zurich: day one

I landed in Zurich at around 6am yesterday morning and was exhausted. I didn’t sleep on the seven-hour, 10-minute flight (part excitement, part couldn’t-get-comfortable) but once the plane’s wheels touched terre firma I was pumped up, ready for my adventure. From the airport, I took a train to Zurich Main Station and then a tram to within walking distance of my hotel. I was a little uncertain at times (Where are the trains? Is this one going to Zurich Main Station? Are you sure that’s the right tram?) But Swiss people are friendly and ready to help if you’ve got questions. So, all in all it took about 2o minutes to travel Zurich’s clean and efficient public transportation system from the airport to my hotel, Hotel Engimatt. Engimattstrasse 14, CH-8002 Zürich, Tel: +41 (0)44 284 16 16.

Disaster: I arrive at the hotel, lugging my luggage and my room isn’t ready. It’s about 7:15am and my room won’t be ready til 2pm. Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! I’ve just gotten off a transatlantic flight and I just want to take a hot shower and get some sleep! Unfortunately, it’s wet, cold and rainy outside so walking around doesn’t hold much appeal. Luckily, I’ve got my Kobo with me so I’m easily able to pass the hours until a) my colleagues show up; this is a press trip sponsored by the Swiss Tourism Board and b) until my room is ready for me.

Room is ready by 11am – yay! It’s smaller than I expected but it’s clean, bright and has everything I need (except for an extra towel. There’s only one.) Oh, and my dual-voltage flat iron works here! I’m so thrilled. (It’s the small things, I know!)

I take a much needed nap and get ready for dinner. We eat at a great local restaurant, about a 10-minute walk from the hotel, called Rüsterei (Kalanderplatz 6, 8045 Zürich, Switzerland, Tel: 044 317 19 19). It’s sort of industrial chic. It is a converted paper factory, transformed into a trendy restaurant. It’s got exposed concrete walls and pipes overhead but the surrounding decor makes it warm and welcoming. I enjoyed a starter of fresh asparagus, mozzarella and cured meat followed by a delicious beef tenderloin, complete with a large slab of parmesan butter, which, although tasty, I couldn’t bring myself to eat. Regardless, it was delicious. I finished the meal off with a small slice of cheesecake with fresh strawberries and rhubarb. The perfect ending to a great start in Zurich.

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