After bidding farewell to my friend Gosia, who was returning to Poland, I embarked on my own journey, heading north to Zurich. This city, nestled beside Lake Zurich and embraced by the majestic Swiss Alps, held the promise of adventure and awe. Upon arriving at Zurich’s central station, I was immediately captivated by the sleek design and open-air atmosphere. The station, with its grand openings, allowed the fresh mountain air to circulate, creating a unique ambiance amidst the hustle and bustle of restaurants, bars, and shops. It was a sensory feast, blending scents and sounds to form an unforgettable experience. As I ventured beyond the station, I found myself in the heart of the city, walking past tram stations, supermarkets, and crossing the serene Rhine River towards Zahringerstrasse.
Zahringerstrasse, a pedestrian-only street, exuded an air of trendy charm with its array of cafes, hotels, bars, and retail shops. Its proximity to Bohnhofstrasse, one of the world’s most exclusive and expensive shopping avenues, added to the allure of the area. While strolling along the banks of the Rhine, I couldn’t resist capturing the breathtaking scenery with my camera. Numerous restaurants lined the riverside, but a Mexican eatery caught my attention, offering a different dining experience. Though the meal was a simple “combo” commonly found in many US cities, the bill reminded me of Zurich’s reputation as an expensive city, with my single meal costing almost $50 USD in 2015.
During my time in Zurich, I immersed myself in the city’s cultural and architectural wonders. A picturesque stroll along Lake Zurich provided an opportunity to soak in the tranquil beauty of the surrounding landscape. I then ventured to Saint Peters Church, home to Europe’s largest clock face, a remarkable sight that left me in awe. Next, I visited the Fraumunster Church, where I marveled at the exquisite Chagall-stained glass windows. These stunning murals, crafted with semi-precious stones, were crafted to only be able to be seen from within. With construction finished in 893, the gothic abbey held a surprise as well. As natural gas lines were being installed around the building’s base, workers stumbled upon ancient human bones, turning the area into an archaeological site rich with history. The bones turned out to be Roman soldiers dating back to the Middle Ages and so the entire area became an archeological dig site.
Zurich, beyond its cultural and historical treasures, boasts a strong presence of renowned companies such as Google Earth, IBM, and 3. It is also home to Lindt Chocolate, creators of Swiss Army knives, and precision clocks and watches. This city effortlessly combines elegance, innovation, and natural beauty, leaving visitors with a lasting impression. If you seek a city that exudes sophistication and charm, Zurich awaits your discovery. Embrace the allure of this expensive yet captivating Swiss gem, where sleek modernity harmonizes with the timeless beauty of its surroundings.
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