Monday, November 05, 2007

Zurich Recap: Saturday

Susan had expressed interest in wanting to go to one of the Swiss history museums (I think there's one in Geneva she'd mentioned) so we figured we'd visit the one in Zurich on Saturday. We got up and had our free breakfast at the hotel (woot!) and then were off, getting to the museum I think around 10:30 or 11am.

I have to say, my favorite part of the whole museum was the first exhibit, taking you back to the beginning of time and up through prehistoric times. I loved it b/c the exhibit had personality to it, and a bit of humor, not something you see very often in museum exhibits. For example,. they had a time-line of the Earth's history starting with the Big Bang, with symbols representing landmark events such as the creation of life, etc. The era of the dinosaurs was symbolized by a vhs copy of Jurassic Park, along with a few plastic dinosaurs. In another part they had the evolution of tools, starting with a primitive flint rock arrowhead, building up to... the Swiss army knife! ; ) It was fun.

The rest of the museum was ok, interesting but then again it's not like Switzerland has a ton of historical moments to really talk about. I did buy a very cute hand-(swiss!) made wooden cow with a bell from the gift shop. =P It was very very cute, and a perfect item to build interest in a Montessori classroom one day, where it could spark all sorts of conversations about cows and Switzerland and how people carve things out of wood.

After the museum we had a simple lunch at a crêperie, and then walked along the river down to the lakeshore, just as the cloudy sky gave way to some sun. We saw a big crowd gathered by some of the bridges, and someone shouting things through a loudspeaker. Zach got his hopes up that it might be a protest of some kind-- hah, shoulda known better. Instead the commotion was the result of a crew race on the river, which made me think of Jen and her rowing days. We watched for a bit, then headed towards some boats where Zach had heard they were having a wine tasting event. Unfortunately admission was a bit steep (20chf I think?) so we passed on that, but I did take some pictures of a Chilean flag, there along other national flags, I presume representing regions from which the different wines may have come.

By Saturday afternoon it had become clear that I had not brought a good enough jacket for the cold and windy weather. I had been thinking of buying a better winter coat anyway, in anticipation of Geneva's winter, so Zach came along with me to one of the (3!) H&Ms along Bahnhoffstrasse to scout out the selection while Hank and Susan went back to the hotel a bit early. We braved the crowded store, finding one long wool coat that fit well, even with my bulky sweater underneath, and was double-breasted so the extra fabric actually covered my tummy while still seeming like it would fit well post-baby. Success! We made one last stop, at a chocolate shop to pick up a few truffles to snack on, on our way back to the hotel, then rested a bit before dinner.

Mélanie had told me of a great place, Zeughauskeller, that had this infamous meter-long sausage on the menu. Zach, Hank and I had actually stopped by on Friday night, and decided we should wait till Saturday to eat there since it was pretty kitschy, German-style, something we knew Susan would get a kick out of (who insists she's of strong German heritage). So we'd made reservations for Saturday night. The place did not disappoint. Our waiter was very friendly and entertaining, and the food was good-- none of us got the meter-long sausage, but Zach had a bite of the famous local sausage that Susan ordered and declared it the best non-spicy sausage he'd ever eaten. I opted for the weinerschnitzel, as I'd heard often that it's practically the same thing as chicken-fried-steak. Which, honestly, it is, just missing the white cream gravy. It was yummy. =) I think if we ever find ourselves in Zurich again, we'll have to eat at this place again. Good food, good atmosphere. Fun. =)

After dinner Hank and Susan called it a night, while Zach and I walked around a bit more, though we didn't stay out much later. Unfortunately when your wife is pregnant going into a smoky bar to have a drink doesn't work quite as well, so we just strolled through the streets of the old town and enjoyed the views and the lights reflecting on the river down below.

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