Day 34, March 19, 2017 Zurich to London
It was travel day and those days I don’t sleep very well. I always think I’m going to get up late. Even with 2 alarms set! So at 3:00 a.m. I made my way downstairs opening the door slowly, trying not to make it creak, but with this wooden building it just isn’t possible. The wooden floor groaned under my weight and finally the second set of stairs down to the 1st floor were made of tile and my progress became silent. The showers here are heaven! There is lots of water pressure and it felt like a massage on my back and top of my head. In every centre conservation is practiced, turn water on. Turn off. Lather up, turn on and rinse off quickly. That morning I broke a rule and let it run for a minute longer making sure I was fully awake!
The previous day I had asked the Manager if it would be possible to have some boiled eggs for our journey in the morning. She had said they could do 1 egg each but to my delight and surprise the kitchen had put out a whole bowl of eggs for 2 each, with breads, cheese, jams juice boxes and chips and we had filled our breakfast take away bags. Thank you so very much Tanya!
Five a.m. And the taxi bus was ready to be loaded and boarded. As we wove our way down the switchbacks, then up then around and down again out of the valley, my heart was a little sad. I missed Our Chalet and this beautiful part of the world already…. I will be back someday.
Back to Zurich airport, our driver let us off quite a ways from the entrance. In fact he parked in a bus parking area which I thought was very strange. I thought I should have asked him to take us to the departure area we needed, but the mood seemed strained with everyone. Maybe everyone was mourning?
As always part of the group took off like someone was chasing them even though we had more than enough time to get through all the stages of departing a country at an airport. I took my time and after that 3 hour bus ride, hit the first bathroom I could find. Myself and another woman slowly pushed our carts loaded with luggage and found we didn’t have to go down any elevator or escalator, we just followed signs on the same floor and ended up in a line up for check in Swiss Airlines economy. Afterwards, the rest of the group was waiting in another area across the great hall that did not say economy. Oh well, once in an airport eventually you all meet somewhere anyway.
It was only less than a couple of hours and we were in London England!
Here was the longest ever line up for immigration that I have ever been in and one woman who travels the world frequently was astounded at how long it was! Maybe several flights arrived at the same time. It took almost an hour. When an agent saw we were dressed the same uniform, the rest of our group were motioned to all gather to have our passports stamped together. That sure was nice of them!
Heathrow is huge!! Upon exiting, a man with a sign greeted us and we had to walk another long way to get to our lovely Mercedes Benz bus that would drive us the 1 hour or so drive to Pax Lodge on Lyndhurst Road, near Hampstead.
We received a warm welcome from the staff here. Rooms were assigned, keys given and rules were discussed. Pax is now key carded between floors and elevators for security reasons as there are male groups and the public also rent these rooms as bed and breakfast. Shortly we entered the dining hall that had tables laid out for “cream tea” , something that is done in England, another name could be “High Tea”. This one was scones, clotted cream and jam with English tea. When I was in Egypt the Nile Cruise, our group stayed at the Old Cataract Hotel, where Agatha Christie stayed while writing her book “Death on the Nile”. (We were one of the last guests to stay here, it was being closed for a few years for renovations) Here we had ‘High Tea” expensively consisting of teeny sandwiches, cookies, scones and all sorts of other goodies to have while watching the feluccas sailing about. But that is another story.
The rest of this day was a bit fuzzy as exhaustion crept up quickly, but I do remember the small ‘games’ that we did just placing our hands in a circle tapping and double tapping them on a table. Fun stuff that we can take to our units, from Sparks to Trefoil Guild or to any family or friend gathering!
Soon, everyone was brain dead and we all headed up to our rooms, sorting out whether to use a key card to pass through the door/elevators or push the green button to allow us entry. If we didn’t take the key card with us to go to the bathroom down the hall say in the middle of the night, we were screwed. We’d have to knock on our bedroom door hoping our room mate would hear us and in the process wake up the whole floor section. (Several rooms are divided in sections with fire doors in between) Was NOT going to happen to me lol! I pinned it on my housecoat 😉