An American friend of mine called it that. She said “I have a ‘Go Anywhere’ and it’s great, I love it!” What in the world is a Go Anywhere? Oh, a GA or “Generalabonnement” in German. That’s where you pay a lump sum so you don’t have to pay individually for public transportation. You just get on whatever and go anywhere. It’s a great idea but it costs a lot. Because of that you have to do an awful lot of travelling to make it worth your while.
Our first class Go Anywhere
Ben and I have our own business and at one point he was working closely with an American telephone company. Because he was doing so much travelling for the company within Switzerland we decided it was time to splurge. We bought two first class GAs for us and one second class for the dog. The dog was allowed to sit with us in first class, though. It was pure luxury and that year we travelled to a lot of places. All public transportation is included in the price from local trams to boat rides on the different lakes and of course trains going everywhere (within Switzerland). Not included are the private trains up mountains, for example but you do get a discount.
What always amazes me is how far you can travel in a relatively short amount of time. You can end up in a place, still in Switzerland, that has structurally and stylistically different buildings. Or in a different geographical area with a different climate and where the people speak a different language. Basically you can end up in a totally different culture. This is some of the fun stuff we did the year we had our first class Go Anywhere.
Places we went
Once we went south, over the Alps (the Bernina pass) to the Italian border. We went from cold, wet Berne to sunglasses and warm northern Italy. We had dinner in Tirano, just across the Swiss border in a fantastic restaurant. They served a mozzarella, vegetable and pasta appetizer that still makes my mouth water just thinking of it.
A special seasonal fondue boat ride is offered in October and November every year on the lake of Thun. We did this more than once, okay, more than twice, okay so we did this three times, but who’s counting? If you don’t like the smell of cheese fondue then this is not for you. There is just something very special about a night boat ride. Seeing the twinkling lights on the distant shores and on the surrounding hills. Experiencing the slight rhythmic rocking of the boat. All that while sitting and enjoying a cheese fondue. That’s life at its best.
We spent a weekend in the town of Zermatt at the foot of the famous Matterhorn. Walking around on the crunchy snow with our dog, enjoying the sunny skies and car-free town. We looked at all the things they sell (and people buy) at the souvenir shops. When we got back home we felt like we had been on a two week vacation.
We took the train and a postal bus to Samnaun on the eastern most edge of Switzerland. It felt like we had travelled around the world to get there. But like everywhere in Switzerland, it was worth it. We were treated to the wonderful hospitality of Romansh speaking people. After eating a huge dinner, we went window shopping and saw some traditional handcrafted massive wooden furniture. Then we dreamt of what it would look like in our apartment.
Going out to dinner
One Friday when Ben came home we decided to go out to dinner in Berne. Nothing exotic. While we were on the tram going into town we thought, why not go to Fribourg for Fondue. We had our Go Anywhere passes with us and they have a great fondue in Fribourg – they serve it with potatoes. So we abandoned our plan of dinner in Berne and caught a train going towards Fribourg. When we got on the train we saw there was a dining car and changed our minds about eating dinner in Fribourg. We decided to have dinner on the train (nothing like having a plan and sticking with it).
By the time we finished our meal on the train we had travelled all the way to Geneva. We got out, walked down to the lake promenade, saw a place with pinball machines. We went in and played a couple of games. Then got back on the train and travelled home. Just a regular Friday evening.
Now that was a spontaneous, fun year.