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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

Scottsdale, AZ to Unterseen, Switzerland

Friday, August 30, 2019 - Saturday August 31, 2019

British Airways landing in Phoenix. My adventures begin!

It is that time of year again, our yearly trip to Switzerland. I’m leaving a week before Michael as I want to attend the Jungfrau Marathon and attend the Tattoo in Avenches. This tattoo is not the inked body markings but military bands performing. The tattoo takes place on the 7th so I will write more about it then.

I was thankful the monsoons never materialized this evening. It was such a smooth take off and climb over all the twinkling lights of The Valley of the Sun below.

I’m flying first class this year.  It helps to have a husband whom does fly quite often and so those British Airways miles add up. Also, he transfers his “purchases” points to British Airways miles, too.

I wasn’t going to start my vacation entries until Sunday but a friend reminded me I have so much time to start writing while I just sit on planes and trains to get to Unterseen, Switzerland and our soul quenching Alps.

Before takeoff, they passed out headphones, black pajamas with matching slippers and a refreshening bag with lip balm, toothbrush, toothbrush, eye mask, etc.

They have mood lighting in First.

Dinner service was started as soon as we reached our cruising altitude.

Menus were handed out.

This is part of what it said.

Welcome to First

“Our à la carte menu allows you to dine anytime and create your own dining experience. All the dishes on the menu are available for you at any time during the flight.

Our talented team of chefs use their culinary expertise to design signature choices using quality ingredients of British provenance with elegant touches and attention to detail.

We have partnered with leading British brands to ensure your experience is exceptional from start to finish.

The exquisite cutlery, with its natural flowing lines, is brought to you by Studio William Cutlery, based in beautiful Cotswolds. (This is such a beautiful area.)

William Edwards Ltd are based in the world famous potteries of Stoke-on-Trent, England, and have created an exclusive contemporary crockery collection just for First.

With a history of designing and making quality crystal glassware spanning over 50 years, Darlington Crystal continue to partner with us and create designs to enhance your experience.”

The Story of Fougasse

“The charming little winged butler is fondly named ‘Fougasse’ after his creator’s pen name.

Cyril Kenneth Bird was a British cartoonist, who held a close relationship with the airline during its time as Imperial Airways, designing advertising posters during the 1930’s-some including Fougasse the butler, flying angelically above the clouds.

The character designed specifically for Imperial Airways, epitomizes the exceptional service customers experience in our First Class.”


Warm bakery selection served with butter and the first DNA certified extra virgin olive oil Vubia from Castello Monte Vibiano, Umbria.


Lobster and shrimp roll, prosciutto with Cheddar cheese, feta cheese stuffed piquanté pepper

The canapés were delicious!!!


Beef terrine

Pickled vegetable, whole grain Dijonnaise

Balik-style salmon

Celery root rémoulade, citrus herb cream, caviar

Fried goat’s cheese

Pea velouté, roasted tomato

Roasted tomato soup

Roasted tomato crostini, micro basil

Seasonal mixed leaf salad

Spicy lemon vinaigrette or creamy honey mustard dressing


Seared fillet of beef

Roasted portobello mushroom, tomato confit, watercress, peppercorn Demi-glacé

Seared monkfish

Fennel pollen, ragoût of roasted peppers, tomato and capers

Pan roasted French trim breast of chicken

Creamy leeks, Parmesan crisp

Roasted cauliflower steak

Lentil cassoulet, haricots verts

Selection of sides

Roasted Hasselback Yukon gold potatoes, white and green asparagus, roasted baby squash and courgette



Mitigate MitBleu

Cave aged Gruyère

Murray’s Mini Brie

Murray’s Pecorino Calabrese


Berry dome

Herb tuile, black currant coulis

Toffee apple and pecan pudding

Crème Anglaise

Vanilla ice cream

Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, chocolate sauce, gaufrette Pirouline cookie, whipped cream

Chocolates by Lauren

Then there are snacks

It would take a very long time to list the snacks.


Fresh orange juice

Watermelon smoothie

Fresh seasonal fruit appetizer

Greek yoghurt

A selection of yoghurts

Selection of Dorset Cereals

Warm breakfast bread and pastries


Traditional English breakfast

Scrambled eggs, sausage, Irish bacon, Rösti potato, mushrooms, tomato

Spinach and feta cheese frittata

Grilled ham, roasted fingerling potato

Brioche French toast

Mascarpone whipped cream, maple syrup


Twining Tea

Selection of the most popular teas from century old British tea specialist, Twinings

English Breakfast



Earl Grey

Apple and Elderflower green tea


Union Coffee

Specialty coffee sourced direct from smallholder farmers in Peru and roasted in small batches in East London. Best European Coffee Roaster 2018




I will skip naming the champagnes, wines, beer, mixed drinks, etc.

I finished the dinner service when we were over Des Moines, Iowa.

As some of my friends read the selections, I can just hear the comments. Sounds awful;  what is that?; so much food, sounds interesting, I might like to try that, etc. The food really was delicious! Quite exceptional.

I was able to sleep during the flight. Well, whom wouldn’t. They did provide pajamas and a turn down bed service was provided, too. You can get a very restful sleep if you are lying down and you aren’t sitting upright. The comforter was so soft. High thread count here. They even provided two pillows.

We arrived at Heathrow’s terminal 3. Of course, we were at the furthest gate. Walked and walked and walked and walked to get to flight connections to catch the bus to terminal 5. Wished I had counted steps.

I love terminal 5 with its throng of people, restaurants and high end shops like Chanel, Tiffany, Dior, etc.

It is a delightful place to people watch!  You just have to stop, listen, look, smell....  

Had plenty of time to go to the club. I mainly go for their soups. Today’s choices were tomato basil and carrot coriander. They should make a soup cookbook. The soups are healthy and unique.

Had to stop in at Fortnum and Mason, my favorite tea store. Love the window displays. Always eye catching.

Another couple from the Phoenix flight were also going to Zürich. They had just spent the last five weeks at a resort in North Scottsdale. They love to play golf. Well, the resorts are cheaper in summer.

The plane coming into London was 30 minutes early while the one coming to Zürich was 15 minutes late. Oh, well.

Of course, there was a snack service from London to Zürich. I opted for the meat plate of beef and chicken. It came with asparagus. A creamy hummus was the side. My great nephew Charlie loves hummus so I’m sure he would have liked this. For dessert, there was a deconstructed cheese cake. An airy whipped creamy filling was on the bottom while they crumbled what should have been the crust on top. Very light! Quite tasty.

I am taking the 2 hour train ride from the airport to Interlaken. The train station is underneath the airport. I only have to change once in Bern. I checked my two large bags to be shipped to the Interlaken West station. This way I don’t have to schlep the bags when I change in Bern. It is so easy this way.

For those of you whom watch The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon would love riding the trains in Switzerland. Tonight, I have one problem. The chugging sound of the engine, the whir sound of the metal wheels and the rocking of the cars is putting me to sleep. Also, it is 10:24 PM and dark outside. Michael, I did see the IKEA store. It is a joke between us.  He dislikes going there unless it is for buying a soft duvet cover. He went a few weeks back so he is set for another 5 years.

I have the SBB train app on my phone so I can check times of departure, departure track and arrival track, how crowded first and second class cars are, etc. In fact, Michael is tracking my location from Scottsdale.

Had a 6 minute connection in Bern. I just hopped on the closest wagon. This way I won’t have to walk the length of the train once I arrive at the Interlaken West station.

Then, it is a ten minute walk to Helvetia Straße to where I will be staying for the next four weeks.

Oh, I forgot to mention our vacation had to be extended for a few more days. British Airways informed us their pilots are going on strike. There are specific dates they will strike. I am not complaining, though.

Just pulling into Thun which is the town on one end of Lake Thun while Interlaken is on the other end.

The name Interlaken means between the lakes. It Is between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.

Pulling into Spiez, my friend Sharon’s favorite little town.

I will stop writing as I’m only 15 minutes away from Interlaken.

Some pictures of the room.

I'm off to bed. More tomorrow.

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