When planning for the trip, we decided that we wanted to see as much of the country as possible without spending a fortune on transport which is something we managed to accomplish. We discovered the beauty of the Swiss Travel Pass before we flew out and chose to go with the four day pass which gives you access to most types of transport as well as free entry to museums and discounted prices on mountain excursions. I will put the link of the website here with all the details if anyone is interested in finding out more and I will write a separate blogpost with tips for travelling in Switzerland soon.
Our first stop using the pass was the largest city in Switzerland: Zurich. Unfortunately for us, the weather was not on our side and so as we stepped out of the station, we were met with rain. However, we were still excited and raring to see all the sights on our list.
Walking away from the train station, we whipped out our Huawei containing a Swiss sim; this allowed us to use the internet and so access Google Maps, guiding us to our destinations quickly and easily. Or so we thought… The Huawei literally took us in circles for what seemed like an eternity. Freezing cold and fed up with its non-existent navigation system, I decided to take matters into my own hands and navigate using my own sense of direction.
Finally, we walked up the stairs to St. Peter’s Church, and were able to see its clock face which is the largest in Europe. Upon entering the Church, we found it to be empty apart from an organist who played for us allowing us to take in the interior of the Church at our own pace.
The next two churches we visited were the Fraumünster and Grossmünster. The Grossmünster was particularly interesting for us as it was the origin of the Swiss Reformation which was led by Ulrich Zwingli, who we studied during AS History. The church also featured some pretty spectacular stained glass windows, however, photography was not permitted inside.
We then took a walk along what we thought was a river but later realised was Lake Zurich, passing the Rathaus (town hall) and several shops on the way. Quite soon after, we decided to call it a day in Zurich as the weather was freezing and so we hopped on a tram which would take us to the train station. Little did we know that it would take us to the wrong station! But all was well because having the Swiss Travel Pass meant we could just hop onto another train to the main Zurich Station. You’re probably laughing right now, but trust me the best is yet to come!
Upon arrival to the main station, we picked up wraps from Coop to eat on a bench inside; mine was Mediterranean style and Fatima’s had grilled vegetables. After searching frantically for a place to sit and not having any luck, we had a eureka moment and thought we would just get onto a random train to eat our lunch! Spotting a train that went to Winterthur, a place we had considered visiting, we immediately got on.
When we reached Winterthur, we grabbed a couple of doughnuts from Migros (another major supermarket) and then googled things to do or see there. I don’t know if it was the rain and cold weather or the fact that everything was so far apart but we decided that we didn’t actually want to stay in Winterthur and so instead caught a train to Bern. All in all, it wasn’t our brightest moment when we decided to catch a train to Winterthur just to eat our lunch!