Snow-clad peaks, verdant expanse of fields, cows mooing in the meadow, gentle breeze and boisterous splashes of water from the Rhine Falls. Oh! Yes. Switzerland. A dream came true.
New scenes passing by at every minute as the bus traveled from Paris to Zurich, Switzerland. We had a stopover at Bligny-sur-Ouche—a commune in East France. There was a beautiful spot and a lot of travelers were having a picnic over there. We sat on benches under the shade and relished our lunch. After taking coffee from the shop (On the Run), I walked under a canopy of trees to refresh myself, with breeze ruffling the corners of my scarf.
We reached Zurich after a day long journey. As bus stopped at the station, I went down and took a deep breath. There was chill in the air. We refreshed ourselves after reaching hotel, and had a dinner at restaurant. Almost everyone was tired so we said goodbye to each other and went for sleep.
What an awesome walking tour of old town Zurich!
The next day, we had an awesome tour of old town Zurich.Our friendly and bubbly guide gave valuable information while strolling along the Limmat River and I really enjoyed listening to her enthusiastic talk.
On our way, we passed by an outdoor swimming pool for ladies (The Frauenbad or women’s pool) on the Limmat River.
Fraumunster church with its blue spire, on the river bank was a spectacular site.
We stopped on the opposite side of the church for photography. A newly wed Swiss couple at the church amicably agreed to have a photograph with us. Our guide regaled us with her amazing narration that women (during old times) were supposed to start cooking instead of chatting the moment church bells started ringing at 11 am. The way she uttered “Chaalo” “Chaalo” really amused us. Towering Grossmunster church was on the other bank of river.
We moved forward and reached Rennweg Street decorated with Swiss flags.
Sauntering through the winding streets, we took photos as a keepsake of beautiful memories.
St. Peter is another famous church of Zurich with the largest clock face and is visible from a great distance.
Land of elves and pixies
Chocolate, jewelry, flower shops and boutiques adorned the winding streets of old town. I felt like being transported to the land of elves and pixies while meandering through the winding, cobbled alleys of the old town.
A well in the center of the street was a great sight. The bottom of the well was dry and littered with coins being thrown by the visitors. After zigzagging through the streets, the guide halted for a minute and pointed towards a space for cleaning shoes at the entrance of a house.
A spell of quietude
A narrow alley was home to the loads of cats and staircase for cats was built outside the house. We greeted a lady standing on the balcony. A spell of quietude prevailed there. It offered solace to the soul, yet with a sort of melancholy feel.
A short walk from this quaint place took us to the Lindenhof hill (the site of an ancient Roman fort), overlooking the Limmat river and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Albert Einstein, a notable alumni of this institute). Plenty of shady trees and benches on the hill provide a pleasant environment for tourists.
It’s safe to drink water from the fountains of Zurich, so we satiate ourselves with water spouting from the fountain.
Natural wonders of Switzerland
After absorbing the silence and got acquainted with the architecture of old town, we embarked on a journey to explore the natural wonders of Switzerland. Rhine falls, the largest in Europe provide a spellbinding view. We reached viewing platform after descending a series of steps. Platform has been built on the sides of falls so one can get really close to the waters and listen to the roar of falls and feel spray on the face.
Tickets for the boat ride were purchased by descending further down the stairs. The river being flanked by the forest and the magical sparkle of sun on the waters gave a unique feel to that place. The captain steered close to the falls almost in the middle and water splashed on us. Those sitting near the front of the boat really got drenched in water. What a thrilling experience it was!
Food for empty stomachs
One of our group members had a birthday so she gave an ice-cream party to all of us. A real Swiss Ice-cream Treat!
We wanted food to fill our empty stomachs as all of us were exhausted by climbing up and down the stairs. An Indian restaurant, Rani Indisches Restaurant, in a beautiful town, Ruti, Zurich, was our destination for dinner.
The tiresome look on our faces faded away as we looked outside the bus and feasted our eyes on the verdant expanse of fields. I was totally enthralled by the beautiful vistas. The sun was setting and the sky changed hues from orange to scarlet to crimson. It was a unique experience to watch the setting sun over the vast expanse of valleys. The road-side houses and buildings were in harmony with the overall visual experience.
The restaurant was located in the corner and there were a couple of chairs in front of the restaurant for the diners to enjoy the awesome weather. It had a buffet of great variety. Pakoras and pasta were really mouthwatering. After finishing our meal, we went outside and took a stroll in the neighboring area. Our first day at Switzerland was drawing closer to an end.
The night was passing by quickly, and after returning to the hotel, we refreshed ourselves with “Lipton” tea, munched on the treasure of Pakistani biscuits and exchanged pictures (credit goes to hard drives and USB to store zillion of pictures). Our next day was an adventurous one—a visit to Jungfraujoch.
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