18 July 2016

Sisters in Switzerland: From Dubai to Zurich

Early this year, my sister and I went on a trip. A trip that was really memorable because it allowed me to accomplish 3 things on my bucket list. Not only that, it was also our first time to travel together, just the two of us, to a place that neither of us had ever been to.

Honestly, I never imagined it would happen. With her being so busy with work, and me having my own family whom I would usually prefer to travel with, it just didn’t seem likely.

But one day in October last year, Ate Ning showed me a voucher for two nights stay in a hotel in St. Moritz, Switzerland and told me that it would be a pity if they went to waste because she didn't have anyone to go with. To make the long story short, and as you can expect, we used that voucher in January and had a blast for 5 days!

Being the big sister, Ate booked the hotels and purchased our tickets at a discounted rate from Zurich to Dubai. All I needed to do was apply for my Schengen visa and purchase our flight tickets for the Dubai-Zurich sector.

So on the night of the 7th of January, we met up at the airport and queued at the Qatar Airways counter. And to my surprise, I found we had been upgraded to First Class (Dubai-Doha) and Business Class (Doha-Zurich)…thanks to my sister’s frequent business travels and connections. Woohoo! One item checked from my bucket list without me having to pay additional! ☺
And if that weren’t enough, as we were boarding the plane for our Doha-Zurich flight, we were told that we had been upgraded further to First Class! You can imagine I was absolutely thrilled! The trip had just begun and things were already going great.

Of course we took advantage of the perks that came with it. We went to the Marhaba Business Lounge in Dubai International Airport and had something to eat while waiting for our flight, enjoyed the wonderful personable service provided by the crew on the planes, received amenity kits and pyjamas to make us feel more relaxed, relished the sumptuous food, and most importantly, slept oh so comfortably on the spacious seats that fully reclined into a bed. And before our flights were scheduled to land, we made sure to take a toothbrush and toothpaste from the bathroom to brush our teeth.
bag of pyjamas, black Giorgio Armani zip pouch with Giorgio Armani "Si" body lotion, mini bottle of
Giorgio Armani "Si" perfume, earplugs, lip balm, folding brush/comb, socks, and eyemask
It was my first time to step foot on Doha’s Hamad International Airport, so I had to have a customary picture taken with the famous giant teddy bear.
Another one, this time with my sister.
There was also a giant snowglobe, making it seem like there was snow in the desert ☺
After almost 8.5 hours since we left Dubai, we finally landed in Zurich.
we're here!
there's no mistaking where we are ☺
It was around 7am and the day had just started, so when we exited the airport and found our way to the train station, we could see lots of people rushing. We had no idea how to go to our hotel, but fortunately the lady at the counter selling tickets answered our questions and pointed out which platform we needed to go to. She even suggested what kind of tickets we would need for our daily travels within the city, and which to buy that would take us all the way to St. Moritz and back to Zurich for later. And once we were on the train, the lady seated next to us explained which station we needed to get off and where to take another train to get to Albisriederplatz. Swiss people are so helpful!

Finally, we arrived at our station. Getting down, we asked someone which direction the hotel was and if it was a long way to get there (it wasn’t), and walked a few minutes until we reached Crowne Plaza Zurich.
We were the only guests who arrived at that time so we were attended to right away. Check-in was a breeze and the young man (he looked like a college student working part-time at the hotel) who assisted us was very friendly and spoke fluent English.

After we had rested a bit in our room, we went downstairs to meet the hotel's General Manager, who happened to be my sister's former colleague.  As we enjoyed sipping on cups of creamy Swiss hot chocolate (yum!), Heinz spent a few minutes with us suggesting places we should visit and things to do while we were in the city.

Despite the gloomy weather that signalled rain, Ate Ning and I insisted on going out. After all, we only had 2 full days to spend in Zurich and we wanted to make the most of it.

So after speaking with one of the Guest Relations staff who gave us a map and helpfully explained how to get to the places Herr Heinz suggested, we donned our winter clothes, borrowed an umbrella from the hotel, walked to Albisriederplatz, hopped on the train, and explored the places nearby.

Stay tuned for more about our stay in Zurich!

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