Budapest, Hungary to Zurich, Switzerland -- 013-09-13

After a second day in Budapest, headed to the train station to catch the 7:10pm night train to Zurich. Very cost-effective - instead of a 9-hour train ride plus a hotel, a 12 hour train ride with a surprisingly comfortable "sleeper" bed. Very civilized.

If you've never taken a european night train, here's a great guide to the various seat choices. "First class" sucks compared to a sleeper!

Poor Keith got woken up a lot by Bob and I coughing all night. Otherwise it was pretty comfortable, the train really does rock you to sleep. Tough part is that you arrive at 7am rumpled, groggy and wanting a shower. All in all a delightful way to travel.

Took us a while to find Hotel Hirschen, it really is only a few blocks from the main train station in Zurich but google maps was horrible at labeling Hirschen street and Hirschen Platz the hotel is on (along with a bunch of other hotels). Dropped our bags at the hotel and wandered a bit, found breakfast, visited the famous FrauMunster church which has beautiful stained glass by renowned artist Marc Chagall. Very different from typical stained glass!

Wandered around town and the lake... then Jimbo arrived! Hadn't seen him for ten years so awesome to catch up, and he tour-guided us around Zurich today, and Luzern tomorrow. What fun!

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  Keith Fraumunster church Swiss army knives!

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  Love the terrace and plants on this building! Quiche for mid-morning snack at Sprugli Sprügli! WOW. Just wow. Truffles, every pastry you'd want.

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  Sprügli! Lake Zurich. Flower clock. Yes it's 11:20am. Photos of photos. Sue

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  Bob and Sue at Lake Zurich. Boats on the lake. Swans! Keith in short sleeve t-shirt, Sue in jacket. Typical! Swans and ducks abound. Amazing number of boats here.

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  Good to see that hack repairs exist everywhere. Touristy! After a shower, great lunch with Jimbo, we went up the Dolderbahn. This is a VERY long cog rail car up a local hill (very long and fairly steep, glad we didn't hike it).

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  Passing area for the trains! The Dolder Grand hotel, lobby. The clockwork was fascinating. Beautiful hotel. Heck of a view. Bob and Jimbo at the Dolder Grand hotel, Zurich.

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  Cute! Looking down to the lake. Jimbo Bob and Sue with a nice car at the Dolder Grand hotel, Zurich.

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  Beautiful. Come to think of it, this is the first golf course I've seen in Europe (18th day here?) Taking a break from walking around the hotel. Yup we're in the country of awesome chocolate.

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  Yet another gorgeous building. River walk in Zurich. Tree is supported on the wall. Folks swim here! More gorgeous "graffiti" here.

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  Slack rope walking. "Beach" volleyball along the river. Swimming is popular here. Farther downstream looking back upstream at the sluiceway. Fun in the main Zurich train station! We were looking for how often trains ran to Luzern tomorrow.

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  Band in our Hirchen Platz (plaza outside our hotel). They played YMCA and other easily-recognizable songs. Pretzel with your beer! Before-dinner beer. After awesome fondue, wander the city. Bridges are gorgeous with the moon overhead. In the hotel, melted candelabra.

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