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The little adventures of Jo! Travel with me on my overdue gap year around the world :)

Zürich or Zu reich (Too rich)

SWITZERLAND | Friday, 12 July 2013 | Views [1228]

Zürich is my second Swiss stop. I'm here to visit Ilona, another girl I met in Peru.

Traversing the country south to north, from Lugano to Zürich, by train is magical. It was my first time seeing the Alps properly and they didn't disappoint. To be honest, the scenery was so stunning, it had me in an intense state of awe that it didn't register to pick up my camera until much later. But with all that mental focus, the image of the great Alps towering over a little village surrounded by brilliant green pastures and a beautiful lake, is firmly captured in my mind.

When I arrived in Zürich, I was slightly taken aback by the pace of the city. It's not that it's extremely chaotic, it's just I've been hanging out in small towns for the last week or so. But it was easy enough to quickly settle in.
 
It goes without saying Zürich is a beautiful city. With its distinctive old buildings, it sits where the Limmat river joins a beautiful long lake. From the lakefront, it's possible to have a view of the Alps on a good day.
 
Walking down Bahnhofstrasse, Zürich's main street, reminds me a lot of Melbourne, with its trams and linden trees. This street is packed with shopping, mainly with high end shops. Confiserie Sprüngli, a Zürich food institution specialising in tea and pastries, is also located on the street at its busiest section, Paradeplatz. While it was nice to walk in and see food become fine art, it was a little too expensive for my budget.
 
Zürich is refreshingly more green than Italian cities with plenty of places to relax with nature. My favourite place is Lindenhof, a park perched high enough to have a good view of the Limmat river and Zürich's landmarks. To get there, you come off busy Bahnhofstrasse and walk up the charming medieval streets of Altstadt or Old Town. With a view, a comfortable park bench and an adequate but not excessive opportunity to people watch, it's a great end to a walk around the city.
 
These are a few things I noticed in Zürich about Switzerland:
1. This country is expensive. It's not easy for someone on a backpacker budget to thrive here and I'm fortunate to have some Swiss friends.
2. Swiss chocolate is abundant but still expensive. A little bar of handmade chocolate can set you back by CHF 10 or around $10. My friend, Ilona says it's because Swiss hands are expensive.
3. This country likes time. It is punctual. It is easy to keep time here too. Not only are there clocks everywhere, there are so many shops
selling watches - usually Swiss-made and expensive.
4.This country likes its flag. It's everywhere too.

Tags: cities, european adventure, food, friends, sightseeing, trains

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