Destination: Zurich, Switzerland

Hello, hello!

Since Zurich was my final stop during my five-day trip, this will be the last post for this mini-series of my travels in Switzerland. Let’s get to it!

Arrived in Zurich to more rainy weather. Because I didn’t want to explore the city while it was raining (remember, I had forgotten my umbrella on the bus in Geneva, so I didn’t have anything to protect me from the weather!), I decided to head over to my Couchsurfing host’s place, about a thirty-minute walk from the train station, where I was dropped off.

Was a bit of a walk, but eventually found my way over. My host this time (let’s call him “Ryan”) greeted me, although he seemed (and is) quite reserved. But he was friendly enough, and made some tea and cake for me and a Norwegian traveler, who arrived just a few moments after me. Had a small chat with him and his roommate, whom I also met, and later we took a walk around the city in the late afternoon. Still rainy weather, but the views of Lake Zurich were nevertheless quite nice:

Zurich in the evening.
Zurich in the evening.

Stopped by the grocery store on our way back, as Ryan was planning to cook dinner for us that night. Bought bread as well, and fed some pieces to the swans on the lake (quite an experience! They bite pretty hard!).

Return to Ryan’s flat, helped him prepare for the cream of mushroom spaghetti dinner (with tomato-chicken salad, bread, and cheese on the side). Showered, and had dinner with him, the Norwegian traveler, and Ryan’s two other roommates. Was offered some Russian brandy to taste, which was very strong, and afterwards just settled on the red wine, while the others had beer.

Was pretty exhausted afterwards, and so I decided to turn in. Ryan was kind enough to offer me his bed to sleep on while he took his sleeping bag on the floor. I also drank a bit too much wine, and so I fell asleep quickly, but also woke up too soon in the night. Even worse, I realized that I got bedbug bites!!! First saw them on my arms, then my neck. Fuck. I was thinking that this could not be happening to me, but…it did. Goddammit. At least I detected them early (around 5h30 in the morning), and so I woke up and just hung around Ryan’s study desk in his room, avoiding the bed at all costs. Definitely not a good night’s sleep…didn’t help that one of the bites swelled up so much on my right arm that was at once painful and embarrassing. Sucked SO MUCH. 😦

Any case, the others woke up later, around 7h00, and we had some breakfast together (simple tea and bread). Ryan had to leave for work, and so I thanked him for hosting me before he went out (told him about the bedbug situation, so hopefully that’ll get fixed). I left around 9h00 to explore a bit more of Zurich in the daytime (and with better weather!) before I had to leave to return home to France at 13h30.

Headed towards the quai again, where there were clusters of churches around the area. Saw the Grossmünster, famous for being one of the four, main churches in Zurich (and the most distinctive, in my opinion).

View of the Grossmünster from across the bridge.
View of the Grossmünster from across the bridge.
Grossmünster.
Grossmünster.

Bought a couple of souvenirs (postcard and souvenir coin) from a nearby tourist shop before heading to Lindenhof, a neighborhood perched on top of a hill where you can get a pretty decent view of the city:

From the top of Lindenhof.
From the top of Lindenhof.

Next, I had forgotten to check out the Opera House, located near the Grossmünster, and so I went back and took a photo of it. Stopped by Coop, a Swiss retail/wholesale store to buy some *relatively inexpensive* Swiss chocolate, instead of splurging on the pricey ones at a chocolate shop (although I ended up doing just that later!). In any case, those at Coop were souvenirs for my colleagues at work- even if they costed only 2.50 Swiss francs each, they tasted absolutely marvelous! Really good for cheap Swiss chocolate! 😛

Headed towards the train station, passing through Banhofstrasse (the main shopping street) and the Urania Observatory (an architectural delight).

Banhofstrasse.
Banhofstrasse.
Urania Observatory.
Urania Observatory.

Made it to the Zurich train station, where I had about an hour and a half until my train left. Spent a good deal of time in the Sprüngli chocolate shop before purchasing some truffles as souvenirs (tried and finished them within two days, and they were absolutely heavenly! Like, serious mouthgasm- Lindt truffles got nothing on these bad boys!). 😉 There was also a “Twix and coffee” truck in the station, literally offering free Twix and coffee to travelers- amazing! I managed to take five Twix bars from the “Twix bins” (opened to everybody- score!). Just don’t tell anyone…shhh…

Caught my train at 13h30, and said goodbye to Zurich, let alone Switzerland! Was a four-hour ride back to Paris, where I had to make another connection back to Normandy. Didn’t arrive back in Normandy until close to 21h00. Had a colleague drive me back from the train station, but when I went to open the gate to my flat, my remote control didn’t work! Turns out, it had run out of batteries! My colleague tried to help, taking me to her house to figure out the problem, seeing if we could replace the batteries with new ones (didn’t work).

Eventually, we found another colleague’s husband (who works at the school where my flat is) to come and open the gate for me, and for that, I was eternally grateful; true, I could have just stayed at my colleague’s place for the night but, being tired, gross, and inconveniently prepared to work the following morning, I just wanted to get back and have my privacy. Which, fortunately, was what I got!

Got back inside my flat close to 22h00, when I proceeded to shower and finalize lesson plans for the next day (bright and early at 8h00!). Turned in a bit past midnight, tired but glad to be home.

…and that’s about it for me! Switzerland was pretty fun, although it was essentially a bunch of lakes, mountains, and churches (but then again, that’s Europe!). Definitely not a place to visit for the budget traveler, as I would say that the country is even more expensive than London, which I had thought was already pricey! Any case, I was glad to have taken that brief trip over the border, as well as have gotten to meet some incredible Swiss people.

*I am still currently on vacation for February, but will be heading back soon! Looking forwarding to seeing you all again, as well as getting back into my regular routine. Cheers!

— The Finicky Cynic

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