Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Swiss expedition

Long time no blog ....

Well, I am in Switzerland now. Locarno to be more specific. Here on a business trip for a week.

A trip that started of well in Bangalore with Air France upgrading me to premium economy. Basically means more leg room, slept very well in the flight after a long long time. Why the airlines can't provide a tad more room in economy class, I don't know. If you are any taller than 5'10'' you would know what I am talking about.

For a change my flight landed 45 mins ahead of time. Unfortunately it meant a 5.5 hour wait in Charles De Gaulle airport. Terminal G is the designated terminal for connection flights to Zurich. Not very big, but still enough room to ensure that people can remain comfortably seated. Something for Frankfurt airport to see and learn.

Swiss railway network is a work of art. Typical itinerary leaves you around 3-7 minutes to catch a connection train. And usually all of them run on time. On this particular occasion, I missed my first connection, caught my second connection , but that got delayed, which caused me to miss my third connection again. But trains run at frequent intervals, so if you miss one, usually you can catch another one in 30 mines or so.

Reached my hotel late evening on Sunday night, only to find that the elevator had broken down. Had to lug my suitcase up 4 level of stairs :-(( Shoulder and Back ache after that. Swiss hotel rooms are .... well, they are economical in terms of size. The door to my room opens in and it just about clears the foot of the bed. Had to struggle to pull my suitcase in through the narrow gap. The feeling of claustrophobia gets amplified in the shower stall. My hands are constantly banging the sides as I am trying to take a shower :(

Had a stroll outside to grab some dinner. Locarno is a tourist destination, so I am faced with this sight of couples everywhere. No one is eating alone, every restaurant is filled with families or couples. Looks very odd if I go in and sit at a table alone. So I hit the McDonald's nearby. Consistent taste around the world - consistently bad, that is. I have no idea why people find this to be tasty food !!

The sights that I saw on the train from Zurich to Locarno were good. Nice mountains, steep valleys, big lakes, mountains again, valleys, lakes, mountains, valleys, lakes …… That is all this whole country has !! But very impressive all the same ...

More on this to follow

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