October 13 (Zurich) – As trips draw to a close, floating in the air is the odd mix of excitement of where you are, combined with the first feelings of a pull to more familiar surroundings back home. For us, that means a slower pace in the final day or two, which in a European context means sitting on park benches or in a cafe and watching the city from a perspective slightly outside the bubble. The train ride from Bern to Zurich reinforces this. At less than an hour, it’s a quick trip, but one where my mind starts to drift to the flight home early the next day.
Our first plan for our return Zurich is pretty simple – find a place for lunch (a second floor restaurant overlooking the train station fits the bill and surprises with a really exceptional pumpkin risotto). After lunch, we do some shopping along the Banhofstrasse to pick up a few small things to bring home. Of prime importance is a stop at Sprungli for a box of mini macaroons. Leaving the store we start looking for a bench in the sun to enjoy our snack.
Crossing the river Limmat, this is the view back toward central Zurich:
The Sprungli macaroons (these were really good, especially the vanilla and champagne ones):
After some time lounging on a bench, we walk back to our hotel through Zurich’s old town. With an early morning flight home, our evening is one of packing, picking up a quick supper and getting some sleep for a long travel day ahead.
October 14 (Frankfurt) – One of the “perks” of our flight arrangement is a 6 hour layover in Frankfurt – ample time to get out of the airport and into the city for a quick walking tour before getting on the flight back to Halifax.
When we packed the night before, I didn’t account for a beautiful yet chilly morning in the German hub city (my gloves would have been nice). We took the train from the airport into a station close to the old town area in Frankfurt from where we began our walking tour.
First stop was Saint Bartholomeus’s Cathedral:
Next, we made our way toward the Romerberg town square to look around:
It’s a very beautiful area which was nice to explore without any crowds (an early morning wedding party surrounded the church in the square, but that was about it for people walking around).
Taking our walking tour back toward the train station for a return to the airport, although it was too early to have a stein of beer (it really was, so lookout Germany when I get back on your soil someday in the future because I really want to spend an afternoon listening to accordion music and drinking from 32oz beer steins), it wasn’t too early to try a pretzel (or as it turned out, two). First pretzel was delicious – perfect amount of salt, nice chew – a great morning snack:
Coming back from the pretzel stand with pretzel #2:
The second pretzel was a bit of a disappointment compared to the first. I stashed half of it for the trip home and we made our way back to the airport for what ended up to be an uneventful flight home.