Still Finding New Ways to Love Zürich

During the first few years I lived in Zürich, my husband would lovingly mock me each time I gasped with childlike glee, grabbed his arm with one hand and my camera with the other…  The view was just too spectacular, I had to take a picture.  He would giggle, knowing I had already taken that same shot, of the same glorious view, saying the same thing, perhaps one hundred times.  But to me at that very moment, with the clear outline of the Alps, the colors and lighting and everything looking just so perfect, it was simply too gorgeous to resist.

In retrospect, I probably do have hundreds of the same photos, those quintessential Zürich shots of the lake, the river, the mountains and the old town.  Truth is, I still can’t quite get over how unbelievably picturesque this city is, nor how much I love it, this magical place I have now called home for five years.

Zürich, Switzerland (2013)Zürich, Switzerland (2013)Zürich, Switzerland (2013)Zürich, Switzerland (2013)

I’ve shared with you here this love for Zürich, in every shape and form, in all its seasons, rain, shine or snow, through all its diversity and extraordinary beauty.  But what I decided to do, for my fifth anniversary, was to see Zürich through fresh eyes. Photograph it in ways I hadn’t before.  Visit places I may not have been to, or for that matter, even knew existed…

Zürich, Switzerland (2013)Zürich, Switzerland (2013)Zürich, Switzerland (2013)Zürich, Switzerland (2013)

And what better way to do that than take a private, customized Insider Tour with my friend and encyclopedia on all things Swiss, Katrin Gygax.  It was fascinating to spend an afternoon with her, hearing her share so much and so passionately about Zürich’s history and its hidden gems.  She says it best: “These are not your run-of-the-mill tours.”  There were places I had heard of, but simply hadn’t gotten to: I stared in awe at Augusto Giacometti’s brightly painted murals on the walls and vaulted ceiling of the city’s police headquarters (once an orphanage, but no photos allowed).  I gazed down at a model of Zürich as it was in 1800, in Haus zum Rech, an 800 year old building, home to the city’s archives of architectural history.  And I walked around the cloister of the Grossmünster Church, spotting the ornate details, sometimes odd and even eerie creatures on the capitals of the columns (a few even reminded me of Fasnacht‘s Waggis characters).  Then there were the totally new discoveries, including the city’s music library, reconstructed from the choir interior of a 13th century church, as well as hidden ruins of the city walls, accessed only with a special key.

Zürich, Switzerland (2013)Zürich, Switzerland (2013)Zürich, Switzerland (2013)Zürich, Switzerland (2013)

There has always been one particular building whose architecture I admired, but I never actually knew what it was.  Wonder no more.  Turns out, it’s a primary school !  Not only did Katrin tell me more than I could have hoped for about the Schulhaus Hirschengraben, but we even took a little peek inside (shhhh). This incredible school could very well be the set for Harry Potter movies.  Warthog etchings, strange colorful mosaics, grotesque water fountains and oversize marble fireplaces included.  This was a real highlight for us both.

Zürich, Switzerland (2013)Zürich, Switzerland (2013)Zürich, Switzerland (2013)Zürich, Switzerland (2013)

What a thrill to continue to learn about Zürich, understanding and appreciating it even more, from historical details to miscellaneous fun facts.  So what did I do with all this new information in my head… I took a long peaceful stroll along the water and snapped away, certain that each view and each photo were more beautiful than ever before.

Zürich, Switzerland (2013)Zürich, Switzerland (2013)Zürich, Switzerland (2013)Zürich, Switzerland (2013)Zürich, Switzerland (2013)Zürich, Switzerland (2013)

Past anniversaries:
2012: 4 Years in Zürich and it’s only getting sweeter
2011: My Love Affair Continues… with Zürich
2010: Cookies for an Anniversary
2009: Me and Zürich – 1 Year

15 Responses to “Still Finding New Ways to Love Zürich”

  1. Rosa says:

    Zürich is a lovely town. Your pictures are delightful and this tour must have been really interesting.



  2. snacksgiving says:

    I miss Zurich. We moved to Singapore about 2 years ago..but I love reading all about Switzerland, and all the food and life there!
    How are you and your kid?

  3. kelleyn says:

    Zurich is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

  4. Kiki says:

    Kerrin; I’m gonna pay you the biggest compliment possible! You’re now officially knowing Zürich better than me, a born & bred Zurich Meitli… (girl)!!!
    I even had once rented a room (with shared kitchen & bathroom – THAT was an experience!!!) close by the Hirschengraben-school. But also I never knew of its riches inside, nor did I about the Ciacometti’s murals and other ‘stuff’…
    I am as totally and absolutely in love as you are – but with the Lac Léman, Lutry, but also Lausanne, Murten, and Berne! What I prefer in the Romandie over Zurich, is the laid-back-ness of the Romands, less hassle and stressing about, without however doing less (or only slightly so!). And of course, as Hero Husband is a Romand, we both love to express ourselves in French…. Am just back from 8 days and had the most marvellous time. But Zurich will be visited soon – I have a mother in Witikon and depending on her & our planning, we might even dip down to the lake for a ‘croisière’ – the short round trip does wonders for us!
    Lovely, lovely photo collection and great treatment (Orton, nostalgic textures) you could provide the Zurich Tourism Office with valid material 🙂
    Chüssli (that’s kisses and not cushion…), Kiki

  5. Dimitri says:

    Thank you for sharing this beautifully written, intimate look at Zürich! And most of all: Happy Anniversary! Dimitri

  6. Kerrin says:

    Rosa, merci ! It definitely was.

    snacksgiving, hello there ! I hope all is wonderful for you in Singapore now. What do you miss the most about Switzerland ? All is just brilliant and sweet on my end, and more and more delicious everyday with our little girl, 9 months old now. Thanks for asking ! 🙂

    kelleyn, hear, hear !

    Kiki, wow – you said it best… there is indeed no better compliment !! Thank you so so much. Or shall I say, un très très grand merci. We actually just went to Romandie last weekend, drove on la Route de la Corniche along le Lac Léman – stunning. And such wonderful, charming villages along the way (my faves were St. Saphorin and Nyon). So I see what you mean 😉 Oh, as for the photos above, the ones with the nostalgic feel to them are from my posts on Instagram (I don’t even have Photoshop). Encore, merci beaucoup Kiki ! Bisous de Züri

    Dimitri, thank you so very much ! And absolutely my pleasure, as you know… 🙂

  7. Ilana says:

    Wow! A visit is really long overdue…

  8. Ilana says:

    And, can’t believe it’s been five whole years already! Happy anniversary to My Kugelhopf!

  9. Jenn says:

    Congrats on 5 wonderful years! It is impossible to tire of a city with so much character 🙂

  10. Katrin says:

    This is of course my favourite post 😉 And amazing photographs as usual, Kerrin! Next time we’ll sneak into city hall…

  11. Kerrin says:

    Ilana, thank you ! …and I of course totally agree with the long overdue visit part 😉

    Jenn, thank you ! I know your love affair with (your baby and) Switzerland is continuing over en Romandie too, right ? :))

    Katrin, haha. Thanks for the photo kudos – and the brilliant tour once again ! Sneak into city hall ? Cool, I’m in ! Do we have to wait for my 6th anniversary here ? Naaaaah.

  12. chantal says:

    Also Love Zürich,

    I come from Canada and live in Winterthur. have enjoyed your site since the beginning!

    Thank you for your great photos.


  13. Maria says:

    Hi Kerrin,

    I’m in love with Zurich ever since my first visit there in 2008, so reading about this city is always a pleasure. Thank you for the great photos.


  14. Lani says:

    Ok! 5 years to experience this wonderful city! You have taken your readers on a Wonderful ride sharing what you love! The photographs take us where you are every step of the way! Thank you for sharing your love of Zurich.

  15. Majida/Hanel Travels says:

    You just inspired me! And I had to laugh at your opening sentence, as this happens to me and my husband as well!

    Last year, I did a photo course with, who took us around ZH Niederdorf and it was just like rediscovering Zürich, even though I studied there and spent a considerable time there. Still have to do a blogpüost on this topic!

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