|From Zurich, Switzerland, 2009-07-19|
Photos, day 2.
Boy, we were tired. And, thankfully, our room was very dark. We slept off a major chunk of the jet lag this morning sleeping in until 7:30am. Once we got moving we headed downstairs to the restaurant in the lobby where our included breakfast was served. This was no American continental breakfast either. Bacon, eggs, sausage, fresh bread, fruit, yogurt and a pile of oranges and a juicer to make your own fresh-squeezed orange juice. Awesome! No doubt I over ate a bit but we weren't planning on a lunch so I was just being cautious.
It was an overcast and windy morning so we packed our jackets and umbrellas in the backpack and hit the streets. First stop was the Schweizeriches Landemuseum near the train station. For 10 CHF each we enjoyed a bit of natural history swiss-style and then attempted to understand the all-German Swiss history exhibition which was very nicely done but impossible to understand.
From there we caught the train to Uetliberg, a decent foothill with a footpath to the summit and viewing tower at the top. This area boasts what are likely the closest trails for running and hiking and we enviously waved at a number of trail runners out there. Also, along the trail is a mini-scale map of the planets one can follow for nearly 8km along the ridgecrest to the Adliswil tram down. We hiked that trail for close to two hours as the day got better and better. It even ended up a bit warm at time.
We caught the bus/tram back to city center and went in search of good chocolate at a shop called Teuscher recommended by Brian Crone's wife. The first one we found at 4:07pm closed at 4:00pm. So we hopped on the tram down to Bellevue where another one was supposed to be. Whilst down there we figured we ought to check out the Kunsthaus modern art museum but found it cost 23 CHF each and was only open for another 30 minutes so we bailed on that. Instead, we rented a paddle boat for 18CHF for 30 minutes and paddled across Lake Zurich and back dodging the big tourist boats along the way. It was odd when I rented the boat...the guy barely spoke, took my 18CHF and driver's license and said, "OK, take the orange one for 30 minutes." That was it. No orientation, no forms to fill out, no guidelines. So we hope paddling across the lake between big tourist boats was allowed. When I returned the boat I saw other renters filling out paperwork and getting the rules spoken to them.
We did find the Teuscher in the Felix Cafe after that and scored four truffles. Tasty! After dessert we went in search of dinner. Casa Mia was another Italian place that came recommended but we found it closed. Naturally I gravitated towards beer and we popped into the Brasserie Federal which claims to have more that 100 Swiss beers. Problem was, the menu had no English on it and our question to the waitress, "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?" was met with the stern answer, "No!" and she walked away. OK, time to move on to that little Italian place we passed on our walk towards our hotel. I don't recall the name but it was a tasty and quite enjoyable.
Tomorrow we hit the rails with a 9:40am train to Innsbruck, Austria. We should get there around 1:30pm and will be staying at the Hotel Goldene Krone for one night before renting a car and driving south down into the Dolomites of Italy. While it's been fun exploring the city life a bit and gettin' cultured, I feel much more at home away from crowds and up in the mountains so I'm looking forward to getting into Italy.