I always thought that the Netherlands was the cleanest and neatest country in Europe, but Switzerland has her beat. Zurich is pristine. It is also the most picturesque city I’ve ever seen: cobbled streets, steepled churches, fancy cafes, modern trams and a very pretty lake against the backdrop of snow capped Alpine mountains. Beautiful. And awfully civilized. The locals are very polite and things run like clockwork. And I mean like Swiss clockwork. Bells chime the time throughout the city every 15 minutes! It’s lovely, and there’s no excuse for not knowing the time.
We stayed with our dear friend Brian and his adorable black lab Meagan. Their lovely apartment is a ten minute tram ride from the main downtown area, so we were in the heart of the city daily, exploring its streets and soaking in all of its fabness.
It was wonderful to catch up with dashing Brian, who we even took shopping for a new Hugo Boss leather jacket. Very fun. And spending quality cuddle time with sweet Meagan healed my homesickness for our girls.
Believe it or not, we wore Crocs for quite a large portion of our time in Zurich. Yup. CROCS. Brian has a no-shoes-inside-the-house policy so he keeps spare Crocs for guests who forget to bring slippers. I adore Brian so I loyally sported the ugliest shoes on earth so that he can keep his stunning parquet floors in tip top condition. At least mine were a pretty modern white. If they’d been any other colour I may have needed to purchase emergency house shoes.
When I think of Switzerland, the first thing that comes to mind is the Alps and cute cows with ornate bells. But chocolate comes in as a close second and we had lots of that. One memorable chocolaty occasion was at Sprüngli, an up-market Swiss confiserie. It was a treat to watch one of their expert chocolatiers decorating big chocolate Easter eggs with detailed icing creations. We spent a good amount of time looking at all the beautifully made sweets, bon-bons, cakes and Easter-themed chocolates before purchasing some of their delights and enjoying them out in the beautiful Spring sunshine.
I didn’t sample all of the savoury local faire that the boys enjoyed, like bratwurst, cured cold cuts and wiener schnitzel, because when it comes to meat I only eat fish and chicken. But I did have a wonderful ostrich dish that reminded us of South Africa, where meat from the giant bird is quite common on restaurant menus.
Perhaps the biggest treat for me was the fashion on the streets. The people reflected their pristine, civilized surroundings. But I’ll save the details for a dedicated post this afternoon.