On our tour, the plan for the day was to go from Paris to Zurich. It looks good on paper, but we didn’t think about how many hours in a bus it takes to make that trip. We drove and drove through beautiful French the countryside of green, rolling hills, while most of us looked out or tried to get a nap or two.
We reached the Swiss border! The crossing was easy. Our guide got out and did something for a few minutes, and then we were on our way again.
Zurich! We stopped by the beautiful Lake Zurich for a rest break. I had a little French and Italian, but here they spoke only German. I can see why Europeans are multi-lingual. You’d have to be! We bought some delicious bratwursts and beer from some nice guys who taught me bitte (please), danke (thank you), hallo (hello), and auf viedersehen (goodbye) . Danke fruende (I admit to using google translate to find out how to spell these)
I like Zurich. The outskirts were normal city stuff, but downtown was charming with interesting buildings, tons of bikes everywhere, buses and electric trains for transportation, lots of people on foot, and the area by the lake with the alps in the background is stunning.
We were at a very nice Radisson hotel for the night. We’re fine with decent, basic accommodations but it was a treat to have a really nice room for a night. We showered, washed clothes, lounged in the big bed with all the pillows, and went next door to McDonalds for a hot chocolate.
It has been decades since I’ve been to a McDonalds so I don’t know if this is common, but we had an adventure in this one. There are big screens where you place your order. Then you take your receipt, a sign with your number, and go to your table. In a short while, a smiling employee delivers your order to your table. We were surprised to be served hot milk and packets of chocolate powder but it was really really good! It is Switzerland, after all, and they do know how to make chocolate.
So, one more day down. Tomorrow – Milan – oops! No, no Milan. Yesterday we started hearing news of problems with the coronavirus, and on this day we heard that Milan is closed down and we will not be stopping there. Our guild was keeping up with the news and checking ahead frequently, and I trusted that she was doing the right thing for us. Internet on the bus was spotty at best though, so we had to wait until evening at the hotel to get any current news, and there wasn’t much news on line at this point.
And, update from Panama, today, 3/10. We now have our first case of coronavirus, a Panamanian woman who returned from a visit to Spain, sick, and she tested positive. She is quarantined at home now. Of course the country, social media, and our neighborhood chat group are very active with the news since it broke.
We are on day 10 of our quarantine. We’re feeling rested and ready to rejoin the world this weekend, and the errands are starting to accumulate. But, I’m still really enjoying this at home vacation.
I cancelled my USA trip for next week. It seems like things get more nuts there by the day. My Seattle daughter and her husband are working from home, though daycare for the kids is still open and operating normally. She says it’s an easy drive there now that the streets are almost empty. My Sants Rosa CA daughter is working at her office, but she says it’s also weirdly quiet around town.
What is up with the frantic buying of toilet paper???
Stay calm and wash your hands