Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Zurich-the 3rd Most Expensive City in Europe

Which kind of makes you wonder what the other 2 are? I can't believe there are 2 cities that charge more than $12 for a grilled cheese, $5 for a Coke and $34 for a burrito plate (which in California could be less than $5).

Welcome to beautiful Zurich. And it is beautiful so I can't complain too much about the prices. Although I seriously can't figure out how people live there. All my Swiss friends say, "Oh people here make more money" but still.....

I also went to Zurich to meet up with a couple of my old students. We met in the train station, which apparently has the most amazing Swarovski crystal Christmas tree. I wouldn't know, because those dang uber efficient Swiss had already dismantled it by the morning of December 27. We nicknamed it, "the letdown tree".
While walking along the side of the Limmat River and down the Bahnhofstrasse (literally train station street and the upscale shopping area) are beautiful, however....

....if you only do one thing
in Zurich, climb to the top of the Grossmunster, Zurich's great cathedral. According to legend, the Grossmunster was founded by Charlemagne, when his horse fell to his knees there over the tombs of 2 of Zurich's patron saints. The cathedral also played a prominent part in the Protestant Revolution.

All very nice and well, but not the primary reason I recom
mend it. This is why:

Be forewarned: the climb is not for the faint of heart or the out of shape. It's steep and very narrow. There was a lot of squishing
yourself into niches in order to let others pass by. But the 360 degree views were so worth it.

And this picture is priceless.

I also saw the largest clock face in all of Europe at St Peter's, woo hoo!

We walked around quite a bit,which naturally made everyone thirsty, so my local friend Ana recommended we head over to the Jules Verne Bar.

It was probably one of the coolest bars I've been in. You have to enter at the Brasserie Lipp Restaurant and take an elevator up 11 stories into the round building, whereby you are greeted with more panoramic views of the city!

It's very cute and very intimate (read no seating) so when someone does actually leave a table, move fast! You need to jump on it or else someone else will elbow their way in. We finally got a table by the window by gradually encroaching on the couple sitting at it. I think they were trying to have a romantic date too. So sad.

After, we went to dinner to wait for some other friends. Our first choice was a fondue place called Swiss Kuche (Swiss Kitchen), a typical fondue place downtown. We didn't end up eating there since apparently you have to make a reservation first. Which is just as well because as we were leaving, Belgian Laura declared loudly, "that place smells like farts."

We ended up at a Mexican place instead. Word to the wise, Mexican food is apparently considered "exotic" in Switzerland. Hence the $34 burrito plate. Not able to stomach the price, I stuck with my $12 chips and guac.

However, I did get to see 2 more of my former students, Andre and Guido. So all in all, it was a good day. Oh and I also saw my first Swiss cow.


  1. You saw Sven! That guy is so great!

    I wouldn't eat Mexican food in Switzerland either, esp. for that price. You freaking live on the border with Mexico.

    Everything looked really beautiful!

  2. Yeah, was he your student? He seemed familiar but it was the first time I met him. Really nice guy.

    Yeah, the food

    PS. My friend Laura from Switzerland read your blog about Bahia and now wants to go there!

  3. Wonderful blog entry! I will be [knocking on wood] going to Switzerland this year & hopefully Zurich! You have given me everything I need to know, and made me laugh ;-) Let down tree & the fondue! Thanks for sharing this & have a great weekend!