Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cheese, Chocolate, and Money

Last weekend J and I took two easy trains down to Zurich for a day on our own and then met J's Mom and step-Dad, who flew there from the states. At least, I think we were in Zurich. I was in such a back-, street-noise-, and crappy-pillow-induced fog that I wasn't sure where we were. The place mostly looked like southern Germany, though for a time I thought I was in an America-style amusement park called EasterBunnyLand.

Luckily a few clues started to convince me I was in Zurich. Even the bikes here have the Toblerone logo on them, and the wall of our hotel room (the second one, with less street noise) was painted with a fondue mural.

The final clue was the prices at Starbucks. And this was the cheap one away from Old Town. As I write, 1 Swiss Franc equals $1.05. John, that's an expensive espresso. This is why our fondue server told us that the essence of Switzerland is "cheese, chocolate, and money."

Despite a cold pouring rain one day, a steel-colored sky the next, and fondue for two that cost $130, we loved Zurich, too. The main art museum has a room dedicated to Munch, which I guess is why our hotel's breakfast room displayed this image as we ate.

Zurich's river is so quintessential it's as if Rick Steves designed it. And of course we toured a bunch of old churches I couldn't keep straight for two days, but I know one has a very old statue of Charlemagne in the crypt.

Another church has the largest clock tower in Europe, and all of them delude you into thinking you can take the coffee-table-book-worthy artsy European shot even with a ten-year-old point-and-shoot camera.

The Grossmünster even has an optical illusion stained glass window perfect for teaching perception.

We wanted to make sure that J's parents had an authentic experience in Europe, so we took them straight to a typical bar. Let me tell you something Rob, Sam, Aaron, and Brent: the Carlsberg vom Fass is even better over here. And J's prosecco glass had the typical lighting.

And then we ate at a great little street cafe we discovered in the 1967 edition of Europe on $5 a Day.

We're back in Tübingen (ah, so that's where the castle is) enjoying German prices and plotting our next expedition.

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