Zürich, Switzerland
47° 21' N 8° 33' E
Aug 01, 2009 13:02
Distance 244km

Text written in: English

Quick, but relaxing tour around the Swiss capital

Up at around 5am, I got ready and had a bit to eat.  Jörg and Elke helped get my things into the car and drove me to the station. I said goodbye to them on the track at Pasing station and caught my train to Zurich. Five hours or so later, I arrived in the Swiss capital and met up with my former host brother, Guido Rey.  He was an 18 year-old when I stayed with his family in Basel 15 years ago.  Now a successful computer guy in a Swiss firm and living with his girlfriend in Zurich, he was kind enough to take the afternoon free from work and take me around the city on a nice tour. 

First we walked from the station through the hilly, downtown streets to a lovely spot overlooking the river and its famous churches, the Grossmünster, Frauenkirche and Peterskirche.  Up on this high spot, men played outdoor chess with huge, wooden pieces and folks lounged on the rock wall to soak up the sunny day. It was a wonderfully peaceful spot.

We walked down and crossed the bridge to the Grossmünster with its two towers, then climbed to the top of the south tower and got a great 360 view of whole city.  So pretty!  Afterwards, Guido treated me to lunch and we sat right by the water and watched the swans pass by.  Then it was a short walk to buy ice cream - can't remember which place that was, but it was soooo good! - then we hopped on a cruiser to take a wonderful 30 minute cruise around Lake Zurich.  After getting off on the west side of the lake, we walked another 20 minutes through his neighborhood to finally have a drink and put our feet up at the apartment he share with his girlfriend (a German gynecologist), high up on the hill overlooking the water.  Was a super view... and a great apartment, too.  Tons of light and sun and breezes right off the lake. 

We looked at photos albums he's put together from all his travels - mostly scuba adventures in tropic spots, but also one which documented his trip to the US more than a decade ago.  I got to see a very hilarious pic of my family, as Guido had stayed with them several days on his way through Oregon.  Pretty funny.... Later in the evening we headed back into town - this time by local train - and stopped at an Asian food restaurant for dinner.  After walking along a river pathway with beach volleyball sandpits (Guido says he plays there sometimes), meeting some of his friends heading the other way, and enjoying a beer at an outdoor table, it was time for me to catch my train to Basel.  It was very cool to see my big, little host brother again. Thanks so much to Guido for being such an awesome host!

 

 

Photos / videos of "Quick, but relaxing tour around the Swiss capital":

I must be in Switzerland! =P Evidently Zurich has the world's oldest chess club. Guido with the twin towers of the Grossmünster church in the background St. Peter's Church - King Louis the German gave it as a present (857) to two of his daughters - one of whom went on to become the first abess of the Fraumunster.  At 8.7m in diameter, the clock face on St. Peter's is the largest clock face in Europe. Views from the top of the church tower The tower across the way We sat near the water for lunch I had a cutlet, which was the size of a plate! Visitors Boat ride! Would love to watch a movie right on lake... On the way to Guido's place, there were some really cool houses The Frog Prince lives here I really loved this place, but Guido said they'll be knocking it down soon... such a shame! Where the street cars sleep Imagine facing this guy as you walk into the theater Looks like a castle... ... but it really a museum Didn't have time to go in, unfortunately.  Had a train to catch!