Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Zurich Is Stained, But It's Still Pretty Cool

Five-dollar burnt pot coffee. (Or shall I say five franc?) Seventeen-dollar buffet breakfast with some strange meats on display. Six-dollar tram rides no matter whether you're riding for one stop or 30 minutes.

These are a few of the things that make Zurich, Switzerland a little unnecessary in general. Not to mention the German-accented formality and rigidity of so many of the denizens of what has recently been ranked the "wealthiest city in Europe" and the "sixth most expensive city in the world."

We arrived at 7 a.m. on Monday and were able to check in to our lovely hotel, the Leoneck, just up the hill and across the Limmat River from the city center. The hotel was organized around a theme of cows, so Jackson was happy.

Although we slept for much of our 30-hour layover, we walked all over the city in the rain. Apple celery vanilla soup, peppermint pea soup, and a cheesy pizza-like thing called a flambee were just the antidotes to warm us up at lunch. Then I had a delicious Swiss dish of rosti, potatoes with vegetables and sausage on top.

We saw the old convent with stained glass paintings by Marc Chagall and listened to the bells frequently ringing longly and loudly. Then on Tuesday morning, we caught the excellent tram from right in front of our hotel straight to the airport. Our plane then flew into the sky with the beautiful Alps bursting beneath us.

Homeward bound! We're ready to get there after more than three weeks of world travel.

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