Posts tagged Zurich
Posts tagged Zurich
We spent our last night in Zurich with a friend of a friend, Phillip who, despite having never met Alex and I before, had sent us a whole Zurich to-do list (although most of it was rained out with the poor weather) and invited us to watch the Eurocup game with his friends at a local bar. Because Zurich is in the the Swiss-German side of Switzerland, it was a great game to leave on: Germany vs. the Netherlands. Alex rooted for Germany and I cheered on the Netherlands (to no avail, they lost 2-1), but it was even more fun talking to the group- international, well-traveled and good senses of humor. All this after me sending a message to Phillip out of the blue and what I can only imagine his preparatory introduction of us to the group was (“I don’t know them in the least, but can these two girls come?”).
From the people we’ve met up with intentionally to the people we met accidentally, everyone has been so incredible in each city Alex and I have visited and I can’t imagine our trip without each and every one of them. You all made Europe so much more personal and fun! I hope we get to repay the favor by hosting by hosting travelers in our town (be they people we’ve met along the way, their friends or people we’ll meet in the future.) We need to repay our good travel karma and I think it’ll be pretty fun doing so.
The Swiss really like their clocks.
On a tip from a friend, Alex and I went to the Kundsthaus Museum on Wednesday to take advantage of free entry. The museum was expansive and beautiful (the two of us decided all museums were meant to look this way) and had an especially impressive modern art collection as well as a small wing with notable impressionists (what can I say? I have a one-track mind). The photo included is a sneak one taken with my iPhone because, once again, photos were “discouraged.”
A few of my favorite pieces I saw were
Tuesday night we followed our ears to a bar playing live Latin and salsa music- the rowdiest one we’d seen in Zurich, though that’s not saying much. I’m always more at home anywhere there’s loud talking and laughing but it was also so good to actually dance (Europeans mostly move demurely). The entire bar was feeling the music, so watching the crowd was nearly as much fun as joining the dance floor.
When the bar closed (bars close early in Zurich! Last call at midnight!) Our foursome of friends went up to our room where, once again, hilarity ensued via my green permanent marker which I think has accurately become a symbol of any debauchery that occurred during our trip, although that night was more silly than anything. Aussie Alex and I played repeated rounds of tic-tac-toe on each others’ legs and we took turns drawing on one another (popular themes were Australian and American animals). Some nights it’s more fun to act less than your age.
The view from the University of Zurich.
We took a cable car from city center up to the University of Zurich, a really impressive campus that made for a beautiful walk during a break in the rain.
Sometimes the best nightlife is of your own making. Alex and Alex and Ollie and I grabbed beers at the grocery store and started our adventure sitting by the river, from which we saw a an old Roman fort dating back to B.C. in the distance (first picture is a view from the top), from which we saw a Ferris wheel further out in the distance that we tracked down and rode. Spontaneity at its best.
Eating our spoils from the Lindt chocolate factory under a bridge to escape the rain. No, we’re not homeless…
We would’ve been remiss had we visited Switzerland and not stopped by a chocolate factory.
Since inclement weather meant no hiking or day trips, we just wandered around the city with our umbrellas, ducking into a few churches in between. We saw some pretty magnificent stained glass and the triptych pictured here is by Chagal.
Alex and I generally hit up the grocery store by the train station for meals since Switzerland is so expensive. But we didn’t mind because that just meant we could eat next to the river and watch the sun go down.
Waiting for the train in Switzerland is actually enjoyable with these kinds of views…
There was a rockslide that covered the train tracks to Zurich.
Thankfully Alex and I were warned this might be the case by a friend we met in our hostel who had gone to Zurich the night before, but a confusing and hilarious adventure still ensued.
Our first train was late (probably due to said rock slide, but I can’t read Italian, so we had only a vague idea of what was flashing on the screen) but while waiting on the platform, Alex and I met two Aussies named Alex and Ollie who ended up sitting across from us on the train as well. Serendipitous seating assignments because I was glad we had extra company for what turned into two connections, a wrong connection, a train back to the right connection and a bus to Zurich— a destination that should have been a straight shot on one train under normal conditions. Damn rocks.
But sometimes the journey is as worthwhile as the destination and the best trips are unplanned because, between the Swiss scenery, mixed drinks via the boys’ backpack stash while we waited for the right train after taking the wrong one and laughing at each others’ accents and colloquialisms (Australians really say ‘Mate’! They loved that I say ‘y’all’), I had an absolute blast. Plus can you even say you backpacked Europe if you didn’t get lost at least once?
Switzerland has had Alex and I pretty confused. We speak to someone in German and they respond in French. We hear conversations that are part English and part Swiss German. Clothing is priced comparably to the States but food is ridiculously expensive ($11.50 for a Big Mac!).
What we’ve been able to distill is Switzerland is the land of: chocolate, clocks, stained glass, good looking boys, layering in neutrals, rain and, for us, getting lost.
I really like it here.
“What is Switzerland?”