(metallian) So that's where you've been! I was thinking of calling you the other night to see how you were but I keep coming home too late. So it turns out you were doing incredibly neat shit all over Europe. Cool! How long were you there? What was so great about the airport in Switzerland?
(my reply) Heh yeah! We were there ten days, five in Holland and four in Florence and the last full day in Venice. Which probably sounds like a frantic schedule, but it was really just about the right amount of time -- we had a terrific time for 9.5 days, then were all out of socks and patience by the last night and ready to go home. I am going to post more specifics soon.
The airport in Switzerland had:
soap in the bathrooms toilet paper in the bathrooms paper towels in the bathrooms WARM water in the bathrooms toilet seats in the bathrooms
Italy's train stations and airports typically had at most two of these things, and sometimes none.
The Swiss airport also had (and I know this won't exactly turn you on, but anyway):
really really nice smoking lounges bars and cafes with smoking areas, right in our gate area a general lack of hostility and disdain for smokers
In Italy, smoking has been banned in all public places. And it was fooking COLD while we were there.
Furthermore, the Swiss airport was:
clean efficient - passport control was well-marked, fast, polite, and comprehensible full of nice stores with cute Swiss things for sale in any currency you might be carrying
Italian train stations and airports were:
not any of those things
I probably make it sound like all we did was bitch and gripe about toilet paper, but it's really not the case. We had a wonderful time and laughed at most of these small problems. It was just a huge fucking relief to get to Zurich Airport after five days of it. ;)
part 2 (A long story about my dad and his uncle and general family stuff. Not really so much about the trip.)