Packing and Traveling

All the luggage you  need for a year....

All the luggage you need for a year….

After two years of planning, dreaming, and asking many questions, the day had come to actually start our adventure. We originally thought we might need two checked bags per person (along with a carry-on and a personal item), but it turns out we each had only one checked bag, and we stayed well within our 50-lb (23 kg) limit.

We chose a non-stop flight on Swiss Air from LAX to Zürich wanting to get the miles done as quickly as possible. We also thought we’d have more chance of our luggage getting there when we did. The flight was on time with only a few bumpy sections. The flight attendants were helpful. We got two meals. However, back in steerage the seats are so jammed together and tight, that the 11 hours was quite uncomfortable. We think we managed 5 hours of interrupted sleep, so at least the eleven hours went by a little faster than it could have.

We were surprised that we were not handed a customs form to fill out on the plane. Once we disembarked, we walked through to customs, waited in line (a real line in Switzerland where there aren’t supposed to be such things) for 3 minutes, and after the Cantonal Police checked our visas, we were on our way to luggage. It was there (Thanks, Pat for the loaner of the colorful bag!) and then, as we had nothing to declare, we walked right out to the taxi stand.

Hal called our ETH contact and we jumped into a Prius taxi with a young women driver. She remarked that we had a lot of luggage. I said that it was for 11 months, and she said, “not a lot of luggage.” By the end of our 13-minute ride, we had managed to mangle the name of our street so we had to spell it for her, switch from English to German and have a short conversation in German.

It was raining by the time we got to our apartment, but not too much. We managed to get all the bags up three flights of stairs. There is no lift. Being told we were on the second floor, H knew that it would be the penthouse. The bottom floor, which we thought from the photos was an apartment, is really the laundry. Then the next floor up is the ground floor, then the first floor, then ours. Swiss efficiency in action – our name was already on the mailbox, the front door to the building, and at our apartment.

After we unpack today, I will take photos and write a post about this cute little flat we’ll be glamping in for nearly a year.

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