A Hop Across the Pond

29 01 2014

It has been about 9 years since I’ve traveled to Europe.  Back in the day when I booked a rebellious trip to England to spend christmas – my first Christmas away from home – with a boy I just couldn’t live without (my how times have changed).  Good memories (castles, the Lake District, Hadrian’s wall, kilt-clad dancing scottish boys and puttering through London munching on Minstrels) and bad (fighting at the top of the Eiffel Tower, rude frenchmen, and steak and kidney pie).  A three-week trip was my extent of European travel, but I definitely had a lot of stories to share as we planed, trained, and bused our way across England, Scotland and France.

Since that trip I always thought I would have many European adventures, but over the last 9 years it seems like Canadian and American travel was in the cards for me.

Finally I had the opportunity for another couple weeks of European adventures – 2.5 weeks in Geneva, Switzerland to visit my sister.  It was a last minute trip so my travel preparations were done in a flurry but I’ve done so much domestic travel I felt like I had things under control, I wasn’t too worried.  And then I thought, ‘do I have everything under control? Am I missing something?’.  I felt like I needed to do so much more than I was doing because International travel should be more complicated right?  Was I leaving unprepared?

So I packed extra snacks, a travel pillow, printed a map of the Frankfurt airport, and talked to my sister – upon arrival: get a bus ticket, go through the green door and turn left.  Ok.  Got It.

Overall, pretty easy breezy – I made it, although there were a few things that stood out during my travels.

  1. Don’t try to cheat the system and avoid the line up at the Hudson News at SEATAC – I tried to get a bottle of water from the vending machine to avoid the line and it stole all my money, so not only did I end up back in the line up I paid 3x the amount for my bottle of water.
  2. I love International Travel: constant attendant service offering wine (red, white, sparkling) or bailey’s/cognac for an after dinner drink, water and orange juice for hydration.  This is something that stood out during my last trip 9 years ago as well.
  3. Although a big airport, Frankfurt is so organized, with attendants to help you place items into bins at security (plus everyone looks like they know what they’re doing in comparison to American airports).
  4. My French needs some work: I was eavesdropping on a guy on his cell and I thought he said something about ‘un chat’.  And I thought, why would he be talking about his cat…..then I heard something about ‘travail’.  Work – that makes more sense.
  5. German is not a language that I’m used to hearing and it’s a weird experience to not be able to recognize anything.
  6. Jetlag is a bitch.  I slept maybe 2 hours on my 10 hour flight to Frankfurt and landed at midnight PST.  I was in a groggy daze in Frankfurt waiting for my flight to Geneva and I could feel my body crashing.  By the time I arrived in Geneva it would be 3AM PST and only Noon local time.  I met up with my sister, had lunch, went grocery shopping, and actually made it until 9:30PM.  But only in the kitchen.  If we left the kitchen/stopped eating and drinking, I started to crash, so back to the kitchen we go.   By the time I got into bed 30 hours after I woke up in Seattle, this little pull out bed felt like it was the most comfortable bed I had ever been in.
Iconic views in Geneva, Switzerland - Jet d'Eau

Iconic views in Geneva, Switzerland – Jet d’Eau

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2 responses

30 01 2014
Abigail

You forgot to add, that’s it’s all worth it 😉
A

1 02 2014
tracilee

So true Abigail – it’s definitely all worth it!

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