OK, so I didn’t spend it all. In fact, thanks to the generosity of some good friends, I didn’t spend that much at all. But Zurich is expensive.
My good friend Gaby’s mom, Eva, retired recently and decided to take an extended trip to Europe, so I had the pleasure of hosting her for a week in Verona. Once that week was up, she invited me to Zurich for the weekend to meet up with Gaby and her husband Paul.
First observation: Switzerland is BEAUTIFUL. And the weather was phenomenal. It was not cold, but not too warm, sunny… the kind of weather we HAVEN’T been having in Verona lately, where spring has decided to take its sweet time.
We arrived in Zurich on Friday by train and found Gaby and Paul easily despite having forgotten to plan ahead for where to meet. First goal was to find food because Gaby hadn’t eaten in a while, so we stopped at a little pizzeria in the station, where we bought that 24 franc pizza I mentioned in the video.
Being a little turned around, instead of taking the tram to the hotel we ended up walking, which ended up being a good idea because despite what it looked like on the map the hotel was quite close. We then decided to wander around the old town, but found that most sights were already closed, even though it was only 7 pm.
We walked up to a park that sits on top of a hill and saw a panorama of the city at sunset, which was quite lovely, and then we turned in early since Paul and Gaby still had some jetlag.
The next day I expressed that I really desired to find the Adventist church, and was so happy to discover that the closest church was a mere 3-minute walk away from the hotel! In order to maximize our sightseeing time, I only went for Sabbath School, and was excited to find that there was an English Sabbath School. I met some lovely people and exchanged contact info with a couple of girls from the church.
I met up with everyone at the botanical gardens, which were rather disappointing but we realized that spring is not fully sprung. We then made our way back to the old town to see all the things that were closed the evening before.
On the train the day before, Eva and I had met an Italian woman who lives in Zurich, and she told us about a very popular restaurant in the center with typical food, and so we went there for lunch. The food was very good, I ordered a pasta dish (one of the few vegetarian-friendly dishes on the menu, the German Swiss love their meat!) with onions and potatoes, and it was good!
And yes, the check was big.
In the afternoon we took a ferry ride on the lake, which was more complicated than it sounds. There were many stops along the river and the lake, but most people get on at the stop by the train station, and then don’t get off, so if you wait at any other stop there won’t be space for you. So after waiting at one stop for two ferries (which only come every 20 minutes) we ended up just walking to the train station and getting on there.
Everyone was pretty tired after that so we headed back to the hotel and grabbed some random picnic items we had bought previously, found a park near the hotel and had a picnic dinner. Once the sun went down on the Sabbath, we walked a bit around the area, found a small convenience store, and bought some chocolate. Very expensive chocolate. I ended up buying about 14 francs (€13?) in not much chocolate, but it was Swiss chocolate, so I justified it.
The next day, Gaby, Paul and Eva had to catch a train in the afternoon but Gaby wanted to go to church. Paul and Gaby are Orthodox Christians and they found a Greek Orthodox church across town, so I accompanied them, said goodbye, and then had until around 3 pm to wander on my own. I immediately found a path that ran along the river and took me right back to the center of town.
I managed to take a wrong turn at one point and ended up by the university campus.
It ended up resulting in a lovely overlook, and the university is beautiful. When I finally found my way again, I ended up finding Zwingli’s house and Grossmünster again.
I love being able to wander around cities and just see what there is to see. That’s probably my favorite part of seeing new places, so here we have some varied shots of what I saw…
By about noon I really had to find a bathroom, and I was facing a 5-hour train ride. I knew I would have to bite the bullet and buy food, so I stopped at a pizzeria, which seemed to be fairly popular and had relatively “low” prices (20 francs for a mushroom pizza). The food was actually good, and it meant I was able to use a clean bathroom.
I then made my way to the train station, where I had seen that a chocolatier had a shop in the shopping center under the station, and bought some AMAZING chocolates. I wish I could have bought more, but like I mentioned in the video, it was REALLY EXPENSIVE. I also went to the market inside the shopping center and bought some snacks for the train, and finally decided that the wisest thing was to wait on the platform for my train to keep from making any more expensive purchases.
Huge thanks to Eva, Gaby, and Paul for inviting me and for your generous hospitality, I had a really fun time hanging with you guys and seeing a new part of the world.
As a closer, keep me in your prayers this week, hopefully soon I’ll be able to give an update on what’s happening.
Until next time!