Stuck on Zurich

April 17, 2010

Well it seems that we are going to be seeing a lot more of Zurich than originally planned.   Yesterday I mentioned that we had a flight via Frankfurt to Dublin at 10:30 … well that was to turn out to be incorrect.

But first I want to go back to yesterday…after checking into the Park Inn, Glenda and I had a very welcome shower and change of clothes, some lunch and then decided that we wanted to go for a walk to get some fresh air.  We’d been breathing processed air for so long, we’d forgotten what the fresh stuff tasted like.  Luckily the Park Inn lies near a bridle path running alongside a stream of sorts and that proved to be exactly what we needed.  We headed along that for a while before deciding to head to a church we could see from the road.  This took us into the village of Rümlang.  We wandered through the village noting all the little things that differentiated Switzerland from Australia.  The multi story houses, the shutters on every window, the prevelance of Mercedes, Volkswagens and Audis, the wildflowers growing in lawns, the flowers growing in every conceivable place, the totally foreign roadsigns and road markings, learning to look left rather than right when crossing a road, the lack of fences between houses which leads to a feeling of community, the wooden buildings, the familiar birds [blackbirds, sparrows, coots] and the less familiar birds [mallards, rooks, tits, robins and others I didn’t recognise] …  I could go on, but Rümlang was a very interesting introduction to the Swiss environment.

This morning we checked out and headed back to the airport with our luggage.  We took one look at the queue at the Swiss Air counter and decided to come back later.  We dropped our luggage off at the left luggage station and decided to catch a train into Zurich. After a few puzzled moments at the ticket machine we found our way down to the platforms with our 2 adult tickets plus an extra child ticket which we somehow mistakenly ordered.  The train into town was excellent and we soon found ourselves in Zurich HB.  Grabbed a map from the tourist bureau and then wandered down Bahnhofstrasse for a bit before heading across the river to the old part of town.  We strolled along the river bank towards the Grossmünster.  Once at the Grossmünster, Glenda sat and watched a choir performance while I paid 4 CHF to climb the tower. [Thanks for the suggestion, Prescott]  First off was a fairly tight spiral stone staircase which soon gave way to wooden stairs. The view from the top was quite impressive but would have been better if the sun had been out.

Once down we headed over the closest bridge to the other side of town and wandered through various streets marvelling [drooling actually] at the window contents.  All the while promising ourselves that we would be back in a month and so we would be good and not buy anything.  We then found our way back to the Bahnhof and caught the train back to the airport, grabbed our luggage and headed to the checkin area.  The queue did not look any shorter than it did when we had been there 5 hours earlier, but there was nothing to it but to join the queue and wait our turn.  We already realised that our flight had most likely been cancelled but we needed a change of flight and a hotel voucher for tonight.  After more than 2 hours in the queue, we finally reached the front and eventually managed to score a flight to Dublin on Tuesday morning.  We were also put up at the Hotel Ibis instead of the Park Inn.  After missing the first hotel bus by one seat, we finally made it to the hotel and decided to book our remaining 3 nights here as well.  Seems we were not alone in having to change hotels as we saw two others staying here that we had seen staying at the Park Inn.  The Hotel Ibis while having a much better reception and dining area than the Park Inn, loses hands down as far`as the rooms go.  But its a roof over our heads and at this stage that all that really matters.  More tomorrow.