Top 6 Things I Love About Living in Switzerland
We’ve been busy enjoying the summer in Zürich (despite frequent returns to autumn weather), with bike rides, picnics and picking berries at local farms. While the month of July cruises by, it’s time to add another year to the ongoing love affair … two love affairs, actually. Twelve years for me and my husband. And six for me and Zürich.
“I walk out my door and still get giddy with excitement when I see the perfect white skyline of the Alps. I walk through the winding cobblestone streets of the old town, or stroll along the river, looking down at the swans. That brings me to the lake, sparkling clean and blue. With the summer heat coming, it will once again appear to be covered with confetti – so many colorful pedal boats and sailboats, and people out on the water. I don’t see what there is not to love about Zürich. I have yet to find the answer to that question.” So I said in 2009, marking my first anniversary in Zürich. And you know what, I still haven’t answered that question.
And so, for my sixth anniversary in this city I fell in love with when arriving for the first time in 2008,… the top 6 six things I love about living here: (Click on the photos below to read full articles)
6. I love the four seasons. I would never want to live in a country that didn’t have snow storms, falling leaves of all colors, as well as sweltering days throughout the year. Zürich looks awfully good in all seasons and all types of weather.
5. Rare is the weekend without a festival, event or local holiday somewhere in Switzerland. And Zürich alone has its fair share – from setting a 300 foot tall snowman afire to mark the end of winter (Sechseläuten) to nautical jousting on the Limmat River (Schifferstechen), you gotta love Zürich and its loyalty to medieval traditions. And its loyalty to age old sports and customs too, including Schwinget, yodelling and flag throwing, to name a few. For me, a few of Switzerland’s most extraordinary events, each both beautiful and fascinating in its own right, are the hot air balloon festival in Château-d’Oex, White Turf horses races on St. Moritz’s lake and the annual Alpabfahrt (cows’ descent from the Alps), which is simply as traditional as you can get.
4. Whether you travel by train, plane, bus or car, you are in the very center of Europe. France and Germany are at our fingertips; Italy and Austria just over the border too. Within a couple of hours, you can be eating gelato in Rome, kugelhopf in Alsace, Kaisershmarrn in Berlin and macarons in Paris. Churros con chocolate in Barcelona, pastes de Belem in Lisbon and domáci kolác in Prague won’t seem far either.
3. Forget the plane or car, simply hop on a train or even your bicycle and countless charming villages await. As many destinations as I have on my wish list throughout Europe, there are just as many within Switzerland itself. Only problem is, as charming and picturesque they are, I now have a new list: “places to visit… again.” A few high on that Swiss list: Splügen, Murten, Appenzell and Gruyères. Ooh, and Zermatt and Vevey too.
2. It has been such a joy going to the market once or twice a week, every week, in Zürich. Rain or shine, the most beautiful and tasty fruits and vegetables, gorgeous flowers and top quality fish, meet, cheese and breads are on display, with passionate farmers and/or sellers behind them. I have shared photos from my many market visits on the blog numerous times over the past few years, and now even have a special hash tag on Instagram, “back from the market with…” At Bürkliplatz market in Zürich, I’ve learned more than I could have imagined about seasonal produce, made good friends, added recipes to my cooking arsenal from them, and baked countless desserts with the changing fruits throughout the year.
And the number one reason I love living in Switzerland….
1. CHOCOLATE. Swiss chocolate. Need I say more ?!
2013: Still Finding New Ways to Love Zürich
2012: 4 Years in Zürich and it’s only getting sweeter
2011: My Love Affair Continues… with Zürich
2010: Cookies for an Anniversary
2009: Me and Zürich – 1 Year