Europe – day 4 – Zurich – Zueri Faescht

When we last saw Zurich it had been trashed. There was trash everywhere with bottles and broken bottles in the street. Someone had been hard at work between 5am and 10am when the first of our group ventured out in search of coffee (Starbucks) because the streets were now clean. I got up at 9am and the rest of the group awoke over the next two and a half hours.

After breakfast at the hostel the girls headed off for the fine art museum and the adults for a one and a half hour cruise on the Zurich Zee. The 1.5 hour tour ticket does not allow you to get one and off the boat at the 7 stops so we just watched the scenery. Every stop had a lovely sea side park and there were a number of swimming areas. There were also beautiful houses everywhere displaying the prosperity of Zurich. We met a American ex-pat who had retired from the Army and was now living in Switzerland with his Romanian wife who he had met in the service. He and his kids were going to one of many swimming areas along the lake. He was just glad to speak English to someone.

After the cruise we found lunch among the booths at Zueri Faescht. Joan tried a type of rachlette which was basically melted cheese and a little white wine on bread. The traditional rachlette is a plate of melted cheese, small white onions, pickles and boiled potatoes. Kevin and Susan each had one of the ever present sausages. I found a gyros booth.

After lunch we also went to the museum but the cost for entrance to the whole museum was around 24 CHF and none of us had been excited enough about visiting it to pay that. The girls later told us we should have only payed for the permanent exhibit which was less. They spent 3 hours exploring the museum and enjoyed it immensely. We wondered the streets instead looking at the part of Zurich not over-run with tourists before wandering back to the festival. We took some pictures of the Lego Bionical area for my son Mike who is a recovered Bionical addict.

We stopped at the Frau Munster to see the 3 stain glass windows painted by Marc Chagall (intersting, but give me the classics). The girls called and we made plans to meet for a fondue dinner (yes, I know it is traditionally only a Winter dish). After a rest at the room we found a fondue place around the corner and engorged ourselves with melted cheese. The restaurant required everyone to order something even if it was only a salad. The waitress seemed to think 6 orders of fondue for 6 people was just fine but 3 was more than enough. The Swiss do know their melted cheese, but a fondue dinner with a bottle of wine is an expensive meal.

After dinner the adults wandered around a bit and then about 45 minutes before the 10:30 fireworks we claimed a good spot on the second bridge away from the Zurich Zee. The bridge did fill with people but not the with the press of people Kevin and Susan ran into the night before on the closer bridge. The fireworks were spectacular and were timed to pop music; however, a half hour fireworks show after standing in the same place for 45 minutes is a bit longer than my attention span. Only after the fireworks show did the crowd start to behave more badly. Some people tried to push their way off the bridge. I don’t like being pushed, and at 6′ 3″ and over 200 pounds a few people found that I also don’t push very easily. We made our way to a performance of “We Will Rock You” from a full length musical of the same name. The show uses the music of Queen.

The girls stayed up to dawn in the common room of the hostel making new friends including one young man who was just moving to our area in California.

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