Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Engadine/ Zurich OR Can a Love of Switzerland & Fear of Heights Coexist?

Engadine/ Zurich OR Can a Love of Switzerland & Fear of Heights Coexist?

Sep 28th, 2010, 03:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,288
Schuler - I know!!! We woke up last Saturday am to SNOW in Davos and at least one pass was already requiring chains! We live in very snowy state in the northern US so that was the last thing I really wanted to see The day before we ate a warm shirtsleeve lunch at a terrace in Guarda. What a change.

We had to get to Milan that night, so we backtracked north to go south and we got down from the snow pretty quick but it reminded me of the many long, cold, days and nights to come soon. Think I will start planning our Feb trip to Costa Rica!
HappyCheesehead is offline  
Sep 29th, 2010, 05:33 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,686
Day #11 AND OUR LAST DAY in Switzerland
Had a poor man's breakfast in the room early and out by 9:30am. Although a few degrees cooler this early, still VERY humid - crop pants and tank tops rule! Curious, but I saw no shorts-wearing in the city.
Passed a few interesting shops on Niedergasse, hope to revisit (ie: samll fossils). Found Laurie's Voltaire Cabaret shop/building which opened later. Retraced our steps to Grossmuenster and toured inside. Three front choir windows by Augusto Giacometti. Went downstairs into the crypt and saw original 15th Century statue of Charlemagne and very faded frescoes. Oreintation board in english for self-guided tour.
Climbed the tower--about 200 steps-while friend went ahead to Fraumuenster. First a tight spiral of stone steps, but later wooden and wider. Wonderful views from above! We are vey close to the ship-harbour, where I am going next!
Caught up with friend at Fraumunster-very hot and sweaty by then.
Saw the beautiful Chagall windows in the morning lihjt and read Rick Steve's detailed descriptions of the window contents. After this, we found Pardeplatz (busy traffic intersection) and spotted Cafe Sprungli (1836) with its oh-so-marvelous (and expensive) fine chocolates. I plan to come back for lunch after boat ride!
At this point, Laurie went her way, and I, mine. Had been considering dinner at either the Zeughauskeller or Restaurant Kropf, but both looked a bit expensive and heavy on the meat selections, so I could imagine that a vegetarian would not be in favor of either.
Next, to Buerkliplatz for the 90 minute circuit boat ride (free with Zurichcard). Sunny and breezy! Clear skies. Nice to be on the waterand see all the people enjoying themselves! Back on land, found a needlepoint store on Borsenstrasse, and picked up a few beautiful hand-stitched items. What I REALLY wanted was Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss", measuring about 2 feet by 3 feet for a tidy sum of about 8000 CHF, but I reluctantly passed . The elderly owner told me that this store had been in his family and at this location for 90 years!
Walked back to Cafe Spruengli, but not a seat to be found!!
After a while of loitering, and no seat changeover, I gave up and bought take-away--a chicken breast sandwich on 'cornbread' and a tiny berry meringue torte. Then I stocked up on chocolate souvenirs! (My CC was smokin')
Sat in the shade along the river to eat my sandwich, refilled my water bottle from a fountain. Walked up to Lindenhof to eat the pastry and feed the pigeons.
Returned to hotel to free myself of the soon-to-be-melting chocolate purchases. Decided NOT to visit the Scweizerisches museum after all, as I didn't want to be inside for 3 or 4 hours on this lovely day. Instead, my interest was peeked (?)
by the Medizinhistorisches museum at the University.
Got directions and began the uphill ascent of NUMEROUS steps leading up to that area. Finally found wht I was looking for.
Quite interesting-glad that I chose this! Reviewed evolution of medicine from earliest religious beliefs to scientific developments along the way. Spent mor thatn 90 minutes and a lot of unique photos.
Recouped at hotel. Laurie had had a successful day, visiting her sites of interest as well.
Out to dinner by 6:30, stayed local on Niederdorfstrasse- Swiss Chuechli. Sat outside in the shade of the building.
Had Roestikissen gefuellt on salad and two small trueb beers.
In retrospect, this was an overpriced place aimed at the tourists (last night's meal was more 'genuine.')
Back to RR where we both phoned home form the air-conditioned phone booths on the lower level )
To Coop for a double pack of Black Forest Cake to eat later with our final Panaches, and last minute chocolate shopping.
Zurichcard will cover our final train trip to airport as well.
Well, not enough time to get to Uetliberg or the swiss national museum or Sprungli's (next time), but I DID lose any trepidation about exploring Zuerich. The city is eminently walkable from Hauptbahnhof to Buerkliplatz, with alluring side streets. One really cannot get lost as the river kept me oriented.
Left hte next morning for home--anticipating a long travel day ahead...
Already planning my next trip....
Which will come to fruition on OCTOBER 29 - NOVEMBER 5!!!!
Will be staying in Rapperswil for 6 days and 6 nights, recovering from knee surgery!! Life is good ;-)))
mokka4 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2012, 10:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 42
hi mokka,

I just accidentially came across your blog in order to spend my sleeping inabilities in some way. I enjoyed it and thanks for helping

regarding "Learned that ALL the fountains offer clean drinking water" in Zürich.

Actually, everywhere in Switzerland you can drink the water coming from either fountains, or water taps in your home or hotel room. For 99% of any occasion, you get perfect drinking water from virtually any water tap you find in Switzerland, in or outside a building. (Drinking) water is the most controlled, observed, and regulated food in Switzerland!
If the water is not drinkable, you will find for 99.9% occasions a sign above or next to the water tap saying something like "Kein Trinkwasser" (in the German part). And the only occasion I have in mind right now are-of course-in the toilets of the train coaches.
This, by the way, also means, that the water you use to shower yourself, or to fill your bath tube in a hotel room, is exactly the same perfect drinking water. Of course, the same water is used to flash the toilets (except in trains).

But please, keep in mind, as soon as you cross the Swiss border (I speak here about some meters!), this is not true anymore! Especially, if you move south- and westward.

This is also the reason why you find mainly sparkling water (in bottles) predominately presented in grocery stores. Swiss people do usually not buy “stilles Wasser”, because you get it for free at home at any water tap or at any fountain. And by the way, “stilles Wasser” is only used by Germans, originally. Swiss-German speaking people don't use this term, though it became somehow more common over the last few years because of the strong increase of German immigrants. We Swiss only say “Wasser”, when we mean drinkable, sparkling-free water.
For sparkling water we used to say “Mineralwasser”. But this is not quite correct, since spring water with a lot of minerals in it, is also/actually called “Mineralwasser”. So younger people rather say then “Wasser mit (Gas)”, when they order sparkling water. And often the waiter is not Swiss, neither, so he/she would mismatch “Mineralwasser” anyhow. So, even I now order “Wasser mit” in a restaurant. On the bottles you find the term “kohlensäurehaltig” (carbonated) in order to indicate the sparkling.
And by the way, if I want to drink non-sparkling water in a restaurant, I usually order “Hahnenburger”, which is the humorous term for water from the water tap. And if then the restaurant owner occasionally gets the strange idea to charge me the “Hahnenburger”, I assure you, he has to spend a quite an arguing with me! The romands, the French speaking Swiss, call it “Chateau -Neuf du Robinet”, or “Chateau-Neuf La Pompe”, respectively.
It is called “Hahnenburger”, because it comes from the water tap (Hahnen) and it used to be that small spring water producer/bottlers did have brands such as Weissenburger (those days renowned for 'Orangina' e.g.), or Schwarzenburger. But all those smaller companies became acquired by larger and/or international companies, e.g. by Coca Cola. Even the currently very popular Valser Wasser belongs to Coca Cola. Which is a shame, if you would ask me. The reason for their disapearance is very simple: they were not able to sell their water at the same underrated low price as Coca Cola was and still is able to. Nowadays, we call this international market power.

martinZH is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Jun 20th, 2015 04:16 PM
Nov 15th, 2009 10:35 AM
Oct 26th, 2009 12:28 PM
Mar 14th, 2008 09:59 AM
Aug 22nd, 2007 02:14 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:03 PM.