Before I talk about Zurich, it’s worth pointing out that this is my 100th blog post. Woohoo! Although I’ve been traveling internationally for the last dozen years or so, I only started this blog before my big Europe trip last year. It’s kind of crazy to think that I’ve found that much to write about in that time and even more crazy to think about those of you who have been with me from the beginning (or the middle, or just since yesterday 🙂 ). Thanks for reading, commenting, liking, and sharing my blog! Now, onto Zurich!
Although today was our only full day in Zurich, we didn’t end up doing a whole lot. We’re both at the point in our trip where we know we’re going home soon (tomorrow) and we’re kind of ready to be home, so that, in combination with the fact that we didn’t have much left on our to-see list and that it was drizzly all day today, meant we were fine having a light day. And I think that’s great! It is vacation after all, right? 🙂 Your vacation is what you make of it. Of course, both Scott and I like to make the most of our time when we’re traveling, but if we (or you!) want to have a light day, that’s A-OK.
So what did we end up seeing today? We started off with a trip to Predigerkirche (Preacher’s Church), which is literally down the street from our apartment (a block away at the most). Interestingly, it’s attached to the central library in Zurich and they also don’t seem to have regular services there. Although it’s full of pews, it’s also got comfortable seating along the sides, has a counselor on-site should anyone want to talk to one, and the space is often lent out to various faith groups for their services. So cool to see a church really serving its community like that! There’s no charge to get in and there was nothing happening when we were there, but it’s worth stopping in when you’re in Zurich.
From Predigerkirche, we moved onto another church – Grossmünster. As you’ll no doubt recall from yesterday’s post, we saw the outside already, but didn’t get to go inside. As with Predigerkirche, it’s free to enter the church and they also don’t seem to have regular services. I’m not positive on that, but the lack of any kind of altar and the references within the church to it being a “house of prayer” vs. a “house of worship” made me think so. Because Grossmünster has two towers, we assumed/hoped it would be possible to walk up one of them and that was indeed the case. For a small charge (2 CHF/$2.14 USD), you can walk up the 225ish stairs to the top to get some great views of Zurich. Definitely do it! A word of warning about the walk up though – you start on a very tight spiral staircase, so it may not be a good idea to do it if you’re claustrophobic. About halfway up, you start climbing up wooden staircases, which aren’t as tight, but the steps seemed kind of big, so keep that in mind. The views at the top will make the climb worth it though!
Our third stop of the day was yet another church (noticing a theme here yet?) – Fraumünster. As one of the three main churches of Zurich, I was surprised that this one was also free to enter and also didn’t seem to have regular services, functioning more of a house of prayer like the other two churches we visited. There’s no tower to climb in this church and you aren’t allowed to take pictures inside, but I think churches are always great places to visit when you travel because they’re often very beautiful and are almost always very steeped in the history of the town/city they’re in.
Is anyone surprised that we haven’t mentioned chocolate yet? Don’t worry – here it comes! After finishing our mini-tour of churches, we walked over to Sprüngli, a great chocolate shop and café near the Old Town. If you’re a chocolate connoisseur, you’ll definitely want to visit! And even if you aren’t, you should go anyway because Switzerland is famous for its chocolate and surely you know SOMEONE you can buy chocolate for. 🙂 We picked out several different pieces, including some particularly delicious chocolate truffles, and got excellent service from the woman behind the counter. She spoke great English, gave us tasty recommendations, and even gave us a sample of their truffle d’jour. The place was busy, but there were lots of people working who were ready and willing to help. The stuff they sell isn’t cheap, but nothing in Zurich is, so be prepared to spend more money than you would on candy at home and just accept it as part of your vacation spending. 🙂
Finally, we ended the day with a short walk to Lake Zurich, just down the street from Sprüngli. We snapped a few pictures and watched people feed the swans there, but didn’t do much else as the rain started to become more constant then. So we decided to head back to our apartment (stopping for a nice lunch along the way) and just chill out for the rest of the afternoon. We went through pictures, caught up on the interwebs, and had a good time just being on vacation before our flight home tomorrow.
Don’t leave yet! Check out today’s (smaller selection of) pictures first!
The Ganymed statue in front of Lake Zurich.
And there we are! We’ve reached the end of our time on this trip, but we’ll surely be back. And hey, we’ve still got a little vacation left, so we’re going to get a drink at the bar in the street level of our building, which is run by our apartment owner. 🙂