After visiting so many Christmas markets in Germany and Austria, Zurich’s ‘Christkindlmarkt’ touted as the biggest indoor Christmas extravaganza in Europe at the main railway station, was off the mark. It did have 160 wooden chalets and a three story Christmas tree, dripping with Swarovski crystals, but I could find nothing that interested me enough to purchase, and the smell of roasted chestnuts was
overpowering. ( That can be good or bad, depending on your preference). The atmosphere was friendly and festive, and that alone, made the trip into the city, from our hotel, Movenpick, worthwhile. *The good thing about the Movenpick, ( besides giving us a free upgrade on our room), is that it is directly near the airport and there is a free shuttle from there, to the shopping centre (undercover) at the airport. A range of clothing, food, camera, and tourist souvenir shops are good if the weather is inclement. I found several bargains on walking boots, on the day when it was too wet to venture too far.
Do I have a hankering to return to Zurich? Not especially. I adored the old buildings arcades and churches, the surprise decoration on a cantilever balcony, but the city itself seems too cold and business like. I don’t think I spoke to any Swiss native in any store, and the language barrier did not appear to be the issue. Asking to have a hot chocolate or coffee at a restaurant as opposed to a whole lunch, was met with stares of disbelief and a courteous, and somewhat clipped, “No, we are booked out.”
Zurich did not offer me much, except I can say I window shopped til I dropped on the Bahnhofstrasse, the richest street in the ?world, but bought nothing more than a few gourmet chocolates and a scarf. A large department store did have a good quality cafeteria, that was packed to the hilt at lunchtime. An experience I won’t ponder about for too much longer.
Next Stop: Lucerne /Chur