Reunited and it feels so good: Zurich
I didn’t sleep too hot at Esther’s, for what reason I cannot comprehend. On one of the occasions that I was awake, I checked my phone and found a message from Jim, who was due to arrive the next day: “Computer malfunction dumped fuel and returned to Atlanta.” Needless to say, this was a worrying message.
I woke up again around 6:30 a.m. and grabbed the apple I had saved from the previous day’s train breakfast. I’m obsessed with eating fruits while on my trip. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped me from getting a bit of a throat tickle. Not happy about that! Anyway… Esther had not yet awoken, so I grabbed my tablet and continued to read “A Confederacy of Dunces” which I am very much enjoying.
Once she stirred, I told her about Jim’s message and she was able to check flight arrival times on her phone. His flight would arrive 3 hours later than expected. We went to Starbucks so I could write yesterday’s blog post, and I used my spiffy new coffee cup to get a caramel latte. One of the nice things about Europe is that I never have to worry that it won’t be sweet enough since Europeans have an insatiable sweet tooth.
We then wandered around Zurich a bit and stumbled upon a farmer’s market… my favorite thing to do on a Saturday morning! I bought two huge apples that were grown not far away. Next to the market was a collection point for over-sized household items that people were discarding. Since they were to be thrown away, the good items were laid out and anyone could take what they wanted. Esther procured a nice cooking pot and fondue set.
Jim sent me a text when he landed, and I let him know we would meet him at the main train station, which we did around 1:00 p.m. Poor guy had been traveling for so long with the extra 3 hours of flight. Esther walked us to our hotel, which was only a few blocks away. We were too early to get into the room, but Jim checked us in and left his bag there. Esther found us a pizza place for lunch, and it was quite good. I got my power food in by ordering spinach on mine. Esther and Jim spent a lot of time gabbing so they could get to know one another.
After lunch, we wandered around a large outdoor flea market. Funny, it didn’t seem like different stuff than would be at the same kind of event in the U.S. And alas, I didn’t find any treasure that I needed to have.
After that, we went to Esther’s place to get my stuff, and Jim and I returned to our hotel for some rest. Our room is quite nice, and I spent a good deal of time in the bathroom making myself feel human. I love staying with friends, but it’s nice to spread my stuff out in the bathroom. My hair finally looked awesome for the first time during my travels, and I even put on some earrings! Also, I had not yet gotten to the bottom of my backpack for fear that if I exploded it, I would not be able to repack it properly. So, I’d really been wearing the same jeans and the same two shirts for some time! Now I unzipped the whole length of my bag and found some fresh items.
Also, I decided to take a box from Esther and send some stuff home that I didn’t want to carry. Especially having bought new shoes, I wanted to lighten my load a bit. I will send that box out on Monday before we leave for Prague. (Note to self: Duct tape does not really stick to cardboard. By the morning, it had all come unstuck. I’ll have to get some proper packing tape.)
Esther met us at the hotel around 8:00 p.m., and we found a place to eat where we could also have some beer. What better place to eat in Switzerland than a fondue restaurant in the Old Town section! They also had a selection of Swiss beers, so we got the whole Swiss experience with this one meal. It was a very fun time, and the ambiance was lovely because we were seated outside on the cobblestone street with all the energy of the people passing by.
After that, for nostalgic reasons, we went to an English bar called the Nelson. Esther and I had gone there together 10 years earlier on several occasions. I think I might be too old for it now – it felt loud and crowded. I did like the dance music, but I was toast after one beer! To be fair, I hadn’t drank in weeks and had been going to bed quite early.
Back at the hotel, I realized how truly awful these under-filled down pillows really are.