For some medieval atmosphere: Visit castle Kyburg
Inside the castle there is a small museum.
But not only the castle itself but also the beautiful surroundings are worth the trip.
The castle is located on a forested hill above the River Töss about 8km in the south of Winterthur.
Bicycle: It makes up for a 25min ride by bike.
Train: Take the S26 to the train station called "Sennhof-Kyburg". From there it's a 25min walk by foot.
When arriving at the Töss, don't follow the street. There is a footpath which goes uphill starting at the old wooden bridge (see map).
All along the river Töss there is places for picnic. The river itself is not very deep but maintains a sufficient amount of water to wet your feet when it's hot.
My home town is as close to Zurch airport as Zurich.
Winterthur would be associated as a dull industry town by people who have passed it on the road only. But in fact, Winterthur is a calm sleepy place with simple working people. Zurich which is a twenty-minute-ride away would seem snobish comparingly.
People have liked this place since ages. Well, first finds on the hills around the present town date right back into freezing times, after the Ice-Age, when glaciers gradually retired. But that's not the reason for the name "Winterthur". "Widow" - an old celtic word for the trees that grew in the swamp, and durum for erection, well I mean some kind of castle. Anyway, the Romans who passed took over the celtic shrine on the hill in Oberwinterthur, built a temple on it and called the place Vitudurum.
Well, that's what my teacher told me, and we all know that teachers sometimes tell nonsense. I know -as I was a teacher too- and I can't help telling nonsense sometimes.
I have got different favourite spots in Winterthur, most of them are around the town.
First I would mention the pic-nic spot above my uncle's, Armin Bohli's, farm: Take a bike at the station, take the direction to Turbenthal, up the valley of the Töss and go to Rikon.
In the forest to the rigth of this village, there is the largest Tibetan library outside Dharamsala hidden, in a Tibetan monastery.
To the left of Rikon, take the steep road up to Oberllangenhard, and then on to the picnic-spot above the village.
The view is fantastic: forested hills all around, villages and fields and farms, and in a depression between them sleepy Winterthur.
"The old town and its people"
I love the old town of Winterthur which stretches out to the east of the station.
The library at the Kichplatz, church square, is a calm place to have a coffee and read all the international newspapers and the most recent bestsellers.
On the different floors you will always come across a librarian who is used to a tranquil pace and will find the time to have a chat about God and the world. Give my best regards to Karl the Great. He's got a traveller's soul and knows without many words.
Or then go to the Antiquariat (bookshop with old books) in the Rathausdurchgang, below the old town house.
You will find here a stele of old Roman times, and Ulrich Harsch, a mummified Mecarillo cigar, has read everything knowledgeable. Talk to him about Casanova's reports, or find an old travel report. Let's take the Winterthurer Heinrich Bosshard of the 18th century: reading him shows how far Zurch was on foot and makes you decide to discover the places walking.
Walk to the Fotomuseum or the Römerholz, a villa with fine paintings from the collection of a rich Winterthur brother. You will feel as enriched as in the Louvre but you will feel less tired and frustrated, as there is just as much here as you can admire. Modesty seems to be a Swiss virtue.
"More hill stations around Winterthur"
Why not grill a sausage in the forest beside the Bäumli park above the town, you will have less of a problem here than in the rose garden on the other side of the old city, which is not less enlightening.
Don't feel disturbed by the grass smoking bros and sistas lying on the balustrade above the vineyard. They're just smoking for peace, well, that's what they told me.
And if you feel fed-up with all these people, hike across the Eschenberger Wald, to the old farm and restaurant Eschenberg, walking up the hill, towards a pump station, there is another beauty spot and picnic place.
It the place has been taken into the possession of a Yugo or Turkish four-generation-tribe, get invited to a Cevapcici or a Kebab. As they are Muslims sometimes, take along the beer yourself.
"Dive into Buddha's garden"
From the Eschenberg you see the Kyburg, an old midevel castle of the Habsburgers. In fact, Winterthur was "their" market town, and when the knights wanted to show off among the citizens they rode across this hill.
Only, at that time, there were many more farms here, it is all forested now, even the old vineyards down to the river Töss which produced a sour vine.
Go down to the Töss, it is pure nature here, and you won't meet many people, just a lonesome walker sometimes.
Roll out your sleeping bag close to your fire, grill your food and fall asleep.
Don't worry: I have a trick to find your way out of this jungle. How? Think it over well...!
Just follow the water, said the hermit to his student, and you will find your way out of any jungle.