We spent the first full day walking the city on our own little tour. We visited the Swiss National Museum.
Where we saw some pretty rad sleds. I could totally see myself on this bad boy, zipping down the hill in front of the house--with Tex running ahead, pulling me like a sled dog. Mush!
Afterward, we walked up to Lindenhof (a beautiful park filled with Linden trees,) which was used as a strategic hilltop overlook in Roman times.
The statue in the park commemorates the townswomen who defended Zürich in 1292, while their men were away fighting another battle elsewhere. According to legend, the women put on armor and made like a big, rowdy army, tricking their enemies into thinking the whole city was prepared to attack. You go girls!
These days you're more likely to find well-dressed older Swiss men playing chess together there.
The kids joined in on their own life-sized chess board. Nothing like a little cousin rivalry to keep things interesting.
After the seemingly never-ending chess match/battle of wills, we walked on to St. Peter's church (St. Peterskirche), where long ago the town watchman used to live, above the clock tower. He was responsible for ringing the alarm if he spotted a fire in the city.
St. Peter's Church has one of Europe's largest clock faces at 28 feet across. Now that's a pretty amazing Swiss timepiece.
Grossmüster's towers are the symbols of Zürich.
After Grossmüster came the one thing I had been dying to see all day: Fraumüster.
Fraumüster was founded in 853 as a convent. The current building dates back to 1250.
Within it, are the famous stained glass windows by Marc Chagall, one of my favorite artists of all time. They were amazing to see.
Marc Chagall was commissioned to create these windows while in his mid-80s. How amazing is that? I hope when I'm in my mid-80s, I'm still able to remember my name and eat solid foods.
I wasn't sure who this statue of "Ganymed" was. After a little research, it turns out he was a hero from Greek mythology--known as the most attractive among mortals (just like someone else I know! Giggle!). Because of his good looks, he was abducted by Zeus to serve as cup bearer to the gods. Rude.
Lake Zürich is 17 miles long and 2.5 miles wide. Even on a rather dark and dreary day, it was beautiful.
The kids fed the swans and ducks along the waterline.
Later that night, after an amazing dinner at the Zueghauskeller, a 500 year old armory, complete with medieval battle gear--where we stuffed ourselves with typically Swiss cuisine, we walked through the city on our way back to the hotel.
It was a really fun day in Zürich, a very walk-able city with lots to see. The next day, we planned to visit Lucerne, about an hour's drive from Zürich. Lucerne is one of my favorite Swiss cities. Tomorrow I'll show you what we saw there...gorgeous.
Before I go, I need to show you what the colorful Swiss currency looks like (or what I like to call "my play money," as it made it easier to part with tons of it during our time in expensive Switzerland):
This 10 franc bill was our favorite:
Also, I can't leave without showing you one of my favorite meals of all time: Raclette. It's boiled potatoes, with melted Raclette cheese poured over the top.We had this meal all the time growing up. And that, my friends, is why I was a happy porky-piggy.
Cannot pass up the chance to show you one of the main reasons I loved Zürich. MUSHROOMS!! Those Swiss understand my sickness. They are my people.
Tomorrow, join me for a visit to Lucerne!
I hereby dedicate this very belated post to my good friend and fellow twin, Julia, who writes a wonderful blog from Prague--and who's lucky enough to have her twin sister living just outside Zürich.
This one's for you, Julia!! MWAH!!