A Few Days in Zurich

Switzerland had never really been on my radar for travel.  Not for any particular reason, it just wasn’t up there for me.  When hubby was told he’d be travelling there for work and we realised it fell nicely into the spot people say is perfect for a ‘Babymoon’  we took the opportunity to make a little holiday of it.

Zurich is absolutely beautiful, with cobbled streets and brightly coloured buildings around every corner.

 

 

We spent the weekend exploring the streets and enjoying each others company and it was the perfect place to do that.  We didn’t feel like we were missing out on all the exciting tourist things because to be honest, we didn’t really see anything that screamed ‘if you don’t do this you didn’t do Zurich’.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots to do, museums, a funicular railway and I want to go back when I feel more like shoppin’ until I’m droppin’.

One thing we did do that I’m really happy we did, was visit the highest point in Zurich.  Uetliberg is a mountain which has an elevation of 870m (2,850ft) which is more than twice the elevation of Zurich itself, and you can get just shy of the top by train*, the final 68m is gained by a walk, which we did. I’d like to tell you the view was amazing but as you’ll see from the below picture on the day we were there there was nothing to see.  It’s not even mist it was an actual cloud.  We visited the hotel at the top and had a hot chocolate before turning round and heading back!  Next time we go (because there will be a next time) we are going to do the Path of the Planets.  We saw The Sun and Earth but it was cold and did I mention we were in a cloud?!

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*because I’m married to a train nerd I thought I’d add that ‘…the railway line has a maximum gradient of 7.9% and is the steepest standard gauge adhesion railway in Europe’ [1]  You’re welcome.

The weather was wet and we didn’t get to see any snow to speak of but I was mostly ok with that.  As nice as snow would have been to look at, at 28 weeks pregnant walking around in it wouldn’t have been that fun. (Which is funny because 10 days after we got home we had more snow in Norwich than I think I’ve ever seen in my life anywhere).

I’m a bit of a coffee shop crawler and I was a little disappointed at the seeming lack of coffee shops, sure there was a Starbucks here and there but most of the “coffee shops” we found were actually bars that served coffee and we were normally underdressed for such places.  We found two good coffee shops on the final day Boréal and Cake Friends.

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For evening meals we tried an excellent Italian restaurant near our apartment Restaurant Limmattberg.

On the second night we had possibly the most expensive and the worst Indian takeaway ever: both meals were incredibly salty, the rice looked like instant microwave stuff. It was dreadful.  If we’d sat in to eat it we would have asked for a refund and gone elsewhere but neither of us could be bothered to walk back and complain.

On the last night we went to Burgermeister (Hubbs tells me this is witty, something to do with Burgomasters, I don’t know… You’ll have to google it ) this was quite possibly the best burger I have ever had.  There was only one veggie/vegan option but from what Andrew tells me there didn’t need to be any more because that would mean you might pick a different one and miss out on this one…  The menu is uncomplicated and I only wish we’d been there for a week so I could have tried all of the options.  If you’re in Zurich this would be my highest recommendation.

Have you been to Zurich?  Let me know what we missed so that we don’t miss it next time!

 

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It’s wonderful to be alive

I’d like to confess to something that only a select group of friends and family, including my husband and parents, know.  Oh, and the listeners of a university radio station in whom I confided when the weight of my action became too much to handle alone.  A few years ago, on a bike ride with a friend, I killed a frog.  There was really nothing I could do to prevent it, at least that’s what I’ve had to start telling myself in order to sleep at night.  It was on the path and I was going very fast. I didn’t see it until it was too late.  Then I had to continue seeing it as my wheel spun in front of me. If it hadn’t been me it might have been funny.

This evening found me on another bike ride.  A bike ride that was all round much bumpier, slower and took more effort than it would have if I’d had the foresight to pump up my tires before I left.  I considered asking one of the passing cyclists if I could borrow a pump, but sadly I am totally incapable of interacting with strangers in that way, so I ploughed on.  I realise I could also have turned round and gone back home but where’s the fun in that?

I had a very romantic idea of cycling along to the nearest town, pulling up at a pub with an area out the front for me to sit in the evening sun and having a refreshing glass of coke. I’d prop up my bike, pop inside, helmet unclipped but still on my head, comment to the bartender about the pleasant evening, raise a glass to other outdoorsy people around me and head back outside to sit with my bike, not because I was worried it would be stolen, oh no! But because I wanted to take a perfectly filtered picture to add to my blog post about how wonderful it is to be alive.  My dreams were dashed as the only pubs I saw proudly advertised their wide screen TVs and surround sound for all your footballing needs and, thoughtfully, as little pavement as possible outside.  I imagine this is to give their patrons as little a way to stumble to a taxi as possible, after their team loses the match.

It’s amazing what a difference in surroundings you can find on a 5 mile bike ride.  What was most noticeable was the difference in smells; stagnant water, cut grass, petrol from a burnt out car, cut grass, horse poo, some kind of delicious food from an unseen location, stagnant water.  Fascinating and also very confusing to my senses.  I returned home with a craving for a plate of steaming hot grass and chips…

Something I’ve realised from living in Norwich is that, even though some drivers are totally mad and completely incapable of driving,  people are at least fairly accustomed to the sight of someone on a bike.  Tonight’s route had me cycle on the road for a very short amount of time, not enough to get up any real speed, and I was on a fairly narrow and winding road so drivers behind me were forced to drive slowly rather than speed past me.  I indicated to come off the road and the driver behind me actually came to an almost complete stop to allow me to make what was essentially a U turn back onto the cycle path. She was also kind enough not to laugh at me when, after taking my hand from the handlebar to thank her, I almost rode directly into a post.