Monday, December 1, 2008


Zurich Panorama From Cathedral Tower

Rob and I took a small trip after picking up our car on Friday to Zurich. Rob had been there before with his family but it was my first trip. We got a little lost when driving in from the A1 freeway but got back on our way following signs to the center. We stayed in a "gay" friendly hotel on the east side of the river on the main "strasse" that runs thru the old town. We actually had booked a place that was lower budget guesthouse on another street in old town but we had to check in at the main hotel. (One of the only hotel rooms we could find) The reception guy informed us that he had an extra room in the main hotel (which had internet) if we wanted it. It was a free upgrade so we took it.

We were warned there was on the 2nd and 3rd floor gay disco's and that they would be very loud. We can confirm that they were very loud and we heard music both nights till 6 in the morning. Needless to say, our rest this trip was limited. On the second night, Rob figured out how to get his laptop to play "rainforest" music to help drown out the base from downstairs. Overall, it was a great location, lively, very clean and modern, and ummm friendly. :)

We headed out on Saturday morning to the Christmas Market in the main train station. We had some "breakfast" crepes. I had a lemon sugar and Rob had gruyere and mushrooms. Both were very tasty and hit the spot. We browsed the market for awhile and then headed down Bahnhofstrasse which is the main shopping street in the center of town. The street is loaded with brand name stores and reminds me a lot of Rue De Confederaration in Geneva. We browsed a few chocolate shops and sampled some hot chocolate from the famous Sprungli Confectionary store. The map that was given to us in our "friendly" hotel lobby showed a suggested walking path for tourist to see all the sights. We followed the path on the east side of the river and then decided to go sit on the benches overlooking the lake. 

We walked thru old town and stopped at the distillery Rob had been to on his previous trip. This was actually the place that Rob had gotten my liquour christmas gift 3 years ago. The last time he was there he was able to taste before he bought. This time we were informed that you could only taste the balsamic and the olive oil. We asked about an sweet apple flavor and she recommended one. She actually had some sitting there heating up ready to be drunk so she offered some to us. She poured the glass and added some whip cream. She said to drink fast since she didn't want to get in trouble. We happily obliged. 

For lunch, we headed to the Globus in town and Rob had a veggie sandwich while I tried the local fare outside. There was this stand that was very busy and was selling bratwurst, mustard, and a roll for 5.50CHF. It was SO good. The mustard was spicy and the roll was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Yum! I love Swiss-German food. After lunch, we headed back to our hotel and took a quick nap.

Around 8 PM or so we headed back out onto town. We had decide earlier that morning to stop at the train station to have some hot mulled spiced wine at the christmas market before heading to dinner. We payed our 10 CHF and had a try. I really didn't like it. It burned my tounge and didn't have enough spice. Bleh. I threw at least half of it away. Oh well, I can't like everything. 

For dinner, we found an amazing place! Hiltl is the oldest vegetarian restuarant in all of Europe dating back to 1898. Just because it is old doesn't mean it was rustic. They renovated the place in March 2007 and it is very modern and comforting. Without reservations we walked in and got a great place on the 2nd floor by the window. We love coming to vegetarian restaurants because it gives Rob a chance to experience the amount of choices everyone else is used to. Normally, he has to eliminate everything off the menu except for maybe 2-3 things. At Hiltl he could order anything he wanted. I had the vegetable paella with artichokes, onion rings, eggplant, cauliflower, mushrooms, green beans, blackened chili's, sweet peas, and carrots. It was delicious. Rob order Mushroom Strogonaff with a potato rosti. It had a dollop of sour cream on top and admittedly was the better of the two dishes. For dessert I had a trio of little sorbets. (See Picture Below) They were very unique flavors including, tropical (guava/pineapple/etc.), carrot-coconut (surprisingly yummy), and chocolate mint. It has some starfruit, apples, and blueberries on top. Rob has a traditional chocolate cake. This round I had the better dish. A unique thing about the restaurant was the tap water. There was a station that you served yourself. You had to serve the tap water to yourself or else they would charge you for it. It was refreshing but was a long walk back to our table. 

After dinner we walked back to our hotel and fell asleep almost immediately. We opted not to take any public transport and walk all day long. Plus, I wanted to get to sleep before the disco started going strong. 

The Distillery Shop

Old Town Cobblestone Streets Lit Up For Christmas

East Side Of Lake Old Town

Sorbet Dessert At Hiltl

Flying Rats Need Water Too

Christmas Market At Train Station

Blooming Flower Teas (This is my kind of cup of tea)

Blooming Flower Teas

Swarovski Crystal Decorated Christmas Tree (Not My Cup of Tea) 


More Chocolate

By The River



seth December 1, 2008 at 6:35 AM  

I love Hiltl! Hooray for lots of vegetarian options. Have you found any good vegetarian food in Geneva?

Hiltl has a quite-good sister restaurant (also vegetarian) called Tibits, located in Zurich, Bern, Basel and London.

Come to think of it, I haven't had a sit down meal at either restaurant because I like being able to try everything at the buffet. Mmm...

(my blog on my trip to Zurich last month)

P.S. Welcome to Switzerland! Looks like you arrived even more recently than my girlfriend and me (we've been here since September.) Let's get a veggie meal sometime!

About This Blog

Tina & Rob have relocated their lives to Geneva, Switzerland. This blog is a story of their adventure during the year and all the details inbetween.

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