Country #38 - Switzerland

The Cheese

Today was a long day but filled with a lot of rest. I left Hotel Bristol around 7:00am to make my train to Mulhouse Ville in France. Thankfully the train station was just around the corner! After a two-hour train ride I arrived in Mulhouse Ville I had to wait for three hours before transferring onto my two-hour train to Zurich, Switzerland. When I arrived in Zurich it was not much more than a fifteen-minute walk to my hotel, Hotel Kindli. However, that walk involved a few hills and by the time I arrived I was definitely out of breath.

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My first impressions of Zurich was that it was just as I had imagined: beautiful, quaint, and very Swiss. Hotel Kindli was located right in the heart of town and I received a very warm welcome. My room was very cozy and I really loved the unique style of Hotel Kindli. Thank you so much to Hotel Kindli for sponsoring this night of my trip! By the time I arrived I was exhausted and actually accidentally fell asleep for a few hours. I guess the jet lag plus the long travel day got to me! When I woke up it was dinner time so I decided to find a Swiss meal for dinner.

I would have preferred fondue but unfortunately for one person, it is very hard to find at a reasonable price. Honestly, anything is hard to find at a reasonable price in Switzerland. I love the stunning country but that conception is very true. It was like $5 for a bottle of water at any restaurant or store on the street so I waited to buy water in a grocery store for much cheaper. Anyways, I found a restaurant that met my needs of being Swiss and inexpensive and, bonus, all about cheese!

It wasn’t hard to choose Raclette Factory AG once I found it. I love Raclette cheese and this unique spot tried to serve the meal for a reasonable (but still not inexpensive price) at a trendy location in the heart of Zurich. I really enjoyed my meal which was basically just really good melted cheese with a few potatoes. My only qualm was that the service took forever - I know that this is a European thing but it took longer than it even should in Europe, especially for a casual restaurant.

After dinner, I walked around for a bit before heading back to my hotel to get a good night’s sleep before really exploring the city tomorrow.

The Lake

I’ve been to Switzerland once before, to Zermatt to see the Matterhorn, but never to Zurich. I loved the small town feel of Zermatt (and highly recommend it), but I was happy to find that even in the much bigger town of Zurich that I still got the quaint Swiss feel I had in Zermatt. I think I am stating to catch a cold so I slept in way past when I should have but I still had plenty of time to make it a great day. I started by walking up to Lindenhof which was a hill right up the street from Hotel Kindli. It had amazing views out over the city and I really enjoyed watching a cute puppy play frisbee.

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From Lindenhof, I made my way to Bahnhofstrasse which is the high street in Zurich. I had a nice walk down it for a bit, and then made my way to St. Peter. St. Peter is famous for the large clock face that can be seen all around this side of Zurich. Inside it was a very small yet beautiful church with white walls inside. From St. Peter I then went to Fraumünster Church. No photos were allowed inside but it was very unique. The most famous part of the church are the Marc Chagall stained glass windows which definitely lives up to the hype. They are so unique and unlike any other stained glass windows, I have ever seen. It’s a shame Chagall only started to do stained glass so late in his life! There was also a nice small museum under the church which was nice to learn more about the history.

After Fraumünster I headed to the Bellevueplatz area. It is mainly just an intersection but I found a small place to eat lunch - I had an inexpensive sausage called spezial servelat. It was really good and so was the bill for Switzerland! I didn’t buy water though because $5 is insane for a bottle - I asked for tap water like an obnoxious American but I’m sorry Switzerland has some of the cleanest water in the world it is a waste to spend that much. Anyways I got my tap water and all was well. I then made my way down the street to Movenpick to try famous Swiss gelato maker. From a self-proclaimed gelato snob’s opinion, it was actually quite good!

I ate my gelato as I walked along Lake Zurich. I never realized how big Lake Zurich was, but it is giant. I walked for about an hour and barely even touched the surface. I enjoyed my walk immensely, though. The lake was beautiful and it was so interesting to people watch as there were so many locals out enjoying the lake and the parks and other public spaces along it. My hour-long walk back was just as enjoyable minus the gelato.

When I got back to town I walked to Grossmünster, another prominent Zurich Cathedral. Unfortunately, it was already closed, but the outside was still very pretty. Afterwards, I just spent time walking through the streets of Zurich. Specifically, I enjoyed walking down Niederdorfstrasse, one of the main typically Swiss streets. I then walked back along the water to Hotel Kindli where I called it an early night. I have a super early morning tomorrow and by this time tomorrow, I will have been in four countries in one day so the more sleep the better!

38 countries down, 159 to go.

To learn more about Hotel Kindli click here.