26 January 2014

Trying not to panic in the centre of a mountain

There is nothing quite like being in a train that comes to a stop somewhere deep under the alps. That is where we found ourselves yesterday. We had made a quick trip to Switzerland and were on our way back through the Gotthard tunnel when there was a sudden flash of bright light outside my window. There followed a loud boom before the train slowed to a halt and the lights dimmed. After a minute or so, the driver announced that "we have technical problems". A few minutes later "we are waiting for an electrician". I found myself having unwelcome thoughts. The first focused on the likelihood that one of my fellow passengers was an opportunistic murderer. It wasn't long before I progressed to the probability that the tonnes of rock above us would crumble. Thus I spent a good 30 minutes of my life before the train moved off again. While the delay had given me precious time in which to contemplate life, it also meant that we missed 2 other train connections and the trip home (which normally involves 3 trains and 5 hours) involved 6 trains and 10 hours!

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