Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Most Lovely Layover in Zurich, Switzerland

When booking our flights home, I realized the most amazing thing: long layovers aren't necessarily bad. A long layover in the right city could actually mean an added mini-trip!! We looked at dozens of flights, paying close attention to what time we would arrive and depart and how far the city was from the airport. We came across the flight we ended up taking and  decided it was perfect because it got in at 6:30am and gave us the whole morning to explore Zurich. Plus, the airport is practically inside the city and there is super efficient public transportation. Done and done.

Zurich is incredibly picturesque, so I'm sorry and you're welcome for all the photos in this post. There are so many beautiful details in Zurich. I loved all the old buildings and the graphic design on the posters in the streets.

We were extremely lucky to have our own native tour guide, Jeremias, who Katie met while traveling in Cambodia. He woke up early to take the first train of the morning to come get us at the airport. Then he took us to every cool part of the town in a span of about four hours. (Thank you, Jerry!!) Zurich is pretty small and we could walk everywhere easily. We walked through some small, charming shopping streets which were serenely empty due to our early arrival time.

We walked along the lake, where we saw some ducks and swans. Most of the boats were all covered with their winter coats and it was a bit windy but still pretty. Our warmest clothes for SE Asia were not doing us much good in the Swiss spring. We took a break at a coffee shop/bakery and enjoyed the hot coffee inside in the warm air.

After thoroughly warming up, we took a tram up to the university for a panoramic view of the city and a little glimpse of the lake. The tram was filled with students coming in for their morning classes. Everything was so clean and orderly. What a change from the day before in Mumbai!

We walked back into town and happened upon a little farmers market. It was so cute I wanted to just rent an apartment and never leave.

Next up: chocolate! Jeremias knew we wanted to buy some good Swiss chocolate but he also knew we were on a budget so he showed us the best of both worlds. First we went to a very famous, very expensive chocolate shop in the heart of the fancy shopping street. As we walked in he told us, "Don't buy anything. We're just going to look." It was beautiful and smelled divine. Everything was perfectly prepared and packaged.

 Then we went to a local market where we bought the chocolate that local people buy. There was an entire aisle of chocolate!! He showed us his favorite kinds (all about $2 a bar) and we bought a bunch. It was the best chocolate I've ever tasted. Epic score.

 It was the best layover I've ever had.

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