Tuesday, 29 November 2016

29 November 2016. Our Journey Over The Alps To Venice

29/11/16 Iain's blog

Today the morning has been taken up with breakfast, finishing the packing then getting to the airport at a gentle pace.

I insisted with Timbo when we got to the Hauptbahnof we should wait a little longer for a train, because the train at platform 6 was the IR Zug coming from Luzern and going to Zürich Flughafen. It seemed right and proper to wait for the train we arrived on doing the same route but in reverse.

The train for platform 6 is the IR Zug from Luzern!
And it is going to Zürich Flughafen!
Timbo. Are we going yet?

Bärli relike: Five Paws

We got to the airport and were there an hour and 45 minutes before our flight. Timbo likes to make sure he is at the airport in plenty of time. He says it is better to arrive with two hours to spare than rush around with only two minutes before boarding. For a human, I think Timbo is pretty wise. Being relaxed is very important. I know. We were taught in school how to relax humans and makes them happy. It is good I learned that lesson well.

Unlike when we were in Changi airport, Timbo did not use any of his strange magic spells and incantations, but said I could have a tub of my favourite sweet, Ricola. I like it very much. It is Swiss, which is another good reason to like it. I like Swiss things a lot. I like my Swiss name of Bärli as it helps me feel a little bit more Swiss. Timbo wanted to buy himself a new shower gel for this time in Venice. He likes lots of good things, other than me, I've discovered. I am glad about that, as I had my eye on a rather lovely Bärli sized cologne that has the most wonderful scent. The lady gave it to Timbo for free. I think she is one of our secret humans. I am not allowed to tell you more than that, except you will know them by their very kind and very cuddly nature.

It is nice to buy something to make you happy, not only when you buy it, but which will also remind you how lucky you are after, especially if you feel little glum. 

After doing our shopping we went to the Swiss Senator Lounge. Timbo is a Senator because he has travelled a lot, mainly with Swiss. To say thank you with more than just chocolate, they have a special area where there is free food and drink and free internet, so I was able to quickly post on Facebook what I had been doing at the airport.

My giant sized tub of yummy Ricola and my Bärli sized cologne
Bärli Duty Free: Four Paws (not enough choice for small bears but what they had was good)
Bärli Ricola Tubs: Five PawsWe went to the gate, A 81. It sounds far away, but here at Zürich, they have moving walkways that get you there fast. We arrived at the gate just as they were about to let the passengers board the plane.
I am buckled in securely with my refreshing towel and bottle of water.
All set for take off!
Timbo told me this time of day is always very busy at the airport and rarely has this flight left on time. But he did say that we are guaranteed daylight and hopefully we are also guaranteed a spectacular view as we cross the Alps. He was right. We left much later than the time we should have, but we had a brilliant journey. It does not take long to rise high up in the air and just as we started to see the Alps, or to be honest, it was just the tops of them, the nice cabin crew gave us nice little special nibbles. Timbo was very well behaved this time. He only had water to drink.

The Timbo pointed out the tops of the mountains. They were poking up through the thick white cloud. Sometimes they looked like islands in the middle of a white churning sea.

Timbo told me a lovely story that he only wrote briefly about in his blog. He was writing about travelling to Aden. This is what he wrote:

“Do I remember much about the flight? Only a bit. Mum pointed out the Swiss Alps, and told me when she was young, she and her sister Edna went on holiday down there before I was born. I have since retraced some of that holiday, and it is surprising how little some of the places have changed. I hope to post something about that in the future as well. Oh, and we had pea soup.”

I hope he will write more than this to include what he told me. Here are some of the many photos Timbo took while I was looking at the amazing Alps. Some of them include me. Timbo is a rotter for taking candid photos.
Photo The Alps

The tops of the Alps popping through the clouds.
This bit of the Alps is much taller.
Suddenly the cloud disappeared. Once we were past that point Timbo said we would soon be coming into Venice. And we did. He said the approach was not the one he is used to. The plane flew almost over a small place called Chioggia (where Timbo has been) which had been the scene of a big battle at sea. Then we flew parallel to a long strip of land that is called Pellestrina. Then the plane did a little tilt and we changed direction. Timbo whispered to me, “Look out the window now. I can see Venice coming up.”

Oh wow, and gosh, and oh my. It is a tiny place. Timbo had told me it was once a very powerful city state, because back in those times Italy did not exist and was made up of many powerful city states which made their mark on the world today.

The big island in the middle is Murano where they make the glass.
Bärli Flight Satisfaction: Five Paws Plus (The Alps are amazing and should not be missed)Bärli Water Taxi Satisfaction: Five Paws (You must do this at least once)

It is now very late. I do not have time to tell you about the taxi ride I had from Venice airport. It is a a taxi on water. It is fabulous! Timbo took loads of photos and once he has decided if he likes any of them, I will see if he will let me use  some. Timbo is very fussy about the photos he publishes.

After we had unpacked, we went to Timbo's most favourite place in Venice. Imagina Cafè. He first came to this place in December 2004. The people there are very kind and friendly. I met Domenico this evening. He shook my paw and then lifted me up onto his shoulder. After we had lots of nibbles to eat we returned to the hotel where I have been busy working on my blog while Timbo has been working on the photos.

Shaking paws with Domenico

Getting the view of the cafè only the boss guys get.

Bärli Cafè Satisfaction: Five Paws (if Timbo likes it for so long it must be that good)

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