After we had sadly said our farewells to Strasbourg, we headed to Switzerland, a country which is simply terribly expensive and would cost us the most so far, but we didn't know that yet.
After the flat land of the Netherlands and the slightly hilly Belgian and French landscape, we were soon embraced by the mountains and Bertha had difficulties climbing up there (she went at about 30 km/h with a long line of other cars following us wherever we went). Still, we had a somewhat homely experience as the mountains built up in front of us and we sneaked them up. It was already getting dark, so we wanted to find a place to sleep which turned out to be really hard. We had passed innumerable fantastic spots on plateaus on the mountains, but my man didn't want to stop, as he wanted to inch as close as possible to the Swiss border - which turned out to be even more terrible. We passed village after village without finding a place to sleep and it was already pitch dark and it was hard to see any nooks where we could park. Additionally, we soon discovered that we had shortly crossed the border and our phones had switched to Swiss net, which meant all our internet was used up, as Switzerland doesn't belong to the EU, so the EU-wide roaming wasn't included. In the end, we parked on the side of a busy road, which was less than ideal to sleep, but we were so tired and pissed that we actually considered skipping Switzerland altogether and drive home, but we decided to decide in the morning. The night was pretty loud as we were plonked between train rails and the road. Additionally, a stupid car decided to stop at the parking lot we were sleeping and I nearly had a heart attack, convinced he wanted to rob us (or she, in my mind it was a he). Of course he didn't and drove on a couple of minutes later, but I was on edge the whole night and was happy when we could leave the following morning and headed to Zurich. We had decided to go to Zurich after all, as my man pointed out Switzerland had already cost us over 100 Euros without us having been there, so we might as well visit it. We wound down the streets and laughed at the hilarious Swiss village names (Brülisau and Wattwill, to name two).
Now to Zurich. First of all, it is an AWFUL city to drive or park. They have endless one-way-streets and only park houses, which meant we had to look for a random parking lot in the city big enough for our car. We were driving around for half an hour and my man was on the verge of crying when we finally found a spot, only to realise we didn't have enough coin money to pay which meant we had to throw in what we could scrape together, head to the city, look for an ATM, head back, pay and return to the city. Huff. I was already deciding Zurich sucked, but then we walked into the old town and it was really nice. Zurich has a really small-townish touch to it with picturesque churches and alleys. It is also set on a hill which means get your hiking shoes out because it is rather steep in some places.
However, don't mistake Zurich for a provincial farm town, no, no, no, just look at the people and you will know where the money lives. I don't know why but you can SEE when people have money and Zurich is swarmed with people like that. You cannot count the Rolexes paraded, the Louis Vuitton bags or expensive cars curving through the city. After some time, you can sense that behind the picturesque, simple setting, this is a place where money is breathed and lived (and most likely laundered).
We walked down through the lanes and streets (away from the main station) towards the river. There it is really lovely, especially if you climb up the streets where you have a wonderful view over the city and can take lovely pictures. There we also encountered a little market where I wanted to buy a cookie. My man handed me the money and I had forgotten we didn't pay with Euros here and burst out laughing. Seriously, I didn't want to be rude or anything but Swiss money is MOST HILARIOUS! Seriously, you have never seen money you could take seriously so little. It is no wonder money laundering might work fine in Switzerland as their money looks like fake money, seriously. It is far too colourful and there are butterflies on it. BUTTERFLIES! I really hoped no one had noticed my outburst but unfortunately everyone was staring at me upon which I silently bought my cookie and we sprinted. (It was delicious).
There is something I also have to say about the Swiss people and I don't want to stereotype, honestly, but they are so CUTE! We Austrians have this image of Swiss people and you don't want to stereotype, so you imagine it is not like you think it is. Therefore, it is utterly befuddling when they turn out to be exactly like you imagined them to be. When you walk into a store they say "Grüzi metnand" (hello to all you) and it is so hilarious. My man and I had to pull ourselves together to not hug and cuddle them. It is really the Swiss experience.
Speaking of shops, Zurich has great ones, but the best and most curious my man and I have seen is IKEA. Yes, IKEA. There is an IKEA in the middle of the city and it is a three-storey shop in which you can get any of the bric-a-brac you can buy at IKEA except for the furniture (you know, they things we all go to IKEA for). It is so amazing and we figured any city should have IKEA, the bric-a-brac because it was so lovely to browse their things without having to wander through the entire exhibition. Really a treat.
We didn't buy anything in Zurich because there was nothing which felt quite right but it is a wonderful city to explore and when you bring enough money, I am sure shopping is great, too.
Leave a Reply.