After several changes of plan, Jan and I eventually decided to spend New Year in Zurich. We booked a room at an IBIS hotel and travelled there on 29th December. After checking in and dumping our luggage, we went for a cheeky Burger King before heading into town for a first look at the sights. It was dark by that time and snow was falling… prefect for testing how good my new camera is in not the best conditions 😉
While we were walking around, we spotted a pub that had a quiz on that night, so after stopping for a beer elsewhere (Feldschlösschen Amber is very tasty) we headed on over the the pub quiz. We didn’t do badly for only having 2 people, managing to come in the top 5.
The next day we went for a wander round Zurich, following a route that Jan had downloaded onto his phone. We started at the main train station, where a statue outside reminded us of why cities normally turn off their fountains in winter…
Then it was off down Bahnhofstrasse, along the River Limmat and up the hill until we reached Lindenhof, from where we had a view over the city.
Once we’d taken a few photos at Lindenhof and spent some time trying to catch perfect snowflakes, we headed back down the hill on the other side, passing St Peter’s Church and walking through some pretty streets before taking a break at the Sprüngli cafe for delicious but expensive hot chocolate.
Once we’d finished our hot chocolate, we headed back out into the snow. Our next stop was the Fraumünster church (literally “Lady’s Minster”). No photos were allowed inside, but here are some from outside:
After taking a look at the inside of the church with its famous stained-glass windows (by Marc Chagall), we walked down to Lake Zurich, which is where the fireworks would be the following night. A group of Asians were down there feeding bread to the gulls, which was quite a sight. So. Many. Gulls! There were also swans and ducks, including one very pretty green duck that I spent ages trying to get a photo of.
Once I finally managed to drag Jan away from the lake, we walked back along the river towards the Niederdorf, or old town, area and headed to the Grossmünster (“Great Minster” – note that in normal German the church name would be spelled Großmünster, but there are no ess-zetts in Swiss German!). Again, no photos were allowed inside, but we climbed the tower and I was able to take some of Zurich from above.
Once we’d climbed back down from the tower, out tour was almost done. All that remained was a quick walk through the old town and a glimpse at the Rathaus (city hall) before our tour took us back to Bahnhofstrasse, where the Christmas lights had now been switched on. Then we decided to build a snowman on a wall next to the city police station. We named him Travis.
Snowman built and duly photographed, it was finally time for a break! We went back to the Niederdorf and found a small bar/restaurant where we treated ourselves to a beer and some cheese fondue… which I forgot to take a photo of because I’m a bad blogger!
And that’s (more than) enough for one blog post, so I’ll save New Year’s Eve for the next one.