We had escaped the rain clouds earlier but today we were not to be so lucky. The steady rain that had started with a few heavy drops as we crossed the Swiss/German border yesterday afternoon hadn’t stopped all night- even Waldshut’s Top Models had to battle chilly winds and soggy spectators!
It was either continue on and get seriously wet or activate “Plan B”. (Actually, there was no “Plan B”, we just thought of it at the last minute!) A day trip to Zurich- perfect! Switzerland’s biggest city was only about a 30 minute train ride away and not actually on our agenda, so, off we went,
Things didn’t start well. Our hopes of finding a coffee oasis along the way seemed dashed when we exited our train to see the Starbucks train carriage… Ominous! Finding that the rain had followed us and was now happily sending everyone in Zurich scurrying for shelter didn’t augur well either.
Undeterred, we set about our exploration and were soon walking over the several billion dollars worth of gold claimed to be stored beneath the streets. We were pretty sure that most of it was gleaned from tourists like us who were paying $5 to $7 for Swiss coffee and correspondingly outrageous prices for any dish containing meat. That’ll boost then nation’s coffers for sure!
Like a lot of the bigger cities we have visited in Europe the real beauty of Zurich can be found in the Old Town. There is something about cobbled streets, twisty laneways and roads, narrow passageways and no cars that absolutely gets us in every time. It just doesn’t grow old (err… I mean, I know it IS really old and all, it just… Err, we don’t… Err… Well, you know what I mean!)
Anyway, Zurich’s Old Town is suitably twisty, narrow, cobbled and car-less and was a very pleasant distraction from the drizzle and cold wind. Lots of old stuff and colourful new stuff, contrasting rather charmingly. Easter decorations are appearing everywhere this week and Zurich was right up there with the brightest and best. Throw in cute little trams, hundreds of beautiful old fountains, all those $billion$ gold reserves and what more could you want?
Oh, good coffee.
And we found it! By sheer chance we glimpsed the word “barista” on a cafe sign! Barista… could it be? Yes! The “best coffee in Switzerland” according to our friendly waitress turned out to be, as far as we could reasonably believe, 100% true!
Thank goodness for “Plan B!”