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The Solar Impulse Press Conference in Zurich, Switzerland


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The Solar Impulse Press Conference in Zurich,

Part I – The Flight & Sightseeing in Zurich

November 4th, 2007

I was invited to attend the Solar Impulse Press Conference which was held in Zurich Switzerland on Monday October 5th, 2007 by the Omega Watch Company.  Omega has partnered with several other sponsors in a project to build a solar power airplane with the goal of flying it around the world.   So when I was invited to attend and cover a major press conference event intended to update the world on the progress of the team behind the concept, I jumped at the opportunity.  I headed to the Dayton Airport on Saturday the 3rd and flew to Washington D.C. for my flight to Zurich.

Having arrived in DC with time to kill, before my evening flight to Zurich I decided to head to the Red Carpet Lounge to relax:

Soon enough it was time to board the flight to Zurich – my first on time connection all year!

My home for next 8 hours:

Much to my (pleasant) surprise, we took off on time and were on our way…I frequently checked our progress on the flip up video screen in my seat:

Shortly after takeoff the dinner menu for the evening was circulated:

I went with the fillet:

…and a sunday for desert…just like on SEINFELD. 😀

Apologies for the quality of these “in flight” photos – they were taken with my mobile phone camera.

After dinner, I watched the in flight movie, then grabbed about 4 hours sleep.  I woke up to breakfast being served as we were about an hour and half out from Zurich.

A perfect morning snack!

We arrived Sunday morning about 7am Zurich time – I was greeted by this sign as I deplaned in Zurich:.

The first order of business was going through the passport check:

After collecting my luggage (mine was the first bag off the plane!) I located the driver who had been sent to pick me up and take me to the hotel:

I can only assume the BMW in their fleet was being used on someone more important…but this worked OK too. 😉

It was only about a 20 minute ride before I spotted the hotel I would be staying in while in Zurich – the Central Plaza hotel.

The hotel is reputed to be one of Zurich’s finest and in a fantastic location on the Limmat River and in the heart of downtown Zurich.  The limo driver helped collect my bags and I headed into the hotel lobby:

That’s a waterfall wall right behind the tan seating on the left – very well decorated lobby.  I checked in and went up to my 5th floor room – a bit small by US standards but very well appointed nonetheless:

After I unpacked I decided to grab a couple more hours of sleep before heading out to do some sight seeing and photo taking!  Here’s a few shots on the river:

Zurich is an incredibly easy city to navigate by foot, and the Swiss are very friendly.

The main rail station in Zurich is only about a 2 minute walk from the hotel:

From here I simply wandered up and down the charming streets window shopping and sightseeing – most of the stores were closed as it was Sunday, but I came back to a few on Monday:

It wasn’t long until I happened upon The world famous Bahnhofstrasse (Zurich’s most popular shopping street):

Here’s Switzerland’s largest department store – Jelmoli, the “house of brands.”:

One of my favorite stores – Bally’s

The Savoy Hotel of Zurich:

Isn’t Zurich just lovely in the Fall?

Soon I happened upon the watch shopping district! Now we’re talking!

There were several large jewelry and watch stores like these:

Here’s the largest jewelry and watch store in Zurich, and perhaps one of the most famous in all of Switzerland – Bucherer!

It seemed nearly every watch brand had their own boutique store as well – here’s the IWC store:

And of course, the Omega boutique – considered their flagship since it was the first Omega boutique store the brand ever had, back in 2000.

After some thoroughly enjoyable sightseeing, I headed back to the Central Plaza hotel and changed for my dinner meeting with the Omega group.  We walked over to a fantastic restaurant with a Mediterranean menu:

Omega representatives from all over the world came in from the press conference – I got to meet reps from China, Russia, and of course from Switzerland.

After dinner we said our goodbyes and I headed back to the hotel for some shut eye – I wanted to be well rested for the big Press Conference on Monday morning!

*All text and images contained in this review are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.

About John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of, as well as and *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.


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