From ST. MORITZ, we took a train to ZURICH, the economic capital of SWITZERLAND, and a city that has been recognized 7 times for “the best quality of life in the World”!
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zürich. It is located in north-central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zürich. Zürich is a hub for railways, roads, and air traffic. Both Zürich Airport and railway station are the largest and busiest in the country. Permanently settled for over 2000 years, Zürich was founded by the Romans, who, in 15 BC, called it Turicum. However, early settlements have been found dating back more than 6400 years ago.
During the Middle Ages, Zürich gained the independent and privileged status of imperial immediacy and, in 1519, became a primary centre of the Protestant Reformation in Europe under the leadership of Huldrych Zwingli. The official language of Zürich is German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect, ‘Swiss German’.
Zürich is a celebrated global city and among the world’s largest financial centers despite having a relatively small population. The city is home to a large number of financial institutions and banking companies. Most of Switzerland’s research and development centers are concentrated in Zürich and the low tax rates attract overseas companies to set up their headquarters there.
Key attractions include the Lake and the Old Town, Zurich Zoo, the Rapperswil Riviera on Upper Lake Zurich with a Mediterranean charm, the Kunsthaus Zurich museum of Art, and the National Museum of Zurich of cultural history. Also in close proximity via a fun boat ride was the LINDT Chocolate Museum and Factory which was a lot of fun.
The RHINE FALLS, in close proximity to Zurich, is the largest waterfall in Switzerland and in Europe. The falls are located on the High Rhine on the border between Schaffhausen (SH) and Zürich (ZH), and were formed in the last ice age, approximately 14,000 to 17,000 years ago, by erosion-resistant rocks narrowing the riverbed.
The Rhine Falls, while not as majestic or spectacular, are the de-facto ‘Niagara Falls of Europe’ and attract visitors from all over the world.
The train journeys across Switzerland which offers panoramic views of the Swiss country side truly brought to life the Swiss Chalets enveloped by the Alpine mountains and valleys etched in my mind’s eye from the fairy tales of my childhood, and was truly a spectacular, surreal experience that will stay with us forever!