A pleasant five day vacation in Zurich put paid to any and all blogging efforts despite the very best of intentions. I could blame it on the heat which never seemed to fall below 75 degrees F even at night but it was really down to my brain doing a long overdue “defrag”. Little bits of memory being reassigned or discarded forever. It certainly felt that way.
So this entry is going to be a bit of a potpourri !
In no particular order.
London City Airport. Love. It. Not only does one get a romantic thril from walking from the terminal building across the apron and up steps onto the plane it’s the model of efficiency. We managed a EDI-LCY-ZRH change with less than 30 mins between flights. We made it our bags made it. Try that at LHR.
The Swiss Franc. Oh dear. The secret was to not even think about what things were costing. The rule of thumb seemed to be “two coffees = 10CHF, two alcoholic drinks = 20CHF”. But the Swiss needed our custom so spend we did. It’s all very ironic that as money floods in because of a lack of confidence in reserve currencies, the Swiss pay a domestic price.
The Situation. Just as we flew out. The eponymous Jersey Shore cast member (I hope Hurricane Irene did not get him) was offered money by Abercrombie & Fitch to STOP wearing their clothes. Every morning over breakfast I marvelled at how this story was being treated seriously when it’s the oldest PR stunt in the world. He should call their bluff and take their money. Then wear their direct competitor’s clothing !
The Negroni. If ever a drink was made for languid summer afternoons in shady cobbled lanes it was this. And the perfect aperitivo to dinner at Blue Nte. An exceptionally good resturant in a converted mill on the outskirts of Zurich. This was my second visit – this first time earlier in the summer on business but food always tastes better when you are spending your own money. This was no exception and we whiled away 3 hours.
Swiss transport. Cliched I know but despite our best efforts it never failed. Trains, trams, boats, cable cars all seamlessly connected. Even a random decision to take a train to a quiet little hamlet on the shores of the Zurichsee resulted in a boat connect back to Zurich just as the final bit of ice cream disappeared from the cone. (In 7 days of transport where even BA performed perfectly only the Heathrow Express let me down on my final leg home. Is it my imagination or has it never been slower and never more expensive ?).
And finally planning. The Monday morning quarterbacks have already started to critique the levels of Hurricane Irene preparedness. No doubt the shrillest of those voices would have been equally noisy had national and local governments been less prepared. However to be fair elected politicians (especially a President who seems eager to be presidential / involved only when it suits) and rating chasing anchormen are a heady mix, prone to overhype. Often the best plans are never fully deployed but their mere existence ensures we make the correct choices.
Phew. I’ve caught up.