Yesterday evening, I took off on the start of yet another European adventure. Starting in Atlanta was a bit different than this time last year, as I departed from Dayton and had to deal with a bunch of layovers and stops. A direct international flight is hard to come by; however it made things incredible easy, especially with the separate international terminal in ATL. I fell asleep for a moment as we took off and was considering a 9 hour rest that would take care of the entire trip; of course my appetite wouldn’t allow it. I woke up, browsed through films, and caught a taste of home thanks to “Liberal Arts”, a film directed by Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother). Two years ago, he came back to Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio to shoot this film with Elizabeth Olsen and Zac Effron. I remember thte anticipation that came with having some big names in a small town. A few friends of mine were extras in the film, although I never spotted them. But it was enlightening to see that beautiful town of Gambier, along with my favorite coffee shop through college (and potentially the primary reason for being able to graduate on-time), Middle Grounds. The film was good; but not great. Elizabeth Olsen is full of talent (more than any other Olsen to say the least) and I think she’s going to continue to make a name for herself. Effron’s hippy-character was certainly odd and a bit different than any role I’ve seen him play, but I certainly appreciated his presence.The rest of the flight was rough; I tossed and turned in my seat trying to find a comfortable way to rest, but even the soothing sounds of Sigur Ros couldn’t rock me to sleep. Two hours of sleep was the max, and I spent the rest of the morning writing.
When I arrived in Zurich, I navigated through customs and made it to the railways. Public transportation seems easy enough to handle, although it’s certainly not the simplicity of Washington D.C. that I love and adore. I took my exit off of the rail but spent a good 30 minutes searching for my street, no thanks to the map of “strasses” and “hausses”. I made it to the apartment and cleaned up before heading off to Uetliberg Mountain. A train takes you as far up the mountain as you want to go; I recommend taking the hike. At the very top is UTO Kulm, a fine-dining restaurant with the best view in the city. It may have been 6:30 in the Eastern Time Zone, but it was only right that I celebrate the hike and my arrival in proper fashion: journalling with a tall Eichhof Lager. It isn’t the finest beer in the world, but it was a great start to the day and a cheers to vacation. The sun was shining down and I got a panoramic view of Switzerland with Germany in the background. It was calm and quiet, drowning out the many languages that I could not understand. I didn’t hear anyone speaking English through the entirety of the day, which is actually kind of relieving even through the stress of not knowing what anyone is saying.
Weather was certainly not in my favor through the entirety of the day. As I headed down to Old Town, a light drizzle escalated into a torrential downpour of rain. Within minutes of arriving, I knew there was an issue by the closed doors and empty streets; it was Ascension Day which meant that nearly everything was staying closed through the day, including museums and shop.. The holiday and rain put quite the damper on the afternoon. I managed to walk most of the city and passed by the beautiful University of Zurich. Weather forced me back to the apartment where I caught up on a few emails and prepared for Interlaken. Within an hour, I was passed out on the couch, face flat on the yellow leather couch without a care in the world. A nap turned into a 4 hour coma; much needed after an unsuccessful rest on the flight. For dinner, I took my host’s recommendations for a nearby kabob spot and walked around the area before heading back home to prepare for the rest of the trip.
Next Stop: Bern and Interlaken