By PAT HARTMAN
Seems like Zurich, Switzerland, is one of those mystery-within-an-enigma places. It can supply high-quality yet corny national artifacts for the discriminating tourist along with cafes of the trendiest caliber. Plenty of culture that’s all here and now, plus the expected parks and churches. Apparently the city was administered by women for several centuries, but all that was another several centuries in the past. Over at The Toronto Star, travel editor Jim Byers gives us “Zurich’s Shock Value”, in which he says:
Zurich, which was billed by one major website as one of the hippest cities in Europe for 2009, bills itself as “downtown Switzerland.”
Zurich is a big university town whose art majors can see the Marc Chagall stained glass windows at the Fraumunster Church any time they want. There’s a huge outdoor market and lots of nice swimming venues. When the weather is warm, the lake is the place to be. For people-watching, go to Bahnhofstrasse. There’s a lot of very specific information in Byers’ article, so you can arrive there in the know.
Examiner.com writer Robert Schrader provides a close-up review of this year’s Zurich Street Parade, “the largest party in Europe,” and it must be said that he makes it sound darn near irresistible.
And does Kevin Dolgin’s book The Third Tower Up from the Road happen to include any little tidbits about what he calls “Switzerland’s least boring street”? Yes, many. Here is one:
The old part of Zurich is resolutely charming, and right through the charming bit runs a street that starts out as the Niederdorfstrasse and then becomes the Munstergasse. The interesting thing about this street is that it’s full of people, generally young people, who are talking and laughing and stopping into the restaurants and the nightclubs and the cabarets that line it and having a pretty good old time in general.