Sao Paulo to Zurich to Paris

Thursday 24th December 2015

I left the Viva Hostel Design around 5pm, off to the Sao Paulo airport for a plane to Zurich.
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Passed this church on the way.
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Saw a few more cool tags from the taxi window, like this one.
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Sao Paulo said good-bye to me and see you again. One day! Brazil is the size of Australia! I would need another 6-month trip just for Brazil itself in order to learn the language and see the country properly! Another time, maybe. Hopefully under a less rainy day!
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Arrived at the airport.
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Dropped the backpack at the Swissair counter.
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And already too soon, I was in the 8.30pm plane off to Zurich for 11 hours and half and landing at 11am there the next day.
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Saw Sao Paulo from the plane.
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Dinner got served, had it with some red wine.
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We were cruising at a speed of 900km/h already and were at an altitude of 10,058m.
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Here was the journey ahead of us.
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It was -44 degrees outside and we had 8,154km to cover!
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It was beautiful to see the full moon outside of the window.

Friday 25th December 2015
Merry Christmas!
I was pretty tired from the day and fell asleep and missed the sunrise, which happens rarely to me! I woke up and the light was already really bright!
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Breakfast was being served. During brekky, I chatted a bit with my neighbour. She was Brazilian and a big fan of a Swedish band, she was in love with the singer and once she was landing in Zurich, she was jumping into a flight for Stockholm to go spend some time with him! Cool music love story!!! We had great seats, row 31, with lots of leg room. To our right was a family with a very little funny girl we can see on this photo who kept looking at us all the way and smiling like only little kids can do, it was really cute!
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Breakfast on Swissair has to involve some gruyere, of course!!! ūüôā
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And some Swiss chocolate that I enjoyed while preparing blog articles on the bloody slow netbook I had bought some time ago in Bogota early August. If there was one thing I was not going to miss, it was that netbook, the slowest computer ever invented, I bet you, which was driving me nuts. Driving me goat as we say in French!!!
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Soon we flew over the mountains.
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I was contemplating them, searching for the Mt Blanc.
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Lots of snow! First I thought, hey that could be the Mt Blanc. It is pretty white.
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Another view. Na, too flat. Probably not. So where is it?
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Somewhere in there? Na.
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Here maybe? I doubt so.
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And here it was. Or at least I like to think it is.
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Yep, that one. The Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe, at 4,808 meters. Hey, hey, I thought. I have been higher now! 4,818 meters near the Pulpito del Diablo in El Cocuy in Colombia, and 5,600 meters half-way towards the Summit of Huayna Potosi near La Paz. Yeah! Well, still, a very beautiful mountain!!
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Some more photos of the Mont Blanc or what I like to think is the Mont Blanc. And if I got it wrong, too bad. ūüôā

A few more mountains.
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And a bit of countryside.
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Passing small villages with a layout typical of European villages, a few houses along the road with red pointed roofs. Yes, we are back in Europe indeed!
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It was funny to see the advertising about the Swiss Knife from the plane!
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And we landed on time in Zurich, at 11.05am.
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My next flight to Paris was 6 hours later, at 4.50pm. Why that? Because I had thought when I bought the tickets that I didn’t want to have just 1h30 in between those two flights in case the first flight would be delayed and I would have missed the second one and airports would have been packed and planes fulls and I would have been stranded in Zurich on Christmas Day forever. So I had preferred to leave 6 hours in between. Now the¬†funny thing was that Martina, the Swiss-German girl I had met during the Ciudad Perdida trek near Santa Marta in Colombia in the first week of my trip and travelled with to Minca and then San Gil, was from Zurich! She celebrated Christmas the evening before with her family so she had the afternoon free! We managed to meet in the airport and went out of the airport to the city centre. It was soooo funny to see her after all this time. When I had met her, she had already been travelling for a couple of months, mostly through Central America, in particular Guatemala and had already spent a month in Colombia when we met. After we met, she had gone to San Andres islands which are north of Colombia just before Panama and then she had flown to Vancouver. She originally wanted to volonteer in Banff but it had not worked out so she had spent 2 months in Vancouver instead, working there and chilling out and meeting people and had come back after that to Switzerland. She was now back in her life, moving soon to the centre of Zurich and had just started a new job. Catching-up in Zurich was just soooo cool. A great way for me to finish the trip. To realise that the travellers you bond with during your trip in exceptional circumstances can become friends for life, people that are on the same wavelength as you, passionate travellers at heart, explorers of the unknown, discoverers, quirky curious minds who love to constantly go again out there see the world. No matter for how long we don’t see each other, I knew that with her and with so many others I had met during this trip, there would be this instantaneous connection starting again the moment we would meet again.

We walked around Zurich, chatting and chatting and chatting, mostly about travelling and where we had been and what we had done after we had said good-bye in San Gil.

We stopped at this restaurant where we had an awesome Swiss-German fondue for lunch with some nice white wine.
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There was this cow about to jump out of the window just above my head. Luckily she had wings so I was less worried. Jeeez. Strange things going on in that Zurich place, ahah.
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This is where we sat. It was cold outside so it was quite nice to cover our legs with warm blankets. Such a cool idea.
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So many choices of fondues. We decided to share the “Traditional fondue with Prosecco and pear”. For the anecdote, three weeks later I was in Switzerland again catching up this time with my friend Cecile and Robin and their two kids Clement and Maxime and then with Patrick the guy I went to the Galapagos with who happened to live just 30 minutes drive from Cecile, and with Patrick’s girlfriend Anne I had briefly met in the Lima-Guayaquil bus when they had joined the bus in Mancora and who turned to be super super cool awesome girl when I got to spend some more time with them in Switzerland three weeks later. So anyway, when I told Patrick and Anne, who are Swiss-French, that I had had a Prosecco and pear fondue in Zurich, they said: What??? Those Swiss-German, really. What do they know about fondues? This is nuts!!! Ahahahahahah.
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With that fondue we got some nice white wine. Can’t remember which one though!
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The fondue looked good and turned out to be really awesome. It was almost surreal to be in Europe, in Zurich, catching-up with Martina I had met in Colombia, when 2 days before I was in Ushuaia!
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After lunch, we walked a bit, passed this cool church.
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Next we had some mulled wine, or Gluhwein as they call it there. So good!
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With our warm gluehwein in hand, we walked around the streets of Zurich.

Then it was almost 3pm. Time to head to the airport for the 5pm flight to Paris.
Martina and I headed to the train station together and she came with me to the airport again so we could have the most time possible catching-up together!

At the airport, we sat here and had a nice hot chocolate.
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Then it was time to say good-bye and see you again one day somewhere on this earth! In Switzerland, or in Paris, or in Australia or who knows where!!! I headed to the gate, and passed this huge beautiful Christmas tree.
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Waited to board the plane. Enjoying the Golden Light falling onto the planes. The soft Winter Light of Europe.
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Here we were. Last flight. 4.50pm to Paris. For 1h15 of flight. Would arrive at 6.05pm.
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Boarding the plane.
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View of the airport from the plane.
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And we took off!!! The sunset colours were very pretty!
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And before I knew it, the last flight was over! I was in Paris! Grabbed my backpack, went through Passeport Control. “Hola!” Oh..Sorry…”Bonjour!” Ah wrong one. “Bonsoir!”. Phew. It took me a few days to stop saying Hola and think of saying Bonjour! To stop saying a mix of Sorry and Perdon and Por favor and get to say “Pardon! Pardon!” when I wanted to go through the rush of the Parisian tube.

The trip was over but it was also nice to still have 5 weeks of holidays. To be back in France where I had not been since 12 months and to see my family. We celebrated Christmas on the 27th April this year and everyone was there. And I spent the next 5 weeks catching-up with friends in Paris, and from Lyon, and in Geneva and near Geneva and also in London for 8 days. It was awesome.

The next day I landed, I wrote the “Merry Christmas!” article that I published on Christmas day to re-assure everyone I was still alive and had happily landed as at the time, I had not written anything on the blog since Pucon maybe.

It is almost time to wrap up this travel journey diary blogging but…I have a couple of bonus articles I wanna write before I really finish it! So bear with me for a few more…:-D

Oh and today is Anzac day in Australia. The 25th April 2016. A public  holiday on a Monday. And it is a really cool thing to finish writing this travel trip exactly 4 months after it finished on a 25th December, and on a public holiday again! Youhouuuu!!!

This is it. The last “travel journal” article.
Next…a few bonus ones! Yeah.