Sunday, November 8, 2015

Switzerland Adventures: My first time abroad :)

I write this post from a restaurant in Lausanne, L'Ours, with this street-side view from my table...(not the greatest quality pics sorry)

Restaurant de l'Ours is situated in Rue du Bugnon 2, just below the Hotel de l'Ours, where I will be residing for the next 17 days. The reason for this visit? According to my visa, Business (Sounds sooo professional!). What I'm actually here to do, is to visit our collaborators and learn some new techniques from them! Okay so let me start from the beggining...with preparing for the flight...

Thursday night...5 Nov...

I started packing for the trip (ignoring my mom's multiple requests to start earlier!)
Thankfully, I packed according to a well-thought-out Zoe and Jen-approved list :D

Friday morning...6 Nov...

Realised I left my phone charger at home, so before it completely died, I sent out some messages and got cracking on some cleaning. My place looked like it had been hit by a tornado!

Friday afternoon...

Got to campus, and realised my phone (Blackberry Z10, recently refurbished after only a year, and a few months ago) is once again, not working properly! Had some mini freak-outs, checked in, chose a seat with enough leg-room, and spet some quality time with some very special individuals! :D

It was eventually time to go! I made triple sure all my switches at the flat were off, and made Zoe double check! And then we made our way to the airport!

At the airport...

For some reason, not many people knew where the check in desk for Edelweiss or Swiss International was...which is a little worrying. Zoe and her mom asked around and we eventually found someone who was clued up!

I wasn't overly excited, but I was extremely anxious...and the calmettes did not help much! I guess there is a lot of pressure when you're going over to another lab. You want to make a good impression, be diligent, etc. At the same time though, getting to visit another country, another continent for that matter, is pretty awesome :) so I will probably feel a bit more excited soon.

And through the gates I go...

So being my first time travelling overseas, the whole passport check and such is very new to me. And being the paranoid, over-thinking individual that I am, I was anticipating an aray of things going wrong. But I made it through to boarding, and was greeted by the very freindly air hostesses on board.

When selecting my seats, we chose a seat with lots of leg room. It was really nice to be able to stretch my legs. I did, however, feel a little claustrophoboc, between the very unfriendly, yet deadly quiet male on my left, and very helpful female on my right. Maybe it was my imagination, but the local flighst I've taken seemd to have a lot more space!

We were given a few cracker snacks before supper was served, whihc was quite late (my tummy was crying for food!). I was so thankful for the snacks Jen had got me :D Supper was quite filling; a huge sausage, some smoked chicken, and a roll. Dessert was a sqare piece of sponge in some really yummy sauce!

I didn't sleep much, and there wasn't a very wide selection of movies, series or music. When I eventually fell asleep, it was around 4, when breakfast wsa being served: some meat and cheese, a roll, youghurt, coffee and orange juice. I fell asleep shortly after, and woke up when we were upon descent to Zurich airport.

I met quite a few people who were very helpful and pointed me in the right direction, including a Sri Lankan lady who has been living in Switzerland for 15 years! She was kind enough to walk me to the Info desk at the train station, and made sure I got off at the right stop! :D

The Hotel de L'Ours is situated just opposite the train station and was easy to find :)

I got to the door and realised I still had to get a key (which was left for me at the Hospital just up the road). So I took a leisurely stroll up the road, luggage in hand, and stopped to rest while I tried to figure out which way to go. As I sat on a bench, wiping away the sweat (So much for freezing weather!), I saw a young and very attractive young man walking in my direction, and decided to ask him for help. He was kind enough to accompany me, as he was heading towards the same building, and even offered to help me with my luggage :) I didn't end up getting his name though haha.

So I get my key, and make my way back to the hotel, eager to set down my luggage and have a much-needed shower! :( 
I was quite impressed with the room, spacious and clean, with a beautiful view!

After taking an amazing hot shower, I sent some messages back home, took a nap, and went for a stroll :)

When it started getting dark, I made my way back to the hotel, and went to the restaurant downstairs.

It's very cosy, and the patrons are extremely friendly! Ordering was a little difficult, but I managed to order a very large and delicious beef pizza...

and a yummy Tiramisu (The waiter Paulo convinced me to have dessert!)...

A great end to a good day!

And that was my first day! :) Tiring but good! Hope the rest of this working vacation goes well :)

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