Staying in Switzerland

I’m about a week and a half into my three-week Easter holiday adventure across Europe, and so far, I’m absolutely loving it. I’ve seen so many beautiful places and learned a lot, through observation, about different cultures. My next several blog posts will be devoted to recounting adventures of my trip.

I departed two Saturdays ago with two friends, Mariam and John, to Basel, Switzerland. We didn’t know a whole lot about Switzerland except that it had good chocolate and cheese, strong banks and a fairly neutral government, so it was a total surprise.

It turns out Basel’s on the border of Switzerland, near France and Germany. (We could’ve gotten to either country from the airport, it turns out — signs on the wall directed us to the “Switzerland” exit.) There weren’t a whole lot of “touristy” things to do there, but we saw some beautiful old buildings (Europe’s full of ’em) and got a feel for the culture. The streets were very clean, and everyone was very polite. And everything was fairly expensive.

We left after less than a day for Zurich, which turns out to be the second-most expensive city in the world — not ideal for traveling college students, but we made it work, meaning we ate lots of bread and cheese. (And chocolate. The chocolate was the best.)

Zurich was absolutely beautiful. The city contained a large lake, and one could usually see mountains from wherever one was. We walked around a lot, exploring the city. We stopped at the Swiss history museum, which was really, really cool. My favorite section was about fairy tales — I loved them as a kid and would re-enact them with my best friend and neighbor, Quinn.

My favorite part of the trip was walking up a mountain and seeing the breathtaking views of the city. We took a tram to the base of the walkable part of the mountain. After a half-hour walk, we reached a plateau with a tower, which offered an even more beautiful view. The iPhone pictures I took don’t do it justice, but I’ve included a few below:

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IMG_1578We concluded our stay with a boat tour, which was equally beautiful. Boats are part of their public transportation system — I’d love getting to and from somewhere every day by boat!

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