I’ve been exploring Zurich and Amsterdam this week, beautiful cities even at this cold, grey time of year.
There is no denying that Zurich is one of the most expensive cities in the world. A cup of coffee will run you about $8 and good luck finding a lunch or dinner that is under $60. Even after a few days, I was still having sticker shock. That said, the public transportation is reasonable, churches are free to visit, and we never had a bad meal.
We enjoyed strolling up and down the Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich’s main downtown street and one of the world’s most expensive and exclusive shopping avenues. In 2011, the Bahnhofstrasse was crowned the most expensive street for retail property in Europe, and the third most expensive worldwide. I didn’t buy anything outside of Starbucks but the people (and dog) watching was awesome.
Zurich is fully in the Easter spirit – bunnies and eggs decorate almost every shopfront and it is festive and fun. The chocolate shops were a trip.
I love visiting European cathedrals so we made sure to visit the Fraumunster Abbey – the blue church tower below.
This church was founded in 853 (no, I didn’t leave off the 1) by Louis the German for his daughter Hildegard. It boasts 5 large stained glass windows designed by Marc Chagall and installed in 1970. Each has a dominant color and depicts a Christian story.
We also visited Grossmünster, a cathedral in the Old Town. This church also has some beautiful stained glass (can you tell I’m a fan of stained glass?) Sigmar Polke, a German artist, crafted seven windows in 2009 in the nave from agate. He cut the semi-precious stone into thin slices that would let light pass through them to give the appearance of brightly glowing walls. It is amazing.
A Swiss doctor invented Muesli (uncooked rolled oats, fruit and nuts) in 1900 for his hospital patients and the Swiss are still big fans today. I prefer my granola baked…but Swiss strawberries are really delicious.