Visiting Zurich: Day Two (pt 1)

See Day One.

Saturday dawned bright and slightly overcast. Almost perfect cycling weather, which was handy, as that's what we were going to be doing.

When friends have visited in the past I've played tour guide, going on walks through Zurich and pointing out the sites. But there's only so much ground you can cover, and I've only got a fraction of the trivia to hand that a "proper" guide would have. So I was very pleased to discover the tours run by Zurich by Bike. CHF 25 per person for two and a half hours seemed like a reasonable deal, so after popping by the local baker for Mandelgipfel and Butterbrezel ("There goes three months of Benecol" commented P) we headed down to Bürkliplatz.

We arrived perhaps 20 minutes early, so wandered around the fleamarket at Bürkliplatz for a bit. Definitely the place to go if you're in need of some vintage vinyl, old electronic equipment, and, oddly, a stall that seemed to specialise in promotional shoulder bags from a diverse range of different airlines.

10.30am rolled around and our guide arrived. Zurich by Bike use bikes provided as part of the Züri rollt. This is a great scheme -- leave a (refundable) CHF 20 deposit and borrow a bike for some or all of a day from a number of locations around Zurich. The bikes were comfortable and seemed well looked after, which was reassuring.

My Zuri rollt bike

By then our numbers had swelled somewhat, as I'd invited some other Zurich-based friends to join us, so with guide nine of us set out from Bürkliplatz heading east.

Our tour took us along the Limmat, taking in (amongst other things) the Rathaus, and the Fraumünster.

First stop on the tour

From there we went via Paradeplatz along Bahnhofstrasse, pausing up by Lindenhof to take in the view and hear stories, like how the Limmat got its name.

Admiring the view

Along the Limmat

The route continued towards the Landesmuseum, up via Langstrasse, around and to Bäckeranlage, before bringing us back along the western-centre edge of Zurich and back down to the lake. Here's a reasonable approximation of the journey...

View Larger Map

... and if you use Google Earth then opening ZurichbyBike.kmz should let you fly along the route too.

The tour was almost exactly two hours and thirty minutes, and I can highly recommend it to anyone who wants to find out a bit more about Zurich while getting a little exercise. The route was very easy, being almost entirely on the flat, and, with a few very short exceptions busy roads are avoided. And even on the main thoroughfares Zurich is still quite quiet, even in the middle of a Saturday.

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