Thursday, August 8, 2013

Zurich, Switzerland





Dan, having always wanted to visit Switzerland, suggested we made the 4-hour road trip to Zürich for the weekend.  

[History Lesson: Zürich is the largest city in Switzerland. It’s one of the worlds leading global countries and among the world’s largest financial centers. It has continually been ranked as the city with the highest standard of living worldwide. Some say it’s surprisingly vibrant and trendy. It’s located north of Lake Zurich and has many rivers running through it.]

We drove into Zürich and found our apartment with surprisingly zero difficulty.  It’s surprising because Zurich has a clusterfuck (excuse my French) of a layout. Most European cities do for that matter, probably because back when they were created, they were designed to achieve circulation of the population and provide defense against invasion. But Zürich in particular was rather confusing, as we constantly got lost (a great way to see all parts of the city, however!)

After dropping our things in our apartment and parking for free, we headed towards the tourist office to get maps and excursion ideas. We walked around the city a bit before stopping at a café for beers and Swiss Nachos.

Swiss Nachos: a plate of corn tortilla chips drizzled in balsamic glaze with sides of thousand-island dressing and guacamole. I know, guacamole in Europe. Gasp! They weren’t your traditional heaping plate of chips, guac, sour cream, cheese, olives, salsa, meat, etc but they were deliciously European.

We continued to walk around the city, picked up some snacks and wine at the market and went back to apartment to get out of the blazing sun for a bit.



 

That night we ate sandwiches along the rivers edge and were surprised at how rowdy the city was becoming. It’s no wonder; with it becoming an increasingly more popular party destination. Zürich has over 80 clubs, 500 bars and 1500 restaurants.



We were in the Altstadt (Old Town) and this is where the party was getting started. DJ hits screaming out of clubs every block, boys shooting off cheap fireworks in the middle of the street and gorgeous, model thin women effortlessly teetering on 6 inch heels through alleyways double cheek kissing friends before heading inside dark nightclubs to presumably drink overpriced cocktails and dance the night away.

We headed back towards our apartment on the west side of town to find a more low key bar.

We woke up early the next day willing away our slight whisky and wine headaches and took a 2-hour boat ride around Lake Zürich. It starts in the city center and heads southeast towards the Alps. As we cruised closer in view of them, the more nostalgic I felt. I didn’t realize how much I missed the mountains until I was teased with the faint shadows of these Swiss Alps.

Being in boats and water has always been very peaceful and calming to me. That is then paired with a backdrop of one of the most famous mountain ranges in the world. Sigh.

We took some snapshots, but unfortunately we were too far away to getting anything postcard worthy. Below is what we did get!

















After the cruise, we headed to a well-known restaurant called Adler Suisse Chuchi for fondue. I read that most Swiss only eat fondue when there is snow on the ground, but the fondue restaurants cater to tourists all year long :)

We ordered a glass of the local Zürich wine, the Adler special fondue with bread chunks and a traditional sausage stuffed with cheese and bacon.

Not my finest moment occurred when the bread was gone and I used my fondue fork to scrape the last bits of cheese off the bottom of the warm pot to put directly into my mouth.

We spent the rest of the day strolling the walkway along the lake.  Paddleboats for rent, cafes, bars, ice-cream shops, sunbathers and people reading on tree shaded benches.




Getting Sassy.

We both LOVED Zürich, so like the Americans we are, we made sure to get the appropriate, least tacky branded souvenirs. (Me a coffee mug, him a flag.)

Before we left we wanted to make sure to get some Swiss Chocolate. All the markets and chocolate shops were closed with it being a Sunday. So, just like Zagreb, we've given ourselves a reason to come back!

The Route. K-twon to Zurich

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