Sister and I only had one day in Zurich, but we had booked a trolley tour of the city the day before and had looked up some things to do. At the train station, we had some trouble finding the lockers and getting them to work, but eventually we managed and took the giant key with us on our walk to find to the bus lot where we would depart from. I had a map on my phone, but Sister and I were learning that we were comically bad with maps and directions. We walked all the way across a park and looped back around to find the bus parking lot right next to the train. Who would have thought? We waited under the bus stop until it was time for our tour, and we exchanged our mobile voucher for a sloppy hand-written ticket.
The trolley kindly took us around the city, and there were headphone jacks to listen to a narration in any language you could imagine. I’d like to say I learned lots about the beautiful city of Zurich, but I honestly fell asleep on the trolley. I remember lots of talk about the financial district (most insurance in the world is managed in Zurich), but I really did not appreciate anything until our first stop. Fifteen minutes, the driver told us as we all unloaded from the bus. The overcast day set the perfect atmosphere for the large lake. It was full of boats, a swimmer fighting the waves, fish, and a family of ducks Sister and I took a liking to. Back on the bus, we headed to look at several other important buildings, including the homes of old guilds and several churches. Neat! At the conclusion of the tour, we returned to the bus lot and weighed our options of what we should do next. We decided to get lunch at the train station since it was right nearby and had lots of options. We struggled to order lunch at the counter with all the options and communication barrier, but we ended up with what we both wanted. I was learning to not be as picky with my food choices, and I actually liked the results of that!
The museum next to the train station was in an impressive old building, and once inside, we realized the tickets were very cheap, and that the museum had free wifi. Looks like we found a place to stay for a while! We looked at old Christian relics forever and ever and ever. One painting stood out to me: a painting of a scene of the city from a traditional story of the execution of three saints in their city. The painting had been painted over to hide its graphic nature, and recently the layers of extra had been carefully removed to reveal parts of the original work. It was interesting to learn about the history and to see things I recognized from the town in the painting. The other sections of the museum held artifacts and exhibits from Zurich’s history. For me, the most interesting section was modern photographs of varying subjects. They all had interesting explanations or heart-wrenching stories.
After we got positively bored of the museum (bored? Sister, you’re a history major…), we hopped onto a trolley and tried to figure out how to get to a university’s garden that we had read about online. We got off at the stop we decided was correct, but we quickly realized we had lost our orientation again. We walked the street and got some gelatto. I regained a general idea of where we needed to be going, so we started walking along the beautiful rushing river in what I was assuming to be the right way. Finally, we stumbled upon the garden and explored the area. It was more of a green space and they seemed to be growing less varieties of things than at our favorite garden in Cologne. Also, there was a library and a building that claimed to be a museum, but we could not seem to understand exactly what was going in those buildings or the random people we saw around the gardens. It was beautiful with some nice views, but the entire place gave us a strange vibe. Sister and I found another trolley stop and got back on, stopping once to buy a bottle of water. By that time, we needed to head back to the train station. We ate there, reclaimed our bags, and headed for our train to Italy!