jn82’s Epic Adventure

Day 61 [31 Mar 09] – Zurich

Posted in Zurich by jn82 on April 1, 2009

After a 45 minute train ride from Lucerne this morning, we arrived in Zurich just before 10am. Zurich’a main train station is massive, and has over 54 platforms. After some confusion as to which surburban train to take to the hostel and where to take it from, we got on the train and head to the stop the hostel was at, eight minutes away from the city centre. The good thing about taking the surburban train was that it was covered by the Eurail pass, so we did not have to pay anything for this form of public transport. Taking the tram would have set us back almost 8 Swiss Francs (S$11) a day for an all-day ticket. The surburban trains in Zurich are really of the highest standard, and are comparable with the Swiss inter-regional trains. They really put to shame the surburban trains in Italy, which were totally crap. After reaching the hostel and dropping our bags, we headed back into the city to walk around for a bit.

First class carriage on board S-bahn 24 from Wollishofen to Zurich HB.

From the guide books, it appeared that there were not many tourist attractions to visit in Zurich. All that was recommended were two cathedrals and two museums, of which one was a fine arts one we had no interest in. After a pretty cheap lunch (by Swiss standards) of pork cutlets with chips at a Coop restaurent along Banhofstr for 13.40 CHF, we walked along the main shopping street for a while more before heading off to check out the Swiss National Museum (Schweiz Landesmuseum). The only permernant exhibitions open for public viewing was a display about the history of the earth from 4.5 billion years ago till modern day, Swiss woman’s dresses from the early 19th century, and some weapons. As photography was not allowed inside, I am unable to show you what a sub-par museum experience this was, and I cannot understand how both Frommers and Lonely Planet could recommend it. Needless to say it was a wasted two hours or so, although it was free.

Swiss National Museum.

Pretty iconic stagecoach of which I have no idea why.

Having planned to do the walk along the main river which runs through Zurich (Limmet river) tomorrow, we did not have anything planned for the rest of the afternoon, so we just decided to walk along bits of the Limmet anyway. It was a very grey and cloudy day, pretty depressing, so everything looked pretty dull and drab. It has been this way throughout our stay in Switzerland so far, which is rather unfortunate as this is such a beautiful country and we were unable to see it in all its glory. The following are just a sample of pictures of the three better known churches within downtown Zurich, which we will visit tomorrow during our walk around the city.

Fraumünster Kirche.

St. Peter Kirche, with the largest clock face in Europe.


The most famous Zurich landmark, the twin towered Grossmünster Kirche.


It was a pretty relaxing walk around parts of the new and old city, and at the end when we finished around 5pm we decided to have a very early dinner so that we could just go back to the hostel and relax. It was good that there was not that much to see in Zurich as we were feeling pretty tired. Dinner was at this Chinese place at the main train station, where just for laughs I decided to spend 16.50 CHF on…. Singapore noodles with chicken! Now I have no idea what exactly goes into a “Singapore noodles”, but having seen this dish around Europe quite a few times during this trip I decided to satisfy my curiosity.

Singapore noodle w/ chicken.

I tried to order the dish in Mandarin from the woman at the counter, but she did not understand what I was saying (I think she is Viernamese). As you can see, I paid the equivalent of S$23 for bee hoon! Quite stupid I know, but it was a very big portion, and given the cost of meat in Switzerland, i suppose it was a pretty decent price for such a meal. The bee hoon has a non-spicy curry powder flavour to it, which is pretty weird and can get quite unplesent in a large serving. What a non-life changing dish to be tagged with the Singapore name to it! I really hope that Europeans do not think that this is one of Singapore’s speciality dishes.

After dinner, we caught the S-bahn 24 back to the hostel, and had a early night. No (free) internet usually does mean an early night.

Today’s pictures here.

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