fear discussion about my backpack size. There was also a problem with the booking and was done twice, for the same flight, with the same name, which I need to resolve once home. More and more I’m allergic to airports.

There are two buses from the centre of Yeveran to the airport. The 201 bus with timetable and possibility to follow real-time on the phone, and since last year the 100 bus, that leaves “every 45 minutes”. It happened to take the latter one. I asked the driver for the timetable and he confirmed “every 45 minutes”.

14:00 (17:00 Armenian time)

I landed in Vienna. The flight was quiet. I almost took off with the laptop open, they did not check my row. No problem with the backpack. Now I’ve to make time until the evening. I take a train to the centre, to the Kunsthalle in the MuseumQuartier. There is an exhibition about Skopje and with Macedonian artists. It is a bit like a come back to my first days of the trip.

For dinner I see the bad power of Google Maps. When one searches for a schnitzel restaurant, it proposes first a certain one. Arrive there and a huge queue at the door. I go back to a brassiere I saw before. It is huge and many people arriving at same time. I manage still to get a table before it is full. In less than 3 minutes is my wiener schnitzel on the table with a big beer. I finish with an äpfel strudel and go to the train station.


My cabin is closed. I go to the conductor, who assigns me to another one (already with a paper prepared for my bed number). It is a double docker train, with cabins three stairs up and others three stairs down. I’m alone in a two-bed cabin. There is a lavabo inside and toilets in the corridor. I was expecting a better wagon, with shower. I see my wagon was not the one expected. I wonder if it would be better normally.

I brush my teeth and go to bed, breakfast will be served at 7:00. I’ll be at home at 09:30.

Day 15 – Armenia


The lights go on. We are 30 minutes away from Yerevan. I did not sleep much, but well. I believe better than my Bulgarian colleague who I saw seated during the night. I need to discover what is there to see in Yerevan, look for an hotel, where I can leave my backpack and a “free” tour.


Yerevan sleeps. Only a few taxi drivers are at the station asking if I need a ride, but they do not insist. The public lights are off, the streets are illuminated by the closed shops lights. It is cold. I walk towards the centre. Some buses go by and leave passengers. In the centre I finally find a “Paul” café open. The prices are tourist prices. I warm up with a coffee and reserve the hotel.

Yeveran morning, without any street lights


After leaving the backpack at the hotel I go to discover the city. It is completely different from Tbilisi. Smaller, much less confusion. Large sidewalks and comfortable. Only the pedestrian lights take very long to change. I go up the “Cascade” via the Contemporary Art Museum. The timetable outside says it opens at 10:00, it is in 4 minutes. I wait and then when I go inside they say there is no exhibition per se, but a set of mechanical stairs and next to it many pieces of art. It is an interesting building. At the “Mother of Armenia” – again a big statue of a woman -, the door downstairs have a sign clearly saying “open”. Inside is the Military Museum. The lady seated at the desk at the entrance turn on the lights for me. The exhibits are about the Armenia-Azerbeijan conflicts. When I go to the other floor, another lady working there follows me at the 2/3 meter distance for the whole circuit. At the end both came to say that the museum is free but accepts donations. I don’t have dirhams, I say. No problem, we accept any currency. I give 5 Lari which I understand will be a direct tip to the ladies.

Yeveran Cascade
Inside the “Cascade”
Mother of Armenia
Little important sign saying “Open”

I walk down to the magnificent Matenadaran Museum, which is also a repository and research institute of ancient manuscripts. Mostly are in Armenian, but many also in other languages and alphabets. I like alphabets and this trip was rich on it.

Manuscript from 1232


I eat in a pizza restaurant with an interesting concept: one chooses on the menu slices of the pizzas one wants and they make a tray with the desired mix. I taste the Armenian red wine, served fresh.

The afternoon I visit the “Vernissage”, kind of souvenirs market, where there is no pressure to buy anything. So far in Armenia no one insists to sell anything to the tourist. I exchange my remaining Laris and then visit the Blue Mosque.

At the supermarket it is possible to fill bottles of beer from tap. Also coffee there is a large ‘vrac’ choice

There are many water points, which is welcoming.


After resting for a while in the hotel, I go visit the old Yeveran neighbourhood. It is on a hill and basically where the poor people now live. There is a try to bring some live and art to the quarter, which is nice.

Kond neighborhood in Yerevan
Kond neighborhood in Yerevan

At the end I try to go to the Ararat brandy museum, but it is only with guided tours. I go for an early dinner instead, with Armenian specialities. There are influences of the middle-east and I manage to have a nice vegetarian choice.

Armenian “Paklava” dessert with Ararat local brandy

I walked already 26km today, says my watch.


I still go to a bar. On the Portwine/Jerez section they listed only a Jerez and a Madeira wine. I tell them while I drink an Ararat brandy with honey.