On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
Steps and forests, with dappled sun, are so enchanting. I want to walk down those steps and stay in that forest until the world has returned to something approaching normalcy. ~WaterGirl
I was able to add a weekend trip to Zurich as part of a longer trip to Europe. This was based on some advice from a travel agent and it turned out to be an amazing experience. I was pretty overwhelmed by all of the sightseeing options and the wealth and opulence were pretty intimidating. I have never been to a city that exuded wealth the way Zurich did. It seemed like every other car was six figures and every food and drink item were well out of my price range. I made plans to get out of the city and do some hiking.
The hotel is only a couple hundred feet from Lake Zurich with unobstructed views from an outdoor seating area and parts of the restaurant. The hotel dates back to 1844 and is still owned by the Baur family!
When I came back to the hotel after dinner there was an Aston Martin DB5 parked in the valet section. (I’d like to point out that the hotel was paid for as part of a gift. It was very expensive and I’m normally a Marriott guy!)
The statue is of Ganymede (Greek mythology) and an eagle. The statue is located at Burkliterrasse, which is the park at the head of Lake Zurich. It overlooks the main boarding docks for boat tours and there are terrific mountain vistas either left or right (the lake continues to the horizon in front).
Grossmunster is one of four major churches in Zurich. This Protestant church was finished around the year 1220! I took the photo from across the Limmat river.
I took the train to Uetliberg, a small mountain W-SW of Zurich. The hike from the train station to the prime overlook spots took about 15-20 minutes. There are gorgeous views of the city and Lake Zurich. It is a very popular tourist spot but there is plenty of space and trails head off in several directions.Hike down
The weather was perfect so I decided to hike back to the hotel, about 5km. This hike, I found out, is very popular both up and down, there were plenty of other hikers and the trail was very organized and well maintained. I was very surprised at the number of hikers with strollers going up given this is only one of many, many sets of stairs.
Being familiar with preparing wood for a wood stove I was amazed at the amount of work that must have went into this stack! Around this time I could hear consistent gunfire (it sounding like a gun range, nothing sinister) and I started heading in that direction because I would have loved to have shot some clays while I was there.
The gunfire was actually part of Knabenschiessen, a Zurich festival held every year since 1889. The festival surrounds a gun competition for any (every) 13-17 year old who reside or attend school in the Zurich region (population around 1.5 million!). I knew none of this but was amazed at the thousands of people who were walking the Uetlibergstrasse, which was closed to traffic and solidly lined with food and drink vendors. The shooting competition is held at Schiessanlage Albisgutli and I’ve never seen a range that large. After stopping for some adult beverages and meeting some very interesting locals I eventually made it back to the hotel hours later.
What a nice trip to stumble onto a local festival!
Great pics and tour!
What a lovely escape, and I would want to stay there.
You do realize that there are cheaper hotels in Zurich than the Baur-en-Ville?
I can’t get over how clear the air is!
Delightful! Thanks so much for sharing.
Was in Zurich a few years ago with my daughter. What got my attention most was the number of cars that spewed obnoxious smoke. Apparently they don’t use catalytic converters on many cars. Prices where certainly high compared to Germany and France
At the airport, I forgot I got a somewhat large rock in my luggage. Securiety was concerned and I quickly told them to toss it. The security guy refused and checked with his supervisor; I insisted to toss it, but they went to their supervisor; one more layer and I still tried to tell them to let me toss it, but they decided I could keep it. Very nice of them.
Visited Zurich a few years ago, and it was beautiful. Especially appreciated being able to take public transit to hike in the surrounding hills.
Highlight of the trip was taking the ferry to Rapperswill, the city of roses, at the far end of the lake. You’re never sure how that “city of nouns” will turn out in practice, but the ferry landed next to an old castle awash in rose gardens, and the wider city also had tons of roses.
Gorgeous, and what a nice mix of luxury and country you got to do. Part of a gift to stay there? Nice!!
That woodpile is about what’s dumped in my driveway right now awaiting stacking. *sigh*
@Berliner2: Is there a difference between the Baur-au-ville and the Baur au Lac? I stayed at the au Lac.
To answer your question, “absolutely”. I did not pay for the stay out of my pocket. If was a gift from work directly to a travel agent. The rest of my trip was already taken care of so I could accommodate this little two-night extravagance.
@feloniousferb: they‘re about the same, five stars all the way. Au Lac has a nicer restaurant by the water. Nice if you got someone else to pay… the Baurs also run a wine dealership with a shop in the train station. Excellent selection, Zurich prices. Your observation about the wealth on display in the city is spot on. I like to say that Zurich is practically sweating money. According The Economist, 27% of taxpayers in Zurich are millionaires, which is more than Monaco. And it’s not tax evasion either. Just wealth patiently built up over centuries of not getting involved in stupid shit like wars.
@Berliner2: What? No money laundering?
I miss Zürich so much—I usually travel there a few times a year for work. I was there at the end of February, just before everything locked down. In a normal year I’d be heading out again soon. Wonderful photos!
Spent a night in Zürich at the end of our Rhine river cruise in 2016 — we decided to take the train from Basel to Zürich so we could fly home nonstop. We were there on Sunday so pretty much everything was closed, but we were in walking distance of the central train station and discovered the shopping center there (shops associated with a transport center are exempt from Switzerland’s Sunday blue laws.)
The mountain view across the lake from the Burkliterasse is amazing — we watched sunset on the Alps from there.
Confirmation that in German speaking cities there are only 4 church names big, little, new and old (Gross, Klein, Neu u. Alt) .
@Betty: tons of it. But mostly done by locals, and mostly in accordance with local laws.
I love Zürich & walking and hiking with the wonderful wanderweg sign system in Switzerland. In winter, one of the Uetliberg trails becomes a sledding run – didn’t sled there but it looked like fun.