Zurich, CH

*Through doing my titles in this format, I am learning country codes. I mean honestly, who would have guessed Switzerland is abbreviated as CH?

Honestly, I was contemplating even going to Zurich. I already had my flight purchased, and while researching the city, I wasn’t finding anything that got me excited about my weekend trip. I thought to myself—I can always come back to Paris, when is the next time I will be able to go to Zurich. So with a ticket already in hand, I booked my hostel and closed the case. I was going to Switzerland.

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My first day was spent in the city of Zurich. It was a rainy morning and the mountains were barely visible as you looked across Lake Zurich, the grand lake that is a central point of the city.

We walked on the famous Bahnhofstrasse, the luxe shopping street, and looked in the windows of the watch stores that could be found everywhere you set your focus.

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For lunch, we wanted to try the traditional plate of Switzerland, Raclette. We didn’t know what we were in for, all we knew was that it was slightly similar to fondue. Thank goodness our waiter gave us a tutorial. The waiter placed a small grill and gave us a plate full of veggies, pear, and lots of cheese. Oh, and a sack of steaming potatoes. It was a workout of a meal, you were constantly having to put a new slice of cheese on the grill, put your vegetables on, make sure you didn’t fry them and while they were grilling, you were to be cutting up the potatoes to pour the cheese that you were grilling on top of it. Repeat- there are still 10 slices of cheese left and an entire sack of steaming potatoes.

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The rain was really infringing on walking around the city of Zurich, and coming from a newly-pleasant Paris, we decided to go back to the hostel and relax. We returned only to be glued to the TV to watch the Boston lockdown, manhunt. It was a strange feeling, being so far away yet so attached to this situation. As people from all over the world learned of what was happening in the USA through social media, a crowd gathered around the television and we sat in silence and stress, watching together.

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The forecast called for rain again our second day in Zurich. My friend Kate and I decided to bite the bullet; put on all the layers of clothes in our suitcase, run to the closest connivence store and buy the warmest gloves we could find, and hop on a 10 hour long bus to take us to the top of the Alps, Mount Titlus.

This was a great day. We stopped in a small Swiss town, Lucerne, which was actually quite touristy, but you were still able to feel the swiss charm that it offered. We then made our way through windy roads and small towns to the base of the Alps, where we took not one, not two, but three different Gondola lifts to the top, where we reached a height of 3200 meters, that is, two miles up in the sky.

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At the top, while snow was blowing all around us, we walked across the highest suspension bridge in Europe, went through glacier caves, and had ice cream from a famous Swiss creamery.

It was snowing, all day actually, and we were curious as to why the skiers we saw at the bottom of the mountain weren’t at the top with us. Apparently, there was a sever avalanche warning.

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I can’t put up this post without mentioning how expensive Zurich is. The prices were astonishing. It is double the price of everything in America, and then you have to consider the money conversion. A plate of pasta from a normal restaurant  $45 CHF ($53 USD) a whopper from Burger King $17 CHF ($21 USD) a bottle of water $5.50 ($7). It was insane. Thank goodness pictures are the best souvenirs.

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