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A Day in Zurich

Zurich, Switzerland: Overnight report from the hotel room. Our bed has a nightlight! If your feet touch the floor, a little light pops on (from under the bed) to guide you to the bathroom.

Since we really didn't see much of Zurich last evening, we spent the entire day walking around, seeing the touristy things and enjoying 82° sunny weather. As I wrote yesterday, I had mapped-out a route, but we strayed from this quite a bit. We kept finding interesting alleys or squares to explore, but would eventually get back to our course.

This city is very vibrant, with many different cultures, ancient architecture next to a modern office building, and restaurants serving every type of food (though coffee/pastry shops and Italian restaurants seem to rule). There are mom-and-pop shops and Louis Vuitton... and, as always, H&M. Near our hotel every major luxury brand is represented - including so many Swiss watch shops. (Seriously, how many watches can all these watch stores sell?) The large downtown area is basically car-free. Tram cars sail up and down every street, and so many people are on bicycles. Where cars must have previously traveled, café tables are now in place.

On the way to our first stop, we came across a Farmer Market. I only snapped one photo - of flowers - but the produce was gorgeous, and again, organic.

Zurich Farmer Market

There are two famous churches in Zurich: Fraumünster (Lady Cathedral) and Grossmünster (Big Cathedral). Fraumünster is known for - guess what - stained glass windows by Marc Chagall. (Chagall must have made stained glass windows for hundreds of temples and churches.)

The two churches are across the Limmat River from each other. Here are photos of both churches taken from the bridge:

We did pop our heads inside Grossmünster, but people were actually praying in this cathedral, so we let them be.

Close-up of Grossmünster
Around the next corner - another square with a fountain.
And another fountain!

After spending several hours walking around the Altstadt (old town), we started walking along the river to Lake Zurich. There are boat rides available in the river, but the bridges are very low, so the boats are also low and we couldn't see how anything much would be visible except the walls along the river - we opted out of this planned adventure and just kept walking towards the lake.

View across the river from Altstadt
Zurich swan
So many beautiful swans in the river and lake
Limmat River
Pretty café on the river - and one of the low river tourist boats
DT on the bridge where the river exits the lake.
Zurich Opera House
Zurich Opera House

If a river cruise didn't seem like a good idea, how about a lake cruise? There were so many boats departing from the end of the lake every few minutes, we decided to take the next one. It was a 90-minute cruise for only 8 Swiss francs. We found a nice table for two along the rail and enjoyed the beautiful vistas and weather.

Lake Zurich
Leaving "port"
Lake Zurich
Lake Zurich

I noticed something out in the water and Dave and I tried to figure-out what was bobbing in the water. It was a person swimming - in the middle of this HUGE lake. I can't imagine how cold the water would be, but there were so many people swimming near the shore, and occasionally we would see someone way out in the lake.

Back on dry land, we started walking back to our hotel (less than a mile). It was after 4 o'clock and we didn't have lunch, so stopped by the famous (since 1836) coffee and pastry shop, Confiserie Sprüngli - at their flagship store just near our hotel.

Cappuccino Cuteness

There was one more stop on our itinerary today: a drugstore. On Saturday in Innsbruck, while we dining at that fun place with the wedding party marching through the square, Dave was stung by a Yellowjacket-type bee (bees are everywhere at outdoor restaurants) near his elbow. It hurt, but really didn't bother him much until yesterday when his arm really began to swell-up! (I'll be fine.) While we were on the boat this afternoon, his hand began to swell and I insisted he get some antihistamine. The druggist also gave him some cooling gel to help with the swelling/itching. (Didn't stop him from working out in the hotel fitness center after we returned from our touring today - and we had walked over 6 miles.)

Much later, we went to a traditional Swiss restaurant to eat Rosti. It's just a huge crispy hashbrown patty - this time topped with fresh tomatoes and smothered in Alpine cheese. Burp.

Gut bomb

Until my next update, I remain, your Zurich correspondent.

Pedometer: 16,000 steps.

One thought

  1. I had a bee crawl up my slacks in Germany and I stripped them off in a farmers market so fast your head would spin. Very allergic and the pharmacy there was very helpful. What a wonderful vacation you’re both enjoying.

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