It’s my last day in Zurich, and the weather is a little crappy, so it’s a great day to sit down and catch you up. We left off in Stuttgart with the promise of beer fest, and man did I experience it. It wasn’t what I expected, it was better! One of my friends in Stuttgart let me borrow her dirndl (the traditional dress worn for fest) so I could feel like I belonged. It really did make the experience richer. My lovely new friend Starla helped me with my hair, and acted as a sort of guide to beer fest. Isn’t she beautiful?
My dirndl went beautifully with my timberland boots, as you can see. We took a train to the festival grounds which I was unaware would look like a county fair complete with carnies and rides.
The beer tents themselves were not tents. They were massive temporary beer halls: Long wooden tables, huge bars, full club stage and lights with a band and a DJ. Unless you’re eating (OMFG the chicken was amazing), you were standing on your bench dancing and drinking. German music, American music, drinking songs, Prost-ing songs, the party was alive and well in Stuttgart.
It was a truly incredible experience with some excellent people. Everyone was happy. There wasn’t a sullen face in the hall, and I gotta say, dirndls and liederhosen look good on everyone.
I made it to Zurich last Monday. I have really enjoyed this city. It’s got a big city feel with small, old Europe charm. The shopping is fantastic, the sight seeing is gorgeous, and the people are beautiful.
My first adventure was up to the local mountain, Uetliberg. It was an easy hike to the top with nice views of the city and the lake. I met an American girl, an Australian man, and a Canadian girl on the train on the way to the mountain, and we had a really nice time exploring together. They were really open, intelligent people with interesting stories to tell. It made the mountain much more special.
These lights lined the trail up to the peak, silent sentinels watching over the city.
The next evening, I got to go swing dancing! It was a Lindy Hop style party with a short class before hand. I haven’t danced Lindy in ages, and it really showed. Nevertheless, the locals ensured I had a great time. I think my face was sore afterward from all the smiling and laughing.
On my explorations in the old town shopping district, I found a Lululemon. ❤️ Naturally, I had to go in to inspect. The salesman came over to see if I needed help, discovered I was American, and we instantly got to talking about crossfit and movement. The next day, he brought me to this outdoor workout area. After a quick lunch by the river, we did a street workout. It was a blast! Coach Jenna came out and helped a couple people work on some gymnastics skills. We all had a really great time just working out in the fresh air and playing on the equipment like children.
Of course, after the workout, we treated ourselves to a beer. He brought me to a metal bar. I was so thrilled!! I felt right at home.
I liked it so much, that I went back the following day with an American friend I met.
Kira was an amazing find. She was in town only one night, but we will surely be friends for a long time. Her stories of travel were inspiring, and I look forward to seeing her somewhere else in the world someday. It was like meeting a sister you never knew you had. Our mutual local friend Stephan joined us the next day for a brief city tour before we sent her off to her next destination. He was the perfect hipster guide. We got great coffee and found the best shops you’ve probably never heard of.
On the recommendation of the people of the Internet, I took a longer train trip out of the city to visit the Rhinefalls. It’s the largest waterfall in Europe right at the border of Germany and Switzerland. It was a chilly, windy, fall day, but the sun was out, so it was bearable. The falls didn’t disappoint. The river was crystal clear and full of beautiful trout, and the falls were rainbow lined and spectacular.
I walked about 3 kilometers along the river just listening to the wind in the leaves and the trickle of the water. Despite being chilly, It was a wonderful way to pass the time.
I always ask the locals what food I have to try in their city. Here, the resounding answer was fondue. To my delight, there was a fondue place right on the river. It was cold outside, but they give you blankets when you’re seated, and the hot cheese comes out very quickly leaving little time to notice the chill. You’re served a large pot of fondue, bread chunks, steamed baby potatoes, and pickles. It was delicious! I’ll admit, it got boring after a while, but definitely worth trying. Plus, the riverfront by night is a perfect backdrop for dinner.
Tomorrow I leave for Milan. I’m taking my first bus there, and already have a gym buddy waiting. I’m excited!
I didn’t crossfit in Zurich as the gyms had ridiculous drop in fees, and I couldn’t justify it. Back on the gain train this week.
By the way, the chocolate in Switzerland is as good as they say. ?