Saturday, December 22, 2012

The adventure starts.

According to my laptop it is 4.06 am Sunday in New Zealand. I woke up at 5 am Friday and have had just over 5 hours sleep since then, but funnily I feel like going for a run. As it is beer o'clock here in Zurich I will let that thought pass.

The mammoth journey here went really well considering there were four planes involved. After the Wellington to Auckland hop was the first major leg, Auckland to Narita. It was an 11 hour flight and I stayed awake through all of it, and ended with a few beers. Had about five hours layover in at Narita so of course had a Sapporo and some sushi.

From Narita flew Air France to Paris, and I must say how impressed I am with Air France. The plane wasn't super fancy, though it did have individual screens, but the food and service were far superior to Air NZ. Dinner had entree, main and dessert, plus cheese and fresh mini baguettes which were served to you in a large basket so you could take as many as you wished. The bubbles available totally outclassed the nasty Lindauer  Air NZ had, and of course Perrier water flowed. During the rest of the night in the galley was a supply of different food including little icecreams that you could help yourself to, and a drinks trolley as well. I managed over four hours sleep in one block, then another snooze a bit later. 

We arrived at Charles de Gaulle and had another 4 hours layover. Finally, once the airport opened, made my way to the correct terminal to catch the final flight to Zurich. I also managed to buy some champagne for my hosts, and myself, and some Grand Marnier in case the bubbles wasn't enough. All three totalled 69 Euros, around $104, I'm happy with the exchange rate at the moment.

Arrived in Zurich and did the happy dance as the bags turned up as well. Got picked up, then came to the house to be greeted with this, so another round of eating!

After that feast it was time to go for a walk, and to tire out the restless children. Where I am staying is very close to the centre of the city so we walked down to the lake then into the city. Below is a view looking back to the Alps.

Had a wander along Bahnhofstrasse to get the full effect of the local standard of living. The window displays are stunning, though this is a very simple one.

From there we wandered up towards the river to view the old part of the city.

Then we went to the central station to see the Swarovski christmas tree and to visit the small christmas market there. This of course meant having to sample some gluhwein as it's all part of the tradition! We also had some flammkuchen elsässer, which is like a very thin pizza base with onions, bacon and creme fraiche. It's also quite salty which I think is meant to encourage you to drink more wine!

We then walked back through some of the narrow streets in the older part of the city which had a very eclectic mix of shops and buildings which included everything from Cabaret Voltaire to ones decorated like this.

After all this walking the children were starting to grizzle so we caught a tram back home. 

All in all it's been a very intense 48 hours, and most strangely my tummy is staring to rumble again and want food. I fear I may spend most of this trip in my trackies as that will be all I can fit.


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