EuroPride Zurich 2009: Beyond The City

EuroPride Zurich 2009: Beyond The City

Zurich’s train station is one of Europe’s most impressive and most convenient.

Zurich, Gateway To The Confoederatio Helvetica

With an excellent rail network linking virtually every city in the country directly to Zurich, the biggest city in Switzerland is a great base to explore the rest of the country if time is of the essence or if you prefer the convenience of unpacking once and travelling unhindered by luggage.  Eurail, always a good bargain, is especially handy in Switzerland, where rail travel is easy.  Unlike some other European countries whose rail systems demand reservations even for empty trains, Swiss Railways, along with its Austrian and German counterparts, make rail travel easy for visitors; no need to wait in interminable queues just to buy a reservation.  Here, it’s as easy as picking a destination and sitting down in a comfy First Class.  Some trains even have Silent Zones—a boon to people who hear enough of other people’s mobile phone calls and loud conversations elsewhere in their daily lives.

The EuroPride welcome came right away for arrivals at Zurich’s Hauptbahnhof

Winterthur and Schaffhausen are two little visited cities in Switzerland, yet they offer grand attractions.  This coming weekend, Winterthur is home to a unique event called the Assembly of Delegates of the Swiss Association for Traditional Costumes.  More than a thousand people are expected to show up on 13-14 June for the gathering of Swiss in their traditional finery, ever colourful and varied depending on the regions from which they come.  Winterthur in particular is well known as a cultural city offering many more attractions than its size would indicate—so often the case in Switzerland, where the smallest of villages may happen to have a billion-dollar collection tucked away in a former magnate’s mansion.  Winterthur’s museums are excellent, and its Museum of Photography well known as one of the best of its kind in the world.

Lovers of Irish culture should head to—Switzerland?  The city of St Gallen was founded in the 613 year by an Irish monk named Gallus and is now the site of a UNESCO World Heritage-listed abbey that has to be seen to be believed.  Among the many buildings in the complex is one of the most beautiful Baroque cathedrals in the world.  The Abbey Library of St Gall is equally astonishing, not only for the architecture, but for its collection as well, a collection that includes books with mysterious markings almost identical to the ones found on the large stones at the University of Cork in southern Ireland.

so much easier than Confoederatio Helvetica International Air Lines

These three cities are all less than an hour by train from Zurich.  Further afield, the possibilities are numerous.  Daytrips to the French-speaking part of Switzerland offer a whole new set of bakeries and patisseries, while Italian-speaking Ticino, lying on the other side of the Alps, offers yet another entirely different cultural experience without leaving the country.

Of course, after all the cultural stimulation, it’s time to unwind.  Switzerland has no shortage of social venues for gay and lesbian residents and visitors.  Indeed, they are well patronised and easy to find.  Many venues, even the most intimate ones, welcome all people regardless of their orientation or gender.

In case you were wondering why the internet suffix for Switzerland is .ch—and I know you were all wondering—it is because Switzerland’s official name is Confoederatio Helvetica, in Latin so as not to favour one of the country’s four official languages over any other.

Swiss International Air Lines
Switzerland Tourism
Switzerland Tourism’s gay and lesbian page
Zurich Tourism’s gay and lesbian page
Gay Zurich

Source = WoRLdviews

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