• Donna

7 Hours in Zurich, Switzerland

Updated: Jan 2, 2019

A spotless old-town brimming with history, fit and fashionable people, and evenly spaced market squares - all stretching its arms around the crystal clear waters of the Zurich See.

Boats and clouds at the Zurich See (lake)

The threshold of our year+ of vagabonding could not have been more perfect.  We touched down in Zurich, #Switzerland at 7:55 am and were welcomed by a gloriously clean and crowdless airport.  After a quick pit stop in the concourse to readjust our overloaded packs, we proceeded to the most serene passport regulation of our lives.  Compared to the confusion and slowly shuffling masses of our layover at Toronto International, Zurich was pretty much an unencumbered glide through a majestic cathedral.  

Upon following the signs to customs, which led directly to the outside world and bypassed customs completely, we met our first travel acquaintance, Jelena the Canadian.  She also had a layover in #Zurich, although hers was several hours shorter and she was departing via plane and not #flixbus. She overheard us talking about taking the train and said, oh, you are headed downtown too?’ And that was that.  We spent the next 2 enjoying each other's company and exploring some of Zurich’s immaculate streets, enjoying its quaint lakeside market, and watching the blue-green waters of Zurich See (German for lake) while enjoying a #yerbamate gourd.  She had an extremely enjoyable relaxed manner and was unafraid to ask people obvious questions (like for example, where is the lake?).  Excellent takeaways from our first travel friend.

After we parted ways with Jelena I had a close encounter with a hissy swan, had the most resplendent swim in the heavenly waters of the lake, and practiced my ukulele while Franklin wrote, dozed, and gazed at the lovely hillside city reflected in the water.

She was unafraid to ask people obvious questions (like for example, where is the lake?).  Excellent takeaways from our first travel friend.

After I was rebirthed from the waters of the lake we shopped for provisions at a bright and airy underground grocery store.  We bought a giant fluffy loaf of bread, a red bell pepper, a #vegan curry falafel wrap (advertised as vegan too....we are taking over!!!!) and a bottle of ‘gazpacho’.  We ignored our ever-present desire to eat avocado, as it was 1.90 Swiss francs per avo - about $2.50.

But travel magic is real, for we had an avocado fairy coming our way! Our chosen lunch spot was one of the benches canopied by giant London Planes trees and overlooking a very pretty fountain.  We were soon joined by Mette, a very sweet Grandmother-type from Amsterdam who was in Zurich visiting family, and currently escaping said family.  She sat down next to us and suggested we help her eat her avocado.  And it was perfect because we were able to share with her our loaf of bread.  And ultimate stranger snack destiny was made.

Plantane trees in the Park in Zurich, Switzerland.

We walked Mette to the Kunst Haus (art museum) laughing rambunctiously along the way at our running joke of how expensive Switzerland is. After parting ways with her we had one final push to #ParkPlatzspitz, where we passed out in the grass for 2 hours before boarding the bus to #Heidelberg.  During that time we were woken up once by a van full of police wanted to confirm we weren't homeless.  Speaking of homeless people - in the 7 hours we spent in Zurich, we came across 1 panhandler. 

Albeit sorry to leave Immaculate Zurich, we were ready for a stronger taste of reality and grit - off to #Deutschland!

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