I might have done Zurich wrong. Usually, what you want to do when you’re traveling is to spend as little time in and around your hotel as possible. Get out to the center of town, or maybe the outskirts if you want the true, untouristed experience. Eat local food, learn where the rivers are and which way they flow, learn how to navigate public transportation.
I didn’t do that on this trip. Honestly, I must have been within three blocks of the hotel for at least 75% of my time in the city. But can you blame me? Take a look at this place!
The B2 Boutique Hotel & Spa is in a building that used to house a brewery, and the library lounge used to be the cooperage, where they made and stored the barrels. The books go to the ceilings and the chandeliers are made of beer bottles and all I wanted to do was make like Belle and swing around on the rolling ladders.
There was also a heated rooftop infinity pool! You could swim (or walk, as the pool was only about four feet deep) all the way to the edge and look out the city.
The other reason we didn’t stray far from the hotel was that Tim’s company’s office was just the next building over. And, since we were there during the week and we still had normal work to do, Tim and I generally hung out over there to take advantage of their super-fast wifi, delicious and healthy company food, and relaxing work rooms.
That would be: salmon with pesto, green beans, brussels sprouts, potatoey finger dumplings, lentils, carrot-orange soup, a teeny summer salad, potato bread, grapes, and hard cow’s milk cheese. Lord almighty. They eat like this every day. This is cafeteria food!
There was this bar, though. Rimini is situated right on the water and is a men’s-only nude bathing pool during the day. At night it transforms into a trendy bar. People can mingle over by the bar or climb down the stairs and sit, dangling their feet in the water. I spent some time with these cool guys, people-watching the Swiss and drinking cold beers.
We did make it into the city center and old town a couple of times, searching for late-night eats and most of Saturday, before we caught the train back. Switzerland is known for being almost ludicrously expensive (I had a huge shock when we bought a normal fast food meal in order to get change for the metro and saw that it was over fifteen dollars), so we mostly avoided shopping. Strolling around was lovely — though my shoes did get quite soggy.
We ran into this cute antique market near Zurich Lake and spent a pleasant half-hour hiding from the rain under the shop tents, looking at old plates and canes and swords.
Zurich had one final surprise for us before we left. As we were waiting in the central station for our train back to Paris, we heard what sounded like an army of running feet. We realized that it must be rain and went out to the edge of the station to watch. The sky had opened. It was positively pouring. Then, if you can believe it, it started to hail. In July.
Of course, as luck would have it, as soon as we got a few minutes out of Zurich, the sun came out to shine on beautiful green fields and forests. We’ll have to go back soon so that we can experience all that greenery in person. I hear the hiking around the city is wonderful.
Music to travel by: Welcome Home, Son [Radical Face // Ghost]