Friday, June 25, 2010

I'm Lovin' It

Newark Airport, New Jersey

Galway, Ireland

Limerick, Ireland

Inverness, Scotland

London, England

Windsor, England (across the street from the castle)

London, England

Milan, Italy

Zurich, Switzerland

Munich, Germany

Location:Just about everywhere

Zurich: Porsches for Everyone!

Zurich is so wealthy they put "rich" right in the name.

Zurich is so wealthy that it's easier to spot a Porsche than a Volkswagen.

Zurich is so wealthy that they send their poor to Beverly Hills so they can blend in.

Have I made my point? Walking around downtown Zurich-- which by the way is easy to miss because it has not one building over ten stories tall and feels more like Disney's Fantasyland than a city-- you get the impression that everyone is a banker, right down to the guy at the soft pretzel stand.

And they had better all be making good money, because Switzerland is EXPENSIVE! A simple food court meal cost me close to $15! So it goes.

My train ride into Switzerland was unexpectedly stunning. Winding through mountains, into and out of tunnels, with waterfalls popping up on both sides. This picture hardly does it justice.

I was SO fortunate to have a friend in Zurich waiting for me! I met Manuela over a month ago at our hostel in Killarney, Ireland. She was my host and guide for the next two days. We cooked dinner at her awesome apartment and caught up on the last month.

I met Manuela for lunch the next day at The Blind Cow, a restaurant where you eat in total darkness. It was unnerving at first, and then relaxing. I quite enjoyed putting my elbows on the table, getting sauce on my face, and using my hands to eat without anyone seeing me.

The rest of our day was a walking tour of the downtown area, which is small enough that it can be walked from end to end in probably half an hour. We took our time. I bought a bottle of water for about $4.

I particularly enjoyed the square in the center of town where every major bank has a building. I wonder how many of my future classmates are going to have an office in that square. (I wonder how much they'll pay me to wash their Porsches.) Here's me trying to open an account at Credit Suisse.

And then, of course, we saw a speech by Kofi Annan. We took the funicular up to the university campus (like ya do) and happened to wander through the main campus building five minutes before his speech started. Two free wristbands later, we were listening to Kofi talk about the moral imperatives of up-and-coming scientists.

Unsurprisingly, his speech was 90% platitudes and 10% wrong, but still... we saw Kofi!

We capped the day with a drink overlooking the whole city, a delicious pan-Asian dinner, and an evening of relaxing and catching up on the Interweb.

I am so lucky to have had Manuela as my guide. Zurich wouldn't have been the same without her! (Not to mention that it's way more fun staying in an apartment than in a hostel.)

Next stop, Gimmelwald. (Wait, where?)

Location:Zurich, Switzerland