Today’s been a good day, if a little slower paced than yesterday. I was awake at 5:30am and by the time I’d had breakfast and gotten ready I had some time to kill before heading out. I may have had a nap.
I started at the Landsmuseum. I got a great overview of the history of Switzerland and can now understand why there are 4 official languages of Switzerland (basically numerous cantons came together to form a federal state.
I also learnt that Switzerland may have been politically neutral in the past but that didn’t mean Swiss men didn’t fight. They just did it as mercenaries.
I downloaded an app which gave me an audio tour of the museum and was well worth it. I also got to see a Swiss bank vault. It wasn’t all that exciting, just a bank of fancy lockers but interesting for what it represented. I also found out they have 200, 500 and 1000 Swiss franc notes. That’s nearly $1500 in one note!
They had a special exhibition “what Swiss eat” and had a lot of memorabilia from the past. They had a small goods store set up and it was all knitted. From a distance it looks like the real thing.
On exiting that exhibit they had someone handing out samples of insects. He had crickets, locusts and mealworms. There were a couple of guys there already and I watched them eat it before I tried. The cricket was okay, the locust not so good (even after removing the wing and legs) and the mealworm tolerable. If they were in a dish with other ingredients I think they’d be fine. They’d give the dish some crunch similar to nuts. They’ve only been legal in Switzerland for a year or so and still have a way to go before becoming a cheap protein source. The server indicated a bag of 50-100g would be 20-40 CHF.
It was time for lunch, there was a cafe in the museum but as these can often be a plain and expensive I thought I’d eat at the cafe just outside the museum. There were too many smokers sitting outside so I went inside. It was only when I sat down I realised it was the museum cafe. I picked out what I thought was a roll with cheese and some type of cured meat (no English translation here) but it turn out to be cheese with purple cabbage.
Behind the museum is a lovely little park. I went and sat there for a while. It was nice and peaceful. I sat there a little too long as I got to the dock for the river boat just as it was leaving. So I sat for a bit longer.
The next stop was the Grossmünster (Great Minster). It’s a grand church and again the audio tour was very informative. I wanted to go there as it played a major part of the reformation movement in Zurich and it was alluded to at the museum. I did feel slightly disloyal though as they talked about the great rivalry it’s the Fraumünster (Women’s Minster) and I didn’t have time for both.
I was going to catch the boat back to the museum as it’s not far from the hotel but my ticket was on my phone and by phone was down to 1% battery power. I was hopeful it would hold as the decrease in battery power isn’t a steady decline. It was a moot point as I also just missed that boat. So walking it was. My phone was still on when I got back to the hotel.
After a brief rest (and recharging of phone) I again set off for the museum to catch the boat. This time I got it right and arrived a couple of minutes before the boat. We then went down the river towards the lake. They say the boats are built especially to fit under the bridges and it looked like less than 30cm clearance. I had expected we’d stop just inside the lake but we kept going to Zurichhörn. I could definitely feel the difference from being on the river compared to the lake. It was choppier.
The driver/pilot/captain/not sure what he is called and his conductor/offsider were having a great time, waving to all the other staff on boats we passed. They certainly seemed to be enjoying their jobs.
I got off the boat and went in search of dinner. I found a place on the list of Swiss restaurants I got from the hotel staff last night. It wasn’t one of the ones personally recommended though (last night’s was). I had a half serving of raclette. I don’t think I would have coped with a full serve after last night’s cheese but I’m glad I got to try it. It was very nice. The same can’t be said for the main meal. I’m not sure whether it wasn’t well made or just not to my taste. It was mushroom sauce with some veal in it and rosti. Supposedly a Zurich speciality. I was kind of regretting not just getting some of the Indian two doors up from the hotel. The smells tempt me every time I leave the hotel.
Tomorrow I head to St Moritz.Read more