Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Zurich

Since I have not been stellar at keeping up with my blog as much as I'd like this year, I'm now going into overdrive and finally sharing some little adventures and everyday things here in Germy.  So for the next few emails I may be going backwards, detailing a few happenings from our recent past here.

My mom - Grandma Sweetie - came to visit us over the Easter holiday break.  Our first "real" visitor!  We had a lot of fun despite the crummy weather we had most of her time here.  Of course, her favorite part was devouring Peter and Marky as much as she could!

We did a few day trips with Grandma including one to Zurich, Switzerland!  We drove there in under 3 hours.  It is just amazing how close we are to so many fabulous destinations.  Zurich was just beautiful!  Unfortunately, almost the entire area was shut down due to the holiday Easter Monday.  Who knew?!  The europeans LOVE their holidays here (there are 4 in May alone!).  While we all enjoy a day off of school and work, we do not love that almost everything closes on these days with the exception of gas stations, trains and a maybe a few restaurants.  No grocery shopping... nothing!  So was the case with our day in Zurich.  First, we had a horrible meal of highly suspect "fish" and chips at a Nordsee in the main train station (fast food seafood is probably never a good idea).  The rest of the time was spent walking up and down some main city streets oohing and aahing over the beauty that is Zurich.  We walked down the famed Bahnhofstrasse past uber high-end boutiques and window shopped, strolled along Lake Zurich, took a short inner-city train ride around nowhere in particular and was able to go inside one of the amazing churches downtown.  I definitely want to go back on a nice day when things are open for business!  Not really to buy anything but just to take everything in and maybe do a scenic boat cruise on the lake.  As you can imagine, Zurich is a world-class city with world-class prices to match!  For example, a large soft pretzel that is typical around these parts for under 1.00€ is 5 francs there!  Switzerland has not adopted the euro and still uses the Swiss Franc.

Here are some picts of our sightseeing trip to Zurich!  Can't wait to go back!  (Click on pict for larger view)

Main Swiss train station (Hauptbahnhof)

Cool fountain in front of Hauptbahnhof



My mom and I along Lake Zurich



 

Smaller train station with cool clock

Grossm√ľnster (Great Church) - c. 1220
One of 3 major churches in the city.
The twin towers are one of Zurich's most recognized landmarks.




Charlemagne on Grossm√ľnster's southern tower.
This church was built on the site of a
Carolingian church commissioned by Charlemagne.


Peter (with new glasses!), Grandma Sweetie,
Marky and Mike in a lower level of Hauptbahnhof




Fancy pay toilets in Hauptbahnhof.  Worth every franc!
Strangely, no separate men/women sides.
Also, lights above each stall door.  Green = go in.
Yellow = just used / needs cleaning.  Red = in use.
Yes, I am oddly fascinated with the European toilets.




Peter at the Hauptbahnhof showing off a Swiss train.

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