The next morning we took it pretty easy as we prepared to travel from Luxembourg to Switzerland. The night before we did some COVID testing with the kits we brought with us, and both tested negative – we did this simply for piece of mind, prior to travel. Take a look at our gorgeous, negative, COVID popsicle! (It’ snot for licking though!)
When checkout time came, we, dropped off our luggage and checked out – out flight wasn’t until the evening. We headed into the old town and took our time at a coffee shop for some fancy cappuccinos.
Then we continued walking around the city in search of a Luxembourg Christmas ornament – it was slim pickings. We narrowed it down between 3 different ones, all that were cheesy and generic but at least had the name of the city on it. Ultimately we selected the one that made us laugh – a Christmas tree shaped ornament with the city’s name on it. We also took a few last pictures of the town as well, before traveling from Luxembourg to Switzerland.
Back at the city museum, we decided to take in the Iran photography exhibit. It was short, informative, and excellent, albeit not free. Since Christmas ornament shopping and our snackable museum visit took most of the morning, we decided to stop for lunch, also to regroup and kill some time. We were finally getting on pins and needles about whether we would be able to enter Switzerland and see our two remaining planned countries, Switzerland and Liechtenstein (day trip from Zurich).
The meal was mediocre but the restaurant, Um Dierfgen, was quite pleasant. I had a *way* heavier than expected traditional dumpling dish and Brendan had roasted boar mit spätzel. We also continued to enjoy Belgian beer.
After lunch we returned to the hotel, picked up our luggage, and queued for the local, free transportation to the airport, to begin our journey from Luxembourg to Switzerland. It was a direct route with several stops, and was very easy to navigate. We left ourselves at least 3 hours at the airport just in case we needed to pivot.
The Luxembourg Airport is a small, efficient operation. There was not very much traffic when we arrived, and we checked our bags quickly (we had purchased the checked luggage in advance through Swiss Airlines, which I always recommend doing because it’s cheaper and saves you time when you need it). We breezed through security and our flight was on time. Killing time was a sport today – after exhausting all of the gift shops, we hunkered down and read and blogged. Now we were just waiting to board our Swiss Air flight from Luxembourg to Switzerland
Our flight from Luxembourg to Zurich boarded on time, and we had no issues. We were in flight quickly for the last, short hop to Zürich. We didn’t know what to expect from a COVID procedural perspective, and what was waiting for us on the other side. All the necessary paperwork (the Swiss entry form, and the beginnings of the digital vaccine passport) were in hand. We quickly made it through immigration and into baggage claim, where we also quickly received our luggage and headed out the main gate. No additional protocols awaited us, and no one, anywhere questioned us about our previous travel. We breathed a sigh of relief and chalked it up to security theater. Public transportation by train was easy into Zürich, and we navigated the ticket kiosks in the terminal to purchase two one-ways to Zürich Hauptbahnhof – the main, downtown train station. Flying from Luxembourg to Switzerland ended up being simple and easy, even during Omicron.
At this point it was nearly 10PM as we were locating and eventually checking in to our Ruby Mimi Hotel, located close to the train station in Zurich, on the banking / new side of the city (the west side). It was still a bit of a walk, in the rain, wheeling our luggage across train tracks and cobblestone because we didn’t know the underground path through the train station yet.
The hotel check in was slick, and we entered on a warm tone with modern automation and efficiency. In exchange for housekeeping service, we were offered free drink coupons, which seemed better than they turned out to be. They were also extremely hard to use and the service automatically became worse when we pulled them out. At this point, though, we were still appreciating the high points of the check-in process, and decided to go to the hotel bar/restaurant, which served a limited menu of pizzas, and was open 24/7 with the convenience factor. So after dropping our luggage off in the room and showering, we headed back to the hotel restaurant for a bite to eat. We were also in the process of figuring out the COVID test center registration and appointment procedures, and this gave us a good space to continue doing so. I ended up finding a center nearby and booking an appointment for Saturday morning, prior to our tour to Lichtenstein.
The service at the hotel bar on the first night was some of the best service we had, albeit from a new waitress still learning the ropes, and we only used one drink coupon on a Lillete Blanc with vodka aperitif. I ordered the parma and arugula pizza and Brendan ordered the Salami pizza, and they were both just OK.
There is not much to say about the room other than it’s an efficiency with no space, but a galley style organization and a shower with a 270 degree view of the “cabin” with, thankfully, a curtain that could be closed. The temperature setting could only be adjusted +/3 degrees from a baseline that was not exposed to the guest. We had to open the window a lot because we found it warm. After 4 nights, we wished for a larger room and noticed we tried to minimize our time in it.