Tuesday, August 14, 2012

In the land of cheese and chocolate

I'm back from a weeklong trip through Switzerland and Austria and (now that jetlag has mostly subsided) ready to post some photos of my trip. I decided to divide the trip up into three posts (one for each of the cities I visited) so as not to overwhelm with length, number of photos, or sheer awesomeness. The first city I visited and thus this first post (Astorian Dream is nothing if not chronological) will cover Zurich, Switzerland: the city of $16 ice cream sundaes. Zurich is first and foremost a beautiful city: scenically located on a lovely lake and full of cobblestone streets and grand cathedrals. It is a city with a culture as rich as its copious dairy products. It is also an incredibly expensive place. I experienced sticker shock I haven't known since first moving to New York City four years ago and discovering $8 beer night. Needless to say, the group went through quite a number of Swiss Francs. But enough of the lamentable state of my finances, onto the pictures!

For some reason I kept taking pictures of this fountain right by the train station. Probably because it was the first thing I saw when I arrived and I felt the need to start capturing the experience immediately. It's an okay fountain. I saw better later. But since I found about five photographs of it in my pictures, all from different angles, I figure I might as well include it as representative of my time in Zurich.

This photo was taken on a street in the expensive shopping district (as if there is any other kind in Zurich). They did have an H&M though, which was patronized by some in our party as well as, inexplicably, a Claires. I chose this photo for the Swiss patriotism it lends to the post.

This is a view of the Grossmunster across the Limmant River (note: swans). This church, built in the 800s, had the coolest windows made of slices of agate. Alas pictures were not allowed inside, so you will just have to visit Zurich to see how neat they looked. Or google it, I guess.

We climbed the tower of the Grossmunster to get some incredible views of the city. Not too shabby, Zurich.

We walked through the old town of Zurich in search of a Mondrian designed museum. Most of us chose not to actually go inside because we were cheap, but we sent my sister as an emissary and then took naps on the grass in the surrounding park. 

The surrounding park eventually led to Lake Zurich. You can swim in the lake (and we saw many people doing just that), but those of us who had brought bathing suits had left them at the hotel, so we did not partake. We did wade and lounge for a bit though, which is similar but doesn't require as much effort.

Those of us park nappers who did not visit the museum wandered into a nearby free gallery. I wanted to include this picture simply because I like the composition. This is one of the few blog entries that I've actually taken all of the photos for, so there's that.

While not technically in Zurich, I'm not going to make a post for every place we visited, so this gets lumped in as part of the city's surrounding environs. On our second day in town, we took a short train ride out to the Rheinfall, which is the largest waterfall in Europe. Fun fact about the Rheinfall: the falls cannot be climbed by fish, but only by eels. 
I wanted to include a group photo even though this isn't an especially flattering one of me. In addition to the spray from the falls, it was also raining pretty substantially at this point. We were vigilant in our touristing nevertheless.

Although the prices kept us from eating out every meal, we did make what I considered to be an important splurge: a fondue dinner our last night in town.

This was taken on our last night in the city on the walk back to our hotel. However, even if it weren't chronologically one of the last photos I took (well, except for some desperate last minute shots of that one fountain by the train station), I would probably include it last because I think it provides a nice finality to the narrative of the trip (or rather this leg of the trip, which for all intents and purposes of this blog post is the same).

Tune in tomorrow for photos from the next stop on our trip: Salzburg. Plus some surprisingly decent (in my opinion) bonus footage of the train ride there through the Alps. Who says you can't take credible photography through the window of a high moving train? Also, if your interest is piqued and you want to see more photos, let me know, and I'll invite you to visit the web album.


  1. Fondue - a food that I have yet to partake in. Looks like a great trip!

  2. Great photos. I especially liked the city view from the Tower! Hope you brought some swiss chocolate back with you.

  3. pretty pictures, makes me want to go! European tourism bureaus should hire you :)

  4. Love the commentary! Sounds like an awesome time so far, can't wait to see leg 2 and 3

  5. Great photos! Can't wait to see more. I've been wanting to get online to ask you all about it, but work is crazy this week. So I'm glad I can get to read a bit about it here!