Zurich

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Switzerland's largest city Zurich finds itself ideally situated in a picturesque alpine setting. The Limmat River runs through the city centre into the breathtaking expanse of Lake Zurich. As well as natural beauty, the cityscape here is also extremely pretty, encompassing cobbled streets, towering church spires and green parks. Attractions such as the Landesmuseum, the Kunsthaus, and much more can all be visited in this culturally rich city. From Niederdorfstrasse in Zurich's Old Town to the former industrial area and currently hip district of Zurich West, the city is brimming with nightlife. Restaurants serving local and international dishes, along with numerous bars and clubs, all provide the perfect distraction each and every night. For a great taste of Swiss life in a stunning setting, be sure to check out this entirely enticing destination.

-- HostelWorld

It was not really that enticing… but I will get to that.

I got to Zurich after spending a couple of hours in Lucern on the way from Interlaken. As I left Interlaken late, I got in after it was already dark so I went straight to the Langstars hostel, located in the above mentioned Zurich West area. By the time I checked in, got myself setup for the night, and took a shower, it was already past 10pm - a good time to head downstairs to grab a free welcome drink. There were a couple Kiwis, an Aussie, a girl from Mexico, and a couple Japanese guys downstairs already, drinking with our host. I got some advice about the Gold Coast in Australia and the south east Asia and then joined a couple girls from Hong Kong at the bar. Nobody seemed to be in the going out mood as Zurich's night life is apparently very expensive (with high cover charges and astronomical prices for drinks). Oh well, I was too tired after my hike in Interlaken and run through Lucern to go out anyways. Later, three more Aussies dropped by and we swapped some stories before I called it a night and went upstairs to pass out.

In the morning, I grabbed some breakfast, packed up and headed out to check out the town before my late afternoon departure to Frankfurt. Looking through the list of things to check out, nothing really jumped out at me. It was the usual suspects - the old town, this church and that cathedral, the lake, the bridge, the art museum, museum of this and museum of that… Booooring… The Chinese garden sounded enticing, but it was quite a bit of a hike and the boat schedule would not work for me either so that idea was scratched. I walked around for a while with a guilty feeling that I should be enjoying these sights, but really, they looked just like the rest of old towns I have seen in the last couple of weeks (travel overdose?), actually, less impressive. The lake views were also spoiled by my recent trip to Interlaken so after wondering around for a bit, I decided to grab some lunch and take advantage of the free WiFi at the place to work on my South African itinerary.

After lunch I strolled along the Limmat river, took a few obligatory pictures, and then set out to find a travel bookstore that supposedly had a lot of guide books in English. With as little research as I have done so far about South Africa and South East Asia, I figured I should grab a couple books to keep me company on my 12 hour flight later this week. As my luck would have it, the store was closed when I got there. Oh well, I got to walk through some interesting parts of old town, mainly because a lot of the streets in that area are more like tiny pathways. I have not seen much of that before. Afterward, I decided to walk up to the Lindenhof hill for a nice panoramic view of the old town on the east bank. Since I still had an hour to kill, I crossed the river again and walked up to ETH Zurich - the local university. I strolled around the halls for a bit as it was a pretty cool building, with a very grandiose feeling, then took a funicular down to the bottom of the hill (I think it was free…). Interestingly enough, it started out inside a house at the bottom, with living quarters around it. Must get pretty noisy in there.

That was it. I did not feel very enticed by the city so I grabbed some food at COOP trying to get rid of the last few francs I had in my pocket and walked back to my hostel. Maybe the city would entice me more if I had enough money to hide it at one of its banks. Who knows, maybe in the future?

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TraveldimaEurope, Switzerland