Saturday, 22 September 2012


So during my two  months off travelling I was very lucky to leave for Zurich with a very cool bunch of people: amongst us we were 4 Germans, one born in Zimbabwe, 2 Americans, 1 Korean, 1 Slovakian (Finland) and one not so secretly more content to be mistaken for French English person, aka me.

There was no doubt probably from the outside we were a strange bunch but from the word go we 10 strangers mingled well and were like a little family by the end of our short stay; Magda and Folie were the mother and father figures – organisers of everything from food to transport to the whole weekend itself! 

And why did I find myself jetting off to Switzerland with 8 strangers? 
Because of  Santina, aka Shrek, my longtime first friend from Paris (see blog: Shrek and Donkey and The Elevator McFlurry Moments) could try out her nerves flying and concur her  air-phobia before she planned to fly over to Miami for a year!
Santina was scared to say the least but with this herd of bubbling evidently eager tourists as companions, I think I can say we took the fright of ‘flrightening’! Sorry terrible joke.
 I made various over this trip but who can blame me, living in France with French people sometimes can get frustrating when you crack jokes left right and center only for them to fall on deaf ears because word games and what I would say are cunningly sly one liners are less than understood. So for me, finding myself in amidst those who share the shame mother tongue and appreciate the same music and even same child hood favourite cartoons I revelled in being able to joke alot easier. I’m not saying that in France, I am less a jester!  Although, the jokes are less plentiful and less well-founded, or just too English sometimes to be digested by french tastebuds!  
Anywho! Jetting off we landed in Zurich all in one piece much to Santina’s relief! We headed off to where we were staying Utliberg, a hill looking over the Zurich Lake and the city. It was stunning to say the least! We arrived late and got given a tour guide by our mysterious spiritual healing temporary landlord and her cat...Hmmm!
If I had to be honest and get all critical on my travelling I would say Zurich is not somewhere I would say ‘put on your not to miss list’. Not because it’s not worth it, it is! We revelled in walking around the city, I liked questioning the locals on what was good to do! There was a slight difference of holidaying styles: the germans wanting to stick to a rigid plan of things to see and what time to get bck to the house and eat and the rest of us opting for a more relaxed tourist approach: wander, ask questions, be curious, enjoy the sunshine, take lots of photos, compare each other home countries loudly and eat ice cream in plentiful doses of each!

Zurich is an outstandingly beautiful city – the river, clean blue striking against the hills and in the deep background the alps can be seen watching over all the old architecture balanced with the inevitable building evolution as Switzerland’s capital.
The river is without a doubt the top spot to be during the summer: the river edge is littered with various restaurants, public bathing spots and buskers can be found decorating the hot summer air with their melodies. This hot bustle of activity along the waters border is idyllic and the clear crystal blue waters of the Limmat River makes you feel like you’re walking in paradise.
Zurich the capital. Wow.

However Santina and I also took the train to Basel, a neighbouring city and I can honestly say I was blown away! If I thought Zurich was an attractive city Basel is better and why? For two reasons:
1)      Less tourists and it not being the capital make it lets do the ice cream comparison: Zurich 7euros Basel 2euros 50 cents. WoW. Lots cheaper!

2)      The river Rhine is lots more fun! You walk along the river edge until you choose a suitably beach zone to lay down your affaires take off your shoes strip down to swimming suit and you waddle in to find that the Rhine current takes you away! Literally! You are pushed, no point swimming against it, unless you want to work on up your arm muscles is good exercise but you are powerless to fight against the force of water that gently yet surprisingly efficiently sweeps you down the river – where you get out? Well, that depends how far you are happy to walk back! It’s a thrilling experience that is worth every...oh wait. Unlike in Zurich you can bath in the river for FREE! Yes!
Whilst there I comtemplated the fact that I could easily see myself retired and living in summer Basel: like the locals going for a jog along the river until the summer sun gets to hot and you cant resist the call of the lapping current of the Rhine when you dump your stuff in a waterproof bag which you use as a cushion, laying down literally letting the water have it’s way with you!
This feeling is better than any yoga relaxation, massage, ANYTHING. Just the river Rhine can make you feel like a heap of liquid wonderment!  Stress fighting? Why fight? Just float!

This is the start of my two months holiday!  J I feel like a buddah who has been practising meditation for 30 years and has found he’s ZEN. Blisssssssss.................