Monday, May 28, 2018

Lucerne - Getting There

March 28/29, 2018

It's not easy to get to Lucerne, Switzerland from Atlanta, Georgia.  Of course, in the history of the world, it is actually very easy to get there now as compared to before airplanes!

We decided to take Marta (Atlanta's subway) to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.  Upon arrival we were very pleased to discover that our tickets had "TSA Pre" on them.  I had no idea why but it did not matter.  We breezed through the line and headed to Concourse F, the international concourse, with plenty of time to spare.

The flight was packed, very crowded.  About nine hours later we landed at Autohuur Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.  Although it was an overnight flight, neither of us got much sleep.  We had about 90 minutes to make our connecting KLM flight to Zurich.  I had read online that 90 minutes would be sufficient to make to the connecting flight.  However, it was not as easy as I presumed.  We quickly found that all we had to do was to get to gate D66.  What I did not anticipate was having to go through a passport check to get there.  Anyway, arrived at gate D66 with about 10 minutes to spare.

Flight to Zurich was uneventful.  Between jet lag and very little sleep, we were exhausted.  We made our way to baggage claim and watched everyone else claim their bags.  Our bags were not there.  Sigh.  Found KLM's missing luggage desk and filled out the necessary forms.  Tired, jet lagged, and no luggage.  Double sigh.

Next we heard out name being paged.  It was for the Viking limousine service.  That was comforting.  Unlike every other trip I've been on, on this trip, I booked all transportation, which included transfers, through Viking.  Glad we did that as it made it very easy and I did not have to work through all of the logistics of transfers.  Our driver was great.  We relaxed for the hour long ride to Lucerne.

Thoughts of what to do, in light of not having luggage, started to swirl around in our heads.  We had booked an excursion "Pearls of Switzerland" for the next day.  The first part of this excursion would take us into the Swiss Alps.  Out hats, gloves, scarfs, hiking shoes, and such, were in our lost luggage.

We booked a two day pre-excursion in Lucerne which included a two night stay at the Radisson Blu Hotel.  Upon arrival our driver brought us directly to the Viking reps stationed at the Radisson Blu.  They, Denise and Katerina, were fabulous!  Denise took a picture of our KLM lost luggage information and told us she would continue to follow up on it for us.  They were great!

We desperately needed a nap at this point.  So up to the room and hour nap with the agreement we'd meet up with them at about 3:30 for a introductory walking tour around Lucerne.

So after a few zzz's headed back downstairs to 'officially' begin our Viking pre-excursion.  We voiced our concern regarding Pearls of Switzerland and not having proper clothes, shoes, hats, etc.  Denise and Katerina both assured us we'd be fine.  Of course the skeptic in me thought otherwise.  During our introductory walking tour they made sure to get us to some stores so we could get a few items (hooded sweatshirt, gloves, warmer sox,...) for going up into the Alps the next day.

It was a pleasant walking tour, even though it was raining.  Denise and Katerina pointed out a number of restaurants.  We opted for Restaurant Rossini (and pizzeria).

Ristorante ROSSINI Pizzeria

We had a very delicious pizza!  From what we read and discovered, Lucerne is quite an expensive place to dine.  The prices were not outrageous at Rossini but definitely more than what we are used to paying.  Also, they did have Eichhof on tap, a Swiss lager with the brewery right there in Lucerne.  It's a good beer, I'd get it again.

Off to bed - extremely exhausted by this point!

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