Friday, October 10, 2014


Due to Paul’s adventure with French medicine, Reggie had cancelled our planned foray into Switzerland.  Thinking to make it up to her, he suggested (and planned) a day-trip to Zurich to see the lake, visit the old town and the Grosse Kirk.  So off we went.

No doubt this would have gone better with a guide to Switzerland or at least a map.  And better planning.  Nonetheless, our able Mable the GPS lady got us there.  On the way we remembered that Switzerland is not part of the EU.  We were stopped at the border, showed our passports and were instructed that we had to pay the Road Tax and get a sticker for the car.  Conveniently, they could do that for us right there.  For SF40 or $50.  Good for a year though!

The cost of the trip had just doubled.  We parked within walking distance of the old church (no photos allowed, but singularly uninteresting anyway after the Gothic thrillers of France), checked it out quickly, strolled about and had lunch.  Paul then asked a German-speaking Swiss couple where the nearest public washrooms were.  Now, whenever he says anything in French to a Frenchman, he always gets blank stares until after a few repetitions, he happens upon the exactly correct pronunciation.  Until then apparently, it’s just gibberish.  It was a bit of a shock therefore, when the German-speakers immediately grasped the essence of his question and responded with a two-minute barrage of no doubt helpful instructions in Schweitser-Deutsch.  Paul smiled, nodded, thanked them and walked on none the wiser, having thoroughly exhausted his childhood German repertoire.

More window-shopping (the Swiss have discovered that tourists like the Old parts of towns, so those are loaded with upscale boutiques and pricey bars), a Gelato, and back on the road.  Returned to Strasbourg in the rain in time for Rush-Hour.  Altogether, not the greatest side-trip.  Paul blamed the planning.

Switzerland is organised, spotless and rectangular.  Having successfully avoided foreign wars for centuries, its history is introspective and Calvinist.  Architecture is plain.  Toilets are spotless!

Random castle en route

Grosse Kirk Zurich

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