We booked the trip through go-today.com. It was all inclusive: round-trip airfare, car rental and Minotel hotel vouchers. We’d set up our trip ahead of time to be a little loop in the eastern portion of the country: Zurich -> Lucerne -> Basel -> Amden -> Pontressina -> Zurich
This is our honeymoon. We wanted to go someplace where neither of us had been. Not such a difficult task, really. I can count the states that I have been to on one hand and Bren has only been to Canada and Ireland. Deciding on a place proved to be a little more difficult. We knew we wanted Europe, but not sure how adventurous we wanted to be in terms of language. We knew we wanted fairly comfortable and somewhat affordable. This was before the dollar weakened mind you…
September 10, 2001
Our first night was to be at the Atlantis in Zurich. It took us ages to find. Being fresh off the plane, faced with signs in German and with different symbols than we’re used to was a bit of a shock. We didn’t even come prepared with a map, just mapquest map and directions from place to place. Fortunately, the girl at the rental car counter spoke English and we got ourselves a nice map of the country.
Our directions told us to take the highway out of the airport. Unfortunately for us, all the highways in Switzerland end once they hit a major city and then once you navigate the city center you can pick it back up again. Being a rather large and major city, Zurich had several highways to choose from.
We didn’t take the right one.
Somehow though, we managed to just drive around for ages and happen upon the road that we needed to be on. We picked this particular place for our first night because it was a guest house of a four star hotel, and consequently the most expensive (voucher + local adjustment) of the entire trip.
Checking in, we were excited, the hotel lobby was nice. Then we had to walk up a hill and to another building that was not so nice to our room. It was the smallest room I’ve ever been in. The bed took up most of the space, and if one of us wasn’t sitting on it, there was no place for the other to go except maybe the bathroom. A disappointment to say the least.
For dinner we wandered down the hill into the edge of the city and found a nice-looking Italian restaurant. We had a German/Italian/French phrase book, but neither of us were quite ready, or awake enough really, to speak much in German. We picked Italian because we figured we couldn’t go too wrong. The waitress spoke no English, but the chef did a little. We pointed to things that looked vaguely familiar on the menu and ordered a bottle of red wine. The best and cheapest wine I’ve ever had. The waitress tried to help us with our German. And dinner was really good.