And the adventure continues…
Day 4: Ireland and Switzerland
My sister and I had a leisurely morning. We ate breakfast with the bride and groom in a gorgeous sunroom. Then we went out to Greystones, a tiny town on the coast not far from the hotel. It’s where the groom grew up, and he recommended it for a quiet town experience. Unfortunately we didn’t have time, so we mostly just hung out a cafe. It was Leap Year Day (is that a real thing? Or is it just Leap Year), and we are both single, so we had our eyes out for a catch. Apparently Damien Rice (famous singer) hangs out at this cafe, and Tim (the groom) had recommended him for our consideration, as he is loaded with cash. Unfortunately we didn’t see him. However, I made friends with a sweet dog, so I was happy.
We caught the bus to the airport. It was an interesting ride, especially since schools had just let out. I saw a lot of cute middle schoolers in their school uniforms. We got to the airport, checked in, and made it through security without trouble. Well, my watch set off the alarm, so I had to get patted down, but after my experience in certain third world countries getting patted down everywhere else is a breeze. The woman asked me how old I was. Perhaps it is testimony to how tired I was (or how scatter-brained I am) that I was like, “Um… uh… twenty? No, twenty-one!”
We settled in a restaurant for lunch. My sister had a Guinness. I had a coke. It was delightful.
Eventually we caught our flight and took off. It was about two or three hours to Zurich, Switzerland. I pulled out my Kindle to do some school reading. My brain was like, “What are words? What is life? No to it all!” So then I stared mindlessly at my sister’s magazine for most of the flight.
Arrived in Zurich. Border control was so easy. It was beautiful. In the tram to baggage claim, birdsong starts playing, then people start yodeling, then out the window are screens and a Swiss girl standing in front of the Alps turns around, sees you, and kisses your window. I was like, “Who’s idea was it to have a scary tunnel?” (See here.)
We caught a shuttle to our hotel. Our room was crazy big, with like six beds and a couch and five closets. I think my mom got it cheap on expedia or something. Anyway, it was a little weird. We had dinner in the hotel restaurant (which I initially thought was expensive, but later found out was priced reasonably for Switzerland). I had this spaghetti dish that was amazing. I have been craving decent pasta the whole time I’ve been here, so it was really heavenly.
Went to bed excited for the morning.
Day 5: Zurich and Zell
Arose reluctantly, both tired but determined to get around the city. We dropped our luggage in a safe room and checked out of the hotel, then managed to get to the city center via metro. After grabbing coffee and something to eat at Starbucks, we sat so I could consult a map and figure out where we needed to go. We made our way down the river. It was so beautiful–hazy, but with clear skies and fresh air.
We found a little pedestrian path that followed the water, through little alleyways and markets. It was so quiet everywhere, so peaceful even though we were in a city. (This makes me think I wasn’t being unreasonable in my expectations of certain other cities. Cities can be nice, really!) We stopped in a church, which had really interesting stained glass–it looked like pastel.
We got all the way to the harbor, and I explored a bit while my sister rested. There were beautiful views out across the lake, where we could have seen the Alps if it wasn’t so hazy. Even here–where traffic was pretty busy–it was surprisingly quiet.
We crossed to the other side and worked our way back up. Stopped in an Italian restaurant and had real Italian pizza. We continued on further. I realized we’d passed the famous church with two towers. My sister’s knee was hurting a lot, so she sat on the side of the street and I went off on my own. It was fun to wander the back streets, where there were locals hanging out. I saw a man grinding coffee, with the smell all up and down the street.
I went to the church. It wasn’t super amazing, but the windows were cool–they looked like stones, but they were stained glass. I grabbed postcards and returned to my sister. We made a stop at Starbucks again, where a guy who looked like Rory served us our drinks. Then we took the train to the airport.
We met up with a friend of my sister’s, who will be called C. from here on out. After joyful greetings, we grabbed the shuttle back to the hotel, retrieved our stuff, then grabbed the shuttle back to the airport and got tickets to Zell, Germany.
Two trains (with some confusion, pretty views and a lot of exhaustion) later, we arrived at Zell. Our host, another friend of my sister who will be known as B., dashed onto the platform and grabbed my sister in a huge hug. Turned out she’d abandoned her car in the middle of the bus stop when she saw us. The bus was less than pleased, but we didn’t care.
Had a traditional German salad thing for dinner at her house, which is literally on the very edge of this tiny German town. Then we crawled to bed.
More to follow…