Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Zürich for the Weekend

I've slowly began to travel a lot more since arriving to Switzerland, and thanks to this beautiful thing called Voie 7/Gleis 7, I have the ability to travel anywhere in switzerland after 7pm for free! When I first got here, my au pair family and i had been discussing options about how to keep my costs low for transportation and the best option was a combination of the Demi-tarrif and Voie 7, so half priced day tickets, and free rides after 7pm.

Anyways, My wornderful friend Evie, who went to school at the same university as me, is working as an au pair this year as well across Lac Léman in France. She recently got the Voie 7 as well, so we around noon on Friday October 10th decided we wanted to plan a spur of the moment trip to Zurich. I immediately got on and sent a few requests, hoping that someone would be just as spontaneous as us and host us for two nights. With little hope, because I really didnt know if this plan was going to work, a guy named Joel messaged me back and said that we'd be more than welcome to come crash at his place. Evie and I sent hundreds of Facebook messages in excitement and looked up train times to find the first train after 7pm. There was a train at 7:18 and another at 7:45. Evie had to work later than I did and almost missed her bus, so we ended up taking the train at 7:45. the best part is that evie was to arrive at the train station just a few minutes before the train left. Miraculously, we saw each other on the opposite side of the platform and ran straight to each other and boarded the train seconds before it left. In our panting, tired state, we saw a few people come by with cold beers in their hands and I was like, "Evie, beer, I want a beer, but not if it's more than 6 francs." We debated the possible price of a beer on a train and we bet no higher than 10 francs, and to my surprise it was 5.50 francs. We drank a beer, ate some snacks and quiche i packed, and chatted on the two and a half hour journey to Zürich.
Leaving Rolle

Train beer

Evie arriving to zürich in style
So, when we arrived to Zurich it was a little after ten, and in the middle of the train station was a party going on for Oktoberfest, which was incredibly funny for me because I thought that was a Bavarian thing, not Swiss. I was so excited to be in Zurich and I had been waiting so long to see the city. Evie and I caught the S24 heading to Wipkingen to meet our couchsurfing host. We got there pretty easily, almost climbed five flights of stairs before realizing there was an elevator, but still had to climb one flight of stairs because the elevator didnt go all the way to the top. We were greeted with an open door and loud music coming from a record player, which I was already really happy about. Our host, Joel, was having a little get together with friends. He introduced us to everyone and immediately offered us a beer and we spent the rest of the night discussing books and philosophy and finding out more about everyone. Most everyone there was a PhD student, or had just finished their PhD, in things like sociology, information technology, physics, and engineering. I have to admit I felt a little out of my league, being the only one there who studied languages and arts, and not sciences, but I still had a good time. Evie and I shared a double bed  in a tiny room with no windows, which for some reason was hilarious to us. at some point I remember saying to Evie, "I can't tell if my eyes are open or closed, that's how dark this room is." We laughed for about 10 minutes and then went to sleep a bit after 2am.
From the balcony of our host's apartment

We woke up the next morning and got dressed, and looked up things to do in Zürich. We hadn't really planned anything... luckily our host told us that he had two extra bikes for couchsurfers to use and that afternoon we went on a bike trip through Zürich! We first went to Hardbrücke and biked around, looking at all the shops and restaurants. We passed through a few really cool tunnels on bike and over some incredible bridges, heading into the old town, downtown, whatever you would call it. We stopped and bought beer from a microbrewery called Paul's Bier, and then we decided to go to a giant flea market in the streets near the lake. Evie was on the hunt for shoes, while i was just looking around, trying not to get tempted into buying records or old film cameras. Later, we went to this Market near Hardbrücke where we bought another beer each and Quiche for a late lunch. AND WE FOUND KALE. I have had no luck finding kale since moving to switzerland and I was honestly moved to tears when i found it. I bought a bunch of kale and then we also bought a bunch of veggies to make a stir fry with pesto and pasta for dinner.
Some really cool architecture on this building

Down by the River

Beers and Syrups galore!

school of secret photography

A Kale-filled dinner :))))

So Evie, Joel, Joel's friend Josephine, and I made a fancy dinner and had some spectacular beer and then decided to watch a few episodes of Broad City. Later, Josephine left and another friend of Joels made an appearance, and then we played a game called paper telephone, where you draw a picture or write a sentence and pass it to either side of you and the next person either draws a picture relating to the sentence they read or writes a sentence about the picture they, see, and you keep passing it for as long as you can, or until the original creator realizes what it is. We laughed a lot over it, and stayed up late talking. We eventually got to bed, but not before Joel told us that he was going to go mountain biking tomorrow and left us a key to the house and to the bikes so we could come and as we pleased.


some really good beers

The next morning Evie and I trekked out on our own, bikes and cameras and a few ideas of what to go do. We first went to Hardbrücke, to get a closer look, and ended up finding a Photoautomat which I had a crazy freak out moment because the last time I saw one of these was when I was in Berlin almost two years ago. Evie and I took photos three times, we were obsessed. Definitely going back to do more next time. Next, we found a little park and spielplatz witha  weird rope course and acted like children climbing around. Then we rode around the river to the Old Town and parked our bikes so we could walk around. We decided we needed lunch, so after much search the cheapest thing we could find was a Thai restaurant where we ordered pad thai with veggies and accidentally put to much spicy sauce on it. Evie was almost in tears over the spiciness and we quickly left to find a water fountain. We continued walking around and stumbled upon a Freitag shop where I got really excited over a convertible backpack/hand bag and promised myself by February that I would buy it for myself. Magically, the Cabaret Voltaire was on the floor just above Freitag and we went up to take a look.




Old Town

Cabaret Voltaire

After a while we got really tired. over the past two days we biked around 22km and We needed time to get our stuff together before heading back home. We got back to Joel's apartment and packed our bags and chilled for a while. Joel came home just in time for us to say goodbye, and we ended up making plans to meet up with him and Josephine in Lausanne the following weekend for LUFF (post to come). Evie and I then went on to the train station, I headed back to Rolle, and she to France.

Right before I left on this spontaneous weekend my au pair dad had said, "Last minute trips are the best trips." and he was right. I will definitely be going back to Zürich soon!

Tiny elevators

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