Sleepless in Switzerland

Doesn’t have the same ring as “Sleepless in Seattle”, does it? Megan’s suggestion: “Zzzz-less in Zurich.” What a genius.

Megan and I survived our one day in Zurich, and we managed to have some fun in there too 😉 We arrived at Zurich airport at around 9 pm on Friday night and got {almost} hopelessly lost trying to exit one of the connecting train stations. Who knew that the street exit was the flights of stairs above, rather than below??

We checked into our Airbnb, and one of our hosts was Thai! Madre was so excited when I told her and she sent a voice note of herself saying stuff in Thai, haha. 

Bonus: we had a fish tank in our room. 

We were both exhausted when we were getting settled into the room, but I think we were still a little strung from traveling and just being in a very unfamiliar place. We tossed and turned, huffed and puffed for two hours until Megan finally asked me, “Are you still awake?” 

“Yep. Glad I’m not the only one.”

We had planned to wake up at 7:45 to go hiking but scrapped that idea to sleep in a little bit more.

The breakfast provided was surprisingly very filling and satisfying! I had some muesli with whole milk and buttered toast.

Whole milk is dreamy. Made up for the lack of peanut butter fats 🙂

We decided that hiking was still a good idea, so we made our way to Uetliberg, Zurich’s “mountain” that is more like a hill compared to the Alps. Hiking up a genuine Swiss mountain would have taken all day, starting at 8 am, which was just not feasible for us this time around. Perhaps one day!

Uetliberg was still lovely though. Lots of forest paths and vistas overlooking the pristine city of Zurich. We kept seeing a bunch of runners and cyclists charging up the mountain with thighs and calves of steel.

I felt like I was in some sequel to the Sound of Music with all the vast fields and cow bells. 

They were really excited about the dog.

Our two hour hike led us up to a panorama restaurant called Felseness. We ate al fresco for the view, because otherwise it was too damn cold to be eating outside.

I got the traditional Swiss soup for something hot. It was creamy but not super heavy, filled with barley and root veggies. I also ate three slices of hearty bread with it, so I was nicely filled. Megan got a hefty ham and cheese sandwich.

We were happy that it was so filling because Swiss prices are up the wazoo. A medium-sized order of French fries with ketchup was 11 Francs. ELEVEN. Our orders were both under 15, so it wasn’t too bad, and we felt we got a bang for our buck (plus a stellar view!).

I guess Zurich does give you nice bathrooms with good toilet paper wherever you go, so there’s that. And some suave transportation. 

After lunch we took the sky tram down the mountain. 

A fun little rollercoaster to end the hike. We made it back to the Airbnb to take hot showers and change into slightly more posh clothing to go into town and to Mass. “Posh” meaning non-blue jeans and a smart casual shirt, both of which I had worn the day before.

In the city, we walked down Bahnhofstrasse, where all the high end shops and stores were located. 

As always though, the best parts are the priceless ones. These views down at the lake!!

In theory, I think you should be able to see the Alps from where we were, but it was slightly foggy, so the white, snow-capped mountains in the distance were hidden. This was still a magnificent view though!

This guy on the street making giant bubbles also made our night. 

We meandered our way to the church for Mass. The sun was setting and the lighting was just gorgeous throughout the town.

Although we could have gone to a German Mass, I found an English one before we got to Zurich, so it was nice to be able to understand everything.

After Mass, we walked back to Bahnhofstrasse for dinner at Zeughauskeller, an old armory and current touristy Swiss restaurant. It was packed, but we got a table shared with a Brazilian couple. The only catch was that we had to be out of there in one hour exactly, since there was a reservation for our table right after us. 

I was hungry and craving some Apline specials, so I ordered the venison steak medallions, which came with brussels sprouts, homemade spätzle, chestnuts, a roasted pear with cranberry sauce, and peppercorn gravy. Hit. The. Spot. So delicious!!!

And of course, I had to get an apple strudel for dessert. 

I only had, like, 5 minutes to eat this, and Megan only had one bite, so I was shoveling strudel like no one’s business. #champ

I took home about half of the spätzle and one venison steak, which I ate for breakfast the next morning 🙂 The steak was still just as good! Hey, when you pay 36 Francs for a meal, you make the most of it.

Megan and I checked out of the Airbnb and headed for the train station Sunday morning. We got there pretty early to avoid accidentally getting lost and missing our train, so we walked around the station for an hour or so. Zurich HB is huge! Practically a mall, and a lot more modern than Grand Central. 

However, the “WC” is not free. We took our most expensive pee ever that morning at 2 Francs per person. 

We didn’t even have to pee that badly, but we were afraid that the train might not have had a bathroom. Oh well, we needed to spend our Francs somehow.

Yesterday was all about travel. So many buses and trains aghhhh. The mountain view as we traveled through the Swiss Alps was the best though.

Train station food was about the same for me in Zurich and in Padua.

BelVita biscuits are also sustaining me. 

Getting to our Airbnb in Padua last night was quite the adventure, but I’ll save that for next time 🙂



11 thoughts on “Sleepless in Switzerland

  1. Oh my goodness those views are spectacular! I could literally stare at your pictures all day. I find it so odd how you have to pay to use restrooms in Europe. It would do a number on my pocketbook! I’m also in awe of those beautiful Swiss churches! Considering I went to mass in a college lecture hall this past Sunday, I think your mass experience was probably more aesthetically pleasing!

  2. If Switzerland wasn’t so expensive, I probably would have just stayed there when we went. This reminds me of how incredibly awesome of a country it is; it’s so beautiful, and the food? YES! All the cheese and bread and baked goodies. 🙂 That’s not too bad (15 francs) for that meal. 🙂 I was expecting more for some reason. I think a franc is comparative to the U.S. dollar, right?

  3. oh my goodness, these photos literally are so beautiful they could be in a magazine, and those desserts, and YOU, ahhhh so much love! so glad you’re having the time of your life.

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