Switzerland, Day 1

I have always been inspired by my friend Joanne Wilson’s travel blog posts where she shares her thoughts and observations after each day of travel.

So I thought I would give it a try and see if it works for me. 

(My posts won’t have any photographs since I’m shooting film but I will be share the scans a few weeks after my return)

This past February my wife and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. We went to the Caribbean with the kids for an extended winter getaway but also wanted to do something for just ourselves and started thinking of places to go that was easy to reach from the United States, somewhere with great hiking and outdoors and new to us. That led us to a spring visit to Switzerland. 

So on Friday after my morning meeting in Boston with a really cool entrepreneur, I set my ‘out of office’ setting in Gmail went home, picked up Lauren and we left for the airport to fly overnight to Zurich. I slept about 2 hours, Lauren did much better. 

The drive to our hotel was easy and fast. We checked into the hotel and I took this panorama photograph with my phone. 

We met up with Yen, a friend of Lauren’s from our undergrad days who now lives in Zurich with her family. After a lunch outside at Kindli, Yen and her daughter took us for a wonderful walk around the city. 

I opened the Uber app on my phone just to check and yes, Uber is here. But we didn’t use it once.  I love how everyone walks or bikes everywhere. The beautiful Limmat river runs though the city with walkways on both sides. I’m told the river is so clean that people swim in it during the summer months, jumping off the one of the bridges closest to Lake Zurich. I couldn’t help but compare that to the impossible notion of swimming in Boston’s Charles River or the East River in New York City. 

The cleanliness of Zurich continues in the streets and buildings everywhere. Window boxes adorn the old windows along the main streets and smaller alleyways. Kids and adults drink from various fountains in the many squares in the city. 

By mid afternoon we needed a little boost, so Yen took us to Sprüngli for some amazing chocolate. Oh my god. If you visit Zurich, please make sure to find your way here. Lauren had a champagne truffle and I am still having day dreams of the salted caramel. 

Afterwards, we walked to Yen’s apartment and met the rest of her family. We brought a few gifts and I taught their oldest boy, age 13, how to throw the American football we gave him. After thirty seconds he was throwing a perfect spiral. He asked me how much time the quarterback has to make the pass. I showed him a clip of Joe Montanna & “The Catch” on YouTube and we were both smiling. 

By late evening we said goodnight to our friends and Lauren and I had dinner at Kronenhalle. I felt a little awkward showing up in a t-shirt while the rest of the customers had a jacket & tie on in this 140 year old establishment. But the people working at the restaurant where super friendly and my anxiety faded as I enjoyed a beer with my dinner in comfortable clothes.

After dinner we walked some more and called the kids back home. We were happy they had such a good day themselves and I’m grateful to my mother in law and parents who are taking care of them this week.

Today is Sunday already and it’s about 7:30am. Lauren is still fast asleep and I’ve been up for about 2 hours. We are going to leave Zurich mid day and take train south to Lucerne. The weather forecast looks great.  And I couldn’t be happier to be here with my soul mate.