ZURICH, SWITZERLAND— It was 7 o’ clock in the morning and in 10 minutes, I would be landing at the Flughafen Zurich, the largest airport in the Swiss Confederation (Switzerland).
I have been flying from Hong Kong to Zurich for 10 hours on my way to Tel Aviv and I was scheduled to have a three-hour layover here in Switzerland, before my final journey to the Middle East.
There really wasn’t enough time for me to go out of the airport and explore this charming European city. I accepted this truth, as as soon as I purchased my ticket.
Still, minutes away from Zurich, part of me was hurting over the fact that I wouldn’t be able to explore Switzerland, even though I am literally in the country and I was flying over Swiss territory. Add to that, the fact that Zurich is actually called “Portal to the Alps”.
Since childhood, I have imagined myself playing in one of Switzerland’s famous alps, covered in powdery snow, not giving a care in the world. I have imagined myself skiing or driving down on snowmobiles in the Swiss countryside during winter. In fact Matterhorn, is included in my bucket list of must-visit places before I hit 35.
I have always known that I would be able to visit Switzerland, but that day, is not today. I was merely making a lay-over.
“This is totally awesome,” I was telling myself. It would have been a much more surreal experience had I been able to see a glimpse of the famous Swiss Alps. I guess fate had other plans.
Then it happened.
Past green mountain tops, rivers and landscapes, without warning, the snow-capped peaks suddenly appeared in the horizon.
I literally caught my breath.
I could not accurately describe the emotions that filled me during those very few minutes. It was magical, Time stopped. It was totally love at first sight.
I would have cried if I didnt know I would look like a total weirdo to other passengers. To be fair, everyone was also silent, as they witness the grandeur of the Swiss Alps.
For five to 10 minutes or so, I flew over a totally snow-covered landscape broken only by rivers, roads and lower mountain ranges. I could not take my eyes off off it.
I was indeed in Switzerland but no matter how much I want to, I would have to stay at the airport and carry on with my onward flight to Israel.
Whereas I was totally sad about it, during the beginning of my trip, the latter part of the flight was just magical and joyous.
My experience seeing the Swiss Alps, totally lifted my spirits.
Those snow-covered peaks then became my inspiration to keep moving forward with my travels.
If I work hard enough for it, and if the fates allow, then one day, maybe soon, I would finally be able to visit Switzerland, the country, and not just the airport.