I arrived Zurich after having left Munchen via train.
While on the train I had an interesting friendly conversation with a couple. I suppose they where in their mid 50s. The term to use is middle age. God that sounds depressing. She was visiting her mother in Munich, Germany. She was German, and married to a native Swiss guy on the German side of Swiss. She had moved to Switzerland (Schweizland) while she was younger. She was more curious, friendly, and intending on conversing with me, than her laid back husband who was more interested in getting back home and getting on with his nap or life as routine. He was still friendly, and had a good sense of humor.
They asked me if I knew much about switzerland, and I replied not much, as I hadn’t much time to research as I wasn’t even sure if I would be visiting the Swiss. The only info I had was the hotels were expensive, and that food was expensive, and that the Von Tropp family from the Sound of Music found freedom in the Swiss region. Not to mention it was only a 3 hour train ride from Munchen.
Of-course, being wonderfully Swiss, they had to help me. She had her husband draw up a map of Switzerland, and the places I ought to visit as a first timer. The map was pretty good. If I still have it I will try to upload it here, scan it, etc. They gave me information on Schaffhausen, Lucerne, Berne, and two peaks in Switzerland. One peak was the largest in all of Switzerland, and the second was closer to Zurich, as Zurich would be the first city of my visit. Whilst the conversation I also kept my eye out on the scenery and it was beautiful, the country side not as beautiful as Germanys. The scenery while passing lakes and water bodies was absolutely stunning. The part where the country side was different and spectacularly beautiful was to be a later train ride from Zurich to Geneva.
Our train ride was almost over. I forgot to mention that she had become less friendly as I had mentioned that I visited Berlin, and PotsDam and found it interesting. I also came out and showed some other areas where she later commented and became a bit unfriendly and said “you know Switzerland doesn’t honor or need intellectuals”, “you know Switzerland doesn’t recognize any outside university achievements”
So after a quite 10 minute lapsed, and I wish I had kept my mouth shut. Just should have kept nodding, and smiling I could have avoided all this.
I guess the mistake was that the moment I had left my guard, and threw up my egotistical New Yorker self to express my opinion, whether intellectual or not, as if I was right.
Any how, I ordered a can of coke-light to keep awake, and paid the man over 5 CHF (thats over $5) for a can of coke. That kind of took some by surprise on the train as I also had bought sandwiches and non caffeinated drinks from supermarkets in Munich. As the food on the trains is super expensive especially one in Switzerland. The food on the train stations is also more expensive than in super markets. So, like the most of the 2nd class passengers I had done my grocery, and sandwich shopping in the stores and Munich supermarkets before boarding the train. You should too, as the trains dont have much of a food menu, let alone food.
It was time to part, and the couple got off at Winterthur. They lived near Winterthur and I could see why they made a good choice of living there as opposed to living in the city of Zurich.
Zurich is beautiful, airy, and something I wasn’t aware of super humid, and something I was aware of expensive in most things including local or regional transport. My advice to you is research Switzerland before you go, and definitely research the Swiss Pass. I bought the bit over $50, local 72 hour transport pass which came in handy for only the 10 to 20 hours + the boat ride, as I walked most of the time. Lake Zurich is beautiful, and I would take the boat ride to places much farther away where the water and area is much cleaner, and not many chances of running into other people or worst duck droppings. My advice if you are visiting Switzerland at Zurich is your first stop, then you will only need about a day or 1.5 days to see much of Zurich. The better places to visit are Schaffhausen, Lucerne.
Later, if you are looking to swim or dip in the water with not too many people and cleaner area hop on the train and go to Lake Weesen. Don’t forget to take your cooler, and have it filled with refreshments from the COOP Supermarket or the likes.
Well, my stay in Zurich had come to a close, and I was headed to Geneva for a day to head to Lyon, France for yet another day.