Sunday afternoon blog-time
In Switzerland, or at least in Zürich, Sundays are not work days and they are not shopping days. I think they are days when you are supposed to spend time with your family, doing things you want to do rather than things you have to do. Virtually all of the stores are closed as well, so no catching up on shopping that you didn’t fit in during the week. In our apartment building (and many, we’re told), there is even a rule that you cannot do laundry on Sunday. You are also not allowed to do laundry after 9 pm on other days. This is really contrary to our habits, but we are adjusting (no other choice, really). So even though it is a little tricky to fit in time for laundry during the acceptable hours (when you have to sign up a few days in advance), it is a treat to have a Sunday afternoon that comes with expectations that you not work.
and about 24 hours left to worry about Coquetta’s arrival in Switzerland!
It’s nice to take a long walk with Abbey when the weather is nice but it isn’t nice today. And Jo just left for a work trip in Italy, so it’s just me, some books, the neglected blog, and about 24 hours left to worry about Coquetta’s arrival in Switzerland!
On Wednesday, Coquetta left her quarantine barn and headed to LAX to check in 24-hours in advance of her KLM flight to Amsterdam. Lucky for me, one of her “seat-mates” is a horse named Apache and he is also being imported to a village near to where Coquetta will live. Apache’s owner opted to fly with him as his groom and so between the various shipping companies involved and Apache’s dad, I was able to get a few updates on Coquetta’s journey. The snippets of news were most welcome, since I have been on pins and needles since before her trip started! From these sources, I learned that Coquetta arrived safely at the overnight stabling area at LAX and loaded well onto the airplane (not a given with this horse!). I got a picture of Apache that showed Coquetta’s little nose sticking out, so I knew she was ON the plane.
When the trickle of news stopped coming (once they were airborne), I tried to sleep and woke up anxious to know that the plane landed in Amsterdam without any diversions or emergency landings due to a 1100 lb. redhead losing it on board. Eventually I found a flight tracker that told me the flight landed on time in Schiphol! Phew! The updates slowly continued throughout the day on Friday letting me know that the 3 horses in her “cabin” cleared the vet and she and Apache were settled in for 2 nights at a little horse hotel near the airport. Apache’s dad was kind enough to bundle her up in her new heavy-weight winter blanket since it was very cold there (I know the shock of taking off in 80 degrees and landing where it is below freezing…). He told me she seemed calm and possibly confused about her circumstances but was getting on well with Apache.
This morning, yet another company took over responsibility for the horses to start the drive through Germany to the Swiss border. So today they will cross a few more countries and spend their last night in the EU (on a transit visa, for you travel-savvy people, yup, the horses have the same kind of thing) and hopefully cross through the border by Basel in the morning. I’m told there is every reason to expect any complications that may arise to happen here in this step. Who knows why; there are a lot of horror stories about the Swiss border control for horses and animals… but I’m crossing my fingers that Coquetta and Apache will get through as easily as Abbey did at the airport. Best case scenario supposedly takes a few hours (hope C doesn’t paw the whole time they are stopped… her toes are really long now and Apache will probably dump her if she’s that annoying).
So… with C on her final legs of the long journey, I am looking forward to meeting her at her new barn. She will have 2 windows and a lot of activity to monitor from where her stall is located. It is quite small by California standards, but average or larger than average for over here it seems. She will also have 3 other neighbors in her little section of the barn. I wonder if there is also a Swiss German-horse language that only Swiss horses can understand…? (i.e., nothing we learn in our German class helps us to understand the Swiss-German dialect that people speak here!)
Apparently horses do not suffer from jetlag the way that humans do. I will have to report back on that once I get to see how she does when she arrives.