So, DAY ONE! On Monday night (the 30th), I realised that, oh my god, I was leaving for Europe the next day and I started to freak out just a bit…okay, a lot. What had I done??? I had no choice at this point, as I had booked my hostels, my EuRail pass, and all of my train reservations, but still, it was a lot to take in. Also, there was the whole stress of packing since yours truly in a stroke of genius decided to wait until about 9:00 that night when I had to be up at 2:30 in the morning. BIG mistake, since I had less room than I thought I had. Anyway, I slept a little that night but I kept thinking about getting myself to the train station and not forgetting anything major, like my passport for example. Finally, it was 2:30am and I was dragging myself out of bed, having finally fallen asleep. I was out the door by 3:15 and on my way to Tottenham Court Road where I would take a night bus a few stops to King’s Cross/St. Pancras International. This was one of those moments that the Tube not running 24 hours really wasn’t fun. I eventually made it to King’s Cross, checked in for my Eurostar train, and then waited….and waited…and waited, until it was time to board! This was it! I got comfortable in my seat and settled in for a 2.5 hour train ride — I was prepared with a long episode of Sherlock and my relaxing playlist so I could get some sleep.
I arrived in Paris around 8:30 am local time (Paris is one hour ahead of Greenwich time) and had about a three hour layover with no wifi, so I needed to find some way to entertain myself. It was a gorgeous day so I took a walk and got a crepe since I only get them in Paris and it had been so long. I was in a much better mood after that :) Then I had a quick train Lille Europe, which I think is north of Paris, but I didn’t really pay much attention. After another hour layover, I was on the train to Marne La Vallee Chessy, which is definitely in France, and I think it was farther south. The layovers were getting shorter at this point, but my train to Strasbourg was delayed so I killed a little time in the station and we were finally on our way! Luckily, we made up a lot of time on the way to Basel (on the France/Germany/Switzerland border) since this was going to be my tightest connection yet, and I had just enough time to run through the station and make my train to Zurich! I got in at 9:00pm having travelled for just about 18 hours and I was exhausted and in desperate need of a hot shower and my bed. My hostel was close to the train station which was lovely…but reception was on the third floor with no elevators, so you can imagine the look on my face when I got in the door. Finally, after checking in, a blissful hot shower, and sheets on my bed, I collapsed!
And now onto Zurich! It’s an absolutely gorgeous little city in the German side of Switzerland with a river running through it, and incredible views of the Alps just beyond the river. Here’s the flip side, though: it’s expensive. I found out when I went to Starbucks to get a bottle of water and a snack bar and it cost me 8 Swiss francs which is the equivalent of 7 USD. Good thing I was only there for a day! I mostly walked around on my day in Zurich since, while it’s a beautiful, quaint city, there’s not a whole lot to do besides poke around in churches and see the river. I did find a market in the train station and got to sample some cheeses and pastries which was quite enjoyable, and I hiked up this huge hill to get a nice panoramic view of the city and listen to the church bells chime. I also found a fun music store on the main street near my hostel where they let you open any CD you want (well, they open it for you) and you can listen to it with amazing Bose headphones for as long as you want! I listened to German music for a bit, and then found a Broadway classics CD that I liked a little more :)
Also, on a slightly unrelated note, LSE finally released the exam schedule (it got delayed because of a software issue or something so I was searching for wifi all day so I could figure out when my exams are), and I’m coming home on June 4th! I’ll be home in time for David’s graduation which I thought was a long shot, but it worked out and I am so relieved!
After a long walk by the river and a few more pictures, I called it a day and headed back to the hostel. The next day was going to be an early wakeup, so I needed to get some sleep!
Inspired to be,