Friday, June 1, 2012

Zurich today

We didn’t really have time to do much in Zurich yesterday so we had to make the most of the city today. And I think we did a pretty good job of it.

We started out with a huge and leisurely breakfast, courtesy of our hotel. I think we both especially enjoyed the Swiss specialties; dried meats and fresh cheeses. The delicious fresh fruit impressed us too, especially the vine-ripened cantaloupe. Hoping to repeat the pleasure, we bought ourselves another cantaloupe at the grocery store across the street for tomorrow.

We spent the next ten hours out and about. We started by taking advantage of our all-day transit pass and took a little city tour on the tramway. Whenever we encountered something especially interesting, we got out and walked around. The trams run quite frequently and our improvised tour worked out well. We took in hilltop views of the city (with the Alps behind), a lakeside stroll, shopping and eating.

Eating, like almost everything else around here, is breathtakingly expensive. A Big Mac goes for $12, but we didn't really want one anyway. I found a nice modest eight-dollar take-out sandwich at a restaurant near the lake, but undermined my own modesty by picking up a little bottle of iced rooibos tea at the register. The tea added five dollars to my bill, but Alla consoled me that it really was delicious and she would assuage my discomfort by helping me drink it. We didn’t investigate the price level at the Rolex store, Cartier or any of the other fancy shops down by Paradeplatz, but we noticed a very nice looking pair of men’s shoes in a shop window, marked at about $700. We decided instead to have cappuccino and cakes at the Sprungli Tea Room. They were delicious and much easier to bring home.

Mostly, we explored. When we went inside one of the big churches we saw the Korean National Choir coming in for a rehearsal. They sounded really great, and we decided to return for the evening concert. Unfortunately, by the time evening arrived we realized that we had over-planned and had to let that one go, preferring to eat dinner before falling asleep. We ate in our room, having found a beautiful head of lettuce, a box of fantastic cherry tomatoes, dazzlingly-delicious Gruyere cheese and delightful smoked meat. We even have leftovers for tomorrow’s train ride to Mürren via Lucerne.

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