I was in Zurich during the World Cup, which was kind of fun, if only too see a lot of Swiss people out partying in the squares.
Too bad they lost. They can console themselves with their amazing scenery.
When the weather is beautiful in Zurich, it's amazing- green and lush with the high alps looking over you. When it's dreary and gray (which seems to be unusually frequently) the city becomes leaden. I switched my camera over to B&W because I couldn't get any color saturation at all against the flat, gray sky.
It's just so story-book pretty.
I love any city that has swans. We don't have them in New York- just Canadian Geese. The swans are prettier.
One day when the sun threated to come out, I went for a hike up Uetliberg, the small mountain just outside downtown Zurich. You can take a train or a funicular, but I opted to hike up a steep trail. The trailhead is right near a tram stop, but as soon as you get there you're in the middle of the countryside.
This is the cutest slug I've ever seen.
The view from the top is stunning- it was too cloudy out to really see the Alps, but you could see their shadowy outline on the horizon.
There were hang gliders everywhere up there! You could see them work their way back and forth along the ridge line. It looked like so much fun.
There were also these hawks everywhere. They would just catch an updraft and float motionless.
I set out and walked along the ridge. It got countrified instantly. This is just a couple of miles outside downtown Zurich:
but it felt a world away. It was a nice, wide footpath and you could take it for several kilometers past farms and cows and lots of dark cool forest before hiking or taking a funicular back down to a train station. How easy is that?
These people were sitting out on their picnic table, looking over the Alps. I hate them so.
When I finally got a full-on sunshine day, I went to the beach.
In New York, you don't swim anywhere near the city. The Hudson, the East River, LI sound, Coney Island. All these are off limits. Well, some people swim at Coney Island, but I've seen enough condoms washed up on the sand to know better. So it's completely novel and amusing to me to have a city around a body of water that is clean enough for people to swim in. Hell, it was downright enjoyable to swim there. It was cold, but having a diving board helped. You just have to go for it headfirst sometimes.