Last Stop : Zurich – A Special Place

In closing out our European adventure, we were scheduled for a 17 hour overnight layover in Zurich Switzerland.  This was not by design, rather just the way our flight worked.  But I was excited to be back even for a short while.  Zurich is one of my favorite cities.  It is the German influenced area of Switzerland and is just a beautiful walking city with a large lake and a lively old town area called the Niederdorf.  For ease of travel, I had booked the Radisson Blu hotel in the airport for the night which is a short train ride from downtown.  Unfortunately (or fortunately), our original flight was delayed by a full day due to mechanical problems and we scored one extra day in this beautiful city.  While it meant moving to another hotel for the second night, there are many many worse problems in life and thus we opted to take full advantage of our “luck”.

So, why is Zurich so special to me?  It was my son’s first international destination when he was only five months old.  It was his first flight, first stamp on the passport, first European adventure during which he visited Germany, France, Austria and so much more.  More importantly he was clearly a true blue traveler at that young age and enjoyed the experience thoroughly.  We had returned again when he was 18 months old for another summer of travels in the region.  So, the coolest part of the two days for me were the memories of those days (seems like yesterday), of mixing formula and baby food or feeding him his first bites of cheese and sausage contrasted by sharing a beer with him on this trip while he inhaled yet another plate of wurst in all varieties.

On this trip we spent our time walking around the Niederdorf, ate gelato, drank beer near Lake Limmat, and revisited some favorite dining spots from the past trips – Zeughauskeller and Sternen Grill.  The Zeughauskeller is an old restaurant that has been in Zurich for ages and is a classic beer & wurst kind of place.  The waiters are no nonsense but friendly and have been there forever.  The sausages (wurst) here accompanied by spicy mustard (senf), potatoes and vegetables are delicious.  Washed down with a not so cold (Europeans prefer beer that is not ice cold, as do I) and life is just about perfect.  It truly was an unplanned yet perfect ending to an amazing three weeks of wonderful memories that we will hold onto forever.

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