Yesterday was the day of travel. We left for the airport at just before 11am. We dropped off the family with the luggage at the terminal and then Michael and I took the car back to the rental car company (which was offsite). It was pretty painless to do the drop off and then we headed back to check in. Helen and Chloe were heading back to Cape Town via Zurich and Johannesburg and the rest of us were going to Zurich and then catching the train down to Grindelwald.
We were actually on different flights as Chloe and Helen were on Swiss Air but the rest of us were on TAP. Both flights ended up being delayed by at least an hour. They announced that the delay was due to staff shortages – we were hoping not a shortage of pilots. I think it was because they still have some strike action amongst the ground staff. The delays weren’t really an issue for either of the groups as it just meant we ended up taking a later train and Helen & Chloe had a 4-hour layover which just became three hours.
The TAP flight was pretty uncomfortable. I have never flown on a flight with such little leg room. It was quite ridiculous. I actually had a business class seat and my knees were touching the seat in front. I couldn’t even put my legs under the seat in front of me without turning sideways first. And unfortunately it is quite a long flight (3 hours). We landed at 6:30pm and got our luggage and had time to buy some dinner before catching the train. We bought takeaways for dinner which cost R220 per person (not kidding!). Switzerland is another whole league in terms of price versus any other country in the world.
The train left at 7:40pm and we had to change at Bern and then again at Interlaken Ost. The trains run precisely to the minute usually in Switzerland and so it was surprising that we arrived 2 minutes late into Interlaken Ost. The train to Grindelwald left 2 minutes late and I suspect it was compensating for the late arrival into Interlaken.
There is a lot of snow around and it is pretty cold outside. I checked the temperature in Interlaken and it was -15 degrees C. My Dad kindly met us at the train station in the car so that he could take the luggage up to the chalet and the ladies went with him while the rest of us walked up. There are 9 of us staying in the chalet at the moment as one of my nieces and one nephew are also here (as well as my folks).
Helen and Chloe were killing time at Zurich airport and their flight left at 10:45pm for Johannesburg. They have just arrived back into Cape Town as I type this.
Until tomorrow (or possibly later today)
P, H, C, S, M, L & O