Thursday, June 28, 2007

Europe Travelogue Part 2: Zurich

Geneva was just a half an hour bus ride (An aside, buses are wonderful in Switzerland. They run perfectly on time, very frequent, they have dedicated bus lanes in every major streets and nobody ever checked my tickets!) from CERN, and as a result I ended exploring Geneva quite well. After landing in Zurich, and walking around a bit, it felt strangely similar. Geneva is built on the either side of river Rhone, which opens up in huge lake Geneva, while in Zurich, the main city is on either banks of river Limmat, which empties into, guess what, in lake Zurich. Both of them have a charming old city part, with narrow winding cobblestone paths and grand old churches. Climbing up the church towers gives a pretty nice bird's eye views of the cities - and for a better view there are nearby mountains, a cable car ride to La Salève in Geneva and a short train ride to Uetliberg in Zurich. The significant difference is while Geneva is mostly French speaking, Zurich is completely German.

The main street of Zurich is Bahnhofstrasse, which runs from the station to the lakefront, and its lined with tempting shops, both big name brands and local variety and bank buildings. Walking towards the lake, I crossed the famous Cafe Odeon, where apparently Lenin spent a lot of time plotting the Russian revolution. Going the other way, I pass those churches and enter the old city part - which seemed a world apart from the modern part. I sat by the lake for a while, watching the sun going down - and came back to the station for my overnight train to Rome.

The pictures are here.

(And do keep checking back for more. Next up is Italy)

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