As Mari said at dinner this evening, “we have been travelling all day, but our journey has not yet begun.” Yes, RON (remain overnight) in Zurich !!! I was right when I said I sent you my last post from Italy, but here is a bonus from Switzerland. Car trip from Cortona to the Florence airport, and check in all went well with time to spare. Mari called her folks to say one more goodbye and suddenly jumped up – she saw CANCELLED on the board for our flight to Zurich to catch our plane to Boston. Well, you can understand the confusion that ensued, but the problem (it looked beautiful outside) was the weather in Florence. This very small airport is situated where winds can be bad, and our plane (and others) could not land. Instead our plane to take us to Zurich landed in Bologna, an hour plus bus ride away, and the plan was to bus us there. It was obvious however that there was no way we would make our connection. On the ferry from Sardinia to mainland Italy I thought of the movie PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES with Steve Martin and John Candy and said to the kids, “well we just need a bus to complete all modes of travel.” I regrettfully got my wish!
Well, we accepted the hiccup, and the bonus for me was to see some Italian countryside I had never seen before as we bused up and over the Apennine Mountains which is totally different from the valleys and hills of Tuscany. Our luggage had been put on the bus, but we had to then haul it into the Bologna airport terminal and check in all over again. Once arriving in Zurich David raced to the “transfer counter” and, of course, there we no more flights we could make today, and tomorrow’s Zurich to Boston flight only had 3 seats left. The agent helping us was very good, and found the best thing for us was to transfer to Lufthansa and fly to Frankfurt at 9 something tomorrow to then catch a flight to Boston which will arrive about 3 PM which is 6 hours earlier than our scheduled flight – just a day later (actually 18 hours later – make sense?). A call was made to the Best Western Airport Hotel, and we were given vouchers for rooms and meals.
While waiting for the shuttle bus to the hotel we chatted with another woman who was affected the same way, and she mentioned there was a limit on our meal vouchers. We looked – 20 Swiss Francs for dinner. Well, if you have ever been in Switzerland, you do not get much for 20 Swiss Francs – we were concerned. Arriving at the hotel we became a tad more concerned because it had a Japanese restaurant. But all worked out well (as only the Swiss can do) because there was a special Japanese meal with choices for those with the Swiss Air International vouchers, and it was just fine. Soup (Japanese, of course) or salad, fried rice with meat or vegatables and beer, soda or wine. And the servings were good size. And tomorrow there is a breakfast buffet – in the Japanese restaurant!
When we were approaching the hotel I said to the kids, “you know what would make my day?” They had no idea, I was surprised! “Internet,” I exclaimed. Oh, how we have become addicted to these machines.
It is approaching 11PM and we plan on meeting for breakfast at 7AM before heading to the airport on the 7:40AM shuttle. At least I can shower and air out my clothes. I promise I will shave before I see any of you.
My last post from Europe, hopefully? Bye again, RAY
PS — YEAH SWISS !!!! After publishing this post I headed in to survey the bath (my room and bath are fabulous) before showering, and there is a shaving kit and comb among the toilet items provided. Never in the states!!! I will now be presentable !!!