Friday, April 30, 2010

Lake Zurich

Lake Zurich is a major factor in the life of Zurich people. It's a very big lake, 29 kms long, and people live along the entire length. Houses, businesses, churches and train lines on the shoreline are backed by farms and forest further up the slopes.

The ferries are part of the public transport system and because yesterday was a fine and warm day we decided to go by ferry to Rapperswil, a town at the southern end of the lake. It was an interesting two-hour trip up the lake because it stops at about eight jetties and we saw how the locals use their ferries - playgroup outings, bike riders, grandparents with grandchildren and families - as well as tourists like us.

Central Rapperswil is an old medieval town complete with a castle on the hill and the narrow cobbled streets twist and turn. For the next four hours we explored the architecture of the town, went to Polish Museum in the castle (the Swiss have been sympathetic to Polish emigres over two centuries), walked on a historic boardwalk (nesting white swans and grebes were a delight) and took lots of photos. Mountains form a spectacular backdrop and the lake is ever present. We missed the best season - in June and July the thousands of roses are a real highlight - but it was a great town to visit in early spring as the trees are turning green and the flower boxes starting to bloom. The cemetery looked delightful as each grave is a carefully-tended garden of flowers.

After our two-hour trip back to Zurich (glassy water, sailing boats, mirrored scenery, fishing boats, sunshine and people-watching) we met Glenn and Sarah at the central railway station and they took us by train to Uetliberg mountain where there is a lookout. We arrived just before sunset so the snow on the distant mountains was catching last of the light and we could see the city and the lake we had just been on. We also watched a stream of  fit bike riders arrive having ridden up the mountain - some were hardly out of breath and others had found it hard work. Glenn and Sarah have often walked home from Uetliberg - it takes about an hour -  but we'd done enough walking for the day so we went by train and tram instead.

1 comment:

  1. We'll have to do a comparison of photos on your return of the lookout at Uetliberg & the walk up. The snow wasn't just on the distant mountains!!!!! A beautiful place.
    By the way Lorraine I note you never star in any of your posted photos. I hope there is a record of you on the trip somewhere. If not you still have a few days to get someone to snap you.