Zurich has been permanently settled for about 2000 years, and has a history that goes back to it’s founding by the Romans. It is a leading global city and the home to a large number of financial institutions and banking giants. In the past, Zurich has been named as the city with the best quality of life in the world as well as the wealthiest city in Europe.
I have to say Zurich is very nice for a big city, but that being said, everything costs a fortune. Switzerland makes Scandinavia seem cheap by comparison. A pulled pork sandwich at McDonalds is over $20 and a skimpy Turkish kebap sandwich is $8.50. Even I have resorted to going to the supermarket, and my hotel doesn’t have a kitchen. Luckily the room has a fridge, and breakfast is free of charge with cold cuts and hard boiled eggs in addition to the usual continental fare. If you happen to like to drink, which thankfully I don’t, a beer will set you back $10.
Then there is the shopping which is an endless litany of temptation greeting you on every thoroughfare and sidestreet in the city. There are boutiques peddling luxury brands of every description; high-end wristwatches, couture, shoes, cutlery, chocolate, art, jewelry, etc. It’s a good thing I’ve cooled off on collecting vintage timepieces because the selection here is insane. There are stores that have ten or twenty pieces each that would have interested me back in the day.
As it was, I did break down and buy a few things. A mini French press coffee maker, a compact magnetic cutlery set, and a fossilized pyrite ammonite ring which is amazing and not that expensive.
Back to Zurich. As big cities go, I have to give it credit for having some of the charm that I left behind in Strasbourg, and it does have a lot going on, but because of the expense one tends to avoid availing oneself of it so as not to squander all of the travel money for the next month. In conclusion, if you want to live large for a week in Zurich, you best bring at least five large with you.
I met a nice young lad from Peru in my hotel who was feeling his oats, and he mentioned how attractive the women in Switzerland were. We wandered into the happening area near our hotel called the Dorf, and sure enough he was correct, they are. We even ran into some young ladies from his country who were celebrating a bachelorette thing out on the street with Carnaval masks. It was a regular rainbow coalition from South America combined with a cornucopia of Swiss pulchritude.
For me, the extra window shopping kept me entertained but not detained. This year and a half of freedom has been, well, to be redundant, liberating. Combine that with the continual, easy going nomaderie, and I find myself with a formula for contentment that has been elusive to me for most of my life. Looks like I just made up a word. Might as well since I’ve made up a whole new life for myself. No worries – no schedules – no appointments – no bills – no repairs – nomaderie
noun 1. a state of dreamlike wandering
ZURICH – More swans and cygnets welcome me to town. I was unaware of what a cygnet was until a friend posted a comment on the blog. It’s a baby swan to spare you the word search.
More love pollution. Who wants to equate love with captivity unless you’re into BDSM.
More pretty buildings, waterways, and bridges.
There are over 2000 fountains throughout the city to fill your bottle up with fresh spring water. Finally a financial break in Zurich. So skip the Evian, and drink up my friends. This one’s on the house.
The main high-end shopping street in Zurich. I replaced a jacket that I bought at Zara in Bordeaux, and it cost me 20% more than I paid in France! Even the Swiss watches are inflated in price! Unless something is on sale here just walk away, and wait until you’re back in Western Europe or better yet Eastern Europe.
You shop on this street and you’re going to get the horn. Chanel, Ermenegildo Zegna, Dolce & Gabbana, etc.
Just keep your wallet holstered and enjoy the scenery.
Needless to say, there are Swiss watches everywhere. This is just one example of a shop with copious timepieces. Be still my credit card.
KUNSTHAUS ZURICH – Museum of Art – I’m Saved – Free Admission Today!
Auguste RODIN – The Gates of Hell – 1947
Alberto GIACOMETTI – The Couple – 1027
Like Picasso, many great artists were inspired by the primitive art of Africa. I want this piece. Picasso collected African sculpture and masks, and you can see them reflected in many of his works.
Full faces on the reverse – Damn it, I want this piece
Jacques LIPSHITZ – Reclining Woman with Guitar – 1928
Alberto GIACOMETTI – Assorted Sculptures – 1947-48
Edgar DEGAS – Portrait de Femme – 1865-68
Paul KLEE – 1938
Piet MONDRIAN – Composition with Red, Blue, and Yellow – 1930
Fernand LÉGER – Mechanical Element 1924
Erwin WURM – Guggenheim Melting – 2005
Wassily KANDINSKY – Blue-Red – 1922
René MAGRITTE – The Listening Room – 1958
Amedeo MODIGLIANI – The Little Servant – 1916
Georges BRAQUE – Cubist Still Life with Guitar
Pablo PICASSO – Guitar, Glass, and Fruit Bowl – 1924
Pablo PICASSO – Big Nude – 1964
Robert DELAUNAY – Circular Forms – 1930
Henri MATISSE – The Back I-IV – 1909, 1913, 1917, 1930
Henri MATISSE – Still Life – Sideboard and Table- 1899
Claude MONET – The Water Lily Pond in the Evening – 1916/1922
Auguste RODIN – The Martyr – 1885
Vincent VAN GOGH – White Cottages at Saintes-Maries – 1888
Vincent VAN GOGH – Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear and Pipe – 1889
Vincent VAN GOGH – The Cypress and Flowering Tree – 1889
Marc CHAGALL – The Wedding Candles – 1945
Marc CHAGALL – Above Paris – 1968
Paul GAUGIN – The Gate – 1889
ZURICH HAUPTBAHNHOF – Central Train Station
Market Day in the Haupthall
Open air cinemas, flea markets, Christmas markets, and vegetable markets are held here.
Niki de SAINT PHALLE – L’ange Protecteur – 1997
For you San Diego people, this artist relocated from Paris to La Jolla and lived out her life there. She has a sculpture in Balboa Park as well as on the UCSD Campus. Frankly, her old stuff was much more interesting and edgy. She wouldn’t be the first artist to be transformed by the New Age vapidity of California Culture or lack of it thereof. The thing looks like it should be in some overpriced, girly, knick-knack shop. Sorry, Niki, I’m not buying it. The second they start getting into angels and crystals you know they’re going off the rails. I even saw some of this dreck at the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain. Luckily there was an exhibition of her old stuff which saved the day.
Mondaine Swiss Railway Clock – A work of art just like my Mondaine watch.
Swiss time is running out it seemed that I would lose the race. Smoke on the water, fire in the sky, but I digress into a classic Deep Purple song. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. The Zurich Hauptbahnhof is the biggest railway station in Switzerland and one of the busiest rail stations in the World. Underneath the station and the Bahnhofplatz is an underground shopping center of 200 stores called Shopville.
Day Trip To Lucerne
Unfortunately, I got a particularly a rainy day for my visit, and I was unable to soak up as much of the charm as I wanted to. I could easily make a return visit to the area in the future. I found the fact that the 5 hour round the lake boat trip was $85 to be a little disappointing, so I avoided it especially with the weather being the way it was.
I only spent two hours in the town and shot back to Zurich. It’s probably a beautiful place on a sunny day. I will definitely stop by if I am in the neighborhood in the future.
Chapel Bridge – The Iconic Symbol of Lucerne
The Chapel Bridge is a 204 m (669 ft) long wooden covered bridge originally built in 1333. It is the oldest covered bridge in Europe.
Back In Zurich
Last night in Zurich