Museums were on the agenda today. There are over 40 in Zurich but we only went to three.
First, the Museum of Design (Museum für Gestaltung Zürich). They had two exhibitions, one on global design influences (on architecture, fashion, communication, shopping, industrial design) - think Ikea, Mars, PET plastic - and one on the use of Swiss motifs in poster advertising over the last century - think mountains, cows, cheese, red and white, white cross, chocolate. We enjoyed our visit to this museum.
Then we went to the Landesmuseum. We went particularly to see the history of Switzerland displays but, after we'd bought out tickets, we were told that that floor was closed. We thought we'd wasted our money but it turned out to be a fantastic place to explore for two or three hours. We saw an exhibition of the work of Swiss photographers over the last century and a half, we saw an excellent display of old coins presented with touch screen explanations of the designs and flip-side photos as well, we saw a table-top mockup of the Battle of Morat in 1476 using 6000 tin soldiers, we saw rooms full of arms, armour and uniforms of soldiers, costumes over the centuries, displays of religious embroideries, carved icons, painted glass and stained glass, alters and ceramics, shoes, silverware and more. It's a fantastic museum and the building was interesting as well..
And the third museum was a toy museum called Spielzeugmuseum, a collection put together by the owner of a local toy shop that's been in business since the 1800s. Yes there were dolls and doll houses but they were really old and elaborate, and there were antique trains, steam engines, puppets, stuffed animals, books, rocking horses and toy soldiers.
We've been down to the edge of the lake only once but it's such a dominant part of Zurich we'll probably go for a boat ride one day. And we've been to see a church, the Grossmunster - its long history is closely connected to the Swiss Reformation. The photo is from the church's cloister, a beautiful haven, another surprise in a city full of surprises - just open a big and heavy door and you're there.
More surprises - the stylish public phone booths come complete with defribrillation units, and Miss Hilton isn't the only young lady who carries her pet dog in a handbag.