Friday, April 17, 2009

Zurich in the spring

A week ago, we drove from Prague to Switzerland to spend Easter with my sister and her family. They live just outside Zürich in a little town on the lake, but every time we visit, my sister and I try to plan a morning in the city.

Switzerland is rightfully known for its trains and public transportation, and on our trip downtown, I wound up taking plenty of pictures of the train stations we passed through. Probably the most iconic image from that morning shows [1.] our platform's clock five minutes before the S-bahn arrived.

[2.] The children didn't go with us, but James saw us off. He was aptly (and accidentally) dressed in his choo choo train overalls. Keeping with our theme, the children played trains all weekend.

[3.] The train station in my sister's town is just by the lake, beside a villa that has been turned into the town hall. The town has set up a parade of sculptures for visitors passing by.

[4. & Center] After making the requisite visits to book and toy stores, we stopped by Jelmoli, one of Zürich's biggest department stores, just before we headed home. We visited nearly every floor to cross off the last of our list - yogurt glasses, an Easter dress, straw for baskets, and coffee pastilles (a jelly bean alternative). Our last escalator ride took us to the basement where we ate Asian food at stand up counters before heading to the train station.

[5.] Electrical wires for trains in Switzerland all seem to be above ground, most likely to avoid the dangers of on the ground electrical lines.

[6.] Waiting for the train home, we people watched and I snapped the last of my station pictures.


eurolush said...

Happy to hear you had a fun Easter with your sister in Switzerland.

countrypeapie said...

That sounds wonderful! I was trying so hard to figure out yogurt glasses, imagining they were for the eyes. Then suddenly I could visualize a yummy parfait, and realized what you meant! (Clearly I need more coffee....)

marja-leena said...

I may have said this before... I envy people living in Europe where it's so close to just pop over to the next country!

zueripasta said...

A wonderful collage of Zurich this time of year. The order of those cables above ground make a lovely contrast to what I have been seeing the past few days here:

Barrett Bonden said...

Point 5: Ah, but there's the problem of the pantograph tracking the catenary when the train's travelling at speed. I love Swiss trains. In particular the platform clocks which have a red disc attached to the minute hand. Thus there's this magic moment when the disc reaches 12 on the clock face and the train moves slowly away. Dead on time

Julia said...

EL - it was great fun, and I have more pictures coming! Nothing like a trip to give me a backlog of cool shots I want to show off.

Meg - yogurt glasses are glasses we use for making yogurt. We wanted to get extra so we wouldn't have to make a batch every 2 days (amazingly, that's how long it takes for us to go through 8 yogurts).

Marja-leena - even after living here for ten years I still get giddy at the thought of being able to travel so quickly from one place to another. And since we grew up with long car trips, a seven hour drive doesn't phase us a bit!

Is that you Sid? Are you in India right now?

BB - I love that red second minute hand too, it is very satisfying to watch the trains and clocks tick in time with each other.

Lynn said...

Coffee pastilles...YES! (Glad you had such a great time...)

poppy fields said...

Sounds fun, I like the idea of coffe pastilles instead of jelly beans.