Where We Be
A 1½ hour train ride took us from Appenzell to
Zurich. We checked into our extremely basic
but gloriously central City Backpackers Zurich.
Located in the historic heart of Zurich, it's right
on Niederdorfstrasse, a pedestrian-only street
filled with shops, restaurants, takeaway joints,
and night clubs. A minute’s walk brings you to
the river Limmat that cuts through town and
widens into Lake Zurich. At the riverfront is
Grossmunster Cathedral on one side and the
tall bluish steeple of Fraumunster Cathedral on
the other, with the huge clock of St. Peters-
kirche close at hand. Bridges cross the river in
several places and offer convenient photo ops.
We walked into Grossmunster Cathedral and
listened to a choir practicing from the balcony
while we sat in carved wooden choir stalls
near the altar. Crossing the river, we visited
Fraumunster, best known for its stained glass
windows by Marc Chagall. This was our only
must-see sight in Zurich. They were definitely
works by Chagall, whimsical and dreamlike. We
walked south along the river until we came to
Lake Zurich and looked out at the misty view.
Then we walked north along Banhoffstrasse,
the ritzy-ditzy street in town, looking into shop
windows offering dresses for 5000 francs,
shoes for 900, purses for 600, and so on. Ouch!
Zurich is a famously expensive city so we had
to work hard to keep expenses reasonable. A
simple takeaway Asian stir fry ran us 19.50
francs (about $22 US), which we split between
us. Basic drinks are 5 francs each (about $6
US), even for just a bottled water at a takeaway
joint. The one exception to this -- and it's an
exception that seems to apply to every town
and city in Switzerland, not just Zurich -- is
"Coop" stores. Coops are as close as you'll
find to U.S. grocery stores in Switzerland. Here
prices are more reasonable. You can get a can
of Coke for 1.10 francs, or about $1.25 US. As a
result, we've been doing a lot of our food and
wine buying at Coops (and also some Migros
stores) throughout Switzerland.
|I took this photo on a bridge near the train station at the northern end of Zurich's historic district.
We're looking south, down the Limmat River. You can see Fraumunster Cathedral's bluish spire in the distance.
|These are a few examples of the beautiful stained glass windows by Marc Chagall in Fraumunster Cathedral [not my photos]
|Niederdorfstrasse is a pedestrian-only street in the heart of Zurich's historic district filled with hotels, shops, restaurants, and takeaway joints
|And this is Grossmunster Cathedral, the third major church in Zurich. Zwingli initiated the Swiss-German Reformation from this church starting in 1520.
|St. Peterskirche is visible across the river. It has the largest church clock face in Europe!
|Fraumunster Cathedral, across the Limmat River, is home to beautiful stained glass by Chagall