Saturday, 11 June,2015
We leave the apartment early to head to the train station and then CDG. Although not flying Turkish, we are still spooked by CDG so we get away very early. It is a short walk to our nearest train station and lugging the luggage down a few stairs was not too bad. The only thing that goes wrong is when we are going through the turnstiles, Julie pulls my suitcase through and leaves me behind. I am stuck between the turnstile and the big barrier gates. I have used up all my spare Metro tickets so will I be stuck there forever? At last a local comes by with a season path and after instructing me to do something, in French so I could not understand it, he eventually gets me and him through the gates.
It is a short ride on the Metro to Gare du Nord and from there a very easy transfer to the RER that goes to CDG. It turns out to be a direct “flight”. We had heard from the Authorities about all the pickpockets and bag snatchers at Gare du Nord and on the RER train but I guess it must have been too early in the morning for them. We arrive at CDG “Terminal 1” but we already knew after our experience of nearly 3 weeks ago that we would be at Terminal 3. Being well practised, we get on the Shuttle to Terminal 1. Swiss Air check-in goes well, we are in Business Class the rest of the way home. They send us to the Lounge but the way is blocked and we discover we have to go through that horrible Immigration line again. This time of day it is very short so we go through and then find the lifts to the Lounge. It is actually quite good and has a decent small omelet as well as other facilities. They said that we needed an hour to get to our departure gate and we wondered why. Well, they send us the totally wrong way, a long walk and then another Immigration gate, looking like we were entering France again. The wait was not too long, but why was it required? After passing through there is another long walk back towards the Security and then the departure gates. Without saying too much more, I don’t really like CDG although it has improved from a few years before and I can’t necessarily blame CDG for the Turkish Airlines stuff up – but CDG is still not my favourite.
Eventually we board the Swiss flight. It is smooth enough while the food is unexceptional for Business Class. There is a very nice German Stewardess that chats with us for most of the flight. We land at Zurich airport and what a difference – no Immigration, no Customs – just straight through. Our priority bags get off OK and the train to Central Zurich is very efficient and fast.
Our Hostess for our apartment, the wonderful Zina, had given us very detailed instructions on how to find the apartment in Zurich Old Town. The only trouble was, and pretty much the same as in Paris, there was detail missing on the very first step. We were to go out the exit to the tram line to ride up to where we were to get off. However, there were at least three exits from the train station and only one of them worked. We went to the information booth, but the queue there was at least 100 people long so we set out ourselves. Of course, we went out the wrong way and nearly headed in the totally wrong direction. A good thing, Julie found a helpful Swiss guy who pointed us in the right direction. We had decided in advance we would walk the suitcases instead of taking a tram and it was an OK walk and the weather was beautiful.
At the destination end, the directions were absolutely perfect and we could not fail to find the apartment building. We had some troubles with the keylock but the problems were our klutziness, not the directions. Zina came down, Julie may have buzzed her other apartment where she lived, and helped us get the key and then up to the apartment. It was so much better than the last place in Paris with one large room that was very clean and had lots of the facilities we wanted including a large desk for the Internet use which turned out to be quite fast. Zina showed us everything, a delightful person and I recommend both her and the apartment highly.
The only problem that I had was that she had added a Futon, or the equivalent, and that effectively meant sleeping very close to the floor. An old decrepit, Senior citizen like me had some trouble getting out of bed. Any way, Julie goes out prancing and I do Blogging and resting work.
One of Julie’s goals in coming to Switzerland was to get one of their special Pressure Cookers. As we have learned that all the shops will be closed tomorrow, being Sunday, I suggest that she pick one up today which she does as she demonstrates when she finally returns. What’s more, Julie has an innovative idea for dinner for us. This is to go to one of the Department stores which has a large food hall with a number of dining areas much like David Jones in Melbourne but much larger.
Julie had ordered a Caesar salad with Salmon. I watched in alarm as the cook cut-up a Chicken fillet to put on it. I think our server recognised it and immediately took it back to the cook who was horribly chagrined at his mistake. He put on a piece of Salmon for a replacement. I was concerned that it was on the grill way too long, but he did get it right.
At the end of the meal, Julie said to the server that She wanted an Irish Coffee. The server, who was an absolutely delightful girl, originally from Guatemala, said they did not have that but then disappeared for quite a while to see what she could do. Eventually, after going to several of the different serving areas in the Food Hall, she cam back with this:
We walk around the store to get some supplies.
We gather our purchases and walk back to the flat. Julie decides to take a circuitous route. Along the way there is a cacophony of all the church bells in the area sounding.