Tag Archives: Travel and Tourism

Zurich, Switzerland

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We love to travel Europe by Train………the Global Eurorail Pass allows the freedom to explore where and when you want….

We decided to take the train across Switzerland and enjoy this beautiful country…

As we approached Zurich and this is what we saw out the window, we knew we were in for a real treat……..

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The city was beautiful and pristine………..

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Zurich  is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in north-central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich.

turiThe municipality has approximately 390,000 inhabitants, and the Zurich metropolitan area 1.83 million.   Zurich is a hub for railways, roads, and air traffic.

 Both Zurich Airport and railway station are the largest and busiest in the country.

The Train Station is clean, organized and beautiful….

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Permanently settled for around 2000 years, the history of Zurich goes back to its founding by the Romans, who, in 15 BC, called it Turicum.

However, early settlements have been found dating back more than 6400 years ago.   During the Middle Ages Zurich gained the independent and privileged status of imperial immediacy and, in 1519, was the place of origin and center of the Protestant Reformation in German-speaking Switzerland, led by Ulrich Zwingli.

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Zurich is a leading global city and among the world’s largest financial centers.

The city is home to a large number of financial institutions and banking giants. Also, most of the research and development centers are concentrated in Zurich and the low rate of tax attracts overseas companies to set up their headquarters there.

Monocle’s 2012 “Quality of Life Survey” ranked Zurich first on a list of the top 25 cities in the world.   According to several surveys from 2006 to 2008, Zurich was named the city with the best quality of life in the world as well as the wealthiest city in Europe.

We could believe that as we had our coffee on the Limmat River, which flows through downtown…

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……..and Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate……….EVERYWHERE….

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The people were all so happy and friendly, the city filled with nooks and crannies ……

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We loved wandering this beautiful city and enjoying all the fountains..

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We had lunch at  Restaurant Schipfe on the banks of the Limmat River, can you imagine a river running through a major city in the United States …………this clean!

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The people at the restaurant were all so friendly… and the food divine…

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After lunch we continued to explore Marvelous Zurich…..

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We visited the Fraumünster Church built on the remains of a former abbey for aristocratic women which was founded in 853 by Louis the German for his daughter Hildegard.

He endowed the Benedictine convent with the lands of Zurich, Uri, and the Albis forest, and granted the convent immunity, placing it under his direct authority.
Today, it belongs to the Swiss Reformed Church.

The Windows were designed by Marc Chagall and installed in 1970…..

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I loved the  décor in our hotel, the Ibis Zurich West ………the bar and the restaurant…..

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….but with all wonderful trips…………it is time to MOOve on……

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Prague, Czech Republic

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Today we are traveling to Prague.  We awoke early full of excitement for the next leg of the journey.  Of course, we had breakfast at our favorite gas station in Berlin and then headed for the Hauptbahnhof to await our train to the Czech Republic.  The train was very nice.  The first class cabin is almost empty so it is nice and quiet. We pass through beautiful countryside.  It is so green and lush here — not like our poor parched Texas.  We move to the dining car for a change of scenery and some wine.  We are now in Dresden and have stopped to allow passengers to embark and disembark it is 11:00 A.M., the wine made August sleepy and he is dozing off.  As we enter the Czech Republic the route becomes so scenic and beautiful we follow the course of a river to our left with charming villages nestled along its banks.  The hillsides are so verdant and lush.  We just passed a beautiful castle on the hillside overlooking the river.

 

We will be in Prague in one hour. We arrive in Prague and disembark our train, we make our way to the taxi stand and the driver wants to charge 980 crown to take us to the hotel — $98 U.S. dollars, we decide he is a bandit and walk away, before we get far the price has dropped to $30.00 so we keep walking and find the tourist information center. Behold — we find that the hotel is within walking distance! So away we walk and find our hotel in the midst of an old town square. We rest and change clothes to venture out. It is very beautiful here. The war has not hurt this old city.

We find a lovely traditional Czech restaurant, Nostalgie (www.restaurace-nostalgie.cz) and promptly plant ourselves on a back patio and dine on sausage cooked in vegetables with rye bread and herbed butter accompanied by a Czech beer — yummy.  We await our second course; roasted pork served with potato dumpling, cooked cabbage and bread dumplings — marvie!!!!!

 
The food was delicious, the pork cooked to perfection and the cabbage so tender and tasty. We barely spoke during the meal. Teh pastry all looked so wonderful, but we were so full from the meal we passed………….for now. We stopped at the grocer and bought some wine, water and pastries. Back to the room to relax, drink wine and eat pastries!

We decide to have breakfast at the hotel and catch the early train our of Prague. this city has been the least fun in our trip. It seems that perhaps the East has not been able to shake off the cold war. The people are dowdy, ugly and unfriendly. On to Vienna……..

Even the breakfast was sad…………….