Here - There - Somewhere travel blog


The round-the world ticket was issued by Swiss Airlines. As a consequence our move to New York had to be via Zurich: unfortunately the flight from Istanbul to Zurich did not arrive in time to catch the New York connection on the same day – a fact which we already knew - so we needed to stay overnight in Zurich.

Our side trip to Jordan was with Royal Jordanian Airlines who proved to be very efficient and friendly and the 2.5 hr journey from Amman to Istanbul on an aircraft I had never heard of but which offered the largest economy seats and leg room we have ever experienced, passed as it should, without incident.

The Swiss Airlines transit people at Istanbul suggested booking our luggage onwards to New York and since, the ever reliable Peggy-Ann had thrown in our needs for a night’s stopover into our hand luggage, this godsend was accepted immediately. Not only that, our boarding passes for the Zurich departure the next morning were issued then and there so upon arrival in Zurich, it was straight through immigration and onto the free shuttle bus to the airport Ibis Hotel.

The spotlessly clean streets and rule obedient drivers were at first an assault on the senses. Gone was the life of the Jordanian streets; the hooting of horns as pedestrians negotiated a path through the unruly traffic, the rubbish indiscriminately discarded wherever the previous owner wished to dispose of it and the pageantry of masses of mankind afoot on and off grubby pavements lined with the colour and variety of the unending small shops.

It was hard to believe that in only a few short hours that we had been transferred from a culture of such vigorous human interaction to be replaced with that of the pristine, obedient and efficiency driven Swiss.

A shower with hot water, a shower with pressure, potable tap water, clean sheets top and bottom, sheets that actually fitted the bed, a spotlessly clean room where every thing works, may not have Middle Eastern flamboyance but we took to it all with relish and slept long and deep.



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