• GERMANY 2007

    Day  14

    MONDAY, June 4


    We had a good breakfast in our hotel and then drove our car to the Avis garage for a 10 o'clock check-in. We had put 992 miles on our nice little Mercedes.

     We then walked to the old town and took an hour and a half boat trip around the lake. The sun was hot but there was a good breeze and some clouds in the mountains. The couple who sat next to us was from Mississippi and were beginning an Elderhostel tour – walking.


    After this enjoyable sightseeing adventure, we walked up the main street of Zürich, Bahnhofstrasse, which had a lot of fancy stores.  

    We stopped at Cantinetta Antinori, a well-known restaurant.  We knew this restaurant from Florence,  and knew our meal would be good.  We decided to sit outside.  My wife had Filettino Marinati (steak) and I had scaloppine lemone. Both were very good but a little pricey. We continued our walking past a Swiss watch store. My wife insisted that I needed to buy a Swiss watch while we were in Switzerland. The store was two stories and must of had 10,000 different watches. I chose a self winding Tissot, which I'm sorry to say never kept good time.


    We passed a huge English bookstore, Orell Fussli, which had a placard outside featuring Donna Leon's newest book and a notice that she would be in town signing books the next Monday. Unfortunately we will be home.  We did, however, in 2009 attend a book signing by Donna Leon in Washington DC.  We told her about our experience in Zürich. While we were photographing the sign a well dressed, attractive lady began attacking Donna Leon and her books. She was from Venice but spoke English. She did not like the way Donna portrayed her city. She walked with us over a block with her negative remarks. We have all of Donna Leon's books, and Inspector Brunetti is one of our favorite detectives.




    After walking around several blocks, we came to the Fraumunster or the Church of our Lady whose very tall blue steeple can be seen all over Zürich. It was founded in 853 as a Benedictine convent by King Ludwig with his two daughters, Hildegard and Bertha as the first abbesses. The convent played an important role politically and culturally in the early history of Zürich. With the Reformation of Zwingli in 1524 the convent and its possessions were turned over to the town Council of Zürich   The original structure was replaced by a much grander one in 1250. The choir was never finished. The nave has six bays. The Fraumunster is also noted for having stained-glass windows by the famous artist Marc Chagall which were added in 1967.





     Next we went across a small bridge to the Grossmunster. This is Zürich's principal church and the seat of the Reformation in German – speaking Switzerland under Zwingli and Bullinger. According to legend, it was built over the tombs of the patron saints of the city, Felix and Regula who were associated with an early monastery. In 1523, a school connected to the chapter was absorbed by the Reformation church and transformed by Zwingli into a theological seminary.   The construction extended over a long period. Towards 1100, a new choir and crypt were added to the original nave. During the 12th and 13th centuries,  the nave was gradually expanded around the old construction. The building was completed in 1260 with the raising of all of the vaults. In the interior is a three aisled Basilica without a transept. There are galleries above the aisles. From a distance it would appear that there was an altar at the East end over which were three very colorful stained-glass windows; however, as we approach that area there was no altar, only a large square area – like a stage.



    We went down into the crypt which consisted of four sections with some interesting paintings and statuary. The most interesting was a seated statue of Charlemagne which was covered with a number of iron plugs which served to hold together the old repairs.

     On the way back to our hotel, my wife found an interesting old-fashioned linen store. The owner spoke excellent English, and we carried on an interesting conversation. My wife ended up buying a beautiful linen tablecloth and some handkerchiefs.

    We walked back to our hotel along the lake. After a brief time in our room, we went to the hotel dining room. We had lamb and fried risotto.  

    This was our last night on a wonderful German/Swiss vacation. We drove 992 miles, visited 13 cities as well as 23 churches of which 7 were cathedrals. We found that it was easy driving in Germany.   The next morning we took a taxi to the airport for our flight home.   It was a wonderful vacation. We would love to go back someday and spend more time in a few of the cities that we visited.

    Day 1 - Cologne

    Day 2 - Cologne

    Day 3 -Aachen

    Day 4 - Maria Laach - Mainz

    Day 5 - Mainz to Trier

    Day 6 - Trier

    Day -7- Speyer

    Day 8 - Speyer - Strasbourg - Freiburg

    Day 9 - Basel - Lindau

    Day 10 - Lindau- Meersburg

    Day 11 - Lindau

    Day 12 -   Hohenschwangau

    Day 13 - Zurich

    Day 14 - Zurich -