This was a three day weekend for us in Lausanne thanks to a cantonal holiday for Vaud residents on Monday (Vaud is the canton we reside in, the equivalent of the local state or province). We booked a last minute trip to Zürich as it’s only a two hour train ride from Lausanne. I absolutely loved the city. It was very picturesque, had car free areas downtown, more restaurants than I could count, well preserved old buildings and really nice parks and paths along the lake and river for people to run/walk/bike without worrying about cars. It was awesome!
We stayed at the Hotel Adler near the Hirschenplatz. The hotel was right in the heart of one of the walking districts in Zürich and a block from the river. Only a 10-15 minute walk to the train station and everything at our fingertips, it was the perfect spot for our stay.
Walking around town we saw SO many good looking restaurants and had a tough time choosing. With the expectation that we will return for a visit again in the future, we picked a couple and made notes for later.
Saturday: Late light lunch and coffee on the sidewalk at Cafe Odeon watching passersby. Dinner at Zunfthaus zur Zimmerleuten, with delicious food but small portions at high prices, even for what we have learned to expect in Switzerland. The view from the dining room was beautiful of the river walk and the illuminated Kirche Fraumünster.
Saturday afternoon we stopped at Läderach Swiss chocolate shop on Bahnhofstrasse. Those lasted aboutttt 5 minutes. So delicious.
Sunday: Lunch at Café Conditorei Rosenstaedter in Raperswil, where we loved the food and wished we had room for more because I think we were the only ones not eating a dessert! We had dinner at the Zeughauskeller. The Zeughauskeller felt pretty touristy but so worth it for the authentic Swiss German cuisine and the atmosphere inside the 15th century building.
SITES & ACTIVITIES:
We went for morning runs on Saturday and Monday, which were a great way to burn off the calories from all the food we’ve been eating while traveling and also to see more of the city. It helps that the weather was cooperating because we lucked into perfectly crisp Fall mornings followed by warm sun 🙂
Saturday after our run we spent the day wandering around Zürich. We didn’t set an agenda and enjoyed getting to explore at our own pace and not rush around. We started on our hotel’s side of the Limmat river in Neiderdorf to see the Grossmünster and shop around a little, made a stop to check out the Hauptbahnhof (main city train station) and then meandered back through the streets on the left bank and the Bahnhofstrasse.
During our exploring, we happened upon Galerie Helvetia, which is an antique map and print store. Friends and family may or may not know that Andrew and I both LOVE looking at maps. Our first date actually involved a visit to peruse our local antique map and print store, Schein & Schein, in Andrew’s former neighborhood, North Beach, in San Francisco. So anyways, we happened upon this shop and got to talking to the owner and he found us a ton of old prints of Lausanne and the Lac Lèman region. We ended up buying a framed print of a landscape of Lausanne overlooking the town, lake and the Alps from the 1840s. A really neat find that we are super excited about.
One of our plans for our Lausanne apartment is to put up a map of Europe and a map of Switzerland in our guest room/office and place pins at all the places we have visited. We had been having trouble finding maps without having to order them online, which would have been way overpriced. Luckily, we found them at the Travel Book Shop in Zürich. Less empty, white walls in our apartment = success 🙂
Sunday morning we hopped on a 10 am ferry for a leisurely two hour ride on the lake to the little town of Rapperswil. No plan really, just picked a little town on the lake we otherwise may have passed by if we hadn’t had the time to stop and explore. The town was right on the lake, a bit small, but had that nice, quaint, Swiss feel to it, complete with the Schloss Rapperswil (castle) atop a hill above the town (there was a wedding going on, so we had to stay outside) and beautiful rose gardens on the hillside. We wandered around the streets, took in the views, had a relaxed lunch in the Fischmarktplatz then took the train back to Zürich.
Monday: We routed our train ride on Monday to include a detour to the town of Engelberg, where we took the cable cars and gondolas up Mt.Titlis. It’s another mountain top destination you can reach via a series of cable cars and gondolas. I just realized I said “another,” but seriously! The Swiss can’t help themselves but to see a mountain and make sure it has a gondola to take you to the top, complete with a restaurant to have lunch and drinks with the sweeping view in front of you! These things are everywhere, and we are definitely taking advantage. We had lunch in their restaurant with a view of the mountains and even went sledding at the glacier park. It was SO beautiful. Another day I feel lucky to live here and in awe of gorgeous the Alps are!