Zurich, Switzerland 2016

I was in Europe for a total of 10 days and in Zurich for 3.
Jet lagged in those 3 days and busy.

The trip started ominously with nausea caused by a new prescription. I haven’t done well on airplanes most of my life, suffering mostly from pressure-induced cabin sickness, so I was thankful that my flight time gave me another 4 hours of respite. Two Dramamine pills and one pillow helped me survive the flight to Amsterdam without feeling too ill. A sausage roll at Amsterdam airport and a 2 hour nap during my flight to Zurich completed my travel.

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Then, I had to navigate the crazy Zurich train system to get to the hotel with the one small bed, one small chair and desk, and one pathetic pillow. Another oddity (which turned out to be a normality in Europe) was that the hotel room required a card key to be inserted into a slot near the door before the lights could be turned on. As the front desk didn’t mention this, I fumbled with the light switches before I caught on. Smart girl.

A Walking City. My hotel was located next door and perhaps above a H&M. Four blocks away was probably the poshest street in Europe with all the luxury shops lined in neat rows. Ten blocks away was the hotel where the FIFA executives were arrested for corruption. Mercedes taxis lined the streets. Yep, the taxis here were Mercedes Benz.

Since I was busy with work, I didn’t get to explore much. I did get to visit the Swiss National Museum which looked like an old castle with some modern flair. A few neat exhibits — the history of Switzerland from Stone Age to modern times or Renaissance history — kept me entertained for about 2 hours. The two highlights were 1)seeing pikemen gear and how insanely long the pikes are (no wonder they destroyed cavalry units in Civ) and 2)seeing the Armanda Portrait of Elizabeth I.

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Last but not least, I ate a ton of food in Zurich. Particularly schnitzel. Off the top of my head, I had the traditional wiener schnitzel, rahm schnitzel, and Geschnetzeltes. Food at top tier restaurants was delicious as was the food at cheap places. I would say, however, that the food was somewhat heavy consisting of mostly a meat and side (either veggie or potato dish). And the popular drink choice is mineral water, which I love. Also, coffees are small. I think a coffee really means single shot expresso in Zurich.

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Overall, I really enjoyed the trip. It was easy to navigate the city, and almost everyone spoke English so communication was super easy. The exchange rate was mostly 1:1 so price conversions were straightforward. The only thing that bothered me was the smoking. Lots of people still smoke. Everywhere.