January 19, 2009

Birthday Road Trip

Well, I am now officially in my last year of my 20’s. Wow. It’s really amazing how life just flies by. Thirty will be here before I know it but I still feel about 23. I figure I better end the second decade of my life with a bang so let the shenanigans begin!

On the 9th I met up with Guðrún who was kind enough to share her birthday celebration with me. I was celebrating a little early due to Mick being away snowboarding and a pre-planed trip to see Jessica in Germany for my actual birthday. It was a good night we started and remained at the Porterhouse all night. It was great to be drinking Red instead of Coors Light for a change.

Then on Thursday the 15th I woke up at 4:30am to get to Dublin airport to catch my flight to Frankfurt Hahn. The flight was good until the end when we attempted to land but the visibility on the runway was at zero. We made one attempt but had to pull back up as we could see absolutely nothing but fog. From there we circled the airport for an additional half an hour and then approached from a different direction, success! After several questions in my extremely broken German I found the bus station and was off to see Jess.

Jess Greeted me at her house with a special birthday quiche, then off for a little nap. The next day we were up bright and early to begin our journey to Zürich. We drove straight through Germany and France and into Switzerland. Thanks to the superb roads the four-hour journey seemed only like two.

Once in Zürich we found our ridiculously clean hostel and began our exploring. Immediately we noticed how clean the city was too. Of course, most other European cities are clean when you come from Dublin but Zürich was immaculate. Shortly after we also realised how expensive it was! Two Corona’s, one meal and one starter (split between the two of us) cost €50. This may not have been so bad if the food was good but it was possibly the worst Mexican food I’ve ever had. Imagine: Cool ranch Doritos with old El Paso Salsa on em with a bit of cheese and some canned guacamole and you can imagine my disappointment. In it’s defense however, we probably should have gone for some traditional Swiss food instead of Mexican food…it’s just hard for me to walk by those bright yellow and red signs that boasts such delicious cuisine and not stop. Oh how I’d pay for just one 7-layer burrito from taco bell…(yep, it’s that bad).

We continued our tour of the old town and meandered down the many quaint ally ways, peering through expensive shop windows. The town was empty, surprising for a Friday night. Not finding much to do and the shops all closed, we headed back towards our hostel with the hopes of finding a nice little local pub to tuck into. Our hopes soon dashed. We asked several passerby’s for directions, but they all replied that Zürich has no ‘local pubs’ and if we wanted a beer we’d have to head back to the city center…strange. Very strange. Defeated we headed for the hostel but soon found ourselves lost. And then… a pub — Hooray! We joined the six old men inside and stayed until late. Good conversation with Jess and good beer. A local man took a shine to us and told many stories in broken german/english, mainly about how he was from the Milkey Way system and broken memories of war. He explained that he has a storm in his brain that made it hard for him think (to me, he seemed to think far too much!). I believe he was just happy to have someone to listen.

Saturday morning we packed our bag and set off for the local flea market before we left town. We picked through junk for the better part of an hour, me buying a small bottle topper and jess a picture. Back on the road again and off for Strasbourg. Strasbourg was absolutely beautiful and much more ‘realistic’ than Zürich. We walked around the town for 2 hours and toured the town’s gothic cathedral. We ate lunch and sampled chocolates. And then headed back for Homburg.

Sunday morning we lazed around and waited for lunch. Jess’ mom made a traditional german meal of Klöße with sauerkraut and bacon sauce. Absolutely fantastic!

Overall I have to say I’m happy I got a chance to revisit Switzerland, but I can now say it does not live up to what I thought. Perhaps if I was extraordinarily rich and enjoyed the finer things in life I might move to Zürich, but for now I think I’ll stick with this dirty old town.

Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes. Love ya all.

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Germany / France / Switzerland


  1. Anonymous

    Love you Judy. Missing you a lot lately.


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