jn82’s Epic Adventure

Day 62 [1 Apr 09] – Zurich

Posted in Zurich by jn82 on April 1, 2009

Day two in Zurich was another really grey day, making every single one of the last nine days in Switzerland grey sky days. Today, after breakfast at the hostel, we caught the S-bahn into the city, and did a walking route which was in the city map provided by the Zurich tourist office. This has been the first city map we have got which provides a pretty good walking route of the main sights in the city, something I think most tourists will appreciate.

Starting on the east bank of the river Limmat, we entered the old city at Niederdorf-str. Pretty similar to many of the old cities in Europe, except it is extremely clean, and has a surprising number of strip bars. There is a good mix of hotels, souvenier shops, expensive looking clothing stores, eateries catering from the mid to high budget range, and of course the naughty bars.

First naughty bar we came across.

One of the old city streets.

The two main tourist attractions and landmarks in Zurich are two cathedrals, one on the east bank and the other on the west bank of the Limmat. We first visited the one on the east bank and the more significant of the two, the Romanesque and Gothic Grossmünster Kirche. Most of the existing structure dates back from between then 11th to 14th century. The highlight of this cathedral is the 187 step climb up one of the towers to get a very good view of the city of Zurich (on a clear day).

Exterior of Grossmünster from the west bank.

The nave of Grossmünster.


View of Peter Kirche on the west bank and the city of Zurich.

View of Fraumünster Kirche directly opposite.

After Grossmünster, we continued upon the east bank and decideed to have a value meal again at a Coop restaurant. A usual meal (with meat) in a restaurant or cafe costs around 20 CHF, while at a Coop restaurant it is around 14 CHF only, although it is a self-serve concept where you collect your own food and pay for it at the counter after. I had the same pock cutlet with chips again for 13.40 CHF like yesterday, but had an additional bowl of soup for 2.90 CHF. After lunch, we crossed over to the west bank of the Limmat at the point where the Limmet opens up to Lake Zurich.

View of Peter Kirch, Fraumünster and Grossmünster from the mouth of Lake Zurich.

After crossing the river, I saw a ferry service and vaguely remember that most Swiss ferry services were covered by the Eurail train pass. Having some time to kill as the walking route was pretty short, we decided to jump on the ferry for a short roundtrip around Lake Zurich which would have cost us 7.8 CHF without the pass. The ferry ride itself was okay, but the view was not very good because it was very misty and the sky was… GREY.

Houses along Lake Zurich.

Lindt Chocolate factory or head office.

The ferry ride lasted around an hour and a bit, and after that we continued along the west bank of the Limmat. The next stop was to Fraumünster Kirche, the second largest landmark in Zurich, which dates back to around the 13th to 14th century. Unfortunately, no pictures allowed inside, so I am unable to show the famous five stained glass windows (each with their own colour theme) by Mark Chagall which date from the 1970s.

The slender blue spire of Fraumünster.

On the way back to the train station, the last sight we passed was that of Peter Kirche, which has the largest clock face in Europe (8.7m in diameter). Did not bother to go in as we were pretty tired and just wanted to go have an early dinner before going back to the hostel.

Peter Kirche.

Dinner was at the train station again, but this time we did not have Chinese or kebabs. There was this Marche outlet which I remember seeing yesterday that served rosti (fried, buttery, shredded potatoes), and as this was my final day in Zurich and I have not had any rosti yet, I decided to have it here. While I am sure a chain place such as Marche does not have the best quality Swiss speciality food, I could not really be bothered to walk around to find a place that did. The Rosti and grilled chicken was pretty nice, and reasonably priced at 16.90 CHF.

Grilled chicken and rosti.

We head out from Switzerland and go into the Austrian city of Innsbruck for two days tomorrow morning.

Today’s pictures available here.

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