After the Hawaiian incident, Lauren was not looking forward to another long flight. They played some mediocre movies though, and in the end, it wasn’t as terrible as feared. Raul enjoyed the movies and did not find them mediocre.
After landing in Atlanta, the next several hours reminded Lauren that she really does still hate flying. Even though one already clears security before coming into the United States, another checkpoint is present before any connecting flights may be taken. Raul and Lauren both opted out of the body imager and received the enhanced pat down. Then they tried multiple times, without success, to get a free change to an earlier flight to St. Louis. Sadly, they were forced to wait six hours, including the extra delay to their flight, and arrived in St. Louis shortly after 8pm, 21 long hours after they had woken up in Zürich.
Raul’s parents and grandmother picked them up from the airport, and they all met Emanuel and Olivia for dinner at π. Grandmother is leaving to return to Romania in the morning, so it was the last chance they had to get the family together.
||Sunday 10 June
Depart Zürich on Delta flight 67, seats 25AB
Duration: 10h 30m, Total: 16h 2m
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300
Depart Atlanta on Delta flight 1834, seats 17DE
Duration: 1h 54m
||Arrive St Louis
For their final day in Switzerland, Raul and Lauren decided to take advantage once more of the Swiss Pass, as well as the conveniently compact size of the country, to return to the first Swiss town they visited, Appenzell. It took less than two hours to reach the town by train. Here they hoped to find a non-touristic store selling cowbells, since this is cow country. They were assured by several people that local farmers bought their bells at a certain shop on the main street. Despite these assurances, they decided not to buy a bell from this souvenir shop and resigned to returning home without one.
After a traditional Appenzeller lunch featuring the smelly regional cheese, they returned to Zürich. Ahead of them lay the daunting task of organizing and packing their bags one final time. They were somewhat glad to be leaving their hostel, as Lauren noticed during her shower that the bathroom ceiling was covered in mold.
They ate dinner at an Italian restaurant, and, as luck would have it, Lauren found a dark chocolate gelato at a stand next door. Although the texture was perhaps not quite as right as the gelato in Lugano, the “darkness” of the flavor was delicious. Raul and Lauren strolled the restaurant district, the Niederdorf, eating their gelato and stopping here and there to watch the Germany vs. Portugal soccer match that was playing on all the TVs.
||Saturday 9 June
Depart Murten platform 1 on S5 15829 to Zurich
Total duration: 1h 41m
||Arrive Bern, transfer to platform 4 on IC 817
Arrive Zürich, stow bags
▲▲Swiss National Museum, free
Uetliberg, Zürich from above
Check in to City Backpacker Hotel Biber, S₣78 including sheets, no breakfast, free Wi-Fi
Tel: +41 044-251-9015
- Self-guided walk or 2 hr paid tour, S₣20 or half with Swiss Pass
- ▲▲Swiss National Museum, S₣10 or Swiss Pass, Tues-Sun 10:00-17:00, closed Mon
- River/lake cruise covered by Swiss Pass
- Bicycle ride
- Uetliberg, Zürich from above, good at sunset, 1.5 hrs
- Zeughauskeller, Swiss, S₣18-33
- Restaurant Swiss Chuchi, cheese dishes, splittable S₣25-30 fondue
- Commihalle Restaurant, Italian, S₣17-25, or S₣25 4 course
- Manora, cafeteria, S₣10-15, closed Sun
- Confiserie Sprüngli, old-fashioned pastry shop on Bahnhofstrasse, by Zeughauskeller
Raul and Lauren left Basel in the morning for Zürich…and arrived to yet more rain. They stowed their bags in the convenient lockers and went across the street to the Swiss National Museum, a good rainy day activity. They saw many artifacts that used to decorate the Catholic churches and cathedrals before the Reformation swept them away. It really is a shame to see the grand buildings sit so starkly devoid of artistic distractions.
By the time they left the museum, the rain had let up, and the travellers began the town walk, roughly following the Limmat River to Lake Zürich. Near the end, they stopped to purchase some Luxemburgerli: one-inch cream-filled, macaron-meringue hamburgers in a variety of delicious flavors.
By this time, it was of course raining again, so they took a handy tram back to the train station, picked up their bags, and went to the dumpy hostel to check in.
They had fondue and rösti for dinner one last time and went to a tiny little room for a dessert of hot chocolate. The interior of the cafe was comfortable and rich, unlike the hot chocolate. After the drink, it was raining again, so they decided to turn in for the night. Lauren is reading an adventure book about rabbits, Watership Down, and Raul is getting a new high score in Bejeweled. The hostel is cheap (in an expensive city), and that’s the only good thing one can say about it.