Sunday, December 4, 2011

Adventures in Europe: Part 2a


Ahh Zurich! Such an amazing city. I'd been to Switzerland before, but had never been to Zurich so I was excited to stay with Jen and Fred who'd been there for eight months and who could show me around.

As soon as I got to Zurich, we wasted no time in getting dinner and going out for drinks with their friends. I love nothing more than arriving in a new city and trying the local restaurants and bars. We had dinner at Kurrywurst, which basically involved a chopped up sausage smothered in a delicious sauce and topped with curry powder. French fries and beer were the perfect side dishes. I just found out there's a similar-sounding place (wait, no, there's another!) here in New York that I think I'll have to try out. It might sound kind of odd, but I promise it's delicious!
Mmm Kurrywurst...
The next day Jennifer and I set out for the city center and were greeted with a wonderful market at the train station (Switzerland has an amazing above-ground train system -- unless we were on the tram in the city, we literally took it everywhere and it was SO convenient!). We walked around some before we headed to Cafe Peclard, where we filled up on the most delicious croissants and mochas. The cafe was ready for Christmas with baubles, lights, and seasonal treats.
Cafe Peclard
You should definitely go there if you ever find yourself in Zurich!
Walking across a bridge
Next up we visited the Kunsthaus, which is a really impressive museum -- while the museum was on the smaller side (at least compared to the Met, which I'm more used to...), it had a great range of pieces. I especially liked the Impressionists (I'm a sucker for them ever since I studied abroad in Paris!) and the statues by Alberto Giacometti. You'd know his stuff right away if you saw it.

Of course, I needed a snack before dinner, so Jennifer kindly (cruelly? I have been craving one of these ever since I left...) introduced me to Brezel Konig.
Taking a bite out of Switzerland
SO GOOD. If you find yourself in Zurich, please treat yourself to a pretzel. I did on more than one occasion and I did not ever regret it.

If the pretzel is the third-best food in Switzerland, then fondue is the second (after chocolate, of course). Jennifer and Fred have a fondue pot (actually they have two...I almost stole one to take home with me) and we made the most amazing fondue right in their kitchen. I must re-create this at home!
Fon-DO! So good!
The next day Jennifer convinced me to go on a run. I don't know if I was still filled with cheesy goodness, if it that we were at higher elevation than sea-level New York, or if my leg was just being rude, but I found this run to be TOUGH! Hard as it might have felt, the view more than made up for it:
Limmat River
I told Jennifer it was the most beautiful run I had ever been on, and while she didn't quite believe me, it really, truly was. Sure the Reservoir can be pretty, as can Central Park and even the West Side Highway at some points, but nothing can quite compare to this run. And the fact that I ran it with one of my oldest friends made it all the more special. We covered around 4.2 miles in a little over 42 minutes and I loved every minute of it.
And obviously I wore my NYC Marathon shirt...
Afterward we visited the Viadukt shops where I once again ate a delicious buttered pretzel (the chocolate is better in Switzerland, but I swear, even the butter is better there...fluffy and salty and delicious...) and we made our way to the Freitag tower, which is a shop made out of old shipping containers but it has made its way into the guidebooks! 
Freitag tower
We headed home afterward, stopping to admire the graffiti and the view along the way.
Zurich has a ton of graffiti
View from another bridge of the Limmat River
That night was a first for me...we went to a Finnish melodic death metal concert in Aarau.
Insomnium doing their thing
As far as death metal concerts go, I actually quite enjoyed myself! (Fred used to work with one of the guys in the band, which is how we ended up there. Ville is actually also a scientist on top of being a guitarist in a Finnish melodic death metal band!) So yes the music was loud, and no I didn't realize that they were singing in English, but  I really did have a great time doing something completely off the beaten path for a typical European vacation!
Jennifer and me pre-concert
What did I do my last two days in Switzerland?! I know, the suspense is killing you, but this post is getting long. I'll post part 2b later this week! Features include the Alps, more fondue, and a recipe for monkey bread! Stay tuned...


  1. Yeyy! This was so much fun! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit us Margaret. It was so wonderful having you over. Please know you're welcome to come back anytime you fancy. Can't wait to see part 2! xx

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  3. wow, as a person who is woefully untraveled, i LUV seeing this!! though u've made me: 1) disappointed i've never been 2) insanely hungry...hehe. :)

    that pretzel looks way too good, and as a runner i'm sure u can guess i'm a HUGE fan of anything carby, doughy, and that i can dig my teeth into!

  4. Caitlin, it's an amazing place!!! The food really was delicious :) And I definitely had another pretzel before I boarded the plane, and was sure to come home with LOADS of chocolate!