Sunday, April 5, 2009 11:46am – Zurich, Swiss time
You’ve got to give credit where credit is due – the Swiss know how to do things right. I got off the plane and a young man was right there to greet me. He let me know that I could do one of two things – turn left and go to the shops and restaurants or turn right and stay at the Swiss Lounge. My flight to Johannesburg doesn’t leave until 10pm – so I sauntered off to the Swiss Lounge. For $50 I got my own private room with sink and flat screen TV and showers down the hall. It’s neat, immaculate and very spa-like.
This may possibly be the best $50 I’ll spend for a while. I’ll do a little computer work, watch a little TV, then snooze until 8:00pm when I’ll get my wake up call. Finally, I’ll head to the shops and restaurants for a little window shopping and a bite to eat. Next stop…Johannesburg!
We were late getting into Johannesburg and due to a series of “one thing after another” took too much time and I missed my flight to Livingstone, Zambia. A tragedy? No. By this time, I was dirty and tired. For some reason, I had not been able to sleep on the last flight — which became a 10-hour movie marathon. Oh, I also played a record number of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire? But sleep — not a wink.
This was my first test of whether or not all the electronic stuff I brought with me would see me through the normal travel glitches. Some did – some didn’t. I found an internet café where I bought myself 30 minutes of time on the internet. I emailed my contact in the UK who then called the folks in Zambia to tell them that I would not be there today, but would arrive at the same time tomorrow. That’s the short version.
The real version took hours! The new international @#$%^& phone wouldn’t work — my first couple of attempts to FIND internet access failed. Once the phone worked — no one answered my first three calls. Ramp up hot and tired to a whole new level — add cranky and that was me two hours later.
As noted earlier – everything worked out fine and I went on to spend a wonderfully relaxing afternoon and evening at the Southern Sun Hotel – which I highly recommend to travelers spending a quick overnight in Johannesburg close to the airport.
Woke up the next morning — got on the plane – landed in Livingstone, Zambia at 12:30 pm Tuesday. I am back on track, folks! This is where I’ll spend the first month of my travels – volunteering at Lion Encounter.