Living in Zürich and Interlaken - March 2011
Mar 3, 2011
|March 3, 2011
Athens, Greece to Zürich, Switzerland
So, after finishing work on June 30, 2009 and leaving Bermuda on July 13, 2009, it finally seemed like the end was in sight. It wasn’t an end we really wanted but it gave us both a great opportunity to test the waters in a new country and decide if we want to live there permanently. Of course, the trip isn’t entirely over as we have the chance to explore Switzerland and the surrounding countries for the next few months and then in August we are heading off again until around Christmas/New Year.
We had an early start to get to the airport and I was able to check in slightly earlier than Elizabeth but I waited around until she checked in and went through immigration. As we’d overstayed her visa in Europe she was worried she might get stopped and fined. So I was flying to Zürich and Elizabeth to Texas. As we were rushing around yesterday and packing up this morning, I didn’t really think about it but as Elizabeth went through for her flight I realized just how much I was going to miss her, especially as we didn’t know when she would be able to come to Zürich. Other than the odd trip for work, we’d seen each other every day for the last 4 and a half years and spent the last 20 months living in each other’s pockets! To not see her at all will now be really strange and although I’m setting off on a new adventure, I wish she was here to share it with me.
I landed at Zürich, via Frankfurt, and decided to be lazy and get a taxi from the airport to the hotel. This was a big mistake as the train costs about $6 and takes 10 minutes. The taxi was over $60 and took about half an hour! After checking in at the hotel I went straight to meet my new employers and sort out my work permit stuff, and hopefully find out more about Elizabeth’s.
My first few days in Zürich were quite hectic and amongst getting my work permit sorted, registering with the local police, setting up a bank account, buying shoes and work clothes, cutting my hair, shopping and viewing apartments, I still had to work! To make this worse, I was doing a job I’m not trained to do so that made it all the more stressful and quite frustrating, too. It didn’t make it any easier having to go back to a hotel room on my own each night, either, and I didn’t like not having my own space but particularly not having Elizabeth around. You’d think living in a hotel would be normal for me by now but the first week on my own was really dull. And to make it worse, having spent almost 2 years travelling and being on the road day in, day out, with Elizabeth it was now very strange not to have her here with me.
My first weekend in Switzerland, I actually decided to leave the city. I thought I’d have plenty of time to look around over the course of the summer so decided I’d try and head up towards the mountains while there was still some snow around. I spent the weekend of March 6 and 7 in Interlaken, which was a lovely little town and a nice break away from the hassles of the last week. It seems strange saying I needed a break after the very extended break we’d just had but I was glad of a bit of a change. I walked along the river and was lucky to have some lovely weather. The cable cars to the top of the hill were not open yet as it was still classed as the winter season so I was unable to get a bird’s eye view of the town. After checking in at the hostel, I found a nice restaurant and had a large Thai curry for lunch and then walked around. Walking out of the town, I had some great views of the mountains in the background, including Mt Eiger, and the only shame was that the sun was so bright that my pictures weren’t as good as I’d hoped. Back in the centre of town I saw some paragliders landing by the hostel and this reminded me of Elizabeth telling me that this is where she first tried that. In the evening I walked around town, still stuffed from lunch. Not very much was open so I ended up having a quiet night.
On Sunday I walked around some of the shops, amazed that some were actually open, and bought some shoes. As I was about to leave Interlaken, I received an email from an apartment I had viewed. The guy had accepted my offer to rent it and said I could meet him in Bern on the way back to sign the lease agreement! It was so good having my own place to live and with us only planning on staying here about 6 months, the timing was perfect and the length of the lease suited us; the owner was himself going away travelling for 6 months and was due back just after we were due to leave again!
The next few weeks were work, work and more work and it seemed that everyone was keen for Elizabeth to arrive as work built up in the office. It wasn’t that I wasn’t busy, it was just I didn’t have the knowledge to do the higher level stuff. Anyway, this isn’t a work journal so the less said about that the better. In fact, I’ve decided to keep this up and running to log the trips I make and to remind you all that there will be more to read come August!