We arrived in Zurich in the afternoon and checked into our hotel with a big sigh of excitement.
We took the tram from our hotel to the Allstadt (Old Town) to walk around. It seemed that every body of water in Switzerland has plenty of swans, including the Limmat river in Zurich:
It was a bit cold but nice to walk around together and explore a city we had never visited.
There are 3 large churches near the center of the town along the Limmat: the Grossmünster, Fraumünster, and St. Peterkirche. The Grossmünster and Fraumünster are directly across the bridge from each other and vied for superiority throughout the middle ages. (left: Grossmünster; right: Fraumünster)
The Grossmünster's claim to seniority was derived from the legend that it was founded by Charlemagne on a roman burial site. Construction of the current building started near 1100 AD. What I think is most interesting is that Ulrich Zwingli, who initiated the Swiss-German Reformation, did so from his pastoral office at the Grossmünster in 1520. In 1523 local civil authorities sanctioned severance of the Grossmünster from the Roman Catholic Church. The church is one of the most important sites in religious history.
The Fraumünster stands across the bridge from the Grossmünster.
And down the road from the Fraumünster stands St. Peterkirche, which has undergone many renovations and reconstructions since it's original construction, likely in the 8-9th centuries. The current building was consecrated in 1706 as the first church built under Protestant rule. The church's claim to fame is its steeple's clock face, which has a diameter of 8.7 m and is the largest clock face on a church in the world.
We walked all over until the sun went down, discovering that Switzerland is an expensive place to eat, so we went for a simple meal of kebab sandwiches. The allstadt is beautiful over the Limmat at night.
Of course with our jetlag it was nearly impossible to sleep, so we took the tram back to the allstadt as soon as there was light in the sky the next morning.
Again, we froze our tails off, but we were pretty charmed by the city. We ate some swiss pastries for breakfast.
We'll always remember Zurich and the Limmat, not only because it's a beautiful place, but because a small rubber knob that belongs to one of my tripod legs will forever rest at the bottom of the river. That was a sad moment.