Tuesday Travelog – Zurich in Summer

I love Switzerland. It seems like a nice place to live. It has breathtaking scenery, it’s clean and efficient, there is a good standard of living and low crime. Best of all, Switzerland has the highest rate of chocolate consumption per capita worldwide! And that is easy to understand, given the fantastic quality and reasonable price of chocolate there. I joined the other karate WAGs in Zurich for a week, but I’m ashamed to say I didn’t even attend the championships. There was just too much else to do.

People always think of Switzerland in terms of a winter skiing destination, but Zurich is really beautiful in the summer, and you can still get the best of both worlds. Lake Zurich is very clean (of course) and perfect for summer swimming. On one day a friend and I did a boat cruise and opted for the four hour round trip to Rapperswil. We stopped off at the tiny island of Ufenau, had some lunch at the restaurant, looked at the two historical churches and then relaxed in the sun on the jetty until the next boat came by to carry us onwards. Rapperswil is worth a visit as it is fascinatingly medieval. We took a lot of photos, bought ice cream and dipped our toes in the lake.

Besides excellent shopping (I dived straight into Mango and H&M because we didn’t have either brand in South Africa at the time; now we have Mango), and a good night life, Zurich also has some interesting cultural attractions like the Swiss National Museum. I decided to go to the top of a church tower to take photos, but discovered halfway up that I have a terror of heights. I eventually stashed my handbag under the stairs, and crawled up on my hands and knees.

The view I snapped from the terrifying bell tower

The view I snapped from the terrifying bell tower

There are also some nice day trips you can do. For those who still want to experience some snow, my recommendation is that can take the train from Zurich to Lucerne, stop and have a look around and cross the medieval covered bridge, and from there another very scenic train to Engelberg. I visited friends in Engelberg in my teens, so I have a soft spot for this village. Take the three sets of cable cars to the top of Mount Titlis. There is a glacier up there, and snow all year round. We visited the ice cave, did some snow tubing (which is lots of fun!) and had lunch in the restaurant. The views are really awe-inspiring.

Another nice day trip from Zurich is to the Rhine Falls. I went to the main train station and worked out how to get there by train, involving at least one change-over, but you could take the easy way out and book a coach tour. The Rhine Falls are Europe’s largest waterfall. I come from Africa and I’m used to waterfalls meaning something like the Victoria Falls, but this waterfall is impressive anyhow, and actually quite an exciting experience if you take the boat across the river and right up to the base of the falls.

Last but not least, you don’t want to miss the Lindt chocolate factory! One day when I die, heaven will be made entirely out of Lindt chocolate, I will eat as much as I want and never get fat.


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