Monday, August 29, 2011

Zurich and life in a youth hostel

We flew from Amsterdam to Zurich on the 24th of August.  It was a pain to take an airline after the very convenient train system.  You have to get to the airport much earlier than to the train station.  You get searched.  You can’t take certain things with you – like a bottle of wine and a pocket knife – and you always have to take a train from the airport to town anyway!  So we have definitely become converts to the train system.  This is a good thing, because come November, Darrell and I will pretty much just be train vagabonds.

When we got to Zurich it was hot again – after the cold and rain of Amsterdam – so we decided to go to our hostel, get some lunch (the $40 salads I referred to earlier) and head to the “beach”.  The beach in Zurich is really a boardwalk built along the river – but at least we could cool off.  Lindsey did another bridge dive and swam to where Darrell and I were hanging out on the boardwalk.

The "beach" and river in Zurich
The river in Zurich, or at least the section we were in, was primarily a young person's hang out.  To contrast, in Bern there are people of all ages swimming in the river.  It is a lot more of an extended family and friends kind of feeling, than just a youth scene.

It started to rain lightly so we wandered back through a park to our hostel.  Our room was up four flights of narrow stairs (but not nearly as steep as Amsterdam!) and we had to share a bathroom with the other rooms in our section.  The kitchen everyone shared was up another two flights, and then there was a rooftop area that the Lonely Planet guide had said was the best place in town to get a sunset view of the city.   Unfortunately, it was raining hard by then so we missed the "best" accolade for the hostel.

Why stay in a hostel?  Well, it was the least expensive place in the city at $150 euro's per night.  Sometimes you can meet interesting people.  But sometimes you get music all night when your room is right over a bar - though that has happened to us in hotels as well!  Here is a view from our hostel room - which I have to say was quite large, and had three windows and a sink.

Some noise kept us up but overall it wasn't too crazy!
Darrell did some research in the Lonely Planet guide before dinner and it steered us to a near-by restaurant that was clearly filled with more locals than tourists.  Many were playing cards and the noise level was pretty high.  But that worked out because we could just talk normally and still have a private conversation for our last night together.

The next morning I took one last picture of Lindsey and Darrell on the bridge.

Lindsey's last morning in Europe
Then we took the train to the airport to see Lindsey off.  Now she is home in Flagstaff and is in the midst of her first day at NAU again!  We had a great visit and miss her soooo much...

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