Zürich

Day three: Zürich.

Zürich is HUGE. I mean, it seems kind of obvious to say that, but it was somehow more than I expected. And it is rather glamorous, what with it’s designer shops and snazzy lake front and all.

I managed to see a fair bit a handy city map, again with a walking tour that went around the old town. Again, it was very pretty and quaint. And a real rabbit warren. Even with my map, I managed to make wrong turns and end up two streets down from where I needed to be. But in a good way – it meant I found little places off the beaten track which I may not have found otherwise. Yay, exploration!

Staying on the beaten track, though, the trail went past the Grossmünster. And it is big (well, its name does mean ‘big cathedral’), although it didn’t feel as big on the inside as it looked from the outside. Or maybe that was me. Anyway, I went down into the crypt because I saw a sign that said they had an art exhibition on, which I thought looked interesting. It was a massive sculpture that took up half the crypt and almost blocked the doorways, and it looked a bit like a treehouse. It was a cool-looking wooden tunnel on stilts, basically. I had to psych myself up to do it, but I eventually wiggled through the small hole and climbed up to the top of it, and you came out in some sort of amphitheatre-shaped room with a statue in the middle of it. It’s weird to describe, so just look at the picture! Of course, I signed the guestbook on the table.

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Kind of tree-house-like?

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And then you find the king at the top!
The second tourist trap I went to was the lake. It was absolutely gorgeous. It was warm and gloriously sunny, which made a nice change from Schaffhausen the day before. The water was blue and glittery, and you could see the mountains in the background, and there were trees along the path. It was all very flashy, riviera-style. So I went and I got an ice-cream and just sat on a bench staring at it! The only annoying thing was that this was the point I discovered I’d forgotten to pack my sunglasses. Clever Ceri.

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The Zürichsee in all its glory. The shops get more expensive the closer you get to it.

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The Zürich opera house. How cool would it be to go to the opera there?
The opera house was nearby the lake too, so I went and took some photos and had a look at that too. I’ve decided I want to go back to Zürich to go and see the opera there. That would be so cool. But expensive.

And finally, the Swiss National Museum! It looks so cool! It’s basically a fairy-tale medieval castle that’s right behind the station. Granted, a bit of an architecture clash (you’d think it’d be in the more historical part of town), but still. Unfortunately, I was raring to go, only to find it was in the middle of a restoration project or something, so it was closed! Oh dear, I’ll just have to go back to Zürich again, won’t I?

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It’s an actual castle. In the middle of the city.
That night I didn’t actually stay in Zürich – there’s a small town a little further down the lake called Richterswil where (one of the) youth hostels is. It was cheaper than staying in the one in Zürich itself! But there too, it was Switzerland showing off how well it can do beautiful landscapes. The hostel was right on the edge of the lake, so you could go out and sit in the garden bit out the back and paddle in the lake. The water was flipping cold though.

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I mean, Switzerland doesn’t have a coastline, but it sure makes up for it in lakes.
So that sums up day three of my trip. Next stop: Bellinzona.

A bientôt.

Ceri

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