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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

PHX to LAX to ZHR to Adventure Guesthouse

PHX to LAX to ZHR to Adventure Guesthouse and so this year's vacation to Switzerland begins.

Traveled from Phoenix to Los Angeles on United Airlines. We flew Swiss from LA to Zürich. Both airlines are Star Alliance partners. British Airways and American belong to the One World partnership.

The monsoon clouds in the Phoenix area were forming toward the East and lucky for us not toward the West where we were flying.

This time of year, Phoenix is experiencing monsoon storms so I thought it was going to be a bumpy flight over to LA. The pilot did thread his way around a few clouds as we gained altitude, but all in all it was a very smooth flight in Arizona but it became a Disney ride as we descended into LAX. I thought it was going to be the other way around. Of course, Michael napped most of the way. Once the cabin pressurizes, he is asleep. I don't know how he does it.

We are flying first class on both planes. As it was a short flight to LAX, the people in economy did not have a flight service while those of us in first were served a snack bag and an additional beverage.

We had a nice view of the downtown Phoenix area while taking off.

Crossing the Colorado River

Descending into the LA area, I didn’t realize there was a wildfire burning in California. It must not be too large otherwise it would be reported in the news even as far away as Phoenix.

No matter what time of day, the highways are always crowded.

Could actually see downtown LA. Wow!

Beverly Hills

It is a very long walk from terminal 7 where United is to terminal B, Tom Bradley. At least we didn’t have to walk outside and go through security again.

United couldn’t print my Swiss boarding pass so we went directly to the Swiss gate to check in. Once checked in, we received an electronic baggage receipt. The lady whom checked us in took us to the first class lounge.

We could choose from anything on the menu, go through the door to the business class buffet, or choose from some cold dishes, cheeses, fruit, desserts, snacks, and Swiss chocolate.

I chose the shrimp cocktail. The chives on top of the sauce and the fresh lemon added a unique flavor. The sauce had the correct amount of horseradish Yummy!

We were escorted to the plane. As I was the only woman in the group of 6 men, the escort took my carry-on to the gate.

The flight was scheduled to leave at 7:25 and push back from the gate was exactly at that time. Love Swiss punctuality!

First class has 8 seats and two flight attendants. All seats were full for the flight.

I told my friend Rosie I would celebrate our vacation with a glass of champagne.

The captain went to each person and greeted us by name. The flight to Zürich will be 10 hours and 30 minutes. He asked us where we were from. He knew of Scottsdale as he has relatives whom live in Fountain Hills.

The starter along with more champagne was an encrusted ahi tuna over a mild wasabi sauce. Delicious! I can hear people reading this saying "Yuck!" It really was delicious, though. I believe the attendant said the twisty sticks are from Kambly. Kambly is my favorite biscuit company. Later in the month, Michael and I will take a baking class there. It has been years since we had done so.

Warm herb coated cashews and almonds.

Warm bread with olive oil and butter

First Course Seafood salad with lemon vinaigrette Steamed purple potato and carrot shavings Beautiful presentation. “You eat with you eyes first,” they say. Very colorful!

Main Course Grilled beef sirloin with hollandaise sauce Roasted Yukon potatoes and green asparagus The meat was fork tender and a perfect medium rare. The asparagus was cooked al dente. Had the right snap.

I was too full for dessert so a Sprüngli chocolate topped off a scrumptious dinner. We have our own cubbies in first.

We received a voucher for Internet connection but I thought I should try and get some sleep. My bed was made up with a fluffy pillow, thick pad and plush comforter and I was off to sleep.

I slept very well. My description of breakfast.

Food, more food and how hungry do you think I am after eating that huge meal a few hours ago? Warm rolls and bread. How can one go wrong? There was a nice assortment of jams: black cherry, strawberry, apricot, and quince. The last two choices were Swiss so I had them on my rolls. Ham, cheeses, assortment of fruit.

I passed on the oatmeal with fresh blueberries and the omelette with sausages, bacon and tomato. Michael had the omelette and the oatmeal.

Surrounded by clouds as we make our descent into the Zurich airport. The clouds are cotton puffy. Beautiful but I was hoping to see the mountains. CAUTION!!!!!!! I filmed the landing so if you get MOTION SICKNESS DO NOT VIEW THE VIDEO!!!!!!

Another favorite part of the trip was getting off the plane and getting our luggage. I wish I could have taken pictures of this.

Only the eight of us in first class exited the plane with our own exit at the front of the plane. We then boarded an eight person black van which took us along the runway to our own private immigration agent. There was NO WAITING in line with all the people on our plane or any other arriving passengers whom have to pass immigration. Our bags were arriving as soon as we got to baggage claim. Now that is what I call service. Went outside and across the street to drop off our bags to be sent to the Interlaken West station. The humidity just hit us when we went outside. Oppressive!!!!!!!! Since last year, they have built a larger train service and luggage drop off/pick up area. We opted for the two day service instead of having them arrive tomorrow. We bought our train pass for our stay here and caught the next train to Bern. It was only a three minute wait. Luck has been on our side. Between the airport and Bern, we had a few minutes stop and wait at the Zürich main train station. The train we are on looks to be a newer train. It still has that "new train smell". There is even a place for luggage and TV screen that shows a map of the train's location. Then, it shows the weather, a clock, whether the WC is in use or not, advertisements, etc. This car is the "quiet car" no talking.

The little bit of sun in Zúrich has gone and it looks like a threat of rain the closer we get to Bern. Yes, it is sprinkling in Bern. Arriving in Bern on track 5 and leaving on track 7. It is a 50 minute train ride from Bern to Interlaken West but we need to change trains again in Spiez and that adds another three minutes to the trip.

Steady rain as we arrive at the Interlaken West station, but our spirits are not dampened. In another 10 minutes we will be at the Adventure Guesthouse.

We are in room #9 under the roof. Surprised there was no huffing and puffing climbing all those stairs.

The church bells which ring at 8 PM every night, have long ago rung. Michael is reading and I am closing my writing for tonight. Until tomorrow.

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