Tuesday, June 15, 2010

“There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it.” – Charles Dudley Warner

Post by: Beth

Hi everyone! Life has been so busy, but we recently took 10 days to do a bit of traveling. It was our first big vacation since we moved back to the States!
We planned an excursion to South Africa to take advantage of the World Cup games, and to finally go on the safari we'd been wanting to go on for a while.

We planned and planned, packed up our stuff, and caught our flight from JFK. We worked in the option to have a 12-hour stopover in Zurich on the way, so we flew overnight to Switzerland, and arrived in Zurich around 9am.

During a quick 20-minute train ride from Zurich International Airport to the city center of Zurich, we "read" a newspaper in German and studied the train timetable to plan out what time we should head back to the airport at the end of the day.

We arrived after the morning rush hour, so the train station wasn't overcrowded, which meant better pictures!

As you can see, not a lot of English going on here... We bumbled about a bit trying to figure out our best exit to get where we wanted to be, but we had nothing but time. No worries! :)

We finally found our way out, and right away, we saw one of the trolleys! We spent most of our day just wandering around the city by foot, but we did take one of these trams all the way around the city so we could see the outlying areas without having to walk for TOO many miles or getting too lost.

It didn't take long to realize that Zurich is an absolutely beautiful city. Our stroll started near the River Limmat, where we slowly worked our way closer to some of Zurich's most recognized landmarks: Munster Bridge, the blue spire of Fraumunster (the Church of Our Lady), and St. Peter's church, sporting the largest clock face in Europe.

We wound up and down the streets, just exploring and popping into shops here and there. The streets and buildings are so pretty, and it was so nice to turn the corner and be excited to discover a cute little boutique, a tiny garden plot, a cheerful windowbox of flowers, or a tucked away bookstore.

We stopped at a fondue restaurant for lunch... Adler's Swiss Chuchi. It's well-known for its fondue options (of course) and raclette. With outdoor seating on a gorgeous day, we knew this was the spot for us.

It was SO good! This was absolutely the way to kick off our holiday cuisine tour... Look how great it looks, even in pictures! We tried our hardest, but couldn't even finish it all.

After our lunch, we continued walking about, crossing the bridge to the other side of the river. This side was busier, packed with stores and shops, and each street was teeming with people, both visitors and tourists alike. Each building was different and unique, and we had a great time taking photographs, stopping in chocolate shoppes and bookstores, and enjoying the scenery.

We walked up the other side of the river bank, where we had a great view of the Grossmunster church. Many visitors walk up the 187 stairs in the towers to get a great view of Zurich. We opted out of that activity, content to enjoy the views from the ground.

After a few more pictures from the bridge over The Limmat, it was time to head back to the train station, and take our train back to the airport to catch our flight to Johannesburg, South Africa so we could make our transfer to Nelspruit for our safari. Our day in Zurich was so relaxing and fun, and such a great way to start our vacation. We were sad to leave after only 12 hours, but still so excited about all that was still ahead!


The Freeman Family said...

WOW A post! Since I live vicariously thru you...I kinda wish you had stayed in Zurich longer. =) Where are the S Africa pics?

Rodney said...

Safe travels!

Rhonda Walker said...

Beautiful clocks and flags. Man the sky was super blue there. Glad you had a great time and glad you posted some pics.