Saturday, November 26, 2016

Raclette, Chocolate & Gluhwein --- Welcome to Switzerland

What a fabulous first day of my holiday! Julie made her way in from Basel and my dear friends, Carlos and Katia Korb, met us at the Zurich Airport for a personal escort to our hotel.  After a quick costume change and freshening up, we were off to explore Zurich!

The Zurich Marriott is in a terric spot for touring the city.  We are about 4 blocks from the train station, Bahnhofstrasse (Zurich's main downtown street) and old town.  

For lunch, we had a traditional Swiss dish...Raclette.  A semi-hard cow's cheese, Raclette is served heated and then scrapped onto potatoes, meats and vegetables.

When you think about it, the Swiss are a smart people when it comes to cuisine. We paid for food that WE cooked!  Oh and don't forget...fondue.  You have to cook that dish too!

Later we saw a Christmas Market vendor selling Raclette on potatoes.  The cheese is heated to almost bubbling and then scrapped onto the potatoes.  You can sprinkle a little nutmeg or paprika on it for a little extra flavor.

The Grossmunster is a Protestant Church designed in the Romanesque style.  Once inside, the church is smaller than the outside would lead one to believe. The true beauty inside is the stained glass windows. They were absolutely magnificant but unfortunately photography was not allowed.

One of the must sees on my list for Zurich were the Marc Chagall windows at the Fraumunster.  The church itself was built on the remains of a former abbey for aristocratic women.  Again another lovely church and sadly photography was not allowed here least I have my memories of the windows.  The windows were amazing and each tells a specific story in Christianity.  

It wouldn't be Christmas without a singing Christmas tree and we stumbled upon one next to as fate would have it a Gluhwein stand.  Gluhwein is a warm mulled wine and each Christmas market typically has a signature mug for a few extra Euro or Francs.  My Zurich mug will be a nice addition to my German Christmas market mug collection.

Not sure who thought it would be a good idea to put a Christmas market inside a very busy train station but alas there is one inside Zurich Hauptbahnhof. It was absolutely crazy but there was a moment of calm while looking at the Swarovski Christmas tree.

While we were visiting Grossmunster today, we noticed they were hosting Handel's Messiah tonight at 7:30 so after a short respite at the hotel, Julie and I hopped in an Uber and headed back over to the church.  Unfortunately there was a lot of traffic and we were 10 minutes late.  Apparently the Swiss take timing seriously (hence their reputation of being masters of time pieces) and we were not allowed into the performance.  So another Uber back to the hotel followed by a stop in the executive lounge for a night cap and off to bed...while I got 5 hours of sleep on the flight (gotta love the lay flat seats), I was a bit tired.  Time for some rest in preparation for tomorrow's adventures.

Turndown Service Swiss Style

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