Zurich Travel Blog

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Dragon Boats on the Limmat River
I made it to Zurich without any problems.  I think the Canadian 18 and under national bball team has some tourney (worlds perhaps?) in France because there were a lot of young, really tall guys on my flight from to Paris in matching canadian gear with something that looked like a combo maple leaf-basketball on their shirts and bags.  sponsored by nike, of course.  Anyways, Air France totally lived up to the hype about the good food.  Seriously -- why is it that European airlines serve great food, and the US ones stink?  The meal was a barley salad with smoked turkey on the side, and then the options for the main were Belgian-style beef (whatever that is) with potatos or tortellini with marinara sauce.
Lake Zurich (notice the mountains in the background)
  and coffee cake for dessert....  and mini-baguettes.  One came with the meal, and then they brought around a basket with more.  oh!  and a small piece of camembert.  Yes, they served good cheese on an airplane.  how awesome!  Changed planes at Charles de Gaulle for one to Zurich.....  which had the most adorable 3 1/2 year on girl on it (dad European of sorts, mom Brazilian).  She ran right up and set next to me on the bus to the plane, and then we had to wait about 10 minutes until we could get on the plane.  It was at this point that the little girl realized if she stood up on the seat, she could reach high on the pole in the bus and slide down them, which she did almost the entire time until we could actually get on the plane.
Limmat River
  She either has a great future as a fireman or a stripper.  I'm sure her parents are proud.

I arrived at the Zurich train station around 9:30 am.  Unlike Colmar, where my idea to walk to my hotel from the train station with my large rolly bag was not such a good idea (especially with a foot of snow on the ground), doing that in Zurich worked out much better.  Except there was an awful lot going on at 10 am, esp. on a Sunday in Europe.  It turns out that this Fri-Sun was Züri-Fäscht, which only happens once every three years.  It's like Catholic High Festival and Ann Arbor Art Fair combined with the booze of Burboun Street and lots of really old buildings (including churches).  They even put a ferris wheel right in front of the Fraumnster, the 13th c. church with Marc Chagall stained glass windows.  Somehow, that just doesn't seem right.  But at least Züri-Fäscht gave me something to do for 2 hours until my hotel room was ready.  The train station had a lot of specialty foods, including my favorite soft pretzel with cheese in it. There were also a bunch of dragon boats racing in the river that cuts through the city and ends up in Lake Zurich.  My hotel is right on the river, and right in the middle of Züri-Fäscht.  It's amazing how, even with house music blaring from the street rattling the windows, when tired enough from not sleeping on a transatlantic flight and then walking around a city for two hours with a bag carrying a laptop in it, it's no problem at all to sleep.  Good thing I wasn't here over the weekend, though, as Züri-Fäscht went until 5 am, music and all.  Sunday night it ended at midnight.  Thank goodness, since I needed to get some real sleep after none on the plane!

I spent all day at FIFA doing research -- but wow did that int'l federation have plenty of money to burn when they built their new digs last year!  More research up for tomorrow, but I hope to do a bit more on Wednesday other than photograph old pieces of paper.  I haven't been to Zurich for five years, but being back makes me remember that I really do like this city.  Even with the schweizerdeutsch that the people speak here, I still feel really comfortable here.  I'm so glad I get to spend a little more than a week in this country this time trip, rather than just a couple of days!

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Dragon Boats on the Limmat River
Dragon Boats on the Limmat River
Lake Zurich (notice the mountains …
Lake Zurich (notice the mountains…
Limmat River
Limmat River
photo by: Sweetski