Switzerland – Day One

Posted on 19th July 2012

Flying Etihad ended up being quite lovely! Great staff and a huge range of entertainment options. As we drew close to landing, I took in the beautiful sight of the alps and Lake Geneva. I was stunned at how physically beautiful the landscape was!

Landing in Geneva was a simple process with passport control taking no more than a few seconds. Their visa on arrival process is very liberal.

On exiting passport control I shaved in the airport and cleaned up a bit, feeling very yucky after flying for so long and, then proceeded to baggage collection.

At this point I started to get a bit disoriented and after collecting my baggage, had a rather long appointment in the ticket office to convert some money, buy a ticket from Geneva to Zurich and, attempt to purchase a 20CHF prepaid SIM card.

Eventually I got to the train and boarded, trying to sort out all my paperwork. I spent a good ten minutes trying to replace the SIM card in my phone which wouldn’t come out and finally when it did so, my phone wouldn’t connect to any network! I needed to call my dear friend Eva to let her when to come pick me up from Zurich HB, the central station where I was heading. In desparation I asked a woman and her daughter in the next row ‘parlez-vous anglaise?’ to which the answer was a resounding no. It was at this point that I became very grateful for high school french and proceeded over the next minute to attempt phrasing my request, which I did so in very broken french.

Over the next then minutes we attempted to call Eva, who’s number I had apparently taken down incorrectly. Finally they realized I was using the wrong dialling code and I got through to her and I sighed in relief.

I sat back down in my seat and ate a piece of dairy milk. Wanting to give my thanks to the two, I offered them some and ended up getting caught up in an hour and a half long conversation during which my french improved immensely.

Two hours later, after much gazing out the window at the countryside, I arrived into Eva’s warm embrace. We then spent the afternoon in Kusnacht, her town, walking along the edges of Lake Zurich. Amazingly I managed to avoid the bulk of jet lag and slept soundly in a comfortable bed at her place surrounded by swiss chocolate.

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