Zürich, Switzerland 7/13

July 23, 2013

Finally! Finally we made it to Switzerland. In-between get-togethers with Monika’s family and friends, our first stop was Zürich to finalize the Special Visa we have been working on for six months. The bureaucracy of the Swiss Immigration Department, (and probably similar to every country in the world), is more like a 3-ring circus. In the end, instead of getting a three-month extension for the European Schengen countries on the original three-month tourist visa, the ID card is valid for a whole year. Oh well.

Since we had to go to Zürich to have my biometric photo taken for my special ID card we made the best of it. Switzerland is a wonderful country to travel in, but it ain’t cheap. A small cup of coffee can cost you $3.73 with no refills. We checked a few more prices just for your interest. How about an artichoke? $6.29 each! Fresh salmon? $31.45 a pound. How about some smoked Spanish ham? $191.30 a pound. Hungry for a Double Whopper and a Coke at the local Burger King? $16.94. Fries are extra.

Our big project ahead is going through all the furniture, household goods, paintings, and personal items Monika has stored here since her Mom passed away and the house was sold. More soon on Switzerland, land of chocolate and cheese. Bring money!!

Finally, we made it to Switzerland in one piece.

Finally, we made it to Switzerland in one piece.

There were lots of smiles and laughter as Monika reunited with friends and family.

There were lots of smiles and laughter as Monika reunited with friends and family.

Modern trams are the best way to get around the beautiful city of Zurich.

Modern trams are the best way to get around the beautiful city of Zurich.

The Limmat River flows out of Lake Zurich through the center of town.

The Limmat River flows out of Lake Zurich through the center of town.

Switzerland #1 005

The steeple of the St. Peter church, one of the four main churches of the old town of Zurich, features a clock face with a diameter of 8.7 m, (28.5 feet). It is the largest church clock face in Europe. The bells date to 1880.

The steeple of the St. Peter church, one of the four main churches of the old town of Zurich, features a clock face with a diameter of 8.7 m, (28.5 feet). It is the largest church clock face in Europe. The bells date to 1880.

Switzerland #1 007

Feeding the swans on the lake is a tradition we still enjoy whenever we visit Zurich.

Feeding the swans on the lake is a tradition we still enjoy whenever we visit Zurich.

Aside from cheese and chocolate, a grilled Swiss Cervelat or Bratwurst is a must.

Aside from cheese and chocolate, a grilled Swiss Cervelat or Bratwurst is a must.

Taking advantage of our multi-transportation day-ticket, we enjoyed a relaxing cruise on the lake.

Taking advantage of our multi-transportation day-ticket, we enjoyed a relaxing cruise on the lake.

Artichokes: $6.29 each!

Artichokes: $6.29 each!

Salmon: $6.29 per 100 grams ($31.45 a pound)

Salmon: $6.29 per 100 grams ($31.45 a pound)

Smoked Spanish ham: $38.26 per 100 grams ($191.30 a pound.

Smoked Spanish ham: $38.26 per 100 grams ($191.30 a pound.

A Big Whopper with a Coke: $16.94 Fries are extra.

A Big Whopper with a Coke: $16.94 Fries are extra.

We celebrated my new visa with a glass of wine and some tapas at Bodega Española, one of our favorite street cafes in the old part of Zurich.

We celebrated my new visa with a glass of wine and some tapas at Bodega Española, one of our favorite street cafes in the old part of Zurich.

 

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