01 March 2012

Visiting Switzerland in 2011

In April 2011 my brother, Erik, married his Swiss wife Ariane on a wine farm in Stellenbosch, South Africa.  As part of the marriage celebrations they had a second reception in Worb, Switzerland in July 2011.  And that second reception was the reason for my holiday with my mother in Switzerland for three weeks in July 2011.
After planning and saving and discussing my mother and I decided that we want to attend the second reception and explore a bit of Switzerland.  We did a lot of reading and with help from Ariane we had a list of places to visit and where to stay.  We booked our plane tickets with Emirates and left South Africa from Cape Town 18:10 on 4 July 2011. 

This was my second trip to Europe and my mother’s first.  We were very excited but also a little bit scared about the unknown.  We arrived in Zurich about 13:20 on 5 July after stopping for about 3 hours in a very hot Dubai.  
Dubai Airport

Boarding our flight from Dubai to Zurich
After arriving we had a few administrative tasks. First we had to get some cash (Swiss Franks), and then buy a prepaid mobile phone card to contact my brother and buy a Swiss Pass to use for traveling on the trains and busses. After doing everything on our list and making a quick call to Erik we were ready to leave the airport.

We traveled by train from the airport to Zürich Hauptbahnhof.  Looking a bit lost a Swiss couple helped us to go in the right direction.  First we went to the information center.  They were very friendly, gave us a map and directions to get to the hotel.  We did one more train ride from Zurich HB to the Standelhofen station and from there we walked to the hotel.  We stayed in Hotel Otter in Oberdorfstrasse. The rooms were very comfortable and sharing a bathroom was not a problem.  

July is winter in South Africa and we were dresses warmly when leaving.  It was a lot hotter than we expected in Zurich and even after removing our jackets we were sweating on our way to the hotel.  We found the hotel quite easy and went to check in.  Our room was on the forth floor and we hand to carry our luggage up with stairs.  Safe to say we were very hot and tired when we finally got to the room.
Our room in Hotel Otter



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