Happy New Year & New Year’s Eve in Zurich

Happy New Year

New Year’s Eve in Zurich started the same as many other days in Zurich – shopping. After some MaxMara for my wife and Hugo Boss for me (I think we’ve spent our clothing budget for the next two years or so) the shops closed at 4:00, including the supermarkets. We did stock up on yogurt and pasta before they closed.

Interestingly, the crowded Zurich supermarket reminded me a lot of Korea, although it was one old lady in particular who really is responsible for this digression. She kept pushing her cart into my back in an effort to get me to move the crowds faster. After turning around and voicing my displeasure for the second time I managed to let her pass me and then followed her through the crowd as she cleared a path by banging her cart into everyone nearby including a very frail looking old lady with a cane.

Anyway, after dropping off our new clothes and food in the hotel we went out for dinner at around 4:30 since we had skipped lunch. The Swiss restaurant I’ve been meaning to try was reservation only so we went to an Italian place. I’ll have a review of the 2 Italian places I’ve tried so far in Zurich one of these days but the food was quite good at this one.

Then we went back to the hotel and got in a quick nap so that we’d have enough energy to stay up for the fireworks. Now Zurich already has miles of pedestrian shopping streets, but they banned cars from some more streets so that New Year’s Eve revelers could watch the fireworks safely.

We left the hotel around 10:00 and were very surprised that crowds were not bad. There were also lots of tents set up, mostly small ones selling food (we had some bratwurst and some beef on a stick – both quite good). A couple of larger tents served as night clubs.

At 11:00 we went to the bridge nearest Zurich’s lake to find a spot where we could see some fireworks. It still wasn’t all that crowded and we got a spot right on the railing with no one in front of us. By 11:30 it had gotten a bit crowded so if you really wanted a good spot it would have been best to find it by 11:00 or shortly after.

At midnight a few loud fireworks went off and everyone said “Happy New Year”. Then we waited as it got colder and we wondered if the fireworks display was coming or if the few loud ones and the small ones coming from various spots on the river bank were all there was to New Year’s Eve in Zurich.

At 12:25 or so we talked about going back to the hotel room to warm up our toes but then the fireworks started. It was a very nice fireworks display but I won’t actually recommend it.

The reason I am not recommending fireworks in Zurich is because when I pictured fireworks in Europe I pictured old buildings and things beneath them. In Zurich you face the lake, which means you face away from the historic part of Zurich. So yous see the fireworks, but not the city. At least not the historic part of the city.

I saw pictures of fireworks in Berlin, London, and Moscow – in all 3 cities it seemd that fireworks happened right above major historical landmarks, which to me would be the point of seeing fireworks in Europe.

Now I’m not asking anyone to feel sorry for me. My wife and I both think this was our best New Year’s.

Tomorrow will be our last day of shoppping in Zurich, which is good since we spend too much money here. Then we have nearly 2 weeks in Madrid – I’m trying not to worry about the money but as this vacation gets more and more expensive it does creep into my mind every time my wife picks up another pair of shoes or a bag or wahetever. At least half the time she’s looking to get me something but I don’t know if I can afford to upgrade my wardrobe right now…

As usual, when I’m traveling I need you to overlook any typos as I haven’t figured out spell check or got time to do my usual proofreading.

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