I’m not sure if it’s a thing, but Zurich feels like it should be one of those arrangements where cities form “Sister City” partnerships because Zurich has quite a lot in common with Melbourne. Right down to the interchangeable weather at the near drop of a hat.
To say that the day has been long is an understatement. Realistically the 8th of May for me has been around 36 hours long. As I flew out of Singapore just after midnight and was chasing the timezones backwards on the very long flight.
I lucked into 17,847 steps on the technicality that half of those happened at Singapore Airport “yesterday”. Walking from terminal 3 where I landed to Terminal 1 where my Zurich bound flight was departing from. Still, just under nine thousand steps today was achievement since I’m running on the fumes of an oily rag because I barely slept on the flight.
With an extensive tram network, scenic city lookouts, riverside walking and cycling paths, river catamarans, cafe culture, and an expressive and imposing central station (even though the facade is undergoing some maintenance) there’s a lot here to consider it Switzerland’s Melbourne (a big city that isn’t the capital city).
It turns our Zurich International Airport is also rather large, not quite as big as Changi yesterday but big enough that you need to catch a cable train to get from the terminals to the baggage collection. It had this really neat display as it goes through the underground tunnel where several screens form a flipbook-like display. I didn’t get any footage of it as I was busy thinking through my itinerary to answer questions about where I was going to be and what I was going to be doing if I was asked. But I found a video online that I’ve linked below to show it (as the video is in Swiss German you might not understand the dialogue). Getting through customs was a breeze though, the border police just asked how long I was here for and my purpose for being here. Once I explained I was here for travel, and roughly where I was going, my passport was minted with a fresh stamp and I was on my way to baggage collection.
From here I caught a train into Zurich Hauptbahnhof (Zurich Central Station), made my way out and proceeded to head in the complete opposite direction to the hotel for a few hundred metres before realising that I should have crossed the river almost immediately after exiting the station. Which, when I got back to where I first came out of the station, was exactly what I did.
Made it to the hotel a short time later, it wasn’t that far of a walk once I was headed in the correct direction. Ended up paying for early check in so I could immediately jump in and have a shower. Two plane flights and a bunch of walking needed cleansing. It has a rain shower which is nice.
I headed out for a walk back to the station to scope out where I need to be for the train to Chur on Tuesday. It’s pretty easy, go back the way I came out of the station underpass and find the platform that has “Chur” on the display. Pretty much every platform is accessible from the upper underpass level, with two further underground levels encompassing the underground platforms to go along with the above ground platforms.
With that sorted, I bought some lunch from a stall at the station and made my way to the riverside park to eat it. Really lovely to sit in a park that does not have perfectly maintained grass and plant beds. The park here was allowed to grow with bee attracting daisies and clovers. The birds were also well looked after with almost every tree having artificial nesting boxes attached.
I contemplated going back to the hotel and having a kip as I was feeling proper wrecked at that point, but decided to push on and only came back to pick up the zoom lens and a warmer jacket as I felt the temperature was starting to drop. Turned out to be a good decision because the clouds had started rolling in and by the time I caught the train to Uetliberg it had started raining! That wasn’t going to dampen my spirits though, up the mountain I went!
Uetliberg is the highest point in Zurich, with a nice viewing area to look out and across the city and lake Zurichsee.
Lastly I leave you with a photo of The Wandering Ibis “Binny” outside the first stop of our adventure. Tomorrow I’ve booked in a day on a tour bus and boat ride out on the lake. The weather is supposed to start of pretty bad but clear during the morning so I should be able to get some nice shots from the boat.
I’m going to bed. Speak with you tomorrow!