I exited the train station tired, dirty and disorientated at 8am that Friday morning. After trying to sleep on a train hurtling through Germany I wasn’t 100% ready for my next adventure, but here I am. I make my way through town along the river, passing the bicycles and trams carrying commuters to work; it’s “rush hour” but it doesn’t feel like anyone is rushing, there is a calmness in the air…
I spend my first few hours seeing the sights, walking around the river and watching the locals. I walked in circles finding higher areas and viewpoints, wandering into churches and occasionally stopping to sit down and just admire the architecture. That air of calmness is still present, I begin to think how quiet this city is, probably the most silent I’ve ever been to. It’s a world away from the likes of Rome or Paris, where car horns and emergency sirens create a new chorus every half an hour. Zurich feels like such a liveable city, some places you like to experience just for a little while, but some make you feel comfortable, I felt at home. I understand why a friend of mine lived there for 10 years and why so many people move to Zurich for work. English is very commonly spoken, even though this area of Switzerland primarily speak German, in fact I overheard a lot of English spoken with English accents.
The residents of Zurich dress very well, particularly in the business districts where you find the towering bank headquarters and designer shops. By contrast I look like such a tourist, wearing shorts walking along eating ironically expensive Swiss Lindt chocolate.
Come evening time people are starting to come out again and the city is alive with activity. Restaurants are filling up and people are enjoying the summer warmth in the classiest of open air bars. As expected you’ll find the prices to be high, but ask at your hotel for recommendations which will fit your budget.
I spent most of my second day by the lake, enjoying the park and nature while relaxing with a book. There are ares of the lake for swimming, some of these lidos even turn into trendy bars come sunset. You can take a ferry across the lake or just sit and watch the swans. I would return to Switzerland in a moment; I’m charmed by the Swiss way of life and the landscape is of course utterly unbelievable.