Giddy Up Europe

Germany, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Vatican, Monaco, Spain...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Zürich, July 7 - 9

Enter Zürich on the 7th, where the world's fourth largest stock exchange exists. In Switzerland, you use Swiss Francs (CHF), which are worth about 75% of the American dollar. Still, living standards are high, with the cheapest hostels running about CHF34. Food costs at least seven or eight CHF, even for döners. Yes, Nick, even döners. There are dishes in döner shops that cost up to CHF21! That's 14 euro. Outrageous. Zürich itself is extremely small and lies on the Limmat River, where only 360,000 people call home. Completely different atmosphere than say, Amsterdam, where you might get run over by random bicyclists. Rather, in Switzerland, pedestrians once again have the right of way and most motorists will stop for you. It sounds like something small, but it makes a difference when one day you have to fear for your life while crossing the street, and the next you think you can walk on water. Swiss German is also difficult to understand if you've been studying in Deutschland. Zürich is beautiful, but bottom line (financially), bring your plastic. On a random note, Jon and Allison helped me to ride a bike for the first time at a park. There's footage of it.

Check out this sweet picture of the Zürich hauptbahnhof (main station) at night.

Here's the pricetag on a ring in a jewelry store marked at CHF12800! For US$9600, it had better make you fly.

Swiss banking!

There were tons of bears lining the streets. NYC had a similar thing in 2000 where 2000 cows were placed around the city. I think this one named, 'Voyage,' is appropriate for us.

Here's a sweet shot of the Fraumünster at night. That's not actually a sun or star in the background, if that's what you're thinking. There's no Photoshopping; it's just a lamppost. Doesn't sound quite as awesome anymore, does it? Suckers!

Right across the Limmat, looking over the Münsterbrücke from the Fraumünster, is the Grossmünster. Zürich is pretty tight at night and the river is so clear.

Zürich is also an amazing place during the day. Here's a shot overlooking Zürichsee. Check out the cloud cover in the background.

Because of the steep prices for food and the fact that we found two-for-one coupons in Allison's hostel, we ate at New York Food for every single meal in Zürich. It was kind of ridiculous.

This guy at New York Food absolutely loved his job, so we had to take a picture with him. When he got off work one day he wore a suit, and at night he would say, 'Guten Morgen,' to all the customers. Crazy Swiss kids!

Coming back to a Germanic country was refreshing in that there were drinkable water fountains everywhere. Interesting enough, Jon decided it was a good idea to pee in all of them. And that's the point at which Allison and I had to leave Jon. So he ended up going back to Stuttgart before his flight home out of Berlin, while we headed to Wien (Vienna).

But when we got to the hauptbahnhof to catch our train, there was a party and all these old people were grinding up on each other. Kinky.

More from Stuttgart!

Here is our program coordinator in the middle, Karin, with our student assistants, Matthias and Aneta.

Here's the gang, the teachers, and all. Summer abroad in Stuttgart was a great time, through and through. Thanks to those that made it happen and all the people I met. Travel to places you'd never imagine. To quote Steve Kren, "It will change your life."

Here's our Cross Cultural Competence class with Dr. Saftien and Professor Bernards. Everybody looks so young!

We even got our own computer lab at Böblingerstr. If you take a close look at this picture, you can tell who is porno-surfing.

That's the staircase where we would climb up four flights everyday. But it was also the smokers' lounge at times. That's a professor with Meghan, Kasey, Dieter, and Jeff.

And here's the I-punkt on the Königstr. where we met for excursions all the time. It became the place to run into random other Summer University students. On almost any given day, you could find someone there at let's say 20:00. Wiedersehen.


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