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Summer in the City

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summer in the city     munich, bratislava, zurich & salzburg

Joanna, Josefina & Wolfgang Bleier
Austria, August 2009

Most people have a plan for their vacation. In summer this year, we had absolutely no such plan. Spontaneously we decided to spend our summer vacation in the heat of the city. To be more exact: in Munich, Bratislava and Zurich, and here are some notes about our zig-zag tour.


What an entertaining city with lots of tourists, lots of Bavarian beer and hefty Bavarian food. It's a place where the locals can eat the traditional "Weißwurscht" for breakfast and live the "mia san mia" mentality in perfection. All over Munich's center one can find nice places and cozy restaurants that make Munich's lifestyle irresistible. Since in Munich many things are similar to the western provinces of Austria, but "bayrisch", in fact we didn't feel to be away from home. As luck would have it, just at the right time we were at the right place for the best street performance ever seen. Mingled with exited audience sitting in a street cafe at Munich's Marienplatz we watched, like in a theatre, those innocent tourists who came along to be involuntary victims of a British comedian in a series of funny jokes right in front of us. The man was brilliant! It was a real scream, each of his sketches ending in big applause of a cheering crowd.
One thing, however, we will regret forever: on our last day we couldn't make it for a traditional, fresh "Weißwurscht" that is so typical for Bavaria. We'll be back.



Another day, another direction to go. The Twin City Liner, a speedy catamaran-type passenger boat that commutes on the Danube river, has brought us in record time from Vienna to Bratislava. The capital of Slovakia indeed is a leisurely place. It was good to see how much this city has changed since our last visit about fifteen years ago - truly amazing. The historic old town now is a real "must see" for tourists. It has completely changed its previous face from, let's say a little bit of grey, old patina to a nicely refurbished, shining jewel. A look into the local's face will tell you: they really enjoy it. Bye bye communism. Once you are in Vienna, ask for the Twin City Liner. Nothing can go wrong, as it has only one next stop: Bratislava.

Zurich Limat river


Our third trip was to Zurich in central Switzerland. Since this Alpine country is no longer the first address to open your secrete bank account, you will come to terms with the fact that you can spend much of your money even before you get to downtown Zurich. With the right travel budget it is a city where you will feel home from the moment you get there: beautiful, relaxing and classy, with a lot of surprises. Within a minute or a few footsteps it can change its look from an impressive urbane city to kind of an unspoilt mountain village. Luxury shops with lots of shine and glitter are larger than elsewhere, and the delicious sweets of the famous Lindt & Sprüngli Chocolatiers will make you stay in their shop much longer than you should. Nowhere nearby Zurich's Limat river you will feel rush. This must either be Swiss law, the Swiss German doesn't know such word, or its meaning was replaced by "contentment".


Some awkward folks say that the Swiss people are a bit slow, which is not true. They just enjoy things a bit more than others.
So we did it the Swiss way and enjoyed a bit more of Switzerland on a slow drive to Luzern at the "Vierwaldstätter See". On our relaxing drive everything of Switzerland seemed to be fine, even the cows nearby the roadside looked wealthy in some way..., a perfect subject for candid photos. Luzern has a dreamlike panorama with the "Rigi", the queen of the mountains on the left, the "Pilatus" mountain on the right, where you can take a ride on the world's steepest cogwheel railway, and the "Bürgenstock" jutting out over the lake in between.

In spite of the beauty of Luzern and the lake, somehow we felt like being in a touristic museum. We were more attracted by the atmosphere of Zürich, so we let our vacation fade away at the cozy "Hotel Sonne" in Küsnacht at the Zürichsee.

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