• Deborah Kade

Finally back in Switzerland after a 2 year hiatus

And so the adventure begins in the new age of travel……. Michael and I brought along our own airplane traveling kit.

After two years, we are off to Switzerland which is our home away from home as Michael and I like to say. While we are gone, Izzy and Jellie Beanie are on vacation at Hopi Animal Hospital. Our vet, Dr. Schloten, has boarding facilities, too. He has a wonderful staff and I know the girls are well taken care of so I don’t need to worry. We usually fly British Airways but they are not flying to and from Phoenix this year. Michael instead booked us on Swiss. Unfortunately, Phoenix isn’t a city Swiss flies directly to so we had to fly United, a partner airline of Lufthansa, to Chicago. Swiss is owned by Lufthansa. Masks must be worn from the moment you enter the terminal until you exit the terminal at your final destination. We have brought many masks to change during our travel time. It is a long time to have a mask on!!!! Since we were flying first class we hoped to take advantage of United’s club facility. Unfortunately, due to Covid, they never finished building the facility at Phoenix’s remodeled terminal 3. When we flew British Airways, we would fly to London and then change planes to travel on to Zürich. Our flight would take off around 7:30 PM. We would be served dinner as soon as the plane reached cruising altitude. I would watch a movie and then sleep until I was awaken to have breakfast. I knew London was then only an hour or so away. I will miss shopping at Fortnum and Mason’s tea shop. I so love Heathrow’s terminal 5. I feel like I’m part of the movie, “Love Actually”. Once arriving in Zürich, I knew it was a 2 hour train ride to Interlaken and then a ten minute walk to Unterseen and Sunny Days Bed and Breakfast. Tanja sold Sunny Days a few years back and it is now Adventure Guesthouse. The new owner and staff treat us just as special as we were treated by Tanja and her parents. We have called this Swiss chalet home for way over 20 years. Our United flight today started at 11:35 AM from Phoenix. We arrived in Chicago at 5:02 and the flight to Zürich took off at 7:15. Not sure if we will experience the same type jet lag as we did when flying British Airways. We will wait and see. Before boarding, they announced the plane had been cleaned and sanitized. As soon as you board the plane, the flight attendant hands you a sanitizing wipe to wipe down your seat area. So many announcements to keep your mask over your nose and mouth if you are not actively eating and drinking. While we taxied out, I quickly photographed the tail of the Phoenix Coyote’s team plane.

If you are a baseball fan you might recognize the stadium where the Diamondbacks play.

The Phoenix skyline.

The wheels lifted off and Arizona State University came into view.

We have had a very active monsoon season this year and the rain has been plentiful. Well, we are in the desert and we don’t receive that much rain so every inch or two of water is precious. The mountain slopes have greened. We are still experiencing drought conditions but every little bit of rain counts. I worry that green I see will eventually turn to brown and we will have to worry about wildfires.

Passing over our lakes.

Roosevelt Lake

Roosevelt Dam

I love to watch clouds. Sometimes Michael can recognize a figure I point out and at times I think he doesn’t have as vivid of an imagination as I do.

We were sitting in the front row which meant we had extra leg room. Michael liked having a place to hold his iPad.

There is the constant reminder to keep your mask on and it have it cover your nose and mouth.

The fight attendants were constantly making announcements about masks. Even the napkins reminded you.

Lunch was served. It was “interesting” to look at what was on the plate the attendant put in front of me. Remember we are flying first class. I chose the tomato mozzarella focaccia while Michael chose the chicken salad sandwich. Quite tasty which surprised me as the first look wasn’t as pleasing.

Nice variety of snacks: I had the Stroopwafel. This was a favorite snack when we visited Amsterdam a few years ago.

Interesting how the roads curve around towns or cities the closer we get to Chicago.

Michael snoozed on the leg from Phoenix to Chicago. Once that cabin is pressurized, he can quickly fall asleep. Some scenery and clouds along the way.

As we descend into O"Hare.

Very smooth flight to Chicago. We even arrived 15 minutes early. I will have to say we are not very pleased with United’s booking . Even though MIchael filled out all our information at home, they forgot to add our Global Entry TSA precheck on the boarding pass. This had to be changed at the airport. No wonder they want you at the airport three hours ahead of time. If you fly frequently, you know all the benefits of that precheck status. Michael also enrolled in the “Clear” program since he travels more than I do. United also did not include the Covid information required to board the international flight. The Swiss attendant at O’Hare check in said United always gets it wrong. And… Swiss and United are part of Star Alliance. They coshare flights. I have never enjoyed flying through O’Hare. It’s too large in size and there are too many people! No wonder Kevin Mcalister was always getting lost in those “Home Alone” movies when his parents traveled.

Liked this sign, though.

Boarding our flight to Zurich was so simple.

The tail of our plane

Some of our crew

Huge Chicago police presence when we boarded the plane. Here some of them are leaving. Wonder if all international flights have this.

I enjoyed a mimosa and warm nuts while we waited for boarding to be completed.

There are 8 of us in first class. We each have our own individual enclosed area. There are 2 flight attendants assigned for the 8 of us. Our flight attendant serving us is so attentive!! She said she is from the Swiss French section. She lives up in the mountains.

There have been five people greet us and ask if there was anything they could do to make the trip more enjoyable. Even the head flight attendant came by to talk. I talked to the copilot when he came out to get something to drink. I can’t think of anything else they could have done for us. Lights have dimmed in the cabin and we are taxiing out! Yeah!!

Flight time

We know people living in Appleton and Sheboygan.

Michael watching a movie

I have always enjoyed business and first class on British Airways but Swiss has them beat hands down. The personal attention you receive is ridiculous!!!!

Instead of writing what we had to eat, I took pictures of the menu. It saves time writing.

The starter

Could those crisp sticks come from Kambly?

First course

I had the poached prawn and scallop with tiger’s milk. Sweet potato purée, fried cuzco corn

Michael chose the prosciutto ham

Main course

We both had the rib eye steak cooked perfectly- medium rare with Café de Paris butter

Potato gratin with thyme and garlic confit, cream spinach. They also came around and offered cauliflower and zucchini.


We both skipped dessert

Well, I had a salted chocolate truffle when they came around later. Swiss chocolate, my favorite.