After my marathon sleep from the night before, I was ready to get an early start and see some of Zürich. My hotel was a short walk from a S-Bahn train station that would take to to the main train station in Zürich in about 15 mins. I can’t say enough good things about the Swiss trains and transport in general. It can be a bit pricey, like almost everything else in Switzerland, but if you get a Zürich Card transit is included.
Maybe it’s because I’ve only been in the big cities in Switzerland so far, but things seem to be VERY expensive. Here’s a good example: a baguette that cost 1 euro in Paris last month, 0.50 euro in Barcelona this month, was priced at 5 Swiss francs or about 4.20 euro here in Zürich. How is a man supposed live the lifestyle that he is accustomed to in Europe at such prices? I won’t complain too much since I really like it here. I got a great deal on the flight and hotels, but Barcelona gave me more bang for my buck.
The Zürich Hauptbahnhof has a tourist info office and was across from the Swiss National Museum, which was my main goal for the day. Anxious to make up for yesterday I got there very early. So early that nothing was open yet. It is a neat, old station.
I figured that heading down to the lake for some early morning photos would be cool. I grabbed a tram and rode down to the lake.
After taking in the sights, I took the tram back to the train station and dropped by the tourist office. I grabbed a few souvenirs and found out that most museums would be closed tomorrow not because it was New Year’s Day but because it was Monday. D’oh! If I had done some advance planning I’d have known this. Well, that was tomorrow, today the Swiss National Museum was open.
I know almost nothing of Swiss history, so anything I picked up here would be appreciated. Trying to cover thousands of years of the history of a place is not easy. After a few hours there, I came away with the idea that Switzerland is a lot like Canada. Canada kind of exists because a group of people are united in not wanting to be American. Switzerland is a lot like that in that they are more united by what they do not want to be than what they are. They have three national languages after all. (I don’t speak one of them. Sigh.) I need to get a good book on Swiss history and see if I can figure it out better.
I made reservations for lunch to have some Swiss food and it did not disappoint. I had a plate of cured meats and fondue. I’m not sure why I’m having chest pains today. It was a place called Swiss Chuchi and it was small, but packed. It had a line out the door when I left.
I wandered around the old part of town for a while with no real plan. I saw a cool sundial on the side of a building. I’ve never seen one on the side of a building like this.
I’m sure it would still work if they hadn’t built that building across the street that was throwing shade on it. How would they have known way back in the 18th Century?
My next plan was to visit the Pavillon Le Corbusier which is a museum to some of Le Corbusier’s works. The building was actually designed by him. It was not meant to be. It is being renovated. This info was news to me. None of the websites that I looked at mentioned that. Lucky for me, it is in a park on the lake so I got to see some fantastic views.
It was getting late in the afternoon, and despite the excessive amount of sleep i was starting to feel very tired. I decided to skip the fireworks by the lake at midnight and head back to the hotel. I grabbed some small bottles of Swiss wine at a shop along the way and celebrated early by watching Warner Bros. cartoons on German TV. It was a good night.