Take a walk in Zurich

We'd love to share some of our favourite corners of the city with you, so why not join us this morning, before we gather up our things and head back to the airport later?


It'll be a long walk though, so get your comfy shoes.   Perhaps we'll spread a bit of confetti from yesterday as we go?



Setting off from our hotel,  people are hurrying across the Rathaus Brucke, going about their business first thing on a Monday morning.  In the summer, this bridge would be full of tourists, of flower and fruit stalls and people enjoying the view and the atmosphere, but on this cold winter's day, no-one is hanging around.


Today, we make the briefest of stops to take in the view of the Grossmunster and the pleasing clusters of buildings on the east side of the Limmat river.  This is often the view form our breakfast table and we enjoy watching the trams go up and down, looking at the little architectural details like the oriel windows and wall paintings.


Having crossed the bridge and turned right into the Munstergasse, we note how quiet it is today.  This is a street which fills with people at the weekend and in the evening but today, it's us and a couple of policemen.



We decide to turn left up the side of the Cafe Schober, an old fashioned tea room and a great place for a hot chocolate mit oder ohne schlag  We've just had our breakfast however, so perhaps we'll keep going.



Whatever the time of day, it's easy to find a quiet spot and when Edward was small, a walk around these streets which open into small squares with freshwater fountains was - and still is - a delight.  I wonder how many photos we have of him standing with the fountain at a particular angle?



The promise of a little blue sky tempts us on up the hill



and we daydream as we go, about how lovely it would be to have a place here in the middle of a city, yet where there is still peace and quiet.



We arrive in Neumarkt, another charming little place where there are interesting details



one of which, the Hand Art yarn store is sadly, closed.  It's Monday. 



We really enjoy exploring the city when it's so quiet though - there is a stillness and a silence which is hard to imagine, compounded by the snow and the low temperatures.



Until, of course, the peace is shattered as we turn onto Hirschgraben, to the back of the Kunsthaus (also closed on a Monday) where we find someone at work.



Round the corner, in Raemistrasse, they're tackling the same job in a slightly quieter way.  We're heading downhill towards Bellevue and there on the left is the Kronenhalle, where the art is as impressive as the food.



Bellevue is the corner of land between the lake and the Limmat, a major tram stop and where we decide to turn left, after popping into Navyboot to look at shoes first, though!



Time for a little something from Sprungli in Stadelhoferplatz too, I think.  We need to try the honey-sesame flavour of the month, after all.



We potter across to the frozen fountain in the middle of the square before turning right, towards the lake.



To get there, we go past the Opera House, currently surrounded by building works as they install a new underground car park.



Reaching the lakeside path, we decide not to extend our walk but to turn right and return to Bellevue, for it's a chill wind blowing from the water.  Still, a glimpse of snow mountains over there is lovely and reminds us of summer days spent here.



The view of the city from here is lovely too, with the green roof of the Fraumunster and the large clock face on St Peters there on the skyline.  We are not so far from our starting point, really.  We continue, past the turquoise cafe, turning left onto the Quaibrucke to Burkliplatz.



We stop here for a while (but resist the temptation to sit on a snow covered bench to admire the view).  Nothing much going on the lake today with just one steamer departure headed for Rapperswil later and a short roundtrip to Thalwil and back this afternoon.



Had we a little more time, we could have gone to Uetliberg, up there with the mast on the top. But it's a little late to do that now...next time, perhaps.



Instead, we'll turn right into Bahnhofstrasse, the main street of the city.



First stop, Schweizer Heimatwerk where I admire these gorgeous boots in the window.  At nearly 600CHF, however, perhaps it's as well that my own boots are perfectly comfortable!



Whilst Mark stops by for a look in a CD store I admire a few rooftops



but arriving in Paradeplatz, we both agree we're ready for a hot drink.  Having been into Sprungli on the corner here when we arrived on Friday, we choose another old favourite, the Movenpick next door but one.



Normally a bustling city street, filled with shoppers, businesspeople and tourists, today the Bahnhofstrasse is surprisingly quiet. 



But take a look up any of the small side streets and there are pockets of activity.  I love the fact that here, in one of Europe's main cities, there are these small, pretty streets just off the main thoroughfare.  This is a city of family businesses, of individual shops which have been here as long as I can remember, offering a personal and very focused service right alongside the large corporate banks and institutions.



Walking up the Bahnhofstrasse from Paradeplatz, we pass the Urania building



and the Globus department store, with the statue of Pestalozzi in front of it.



Finally, no surprises at the top of the street, because of course, it's the Hauptbahnhof, the station.  In front stands a statue of Alfred Escher, railway magnate, policitian and founder of Credit Suisse. I guess he deserves a prominent position, all those things considered!



Turning back to walk along the other side of Bahnhofstrasse, I can't resist a quick visit to Merkur, where there's a Laderach counter.  Not for now, but for later ;-)


That's the shop counter by the way, not my purchase.



But we are getting hungry, and passing these cottonwood branches which look remarkably like the snow-laden trees here,



and running the gauntlet of another little truck doing a bit of cleaning up



we drop into the Zeughauskeller for lunch.



We have our favourites here - Schweinhaxen for Mark, Wienerschniztel for me, both with Rosti and Weissbier for me, apple juice for the driver.



The atmosphere is gemuetlich and comfortable.  It's a great way to end our stay here and we leave feeling very full!



We turn right out of the Zueghaus and walk up through "Im Gasse" and past another favourite shop for a quick look inside the Fraumunster and the Chagall windows.



Then we are back to our starting point, ready to collect our bags and our car and head off to the airport.  As we leave it begins to snow....more about that in the next post!




A little more culture