Zurich For a Day   8 comments

Onwards from Amsterdam to places new. A very early start and a long walk with luggage to the station (public transport seems a bit slow off the mark on a Sunday) for a long train ride to Switzerland. Luckily the enlightened fare structures in Europe mean First Class travel is often affordable and we travelled in style all the way.

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Zurich was in full flow of a festival and the place was packed. There were clearly storms around but most of the first evening we saw plenty of sunshine.

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Views across the lake and back into town were superb as we wandered about among the fast food stalls and fun fair rides. We would have taken a few rides but this is Switzerland. Zurich, we discovered was one of the most expensive cities in the world. A fact hammered home by the poor exchange rate. When I spent my summer hols here in the 80s and 90s, climbing mountains, the exchange rate was three Swiss Francs to the pound. Now is pretty much 1:1. End result (a few costs to scare you out of a visit), £15 per person for a fairground ride, £10 for a kebab, £35 for burger and chips in a restaurant. Needless to say we didn’t eat out and were lucky that the fair was in town where junk food was, by Swiss standards, relatively affordable. It reminded me of my youthful visits and looking at prices of pretty much everything and being appalled at how much the most basic of items cost. It was a recurring them of our short stay and became something of a comedy routine to look in shop windows and restaurants to be aghast at the prices.

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Still, the views were good, the atmosphere happy and cheerful and the junk food acceptable.

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Me and TJS went out for another wander later and as the sun set the views were even more stunning.

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It eased the pain of spending money – to some degree.

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We watched a few people looking green on fairground rides, us looking green with envy that anyone could afford £15 to have a go.

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The views got even better as evening moved into night and I felt a little more generous in my feelings towards Zurich if not from my wallet.

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We were stopping in Zurich as we had to change trains on our way south so I thought it would be worth a day to see what it was like. The next day we took a stroll into the city along the waterfront.

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Grossmunster Church across the river Limmat

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Views over town from Lindenhof Square

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We then took a train to the top of the small mountain that overlooks the city, the Uetliberg.

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I like views down over city landscapes so I was pleased to see Zurich from a new angle even if it was a bit cloudy and grey.

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After lunch (an expensive decidedly disappointing sandwich from a bakery) we went for a waterfront stroll and a boat ride on the lake.

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We weren’t sure how far our day transport pass would take us, which turned out, unsurprisingly, to be not very far, one stop down the shore in fact and no more than a 20 minute walk back. This is Switzerland remember.

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Still it was a nice boat ride while it lasted and on the way back we managed a brief swim in the lake, refreshing on a humid day.

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The local ducks enjoying the waterfront

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A short stop and whilst I wouldn’t go out of my to see the city again, I’m glad we stopped over and gave it a look. Always good to experience another city, another country, another culture even if every potential purchase brings you out in a cold sweat!

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8 responses to “Zurich For a Day

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  1. We have also visited Zurich enroute to new adventures or returning home.
    I loved strolling along the waterfront and the university. The sunset put on quite a show for you.
    With our Aussie dollar where it always is, we just have to forget how much we are paying or we wouldn’t leave Oz. We don’t do at all well against the pound. In Canada the value is similar, however you buy something that you think is reasonably priced and then at the checkout etc, they add the tax!

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    • We tried to take the costs in Zurich with good humour but it really is daunting. There is now way we could afford to eat in a restaurant!. Its a pleasant place for a day and I’m sure if our full day had been sunnier we’d have enjoyed it more, especially the lakeside swimming areas. Still, glad we visited.

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  2. Christ, £35 for a burger and chips!! I’d loose weight rapidly in that city!!

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  3. Looks like a nice enough place. I like your sunset pictures – very arty!
    Sadly, the exchange rate is only going to get worse with current and future events. But at least we’ll get a blue passport so that’s fine!

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    • I’m sure a blue passport will solve all our current worries! Assuming of course we all just cheer up a bit and get with the positive feeling. Mind over Economic Reality! 😦
      The sunset was the best part of our visit, glorious vistas – and free 🙂

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  4. Great sunsets.
    We stayed with Steve in the the Zurich suburbs when the kids were little. It’s an incredibly friendly and cosmopolitan city. But it is very expensive: when Steve visits us he has one major requirement – meat! We cook lots of joints because meat is prohibitively expensive over there. Oh – and he’s always very keen to eat out too – curry and fish and chips being high on the list – for the same reason. When we visit him, my sharp intakes of breath when he has to shell out 8 shillings for a loaf of bread or something similar for a small piece of cheese are not appreciated. They do have Lidl and Aldi these days though, which has improved things a bit.

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    beatingthebounds
    • Sunsets are free – even in Zurich. Any more than a day I I would have needed surgery to get jaw back up from the floor. Nice enough place although we didn’t see it in the best of weather. Not somewhere i’d go out of way to see

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