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Published: October 3rd 2016
We left Oslo wishing we had more time, but it was time for the next adventure in the Swiss Alps. The mist of the day before had turned heavier, sprinkling lightly as we walked back to the Oslo terminal. Fortunately again, it was just a few yards to the covered walkway. We had a ticket on SAS, code shared with Swiss Air, actually operated by Helvetic, a Swiss Air subsidiary. We had a shock trying to check in the night before the flight and being told “that ticket is invalid for check-in ” at SAS. It took some sleuthing but found the reservation on Swiss Air, but we still couldn’t check in. We gave some more margin to get to the airport. “Check-in” was easy by waving a barcode from an email under a scanner. Then we found the found the baggage check in line that wound back and forth; 20 minutes later we were ready for going through security. We waved our boarding passes under another scanner which gave us access to the security screeners, then the doors to the international zone and a very crowded duty free section, and finally to the very busy gate area. I bought some water and a bit of chocolate to reduce my unusable Norwegian Krone coins. When we got on the plane I was tremendously surprised : never once had we shown any identification! Not to get the boarding pass, not to get to or through security, and not to board the plane. Anyone with a paper copy of my email could have got through.
We had an uneventful flight to Zurich, except for my leaving my fleece and ball cap under the seat in front of me, which I did not realize till much later while eating lunch in the airport. The Zurich airport facilities are very large, with one entire underground level being a shopping mall, with quick access to the trains, subway, parking, and plane terminal.
We picked up our rental car there, a diesel Mazda 3, with manual transmission. Neither of us has owned a stick shift in years, and all of Gary’s recent use of a stick has been driving in Ireland or Australia - on the left, shifting with the left hand. It all came back to him readily, especially being able to start out on an autobahn and not deal with urban or cross traffic. The drive was pretty straight forward to our hotel in Lauterbrunnen in the valley above Interlaken, below Grindelwald. Gary had printed directions from Google maps and had researched most of the turns using Google Street View. Street View was a big assist as long as we had the car. The weather was cloudy and hazy, so there was nothing much to see on the way to our hotel.
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