Trip Start Sep 15, 2011
26Trip End Oct 21, 2011
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I had already eaten dinner, so I didn’t need to stay up for it. I was able to get three or four hours of sleep, which is pretty good for a six-hour flight. We landed in the pre-dawn darkness of Paris. Switzerland, where I was going, is now in the "Schengen area" – European countries that cooperate on immigration formalities. That means you can clear immigration in France and not have to clear them again on arrival in Switzerland. So I had to stand in line to have my passport stamped by the French authorities, and then pick up my suitcase and formally leave the transit zone and enter France. I took a shuttle bus from Terminal 2 C which seems to be the “African terminal” to 2 G which is quite far from the rest of the terminal and services small business-jet type planes. This plane was full too, but it was only a short flight to Zurich. My trip takes me to Zurich so I can pick up my father who will keep the Feast with us in France and who has agreed to speak in Switzerland for Atonement. Zurich was the most convenient meeting point.
I checked my bags at the desk, took my cameras and walked back to the train station, but rather than take the train, I took the tram, which moves more slowly and always above ground, so I could have a look at Zurich which isn’t a city I know particularly well. I’ve been through it several times over the years but always on business or on the way to somewhere else, so I never had time to look around much.
I took some photos of the lake, then walked over to a hotel where my parents went on their honeymoon, after they were married just north of London. It's still a beautiful and romantic hotel, set right on the lake.
The old streets and restored buildings are charming. At noon I saw many people were sitting in the sun eating a sandwich or other picnic food. They were enjoying an autumn day, when it is still warm enough to eat outside.