Flying on the last plane of the day means being transported to a science fiction movie, where all the people but you had been wiped off the face of the earth leaving you as the sole survivor. We were completely alone in Newark’s longest airport wing. Luckily, n the airplane, we met up with other survivors.
At the Zurich airport, our immigration line was the slowest. When we got closer to the head of the line, we understood why. The immigration official was chatting up every passenger. “Everything short of offering them coffee” – muttered a passenger behind us. When our turn came, he inquired about our itinerary, offered suggestions, in particular, to visit Gruyere, and volunteered information that in German, the word “toff” with two dots above it means ” motorcycle.”
We set off to sightsee immediately, having not even a full day allotted to this city. I have always thought of Switzerland as being in Central Europe, but this city is distinctly Nordic, reminiscent of Copenhagen, with grey, no-nonsense, pragmatic stucco buildings, where no attempt was made to beautify them. This is a city of merchants, not poets.
Architecturally, it is somewhat challenged, not for lack of money, but for lack of practical value. The main mode of transportation is somewhat old-fashioned-looking trams, which I found quite endearing. The number of stores selling watches on the main shopping street is mind-boggling, but most of the merchandise they sell here is very conservative, making even Prada look like St. John.
In the old town, we did manage to find an old charming coffeehouse, Conditorei
Schober, complete with an antique stove, a cash register, marble counters, alabaster moldings, and chairs upholstered in well-worn velvet.
We also walked by Cafe Odeon where a hundred years ago an exiled Russian man with a bolding head, a pointy beard, and a speech impediment preventing him from properly pronouncing his r’s, was plotting one of the biggest crimes against humanity, which, when succeeded, resulted in the death and suffering of millions of his countrymen, the entire population virtually being lucked in prison, completely destroyed agriculture and the traditional way of life, and creation of the sorry new genotype, “homo soveticus.”
So Zurich, in my humble opinion, should not be made a tourist destination. If you happen to be here on business, you can find sights to see, but they don’t offer any excitement to a discriminating traveler.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s