Sunday, March 23, 2014

A View of the Alps and the City of Zurich from Wipkingen Church

In my very first post (click here to read) about Zurich, I featured the mesmerizing view of the Alps which I personally enjoyed looking at for the first time. Yes, even from afar!

In that post, I wrote that my eyes couldn't stop feasting on the view while standing right in front of Wipkingen Church, an evangelical church located in Wipkingen district. 

Oh, that's me enjoying the view around the Wipkingen Church. See the photo below... that's the church... the second church we came into, that is, by chance. We didn't know that we would reach this place, unaware of the distance from where we started.  

So in this post, I would like to share with you how we discovered the peace and quiet of this place. 

The Ibis Hotel, located at Technoparkstrasse along Pfingstweidstrasse, was our starting point.

Technoparkstrasse, Zurich, the exact location of our hotel
Since we still had no travel pass upon arrival in Zurich which would allow us to travel anywhere around the city either by bus, tram or train, we traveled by foot from our hotel (corner of Technoparkstrasse and Pfingstweidstrasse) to take a glimpse of the city of Zurich, for the first time.

Are you ready to take this walk? Get set... let's go! 

These are photos taken while strolling along the empty street of Pfingstweidstrasse coming from Technoparkstrasse. Wow, what a very quiet Sunday afternoon! We see very few people walking down the streets of Zurich. We really wondered why! We thought that was very unusual!  

The streets are empty!

The photo collage below is a showcase of some famous places in Zurich that we passed by, along Pfingstweidstrasse.

Whether you go by foot, tram or bus along Pfingstweidstrasse, you will never miss these places. The Resistance - Renaissance  Zurich TowerAcanto Restraurant Gelateria Bar Disco and Les Halles.

Up next... we will be spanning the length of Hardstrasse (Hardbrucke) to go to Limmatstrassse, a long road that leads to the heart of the city. Here, you may refer to the map to find the streets I mentioned before we move any farther.
Route from Hardstrasse/Hardbrucke to KV Zurich Business School at Limmatrasse 
We were following the route of tram no. 4 along Limmatstrasse. That would have brought us to the Central Rail Station (Hauptbahnhof) at the city proper, however, we were intrigued by the sight of the tall buildings and the seeming enigma of this city. I just thought every single thing my eyes fell into was simply amazing!

This caused us to turn left at Gerstenstrasse, a street just after Zurich Business School which led us to Sihlquai.  You can easily follow this route from the map below.
Route from Limmatstrasse to Sihlquai, then to Rosengartenstrasse 
after crossing a bridge before Dammsteg
From Sihlquia, I remember crossing a footbridge that brought us to the other side of the river. Zooming in the photo below, the Dammsteg Bridge can be viewed a few meters ahead. I just don't know the name of the bridge where I was standing as I wasn't able to keep track of the street signs anymore. But looking at the map above, this bridge is the nearest connection (before reaching Dammsteg) that actually brought us to the other side of the river. 
That's me looking down at the river
After crossing the river, we trod more streets, their names I couldn't mention, but we did cross Hardbrucke through a footbridge towards the other side of Hardstrasse. See these photos...
Views taken while crossing Hardbrucke: Roschibachstrasse, Rosengartenstrasse 
and the Prime Tower of Zurich
As I said earlier, I couldn't remember the streets we've been passing through. Thanks to the photos. By merely zooming in and locating the landmarks using google maps, I could trace our steps, identify the roads and easily lead you to our destination. 

Don't worry, a few more left and right turns and we will reach the place... Now, see our next pose at the corner of Habsburgerstrasse and Kyburgstrasse.
Habsburgerstrasse corner Kyburgstrasse near Casa da Nico

From this place, the crown-like steeples of the Katholische Kirche Guthirt, Zurich-Wipkingen (also known as Kirche bei der Rosengartenbrucke translated as Church in the Rose Garden Bridge) were slowly becoming prominent. 

With the steeples as our guiding star, we walked and walked until the church was right in front of us.
  The Roman Katholische Kirche Guthirt up-close

Would you like to know where we are right now? Look at where the arrow is pointing. See, that is our exact location at this time.

Here, take a closer look at the photo. Do you see the steeple of another church at the far left? Another church that is, to where we headed next.  That's the Wipkingen Kirche, our final destination! A few more blocks and we will be there!
The Roman Katholische Kirche Guthirt at Wipkingen, Zurich. 
The Wipkingen Kirche is seen a few blocks behind it.

The Wipkingen Church is the second church we discovered while strolling along, guided by our instincts and the sight of the buildings we saw. This photo below shows the streets we passed by on our way to Wipkingen Church.
The way to Wipkingen Kirche
Each time we turned right or left in its direction, the spires would disappear every now and then, until we finally reached the street leading right to it. 
The Wipkingen Kirche, a few blocks away!
Well, well, well, are you still with us? You shouldn't miss this after coming this far! Now brace yourself as we have to climb the stone stairs leading to the church on top of a hill. 
Photo by Marta Padilla
I had to catch my breath as I slowly climbed the stairs! We approached the church from the side and had to take a turn to the main entrance. We were not able to take a full view of the church from below so I borrowed this photo taken by Marta Padilla from google. See that photo above... isn't it beautiful?

Thanks to Marta Padilla, she was able to feature closer shots of some parts of the church such as the door lock, the steeple with clock, the spires, the glass window (click on the specific part in order to view the photo). The church has three identical doors at the main entrance.
The church's doors (on the left by Marta Padilla and that's me on the right)

Oh, how I love looking at the line up of barren trees in front of the church building. I was so intrigued at how they would look like during spring and summer! I also wondered what trees they are? (If you know the name of these trees, please write in the comment box below.)

It is right here where we were able to enjoy the view and get photos of the very picturesque Alps and the city of Zurich for the first time.

Aren't they lovely? Here's more... you know I love green, so here are shots of the green leaves and trees around the area. Okay, they don't seem to look like green in the photos but they really are.

Do you think you have had enough of the beauty and serenity of this place? Because I'm afraid it's time to go!  But before we bid this place goodbye, here's another photo collage of the different faces of the church with its steeple and spires. We took shots of the church from different angles.

This is my longest blog so far! I had to make sure I was writing the correct names of the streets. Thanks to google map for making it easy for me to validate the names and the directions using satellite and map photos.

The map below shows the shortest route (1.7 kms) from Technoparkstrasse to the Wipkingen Church. It shouldn't have taken us more than 2 kilometers had we followed this direction.
Technoparkstrasse to Wipkingen Kirche, Zurich

This second map shows the nearest to actual route we took. We actually walked 2.7 kms in supposedly 37 mins but since we had to linger in some places (marked green) for photo ops, in reality, it took us more than 2 hours (not very sure) to reach our final stop. Well, I, myself couldn't seem to believe that?!!!
Another directional map from Hotel Ibis in Technoparkstrasse to Wipkingen Church
showing the major landmarks in our self-imposed route
Our aching muscles and dilated leg veins were masked by our excitement of having toured a part of the city on day 1. 

On our way back to the hotel, we just retraced our path, taking note of the landmarks we passed by earlier, this time walking on the other side of the road. 

Along the way, we passed by Wipkingen Park a few meters away from Wipkingen Church. The sight we enjoyed in the park is another story to tell. Click here to view post.

Now, do you think you would be interested to to take another day's walk to the heart of the city? Watch out for the next post then. Meanwhile, have a productive week ahead!

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