Zurich Arrival

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The city of Zurich is the largest and wealthiest in Switzerland, and one of the oldest. Evidence of settlement in the area dates back more than 6,000 years, and the city was formally founded as a Romans camp around 15 BC. Over the centuries since, the city grew and prospered into the vibrant metropolis it is today. Much of the medieval old town, spanning the river Limmat, is still intact and beautifully preserved. Prominent buildings there include St. Peter Church, completed around 1000, and the 13th-century Fraumunster Church and Grossmunster Cathedral.

Modern-day Zurich also is a major transportation hub, with the largest and busiest airport and train station in the country. We experienced both forms of travel on our arrival into Switzerland, landing at Zurich airport and taking a train to our downtown hotel. The trip was an bit of an experiment in two ways: avoiding jet-lag and bringing only carry-on luggage. To adapt to the new time zone quickly, we slept for only a few hours on the plane with the hope that we’d get enough sleep so we weren’t exhausted when we got in, but not so much that we wouldn’t be tired in the evening. This worked out well. After an 11-hour flight from LAX, we arrived into Zurich feeling great and spent the late afternoon and evening exploring the city, particularly the old town where our hotel was located.

Below are highlights from June 24th and 25th, 2022. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a map with our most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

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Compression Sacks
Our two main suitcases, packed and ready to go in our Las Vegas hotel room after the 2022 re:MARS conference. We’re heading directly to Switzerland and are only taking carry-on luggage. Here we make the most of the tight space using Osprey compression sacks. They are amazing, and can take two suitcases down to one. We originally found the compression sacks to reduce the size of some of our camping equipment and bought more for our suitcases.
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In the United Airlines lounge at the Las Vegas airport on our way to Zurich after the re:MARS conference. For our trip to Switzerland we want to have only carry-on bags so we can easily move about on foot and by train. Packing for both the re:MARS conference and then Switzerland with only carry-on luggage was a bit challenging, but so far it’s working well.

We’re bringing a little more than for our one-week Rhine River cruise, but not much more. We’ll have to do laundry every three to five days, but we otherwise expect it to work well. And flying through Europe right now with checked baggage is a bit of a gamble.

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Continental Airlines
We were surprised to see a Continental Airlines plane at the Las Vegas airport, as the airline ceased operations a decade ago. Continental merged with United Airlines in 2010 as United Airlines, but maintained Continental’s distinctive globe logo introduced in the 1990s (barely visible at far right on a plane in the background). Prior to the merger, Continental celebrated their 75th anniversary in 2009 by painting a Boeing 737-900ER in their 1947 “Blue Skyways” livery and United has chosen to maintain that one plane in the fleet with the commemorative livery.
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Departure Queue
Our flight, United Airlines 1246, in line for the runway at the Las Vegas airport (click image for a larger view).
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Solar Farm
The 250 MW Silver State South Solar Project in southern Nevada just north of the California border. On the other side of the border to the southwest (not visible in the photo) is the 392 MW Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System. The pictured station uses photovoltaic panels, whereas the Ivanpah station is composed of 173,500 heliostats concentrating solar power onto boilers within three solar towers. When the Ivanpah facility opened in 2014, it was the largest solar thermal power station in the world.
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The Judge Harry Pregerson Interchange connecting interstate highways 105 and 110 in Los Angeles, viewed as we arrive into LAX for a connecting flight to Zurich. The interchange is over 130-ft (40 m) high, with a stacked design that allows cars to move between the freeways at near highway speeds.

The 105 was the last freeway built in Los Angeles and the interchange was named after the judge in a lawsuit over its construction. Pregerson required the California Department of Transportation to compensate those living in the freeway’s path, earning him his name on the interchange.

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At the Stadelhofen train station in Zurich, a short walk to our hotel, after a 11-hour flight from LAX and a 15-minute train ride into the city. We’re experimenting with ways to avoid jetlag and adapt to the new time zone quickly. So we slept for only a few hours on the plane with the hope that we’d get enough sleep so we weren’t exhausted when we got in, but not so much that we wouldn’t be tired in the evening. It’s late afternoon right now and so far we’re feeling great.
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Walking through Munsterhof on our way to our hotel. The square, surrounded by medieval buildings and guild houses, dates to at least the 13th-century and is the largest in the old town district of Zurich. In the background is the 13th-century Fraumunster church.
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Looking down from the window of our room at the Sorell Hotel St. Peter to a courtyard restaurant below.
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Walking to dinner along down narrow Schlusselgasse. In the background is the steeple of St. Peter Church, completed around 1000. The four clocks on each side of the steeple are the largest church clock faces in Europe at 28.3 ft (8.6m) in diameter, and for centuries kept Zurich’s official time.
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An excellent first meal in Zurich along the terrace edge at TAO’S Asian restaurant.
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Pride Parade
June is Pride Month, with LGBTQIA+ celebrations and demonstrations taking place worldwide. From our seat at TOA’S, we caught a bit of this Zurich parade a block away along Bahnhofstrasse. The large banner reads “The first Pride was a riot”, referring to the Stonewall uprising in June of 1969 that are considered the beginnings of the Pride movement. A police raid of the Stonewall Inn, an illegal gay bar in lower Manhattan, turned violent when the patrons fought back. Several days of riots ensued, resulting in the start of the movement to demand the right to live openly and legally regardless of sexual orientation.
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Restaurant overlooking Zeugwartgasse with St. Peter Church in the background. Zurich is full of appealing restaurants, many with outdoor seating.
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Sorell Hotel St. Peter
Looking out to the packed courtyard restaurant from the open lobby of the Sorell Hotel St. Peter where we are staying. The entire side of the lobby opens up with folding floor-to-ceiling windows.
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The Limmat River flowing through the Zurich old city, with the steeple of 13th-century Fraumunster church prominent in the skyline. The Limmat flows from nearby Lake Zurich for 22 miles (36 km) into the river Aere, a tributary of the Rhine. As with many Swiss rivers, the Limmat has been extensively developed for hydroelectric power generation with at least 10 power stations along its relatively short length.
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Aquaretum Fountain
The Aquaretum fountain in Lake Zurich. The fountain was unveiled in 2019, replacing a similar one that reached end of life after 22 years. Through a connection with the earthquake station at the University of Zurich, the jet’s shape and size on this new one are algorithmically attuned to the sizes of tremors in the Earth.
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Sunbeam Tiger
A classic Sunbeam Tiger parked on Stadthausquai in Zurich, along the Limmat River. The small Tiger sports car is most notable for its massive 289-cubic-inch Ford V8, housed up front.
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Meat Slicers
Meat slicers aren’t usually that exciting, but these Berkel flywheel slicers in a Zurich store window looked impressively built and engineered. And they command an equally impressive price: the top section of a similar model sells at Williams-Sonoma for USD $8,200.
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An evening drink at the immensely popular Bauschanzli beer garden in Zurich. The restaurant is built on a 17th-century island fortification in the Limmat River, with water on all sides. Open tables along the water’s edge are snapped up literally in seconds.

It’s 9pm and we’re starting to get a little tired, but so far are experiencing little jetlag. Hopefully we’ll sleep well tonight and adjust quickly to the new time zone.

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Haus Metropol
The striking neo-baroque facade of the Haus Metropol building in Zurich, completed in 1895. The outdoor seating on the marble-floored terrace is popular year-round.
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The twin towers of Zurich’s 13th-century Grossmunster cathedral lit up at night. One of the towers is open to the public, and we plan to climb up tomorrow.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map. And a map of our most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.


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