If you have low expectations for a place then you will almost certainly be impressed when you arrive. This was pretty much the case when coming to Zurich. Actually, I didn’t have any expectations before I came. I just booked it because it was kinda between Milan and Paris and I’d never been. Great travel planning maz.
After 4 days here I can proudly say I LOVE ZURICH! Seriously, I love it.
Reasons why everyone should go to Zurich (you don’t have to, I ain’t forcing anyone)
1. Its not as cliche as Paris, Rome, London etc. (Ooh I’m so indie) but in all honesty its not as tourist heavy. Less selfie sticks floating around = happy Mary
2. The people are friendly! – says everyone who ever went anywhere. But they are, I promise
3. The girls are gorgeous. And really fashionable. And don’t do that horrible looking you up and down glare that they do in the UK.
4. Nearly every guy is H to the O double T, IE. They all seem to be in that nice transition stage between skier and surfer. And they dress really well. Yeah.
5. Almost everyone can speak English, wahey.
6. Fancy architecture
7. A pretty lake that goes into a pretty river. And it looks blue not murky grey/brown. Ahem Thames.
8. You can see actual snow topped mountains.
9. After admiring the mountains you can go into a huge Zara that has 6 floors or something crazy like that.
10. Steep hills means toned calves
11. Men aren’t creepy and abusive! (Double yay)
12. You can buy fancy bread in plaits. Shweee. And pretzels
13. Trams. Trams rock.
14. Swiss beer is pretty good
15. There’s a Lindt chocolate factory. Must I continue?
P.s. thank you Franziska and Laurina for being the best hosts ever and not waking me up in the middle of the night brushing my hair! You da bestest
I was melting cheese with Laurina and Franziska (my wonderful couchsurfing hosts) when my Facebook pinged. I had a message from Zezil, a friend from penthouse hostel in cape town. ‘You’re in Zurich!? I live here!’. Fast forward a few hours and I’m with Zezil and the girls in the city centre drinking large beers and being sang to by a weeeeird Lionel Richie impersonator. High five to spontaneous reunions and Africa catch ups.
I’m in Switzerland! I survived my 5 hour coach journey and was welcomed to the freeezing climate of Switzerland. I chose to come to Zurich as it was kind of on my route back to Paris and i’d never been to Switzerland properly (I think we’d passed through on school trips before).
A trip of ‘firsts’ included trying couchsurfing… This basically means staying with a stranger for a night or longer and staying on their sofa. I am so happy that I chose to do something other than staying in a hostel (which are totally overpriced in Europe btw) because my hosts are so nice! I was welcomed with a swiss beer and a double blow up bed (living the dream mate!). The two girls I’m staying with are so friendly and have helped me out with exploring Zurich.
My first morning I chose to visit the Lindt chocolate factory. Because why the hell not. I walked for 3kms because public transport is overrated and I was too impatient to wait for the bus.
I saw cute swiss stuff on my way
I think this is the prettiest sign for a hospital I’ve ever seen (and the most graphic maybe).
The Lindt factory shop was amazing. Chocolate overload and cheaper than in supermarkets. I was in heaven.
Yeah I got a bit excited but all this was like £7 which is such a bargain considering everything in Zurich is so expensive.
Chocolate comas all round.
3 days in Milan was very much needed. My first 5ish weeks in Paris had been amazing but I couldn’t help but feel a tiny bit trapped; Paris is a bit of bubble, like every city I’ve been to, and I just needed to spread my wings (cringe) and experience something and somewhere new.
We stayed in a cute little apartment in the north of Milan (my sister Georgie, our friend Jenny and me) and did the usual touristy stuff. I loved seeing the Duomo – the outside, inside and roof were all incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a cathedral that impressive before – and I’ve been to A LOT of cathedrals.
I also really enjoyed hiring bikes and exploring the city; in Milan they have ‘BikeMi’ which is just like Barclay bikes in London or ‘Velib’ in Paris. The handlebars are super low and my saddle was wobbly but overall it was very cool. Over the 3 days we ate too much pizza and ice cream and despite my illnesses (I swear I get sick every time I go away, anywhere) I had a lovely little trip with the girlies. Finally, the weather was perfect for the whole weekend. And I love Italy.
G and Jenny left on Monday evening and my coach to Zurich wasn’t until Tuesday morning so I walked for almost an hour to get to my hostel which was a but nearer the Lampagnuno bus station. I stayed in Lumiere Hostel and it was so much nicer than I expected considering it was the cheapest I could find in Milan. I had my last true Italian pizza for dinner and went to bed. I walked for about 40 minutes the next morning, ready to board my coach. The coach was nowhere to be seen until 10:05 (it should’ve been there at 9:30). I took my customary back seats and fell asleep. I woke up twice; firstly when we drove through lake Como. It was so so beautiful, even though it was cloudy and grey outside. Secondly, to go through border control and have some very scary looking police check my passport.
Next stop, Zurich!