Tag Archives: austria

Google Fi

I don’t know what to make of Google Fi. It works great at home, seamlessly transitioning between LTE and Wi-Fi when necessary. The signal is clear. I’ve never had any dropped calls. In fact, it’s worked fine along the coastal northwest from Vancouver to Portland, as well as in the SF Bay Area.

But when I went to Singapore and Taiwan, it didn’t work at all, even though both places are supported.

On this trip, it found a signal right away when I landed in Amsterdam. In Nice, it picked up a signal and kept it the whole week, in both France and Italy. No problem except in Monaco, but Google Fi isn’t supported there anyway.

When I drove to Switzerland, it connected me in Geneva and mostly kept the connection until I got to about Gstaad, then lost it for good. When I crossed into Germany, it welcomed me to Germany, then immediately welcomed me to France (!). When I passed back into Switzerland, it welcomed me to Switzerland and connected me, and I stayed connected all the way back to the train station, even standing in the same spot where I had been unable to get a connection 30 minutes earlier. Then I walked down to the platform and lost the connection. I haven’t had it since.

I’ve tried rebooting the phone. I’ve tried turning airplane mode on and then off. I’ve tried turning cell data and roaming off and then on. I’ve tried selecting each of the three Swiss carriers individually. Nothing works.

Ah, but then the train passed into Liechtenstein. I immediately got a text message that had been queued up when I was back in Zurich. Google Fi welcomed me to Liechtenstein and told me I was offline.

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“Service outside the US” and “Calls to non-US numbers” are deselected. But the SMS worked, if only briefly.

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But then I got to Austria and everything worked again. Two hours in Austria with no problems, then back into Liechtenstein with a spotty connection, then into Switzerland and it all goes away again.

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I would like to have speaks with the Google people. I certainly hope they’ll be improving the service over time.

Schattenburg Castle

“The Schattenburg was built in the 13th century and served the Dukes of Montfort-Feldkirch as home and seat of administration,” it says here in the pamphlet. “After the dying out of the Montforts in 1390, the Habsburg bailiffs resided here until 1773. In 1825 the town of Feldkirch took over the castle.”

You might think that the town took over forcibly, with torches and pitchforks, to capture the mad Baron who was performing experiments therein, but that would be a different castle.

Schattenburg is not extensive, but is in good condition, and has a nice collection of period furnishings and weapons and such, where “period” means the entire time that Schattenburg was used as a castle — 1200s to 1800s.

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There was also a nice view of the town from the tower.

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Excursion to Austria

Rolling along on the southwest side of Lake Zurich on my way through Liechtenstein to Feldkirch, Austria.

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Why Feldkirch? Well, it looked like a nice little town just over the border, and if I’m doing a run to Liechtenstein, I might as well go a little further to Austria. And it looked more interesting than Vaduz itself.

Although I was hoping we’d go through Vaduz. We seem to have bypassed it. Bummer. Rural Liechtenstein looks exactly like rural Switzerland.

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I arrived in Feldkirch at a quarter after ten and spent most of my time touring a 13th-century castle. There wasn’t much to the rest of the town, so I took the 11:48 train back rather than wait two more hours for the next train.

I think the people sitting next to me on the platform were gypsies. The daughter was speaking German, but I think the parents were speaking Romansch. But I’m mostly guessing. I’ve never heard Romansch spoken before.

The Huhn Tikka Masala in the restaurant car was quite good, and they were nice enough to give me a ten-cent discount on a double espresso so I could use up the last of my euros.

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Got back to the hotel about 1:30. Time for a short nap before I go chocolate shopping.