Simple Tips to Enjoy Kosher Zurich in a Day

Don and I traveled to Israel recently. On the way from Newark to Tel Aviv, we worked in a 14 hour layover in Zurich, Switzerland. Over the past many years, we have toured a number of cities in Europe this way. We have found that this is an excellent way to tour a city without the expense and hassle of booking an overnight stay in a hotel.

We did some cursory research before traveling and discovered that Zurich would be a very easy city to navigate using public transportation. We checked the weather forecast in advance only to find that it would be raining the whole day, so we packed umbrellas and rain slickers.  We discovered that there are lockers in the Zurich airport and museums for luggage.  Our airline allowed us to check our bags all the way through to Israel so that we had only to deal with hand luggage on our layover.

We arrived in the early hours of the morning and easily took the train directly from/to the airport. In the span of our layover, we managed to walk Zurich’s City Center and Old Town, tour two museums, take a boat ride around Lake Zurich, enjoy a kosher meat dinner and return in plenty of time for our short flight from Zurich to Tel Aviv.

zurich-in the rain by trolley

Although Zurich is one of the most expensive cities in Europe, we found that the transportation and entertainment costs were very affordable. The Swiss locals that we encountered were friendly and helpful.  We discovered that we were able to easily communicate in  Zurich using English.

Here are some tips and highlights from our day in Zurich:

1. Buy the ZurichCARD in the airport for savings on transportation and museums
We bought the ZurichCARD in the airport. The ZurichCARD cost around $20 per person for 24 hours of unlimited transportation by train, trolley and boat in and around Zurich. We activated the card right in the airport train station and took a train straight to the City Center, a mere 10-minute ride. From there, we walked to two excellent museums and used the ZurichCARD as museum admission. Public transportation in Zurich runs like clockwork, just as one would expect in Switzerland.


Inspirations from the Cramim Spa in Israel

I look for inspirations for recipes, flavor combinations, designs and plating ideas everywhere I can find them.   At the end of our Pesach (Passover) holiday, I spent one day at the Cramim Spa (translation: Spa of Vineyards) in Kiryat Anavim, right outside of Jerusalem.  It is a beautiful place set into the Judean hills surrounded by grape vines and roses.  It is an oasis of beauty and relaxation in the wine country of the greater Jerusalem area.

I was amazed and inspired by the beautiful array of salads, fruits, desserts and entrees offered at the Cramim.  As I am still on my low-carb diet, I was able to taste the great majority of the buffet selections.  The items that did not satisfy my diet criteria became eye-food, a pretty good substitute for the tastings.  I carried my camera with me throughout mealtime and enjoyed taking pictures of the beautiful and delicious food choices.

Here are some of the colorful, delicious and healthy food choices at the Cramim.   They will surely inspire new simpletowow recipe and plating design blog posts in the near future.


I also took beautiful pictures from my early morning 3 kilometer hike through the vineyards near the Cramim and the breathtakingly beautiful grounds and spa areas of the Cramim.


When visiting Jerusalem, I highly recommend visiting the Cramim spa. Feel free to email me at for Cramim spa visit suggestions and contact information.  It will nourish your body and soul.


“Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”: Inspiration from my return flight from Israel

I fly long-haul flights often enough to cringe when I contemplate the discomfort, dysfunctionality and sheer exhaustion of being in the air with so many other people in such close proximity.  I shudder when I think of the passengers who are rude and inconsiderate and the all-too-often “I’m in it for myself” attitude of those flying with 200+ strange cabin-mates for all those hours.

I expected the flight back from Israel this past week to be no different.   (more…)