europe trip day 01: terminal flights of frivolity

Not once during our trip did I have access, let alone logged in. Withdrawal symptoms? Yes but it’s getusedable.

Obviously, there’re 2 ways of writing the trip up (well, I could chose not to write it up, or write it up elsewhere but that’s digression) – either as 1 entry or postdated. I’m going for the 2nd, because I can.

So anyway back to the 29th, I got to check-in early, the line was long so I lined up first while waiting for her. The lady at the desk was super-efficient and we got our boarding passes very quickly.

It was a night flight and there were few people around, the shops closed one by one. We bought some travel insurance using one of those “instant approval” terminals, then settled down near the gate to wait for boarding.

Our travel agent was really great, got us 30A/B, words can’t express how I love these bulkhead seats — more room, no one in front, yay! Watched a couple of films, sleep was sporadic.

Landed at Heathrow early in the morning, transit from T3 to T4 was via a 10-15 min bus journey. But we had heaps of time to spare, hours before our flight to Zurich, so no hurry. Had toasted sandwich and tea for breakfast (after walking through the entire T4 to decide), read the Independent (hate the tabloid format), slowly got used to being in the UK again. Had a quick nap at a corner of the terminal, eventually got woken up cos the 2 gates nearby were filling up with people.

Zurich was also back-of-the-mind familiar. I used my Swiss licence and credit card and pretended I still lived there. When I asked for a map, the girl at the Hertz desk joked “you should know the city”, and I said, yeah but not driving around! Nice Ford Focus we got, but I was quite nervous the first few minutes in the car, haven’t driven for a while and not used to the other side of the road.

Stopped by the office at Opfikon to pick up the keys from our friends, got to their really nice apartment, unpacked and was out pretty quickly. Went to the Reisenburo at HB to see if we can book a trip to Munich or Barcelona, but it turned out either flights were full or hotels. So we gave up the idea and decided to stay in Switzerland. In hindsight, the best idea we had — next time stay even longer in Switzerland.

Walked around a little on Bahnofstrasse, remembering the places and letting my tongue get used to the German again. When I tried getting money out I forgot my PIN the first time. Feelings of familiarity and happiness.

Met our friends for dinner at a Lebanese restaurant near Stauffacher. Even though it was a weeknight it was full, and stuffy (have to remember, no aircon). The reason was soon apparent — the food was great, the wine was great and there was belly dancing. We ordered a mix of mezze’s and lamb, it was really really good.

By the time we got home I was feeling sticky, having gone over 24 hours without a shower, I was glad the apartment wasn’t one of those that had a restriction. I fell to bed and was asleep straightaway.