You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
We're here to put Kristin on the early plane at Kloten Flughafen tomorrow morning, so there's time for a walk round town. 16 March 2015.
A very inexpensive sort-of-hotel in Kloten a hoot and a hollar from the terminal . . .
. . . with rooms that, if not elegant, do have a kitchenette, are indisputably clean, and make for a convenient early start in the morning.
Kloten train station, bound for . . .
. . . the Zürich central Bahnhof
The Swiss National Museum adjacent to the Bahnhof
The Bahnhof and tram lines to everywhere
The central train station or Hauptbahnhof. Zürich is the largest city in Switzerland, with about 400,000 residents in town and nearly 2 million in the metropolitan area.
The river Limmat, flowing northwestward into the city from Lake Zürich or the Zürcher See and carrying on to join the Aare and eventually the Rhine. Then the North Sea.
Neolithic and Bronze Age people were here, but the Romans established military facilities here to control movement and tax commerce along the river and lake. With Roman withdrawal, the German Alemanni settled here from the Alsace and points north in the 5th century AD, but the site became part of the Frankish Empire under Charlemagne and his successors.
Zürich became a Free Imperial City in 1218 and prospered as such, and joined the Swiss Confederacy of independence-minded cantons in 1351 as its fifth member. Thereafter, the city remained a leading member of the Confederation, sometimes reluctantly, sometimes even brutally, and was even the federal capital for a time in the 19th century.
We're walking along the Limmat towards the lakeside; that, near the eastern side of the river, is the Grossmünster, in effect the Protestant version of the cathedral
The Rathausbrücke, or City Hall Bridge, and the Rathaus across the river on the right
The Grossmünster buildings were begun around 1100 and consecrated in about 1220 -- prior to the Reformation, this monastery church was considered one of two priority churchs with the Fraumünster across the river. Huldrych Zwingli was the pastor here when in 1518 he began getting pretty radical and sounding off against the Church, and by 1523 the city authorities agreed to divorce the church and city from the Roman papacy.
That, disguised by the Walo construction units, is the Fraumünster, or Women's Church, once part of a convent for female aristocrats founded in 853; the Emperor's charter of 1045 gave the abbey rights that effectively made the abbess the ruler of the city for a couple of centuries. It now belongs to the Evangelical Reformed Church of Zürich Canton. (Chagall designed the stained glass windows.)
Ubiquitous public transport
The Burkliplatz park facing the lake and lake-steamer piers, on a cold day
The Lake of Zürich
A possibly inappropriate public statue, labeled 'Ganymede', who's about to be kidnapped by Zeus in the form of an eagle for various pederastic purposes. Not putting up a whole lot of resistance.
A funny boat, or something
Looking back longingly
The taller spire is the Fraumünster church
Mr Zwingli himself, a worthy example of the inspired 'my way or the highway' kind of Christian leader. His 'reformation' in Zürich spread to some of the other cantons, but not all, so the good pastor led a food blockade against the unconvinced cantons in 1531 and died in battle trying to enforce it.
The Grossmünster from this side of the river
The Zunfthaus zur Zimmerleuten restaurant, with people freezing their butts off despite the sheepskin rugs provided with each chair
A sushi bar, with no takers for the outside tables
Schweizer Heimatwerk, "typically Swiss . . . exclusive gifts by innovative and open-minded craftspeople"
Don't drink and fly
Kristin's off early to Florida, and, having missed the one access road out of the airport to the countryside, I've just spent two hours of morning rush-hour Zürich traffic, madly searching for another way out to the rest of Switzerland. This is the rest of Switzerland.
Some more photos of Zürich, December 2016