My advice to any of my friends who plan on visiting Zurich in the future: one full day is plenty to see all of the city. Especially if you are traveling alone, you can really get a lot done in a day and then you won’t need to resort to arriving at the airport 5 hours early for the sole reason of you have run out of things to do.
Because that is what I ended up doing yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I had an absolutely lovely trip and am so glad I went, but I would have been just as happy leaving at 6 pm instead of 9:25 pm. Alas, my flight was not changeable and I had to wait around.
Of course that gave me plenty of time to handwrite my blog posts intended for publication today.
A definite advantage to solo travel that came in handy yesterday was that you really get to do whatever you want and for as much time as you want because there is no other person’s whims to cater to, no alternative agenda to accommodate. So there was no one stopping me from going to the zoo in the morning. I haven’t been to a zoo in years and with a discount from the ZurichCard and a beautiful day of sunshine ahead of me, I decided to satisfy my inner child with a stroll around looking at animals.
Completely worth it! It may have been one of the nicest zoos that I have ever been to, and I got some amazing pictures of the animals.
It was clean, well-signed, easily navigable, and you felt like you were barely separated from the animals instead of looking at them in cages. Of course I’m sure that there were safety measures in place to prevent innocents guests such as myself from being mauled by a white rhino, but they weren’t so apparently obvious that you felt like you were enabling animal mockery.
There was a school group there from an international school so I got to see a bunch of adorable and excited little children. Made me wish my cousin Emily was with me! I quickly put away my map and decided to wander and rely on signposts to get me to all the animals (which was a complete success and I saw all of them). I also realized a few things about myself on this stroll.
1) I am afraid of birds much in the same way that I am afraid of bugs, but not as extreme. I can handle looking at them (which I can’t do with bugs) as long as they are in an enclosure with no way of getting to me, or in nature. But as soon as the tops of their habitats are open and the birds have the ability to get to me, I am freaked out. I booked it out of that section of the zoo. Maybe I just don’t like things flying at me.
2) I really think that lions and tigers are crazy cuddly and I would love to curl up with them, provided they wouldn’t bite or try to eat me. Okay so this isn’t really a new realization, but the lionesses did look an awful lot like Brinkley…
A main selling point of the Zurich zoo is that it has the only indoor rainforest. I kind of rushed through it. By this time I was getting a little bored (zoo info plaques only written in German do take some of the fun out of learning about the animals) but I will say that at 35 degrees Celsius and 80% humidity, being inside the rainforest was the first time I’d felt properly warm in months! My glasses and camera lens fogged up the instant I walked in and I couldn’t see for about 10 minutes.
After that, I left the zoo; I’d seen everything. But it wasn’t even noon (zoos go faster when you aren’t a child and all the signs are in a foreign language) so I took a detour to the FIFA headquarters.
Honestly, I don’t care a bit about soccer, but I have some friends who are absolutely obsessed and will be impressed, and I had the time so I figured that I might as well. Thoroughly unimpressive in my opinion, but I took my pictures and caught the next tram back into town.
Next stop was the Swiss National Museum.
The layout had some pretty cool architecture and design, but sometimes museums begin to blend together and you stop caring about all the pointless reading and captions (again in German, though with a notebook with them in English made available). I got tired of the museum really quickly and stopped paying attention to what I was reading or seeing so I figured it was time to call it a day. I walked back through the train station and wandered around their farmer’s market before deciding that I’d had enough of Zurich and that the airport sounded much more appealing.
Overall, so unbelievably glad I went, and in hindsight glad I went alone (though I would have loved to travel with Dan) because it gave me a lot of time to reflect and just absorb everything that has gone on this term, something I didn’t afford myself last term. And I got to see an amazing city and experience traveling alone for the first time.
Now, to clean my room because Mom’s flight just landed!!!!!!!!!