My, oh my. I am becoming quite the little traveller. It was just a few months ago that I made a goal to travel somewhere new this year. At the time I made that goal, I was in the works of booking a trip to Texas. Little did I know I would be adding another new place to my list. Somewhere considerably further away.
Before moving to California, I had travelled very little. I had travelled by plane only 3 times. I had only travelled a few places (Vancouver, Montreal & California). Growing up, I travelled a few places with my family (Nashville, TN & Disney in Florida) and did have a class trip to Paris, France when I was 15. That was obviously quite a trip, but as a 15 year-old, I’m not sure I appreciated as much as I could have. Since moving to California, I have trekked out to Portland, OR, Maui, HI, Washington, D.C., & Austin, TX. I will be honest, I’m not much of a world traveller, I’d rather check out what’s in my own backyard, but if the opportunity presents itself, I’ll take it!
This post is picture heavy and long! I had a hard time cutting down on the dozens of pictures I took.
Our vacation started off kind of rocky… it wasn’t one of those trips where everything possibly could go wrong, but it wasn’t exactly what we anticipated.
It was bloody hot. Now I’m a good Southwestern Ontario girl and I’m used to weather and extreme temperatures. But jeez was it ever hot! They experienced a heat wave during our stay. There were exactly 2 of my 12 days that were tolerably cool. That was it and the remaining days were well over 90 F with no air conditioning.
Our apartment was ok. It was basically one large room with a bed, a sitting area and a bathroom & kitchen off to the side. Extremely small, we guess around 400 square feet. And after being told the kitchen had a fridge – I was a little disappointed with the bar fridge that was tucked under the teeny kitchen counter. That bathroom was actually larger, I would have preferred a bigger, nicer kitchen – but shouldn’t complain. I made it work. The other thing we weren’t quite expecting was sticker shock. Everything is insanely expensive in Zürich!
Aside from the heat, the less than convenient accommodations and the unexpected expenses, it was a lovely trip =) People are friendly, it is an absolutely gorgeous city and the food was delicious (more on that in a separate post).
We arrived early on a Friday morning. I spent the day bleary-eyed wandering around the city in search of a power adaptor and some vegan eats. I found both with success. Saturday and Sunday were spent sequestered in our flat, binge-watching Orange is the New Black as it was too hot to do anything.
Monday was a new day! It was still too hot, but we got up early and went walking. I actually was on my own for most of this trip and am directionally challenged. I still get lost walking around the city I currently live in, that I have lived in for a year. And public transit makes me nervous, especially in a different country where English is not widely spoken. So I walked. Everywhere. I averaged well over 10km a day. It is actually a fantastic way to see a city. Day 3 started off with a free walking tour (in English!). I got to see some major landmarks and some pretty sights.
St. Peter’s Church (oldest Parish Church in Zürich and largest clock face in all of Europe – take that Big Ben!)
View of the city
Day 4 was by far the hottest and most uncomfortable with highs reaching almost to the triple digits in Fahrenheit degrees. I decided not to do much, but treated myself to a spa day. Zürich is well known for it’s Thermalbad and they happen to have a Roman Spa room. I opted for that room and was not disappointed. The day I went happened to be women’s only day and as I arrived just as they opened, I had the entire place to myself for the first 1.5 hours. My muscles relaxed in the infrared sauna and every single bit of tension I had left was completely gone after swimming around the indoor pools. Everything was completely indoors, and they left the original stone walls and pools intact. It was a wonderfully unique experience that I will never forget. I highly recommend it if you go to Zürich. I also opted for a 25 minute “wet” massage. My massage therapist had me lie on a stone table and sprinkled me with water, scrubbed me with exfoliant, lathered me with cream, massaged me and rinsed me off. It was quite different than any massage I’d ever had and left feeling incredibly relaxed. I was not allowed to take pictures inside the majestic Thermalbad, so I will leave you with a few from the internets.
Day 5 was a lot of walking – the heaviest walking day of the trip at a staggering 20+km. I walked to the Chinese Garden only to discover it was closed. I neglected to check the opening time and arrived at 9:30am when it didn’t open until 11am. Since I had some time, so I trekked on over to the Kunsthaus Museum where they were carrying an impressionist collection. I adore impressionist art. I grew up idolizing Van Gogh and Monet and was ecstatic to see their works standing before me. I did another free walking tour of the Old City and met a nice Colombian gent who traded me his map of the city for a granola bar. I also met someone who lives in the same US city that I currently live in. What a small world!
Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!