Tag Archives: around Zurich

Happy Twenty-Twelve from Zurich

Dawn in Zurich

This is what Zurich looked like a little after 8:00AM this morning: dawn comes pretty late in Winter. It makes it very easy to catch a pretty sunrise.

Bush bejewelled with raindrops

Instead the snow we expect this time of year, it’s been rainy. How did I never before notice how raindrops decorate twiggy bushes like this? Oh wait, it’s because I lived in Los Angeles, where if it did rain, I wasn’t outside walking around. After celebrating my second New Year’s Eve in Switzerland I’m now a member of the normal human race that does errands and goes for walks even if it’s raining or snowing. I’m becoming hearty.

Christmas tree-decorated crane

It’s not all gray skies either, and there are little visual treats to be found everywhere. Here’s one of the ubiquitous construction cranes of Zurich sporting a Christmas tree (you can see it up there, on the left end). I wonder if this is part of the labor negotiations for crane operators. Two coffee breaks per shift: check. Hard hat with company logo: check. Christmas tree: check.

I’ve been carrying my camera around more often lately, because I’m in the mood to capture fun little things I see, and remember interesting little ideas, and then share them all here. It’s all part of wanting to create things and share them without worrying too much about how finished or professional or “good” they are. For the New Year, I find myself agreeing with this from Neil Gaiman:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes…. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things.”

The original post is here. Happy New Year everyone!

A summertime walk along the Sihl and the Uetliberg

If you’d like to go on a simple walk just outside Zurich, take the 13 tram to the Strassenverkehrsamt stop and head for the Sihl. The Sihl is one of Zurich’s two rivers (the other is the Limmat), and if you were to follow it south out of the city, here is what you would see:

pretty path aong the Sihl
Wide bike/walking paths with trees and grass...
Wildflowers
...wildflowers...
5.6 Km
...and the occasional marker.

If you choose to return by skirting the east side of the Uetliberg you’ll  hike through forests and fields. There are so many ways to go, but I kept it simple and headed back to where I started.

fountain
Fill up your water bottle...
treaa and grass
...and be sure to enjoy all the summery shades of green.

Here’s the route I followed:

Neumarkt in February

Neumarkt is one of the streets in the old town of Zurich, and even with gray skies and melting snow it’s still pretty.

The view looking down Neumarkt
Neumarkt in Zurich old town
Bauernschänke restaurant
The Bauernschänke restaurant at Rindermarkt 24 is one of my favorites
all-weather antiques
Antique sales continue despite a little snow
Predigergasse signs
Need to check out this cute alley..
Predigergasse view
...yes, it's definitely cute

Sechseläuten 2009

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Sechseläuten is a spring festival in Zurich. Usually on the third Monday in April, the stores close up after the morning, there are food stalls, a carnival, and finally the guild members parade through town in historical costumes to the burning of the Böögg. The Böögg is sort of the bogeyman of winter in the shape of a snowman on top of a giant bonfire, which is set alight on the stroke of 6:00 PM. For good measure, explosives are added to the Böögg’s head and the time it takes him to explode determines how nice summer will be.

It's noon on the Banhofstrasse and all the stores are closed, but the stalls are open for business.
It's noon on the Banhofstrasse and all the stores are closed, but the stalls are open for business.
Buy yourself a bratwurst and watch them build the bonfire.
Nothing is more fun than having a bratwurst for lunch while watching other people work.
It is, of course, a well-built bonfire utilizing Swiss craftsmanship.
It is, of course, a well-built bonfire utilizing Swiss craftsmanship.
A Teuscher Chocolate shop display for the occasion.
A Teuscher Chocolate shop display for the occasion.
The guild members begin to gather for the parade.
The guild members begin to gather for the parade.

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This is a wine press from 1631.
This is a wine press from 1631. The guild is Riesbach, a quarter in Zurich.

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It was a lot of cheerful fun. The paraders tossed candy and treats to the onlookers, and I myself scored an apple, a cookie, and a squirt of beer. I didn’t get to watch the Böögg burn since I had to get home, but I hear he exploded in a timely fashion and we should have a good summer.

Lost in Zurich

I’ve now gotten comfortable enough in Zurich that last week I went into downtown to wander on my own. For the first time I walked all over the place, straying from the streets I knew already and into unfamiliar territory. At one point I did actually get lost; getting myself completely turned around so that no matter how many times I stopped to look at the map, I was not able to regain my sense of direction and find Lowenplatz.

But then here’s what’s so great about Zurich: it’s not huge, so there’s not too much chance of getting very far away from where you were aiming for; plus it’s covered with public transportation. To solve my problem, all I did was find a tram stop and hop on a tram that went to Lowenplatz. How simple!

It’s a relief to discover that I can quickly find my way again if I get a little lost exploring Zurich, since walking here is one of my favorite pastimes. There are beautiful old buildings, sleek modern ones, and even mundane things look different enough to be interesting to me. Here are a few photos from my wanderings:

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