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Published: February 24th 2015
I'm pretty much settled into a routine now during the week (similar to last week but with less alcohol), so I'll just jump straight to the weekend destination of...
Zurich - the largest city in Switzerland, and an excellent place to watch police hose soccer rioters. Planning Stage: We'll just show up and Google things
I jumped in on a trip with Nathan (Canadian), Brendan (Australian), and Sean (another Australian). I think we picked Zurich because the Aussies wanted to see snow. We did some looking around on Tripadvisor, but overall just bought tickets and a hotel, then crossed our fingers. It worked well :-) Friday: That costs how much???
We showed up on Friday night and quickly found out that Switzerland is the most expensive country in the world. A hot dog will set you back about 16$ Canadian, and buying a drink will make you need one. I'd guess stuff in Zurich is about double the price in Edmonton, but that's what you get in an economy built on ski resorts and tax evasion :-/
Anyhow, we checked in to the hotel, then took a tram to the old section
of the city (Old Town). A couple kilometers of walking and some dinner, then back to the hotel to sleep. Saturday: I'm gonna tell my kids about this someday
Saturday started off pretty normal for about 3 hours. Breakfast at the hotel followed by a tram up Uetliberg Mountain. There's an observation post at the top, so we got some good photos and panaromas. On the way down, we made a snap decision to jump off the tram and onto a local sledding hill. We had some leather jackets, so we turned them into sleds by flinging ourselves face-first down the hill and hoping for the best :D About an hour and a hundred snowballs later, we continued on our way.
Next up was a ferry ride around the lake that the city is built around. Not much action here, just a nice set of photos.
The gang was pretty tired from the previous night, so we headed to the hotel for a nap. What we got was hooligans, hoses and tear gas. There was a disturbance with soccer fans filling the street of our hotel, and the police were lined up in full riot gear.
We grabbed some selfies set against the police line, and then headed up to watch from our room. That's about when the hooligans broke into a construction site and loading up with pieces of concrete rubble. The cops didn't take too kindly to that, so they let loose the riot arsenal - rubber bullets, tear gas, and fire hoses. The four of us sat there laughing for about 2 hours as the chaos unfolded.
Things eventually reached a stalemate as the cops pushed the rioters back to an intersection. The cops didn't want to push in and get surrounded, but the rioters couldn't push the police back. We headed out to get food. We went back to Old Town, and stumbled into the annual Zurich Carneval, with beer tents, bratwurst, bands, and some really really weird costumes. It was pretty funny to hear a cross-dressing brass band bust into "Eye of the Tiger".
Brendan stopped into a hotel to get find a place to eat, asking the concierge for something "cheap and meaty". They pointed us to Zeughauskeller. JACKPOT. It ended up being an armory from the 15th century converted into a giant beer and meat hall. I've
included a wide-scale photo that really shows the size of the place. The Carneval band wandered in and started playing, while we got food (a 3 foot sword covered in meat). Review Score: This restaurant has me convinced that Europeans are better at life than us filthy colonist-types.
From there, we wandered the city, taking in the night-life. We didn't realize it, but bars in Zurich don't close until about 6am, so we ended up staying out way too late. Sunday: Complete Write-off
After what happened Saturday, we were all wiped. We barely made the noon checkout. It didn't matter that we wasted the day though, since we were all too broke to do anything (there was about 6$ left between the 4 of us after we bought train tickets to the airport).
Boarded the train. Wrong direction . Got off the train. Kicked a novelty dice around the platform. Boarded the right train. Airport. Plane. Train. Tram. Home. Sleep. Fin.
Tot: 0.352s; Tpl: 0.022s; cc: 9; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0162s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
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