A few weeks ago my colleague Chloe emailed me to ask a work-related question. I suddenly remembered she moved to our Zurich office a few months back. I answered her question, tagged a “Ps. I want to visit you in Switzerland!”, and the next day, my ticket was purchased.
Fast forward to this past weekend; I landed at Zurich airport, aka the most efficient airport in the world. I went there 4 times in 4 days. I landed Friday, picked up the rental car Saturday, dropped off the rental car Sunday, and departed Monday…I love you, Zurich (airport)!
Let’s talk about that rental car I picked up. If you read my last blog, you know I’ve been learning to drive a manual car. Thus far, I was fortunate enough to learn with friends who are experienced manual drivers. Until Switzerland. I was determined to rent a manual car (1/2 the price of auto!) and to cement my learning, sans safety net.
I pick up the car. I immediately stall 3 times, trying to leave the Hertz parking lot. This does not bode well for my upcoming drive through the Swiss mountains.
Nonetheless I make it the 2 hour drive from Zurich to Interlaken, with much cheerleading from Chloe and only one request to Google “which gear to drive up a mountain in”.
I was feeling very confident.
So confident I tried to back into a parking space:
After a few manual faux parks (parking downhill and then trying to reverse out of it with a blind curve around the freeway…#impossible), Chloe and I eat lunch by the lake:
We then went for a “stroll” which turned into a 4-5 hour hike up a mountain. No food, no water. It was basically like Naked and Afraid!! Except it was awesome and beautiful:
Then we wound up at a grotto, where I tried to convince Chloe to sneak in.
Then I get hungry. Aka mission critical to get back to car, for food.
We eventually find the car, fuel ourselves (how they go 21 days without food on Naked and Afraid is so beyond me), and head to another lake, where Chloe learns how to skip a rock:
Then, Chloe learns how to drive stick:
Then a bug flies into my eye and I FREAK out. Chloe stays calm and trys to help by splashing water into my eyes….none of which actually got into my eye.
The following day, we drive from Interlaken to Zurich, stopping at towns along the way for strolls and hikes.
All the while living on the edge by not feeding the uber expensive Swiss parking meters. Which goes very well. So well we decide to celebrate by eating ice cream by our illegally parked car. As we are walking downstairs from the restaurant, we see a policeman giving parking tickets! He is literally on the car behind us when Chloe and I JUMP into the car and speed away.*
*Note: Speeding away wasn’t really what we did, because in my excitement I kept stalling the car. Then I got it running but had to slow down to clutch and shift to 2nd then third…so you know, we “manually sped” away.
I work from the Zurich office the next day, which is hands down the best Google office I’ve ever been to (they have a dark room/aquarium and one of the MicroKitchens is a forest!) I even squeeze in a spin class 2 hours before my flight…although I had no clue what the instructor was saying.
It was a fabulous time…I love you Switzerland (airport)!