We have now arrived at Zurich. A two-hour train ride from Lucerne. Switzerland is really a very small country with a really good transport system. Imagine having able to travel the length and width of the country in just under 6 hours. We could have a weekend at some small Swiss village and be back in town for work on Monday. That’s really life.
Zurich is NOT the capital of Switzerland, Bern is.
Contrary to popular belief, Zurich is NOT the capital of Switzerland, that moniker falls to Berne. The only accolade that made Zurich so popular is that it IS the largest city in Switzerland. And it is also the first place that a tourist would arrive at. Hence the mistake.
Another well known fact is that Zurich has been ranked at the top of the highest living standard city in the world for a few consecutive years. This makes it a better known area rather than Berne itself.
“For today, we are going to explore Bahnhofstrasse!”
Bahnhofstrasse starts from the Zurich Train Station all the way down to the lakeside. It is surrounded by high-end luxury, designer brands shops and eateries, even the numerous lanes that crisscross this famous landmark holds other eclectic wonders behind their shop door. And it’s going to take a lot of willpower to avoid being distracted.
It was early so we could sit back and enjoy the stillness of the area before it bursts into life at Pestalozzi Park.
“If only we had the money,” mumbled QS.
“It’s not all about the shopping,” I replied.
But indeed it is. Bahnhofstrasse and maybe the central part of Zurich is all about shopping. You can find whatever you wanted and also what ever that is available for a price here. It was all window shopping for us. Nothing touristy unless shopping is your thing.
Tip: Walk first then take the tram back to where you came from.
If you have trouble walking, you can take the tram. But my advice would be to walk all the way to the lakeside before taking a tram back where you came from. You really need to enjoy the shops and their wares on display.
The one thing I admire about these Western countries is their town planning. Maybe our city planners back home should take a leaf or two out of their books. Despite the modernization, and the call for improvements, cities like Zurich, Lucerne and even Bern still keep their old dated architecture intact. Unlike our city of Kuala Lumpur, in their bid to spend, they would willingly destroy centuries old architecture only to replace them with shiny concrete buildings without any aesthetic feel.
“Do you know how long this Bahnhofstrasse is?”
“It’s just 1.5km long.”
That was the sound of disbelief. We were only half way there and yet it was noon already. That was how attractive walking down a street full of eye candy. We were only window shopping but it was taking so much of our time.
We bought some packed lunches and set out to find a nice quiet place to eat. And we found that place at Kappelerhof, a small park hidden behind a row of shophouses. That in itself is another beauty of good town planning, in the midst of drab concrete buildings, there is a quite place of tranquility surrounded by greenery.
(to be continued)