Zurich, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
It’s not your size. Although you are the largest city in Switzerland, the truth is you are quite small. Still, you’re wonderful!
Perhaps, it’s your famous shopping street: Bahnhofstrasse. Your bank vaults are located below the street and are rumored to be bursting with gold and silver!
Or maybe it’s Jemoli, your high-end department store? Jemoli covers the gamut. The grocery section is in the basement and the top floor houses a spa.
Naturally, beautiful Lake Zurich adds to your appeal.
Your many sweet shops tickle my fancy.
And that’s okay, because culturally you enjoy your sweets regularly, but responsibly. My kind of people!
We were caught up in all your delights when we wandered into Cafe Schober, where we enjoyed the best hot chocolate in town. Quite an accolade, considering the Swiss reputation for chocolate.
Your St. Peter’s church boasts the largest clock face in all of Europe. A testament to your skill at watch-making and a reminder that G and I each should own a Rolex!
And your houses of worship inspire more than thoughts of worldly goods – like a Rolex. Zurich, at every turn you give your residents something more, something special. Like your Fraumünster Abbey (Church of Our Lady) above, which contains a complete set of Marc Chagall stained-glass windows that are considered some of the artist’s best work. The Fraumünster is a place of worship and as such, photographs are not permitted.
And if the Chagall windows and large clocks aren’t enough, there’s your Grossmünster Cathedral with its iconic twin towers.
Legend has it that Charlemagne himself founded the church on the burial site of the martyrs, Felix and Regina. The legend supports the idea that Grossmünster is Zurich’s oldest church. FYI: Archaeologists have confirmed the presence of a Roman burial ground at the site.
Not to be outdone, Grossmünster has its own impressive collection of modern stained-glass windows by Swiss artist Augusto Giacometti.The window above the main entrance, gives a small glimpse of what a visitor can expect to see inside. This window depicts images of the inside of sliced, semi-precious stones. The window reminded me of D, who I think would really love it.
But enough about churches. What is there to say about a city that elevates a lowly bowl of muesli to an art form? Zurich, what have you done to me? I’m waxing rhapsodic about Cafe Sprüngli’s cereal masterpiece!
And don’t even get me started on Hiltl, Europe’s oldest vegetarian restaurant founded – as a vegetarian restaurant – in 1898.
I’m overcome with sheer delight and left speechless (wordless?) at the thought of the restaurant’s vegetarian beef stroganoff. I think I may have heard an otherworldly chorus of “hallelujah” when the dish was placed before me.
Zurich, you are so special that Ireland’s son, the great James Joyce, wrote his magnum opus “Ulysses” here. So grateful was the pacifist for Zurich’s neutrality during WWI and the refuge the city offered him that he chose to spend eternity here in Fluntern Cemetary.
For these reasons, and many more like:
- The Swiss quality of life ranks highest among all industrialized nations with Zurich in the top spot.
- The Swiss national healthcare system is recognized as the world’s best and the care administered through that system is considered some of the finest in the world. A model of good social stewardship.
- Zurich is clean and well-organized.
- Zurich is incredibly elegant.
- The city was good enough for James Joyce, it’s good enough for me. C’mon people, the man wrote Ulysses!
Zurich, I love thee with all my heart and if fortune allows, I will again find myself warmly ensconced in one of your legendary beds outfitted entirely in down bedding one day soon.