Switzerland was far less than we had hoped. You see, we were nearing the end of our first backpacking trip and thus we were running out of money.
After talking to so many other travelers and reading blogs, we learned that Switzerland was a very costly country to visit. Our days were narrowing and we really didn’t want to half ass a country, which is what we knew would happen if we spent time in Switzerland. Instead we opted to go down to Italy via train and coinsidntly enough, there was a stop in Zurich.
As always, with us, it wasn’t that easy. As we exited the train we knew we only had about 30 minutes before we had to catch our train to Italy. Bolting through the train station, I started asking people if they knew a good place to get chocolate.
-If you aren’t aware, train stations in Europe usually have many little stores and stands where one can purchase souvenirs as well as food. Also if you’re not aware, trains only stop at the platform for about less than a minute. So if you’re not already there when the train pulls in, you’ll likely miss it.-
Our first stop was in a convenience store where we found typical Cadbury and Hershey’s chocolate but that didn’t satisfy the Swiss chocolate need. I asked the store manager if he knew of a place to finds authentic Swiss chocolate. It didn’t seem like a crazy question, but he looked at me as if I had three heads. I clarified my question a bit, and while looking slightly less confused he gave me direction: “Up the escalator, turn left and it will be on your right” I proudly repeated him thinking he would confirm. Nope! He once again looked at me with utter confusion and proceeded to give me a different set of directions, I repeated what he said AGAIN and he proceeded to say it was incorrect. We went through this process about two more times.
Finally giving up, I looked to Shearly to see if she understood. Could it be that this man and I simply weren’t in the same wavelength and Shearly was getting it? I looked over and she was just standing there smiling!! Crunched for time and frustrated I said thank you and walked away. As we walked away I asked Shearly, “Did you understand any of that conversation!!?” She just started laughing and said, “Not a word.”
Cracking up, we took off running to hopefully find another spot that had authentic Swiss chocolate. Imagine that for a minute. Two 5’0 tall girls with gigantic Boulder backpacks running around a train station! It must have been a sight to see.
We went up the escalator, and to our surprise there was a huge Christmas market, fully equipped with food, mulled wine, cute shops and so much more! I thought, “Jackpot!!,” There must be chocolate here, but to no avail, no matter who we asked, they all looked confused!
We come across a small sandwich shop and one of the sandwich options had cheese. SWISS CHEESE! Success! We could finally check one item off the list.
Turning a corner, we found the mother load! Confiserie Sprüngli, an authentic Swiss chocolate shop filled with all the chocolate you could imagine. There were chocolate bars, an assortment of truffles, chocolate covered items, as well as typical Swiss desserts, that also included chocolate of course. We made our selections, a process that was much more dicficult than we anticipated.
We did it! With thirty minutes in the Zurich train station, we were still able to experience Swiss Cheese and Swiss Chocolate! We devoured our Swiss smorgasbord all the way down to Italy.
1) Get the chocolate, it’s amazing!
2) The cheese is to die for!
3) Save the money to really go and enjoy it, we wish we would have.
4) The Christmas Market in the train station is a sight to see.
5) When traveling over night, consider getting a private cart!