Zurich, Switzerland…at least the airport

After we finished our final evening in Interlaken, we moved onto Zurich via train.  We had planned our trip very specifically to end up in Zurich and fly home from there.  At the time, one of my friends’ dad worked for a hotel chain and had booked us a hotel room for fairly cheap in the city. So we arrived at the main train station in Zurich that is attached to the airport and we found a pay phone.  Yes, during that time we still used pay phones and calling cards because we didn’t have affordable international cell phone plans. After calling the hotel, and going through the names of every person standing on the platform with us – we realized that the hotel plan did not come through. Unfortunately there was no reservation available that we could use and they didn’t have any free rooms that we could have booked last minute. So rather than getting an opportunity to explore Zurich, we decided we would sleep in the train station and not run the risk of being late to our flights back to the States.  You see, we were a little tired and weak after the last few days we had of not really eating much outside of bread, cheese, meat and Nutella so the thought of trying to find a bed to sleep seemed difficult.

So we settled into the Zurich train station thinking that it would stay open all night.  we purchased some snacks and sandwiches from the local stores in the train station and hung out.  Half way through the evening, it became very apparent that the train station closed and they kicked everyone out of the train station. So we made our way into the Zurich airport and settled in for the evening. What’s interesting is that we were not the only people who had decided to do that. The evening wasn’t that eventful but I definitely learned a lot from that experience.

After having traveled for so long with the same people, about 3 weeks together with no separation, you really begin to learn a lot about people when you’re trapped in an airport with them.  We didn’t have phones that we could play on, we didn’t have tablets we could use to keep us entertained.  We juts had each other and that made things hard. Some things I learned in the Zurich Airport:

  •  They have computers you can pay to email from.  That’s all you can do is email.  We found this immensely entertaining for now reason.
  • There are smoker rooms.  I had never encountered those in the States until this moment. And you know what, it doesn’t clear out the smoke after everyone has left the airport. It stays just has foggy/hazy inside of there.
  • Do not leave any sort of trash anywhere in the airport.  We were yelled out by a security guard repeatedly for a little collection of trash we had accumulated.  We were going to throw it away but we just weren’t speedy about it.
  • If you sleep in the airport and walk back outside cause you want fresh air, make sure you have someone who will let you back in.
  • There are entertainment areas that have TVs that show the news, the couches in there are decently comfortable. Not the best ,but when you have to decided between the hard floor and those chairs, you’ll settle for it.
  • Being with your friends for so long can lead to some fights. Just be cautious of this. Everyone is on edge. This was the only time I have fought with some of my friends. Just sitting in that airport for 20 hours. You’re patience is minimal at best.

I will always remember that experience and look back fondly on it. But I have definitely learned my lesson that I will make sure I have full confirmation for accommodations before heading off to my travels. It is one of the few things I am very specific about after that experience.

Do you have any ridiculous airport experiences?




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