Sunday, January 20, 2013

Zurich - Our First Stop

Zurich may not be the capital, but it is certainly a centerpiece of the country.  
It's often referred to as "downtown Switzerland" and is home to all the the big Swiss banks.
It's a massive, modern city, but we narrowed our short stay to the small Altstadt or Old Town.


The Altstadt runs along both sides of Limmat River.
The skyline features three important churches. 
The one in the photo above is St. Peter, the first Protestant Church in Zurich after the Reformation.

It has the the biggest church clock face in Europe, even larger than Big Ben. 


 The church with the tall, elegant blue spire is the Fraum√ľnster Church which originated as an Abbey. 

The Romanesque church with the two distinctive domes is the third famous church in Zurich Old Town.
According to legend, the Grossm√ľnster was founded by Charlemange.


Zurich is also know for its 1,200 fountains and their constant supply of 
cold, clear drinking water.   It tastes wonderful.


Just about anywhere you go you can hear the tinkling water of a fountain and many of them are historical pieces of art
Be sure to stop for a drink.


One thing that we quickly noticed is that Zurich is very expensive.
It started with the taxi ride from the airport to the hotel which cost us 50 Swiss Francs (about £30.)

 Zurich is also home to the most expensive street in Europe, the Bahnhofstrasse.
 We strolled along for a bit, but didn't do any shopping.
This was a very relaxed trip for us, no shopping, no museums.
Just exploring and relaxing.

Zurich is a beautiful city.  I've mentioned before how every European City that we visit has such a distinctive character. 
Zurich is sophisticated with an understated elegance.
Of course, we were there off-peak, but it had a lovely, relaxed feel about it.  

We spent some time exploring the area at the Northern tip of Lake Zurich.
Boat rides are very popular during the tourist season.
Another nice thing about the city is that it was easy to find clean public toilets.
(Trust me. When you are a woman in your 40's this becomes more and more of an issue.

As we were in Switzerland, we had to sample the National Dish... a fondue.

In Switzerland, that only means a cheese fondue (not chocolate or any type of meat fondue).
 It's made with several varieties of cheese, wine, seasonings and cornstarch to pull it all together.
It's traditionally served as the main dish and only with crusty bread for dipping.

We sampled ours at Le Dezaley
They serve the melted cheese in a caquelon over a flame 
and you use a long fork to dip the bread into the cheese sauce.  

A bottle of White Wine is the perfect acccompaniment.
It's a lot of cheese.  We only got through about half of ours,
 but the two young girls next to us were scrapping the bottom of the pot for every last bit.  

In all honesty, neither of us were blown away
It was a little odd to only have bread and cheese as your entire meal. 
And the cheese was a bit strong for me.  (I know, I know.  Princess/Nightmare.)

    I am glad we had the experience. 
But, be prepared.  At about £120 for the two of us, it's an expensive one.

We spent the rest of our evenings walking along the narrow,
cobbled streets peeking into shop windows, occasionally stopping for a cocktail.

All cities take on a whole new look at night.
I think Zurich is at it's prettiest at night with all of the reflections and shadows.


What did you think of Zurich?

How do you feel about Cheese Fondue?

Tomorrow, I'll be sharing our trip to the Rhine Falls.  I hope you'll join me.


This is not a sponsored post. 


  1. Wow, what gorgeous photos! You know, blog posts can really make or break a place for a reader. In the last account I read about Switzerland, the poor blogger was so overwhelmed by the high prices that I didn't really care to visit there anytime soon. But your photos are lovely and it sounds like you had such a magical time that I'm really keen to visit now. Thank you!

  2. On our trip to Switzerland we had a fondue feast in Luzerne....they offered bread and baked fingerling potatoes. In every shop we entered we were offered chocolate, little fudge die for! The churches were so beautiful. We had an awesome visit.


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