4. Vacation memories: arrival in Zurich

We took our kids from Toronto, Canada to Switzerland on vacation. This is our adventure.

This is a multi-part series.

  1. Vacation memories: travel day – part 1
  2. Vacation memories: travel day – part 2
  3. Vacation memories: from flight attendant to passenger 20 years later


After a relatively short (sleepless) Trans-Atlantic flight to Zurich (about 6 hours), we arrived early in the morning at around 8 am local time.

Our body clock was still on Toronto time though, it was 2 am for us. 🙂 But everyone was awake and in a good mood, and the airport was not busy at that time, so off we went through passport control and baggage claim.

First thing we did after we picked up the bags was purchase a travel wifi device from a little kiosk.

This is so handy, as it can be carried in someone’s pocket and will provide us with constant wifi no matter where we go. It magically picks up some hot spot which our phones get programmed to recognize. A flat fee is paid and I believe we chose the unlimited wifi option which turned out to be a good thing. Not only were we able to access local maps and translation services, I was able to write/blog and the kids were able to do their thing during downtime (i.e. fortnite and youtube videos. Best not to get me started on that…)

But it’s so convenient. 🙂

Of course there was a slight hiccup right from the get-go. 🙄

The device turned out to be defective. It took my partner a bit of time to figure it out but returning it and receiving a working replacement went without further ado.

So then, the next step was to find transportation to my childhood hometown from the airport. We had several choices: train, limo, taxi or Uber.

He called an Uber.

20 minutes later and significantly cheaper than a train ticket or limo, we arrived at what used to be my grandmother’s house in a city not far from Zurich.

The house looked closed, sleepy. But, this was not really surprising as we had arrived during an extreme heatwave, the sort that the Zurich area doesn’t usually experience. Closer to the Italian border, where summers typically get very hot, higher temperatures were often expected, but not so much in Zurich. So the windows and shades were all closed and drawn, and there were few people about. Too hot to hang around outside.

I knew my aunt, who resides in that home today, has trouble with heat. I worried she may still be asleep and wondered if she left the door open for us.

Then I noticed the dog at the bottom of the stone steps leading up to the main door.

In this picture Fiorella is lying beside the main door. When we arrived, she was lying on the blanket at the bottom of the steps.

She gave us a very surprised, rather sleepy look but did not even get up to greet us. I knew she was older, about 12, so I simply talked to her as I passed through the gate.

“Good girl, Fiorella,” I said in German and she allowed me to pet her.

So I ascended the steps of my childhood memory and knocked on the door while simultaneously opening it.

And that’s when my aunt saw us and welcomed us into her home.


The heat is absolutely brutal. You did not expect me to avoid complaining about the weather now, did you? 🙂

If you read here even semi-regularly, then you know that we just had an extra cold, icy winter and a particularly wet, cool and unpleasant spring back in Toronto. We were all sun starved, is what I’m saying.

But I gotta tell you: 38 degrees Celsius is borderline uncomfortable. 🙂 And, they don’t typically have air conditioning in the residential homes in Switzerland.

We are spoiled in Canada, I must admit.

The heat even at 10 am, combined with the fatigue of overnight travel did us in, so no one was surprised that the kids pretty much crashed by lunch time.

Us adults too: we both had a short(ish) nap before waking up on purpose. We really wanted to adjust to the current time zone quickly.

To be continued… (to read the first part of our travel adventures, scroll back to the top of this post and click the links)

18 thoughts on “4. Vacation memories: arrival in Zurich

    1. The colours were all different (they painted everything) and the vegetation was changed. My grandmother was tidy, minimalist but my aunt likes wild, untouched. As a grandmother herself now of small children, she has a lot of toys and clutter. 🙂


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