The long-awaited day has now been realized. We arrived in Zurich yesterday. GLH, Max, Tilly and I all made it safely.
Traveling with the cats was pretty easy. The only real difficulty we ran into was on the United flight between Minneapolis and Chicago. The United employees did not think we had all of the documentation Switzerland required. (By the way, Switzerland only requires proof of rabies vaccination for imported cats.) They wanted all sorts of other information, including special visas for cats, a form of documentation that doesn't even exist!
What made this all so strange is that we only flew United for a domestic flight. We switched over to Swiss Air for the international flight. So what did they care? Still, it took us 45 minutes to convince them to allow us on the flight.
Swiss Air didn't even blink and it was no problem. And when we arrived in Zurich the very bored customs official glanced at our paperwork and stamped it. Took less than 1 minute.
The only other issue is when I briefly became the Crazy Cat Lady. While departing the plane in Zurich, I had taken one of the carriers out from under the seat and placed it in the aisle while I reached around for the other carrier. A very impatient Swiss man actually kicked the carrier out of his way instead of just waiting for me to finish. I yelled at him and everyone immediately backed away from me and the cats. It felt good actually. Normally I am a polite Minnesotan who rarely raises her voice in public. But goodness sake, you don't kick someone else's luggage out of your way regardless of what is in it. I don't care that he didn't know it was a living animal!
Thus far we have spent our time by stocking up on food, purchasing necessary sundry items and registering our existence with the local Gemeindehaus (City Hall). This evening we had time for a nice walk before dinner. We really like the village we are living in. It's only 10 minutes to Zurich via train and has many lovely little shops, three grocery stores, numerous restaurants and, we were amazed to see, a Starbucks. All within easy walking distance. Although it will take some physical training to get accustomed to the enormous hill that must be climbed back to our home.
So, I wonder how long it will be before we no longer feel as if we are on vacation? It will probably happen to GLH faster as he has to go to work...