Zurich – A Stopover

We had several days between two races with no real idea where to go. Bob was leaving, and the cheapest flight was out of Zurich. Our plan was to go to Zurich for one day, then head of to somewhere else. But about a week before we went we were invited to the European premier of a movie that Marcus played a role in. The premier was two days after Bob’s flight. We decided to stay in Zurich, until we found out how expensive hotels were. At the last minute, Ramone, a fellow rider, offered us to stay at his place.

So off to Zurich we went. We arrived at Ramone’s flat late Monday night and discovered about a dozen other riders were also staying there. Bob got up early in the morning to catch his flight, meanwhile I had a restless sleep. In the morning I decided to suck it up and get a hotel room. I was getting a cold and needed some sleep. After spending the entire morning doing nothing (not even getting some rest) Marcus and I finally got a hotel in Zurich.

First we went by Fibretech, a local board manufacture. We were all hungry, and found a small take away pizza place. The pizzas were good, but at 17.50 Swiss Francs, were a little expensive. The USD to Swiss Francs is roughly 1 – 1!

When we got to the hotel room I took a long nap, and woke up in the evening. I was planning on heading out for a little walk, but right when I got up, Marcus went to sleep. I didn’t know where the key was, so I ended up staying in.

The next day our plan was to do some laundry. We went by our hotel’s lobby and asked where a laundromat was. They directed us to a dry cleaner who offered to do our clothes for 50 francs! We went back to the hotel and asked for a self service laundromat. It was a little further away, so we grabbed our clothes and headed out. The place was small with a half dozen machines, and no soap. So we went back to a store looking for soap, on the way we passed another dry cleaners. We asked them how much to wash our clothes. He said 40 francs, but then looked at one of our bags and said it was a lot so it would need two loads, so 80 francs! We decided to pass up this fine offer, and went on to the store for some soap.

We got back to the laundromat. We noticed that the main coin machine had been broken into, but we hoped it still worked. We loaded our clothes, then put a coin into the machine. It dropped through and shot across the floor. I tried again with the same result. Looks like the laundromat was busted. We had bought a coke at the store, so we sat outside in front of the laundromat and drank our cokes, trying to decide what to do. Two people walked buy and we informed them the laundry was broken. One kind lady gave us directions to another laundry. But it was on the other side of town (20 minutes by tram) and she said the dryer was 3 francs a minute!

So we went back to the hotel and did some laundry in the small bathroom sink. Fortunately I had enough clean clothes to last a few more days, but I needed to wash my under armour. After we got some of our clothes washed and hung up to dry we decided to skate into downtown Zurich.

We decided to grab a bite to eat, but wanted to find something cheap. Finding something cheap in Zurich is almost impossible. We rode by a subway, and found out that a half foot was about 10 francs! A $5 foot long is actually about 20 Swiss Francs! We skated some more before deciding to hit a McDonald’s. I got a Cheeseburger Royal for only 12.50. After eating we skated out to Airflow. On the way we passed a kebab place. Their prices were similar to McDonald’s. Oh well, I haven’t had a kebab on this trip yet!

We topped off the night at Airflow, another board manufacturer. They were doing the European premier of the film Drop. This was a well done documentary on downhill skateboarding. Done mostly with interviews and shots taken from Maryhill and a few other shoots. We watched the movie on the rooftop sitting on large beanbag chairs. There were quite a few people there, mostly other racers who were in town. It was great to finally see the movie, and I look forward to being able to pick it up on a DVD in a store sometime soon.

We woke up this morning and jumped on the train to our next destination. We were both happy to get out of Zurich. Zurich is a neat little town on the edge of a large lake, and is worth visiting at least once, but Switzerland is an expensive place. Coupled with the fact that the exchanged rate for US is poor, the place was very expensive.

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