Saturday, 18 June 2011

Switzerland 2011 - Bella's travels and travails

What would you do(?) - when, having just returned from holiday, full of enthusiasm, keen to sift through your way too many photographs; when you have to return to work and know that all the work that hadn't been done during your absence would be piled so high that barely a lunch break would be had all week; when your intentions, after taking time to reflect on your travels, were to make the most of the spare time remaining in the two weeks following your holiday, making cards and preparing for what will hopefully be a successful event (famous last words) on the last Saturday (25 June) of the West End Festival - and you get a telephone call, the morning after your arrival home, from someone who is getting married in eight weeks time.  The same someone who announced to the world ten months ago that they would be getting married in eight weeks time; who had long since booked the wedding venue, purchased the dress and no doubt all the paraphernalia that goes with such an occasion.   Then eight weeks before wedding - and two(!) weeks before they are due to be sent out - they remember that they haven't manged to get around to sorting out the wedding invitations......!! (You're asking me to do what.....?!?)

So, for the past week, I have been burning the midnight oil and working my little fingers to the bone on some 100 (albeit very simple - given the time scale) wedding invitations - trying not to let someone down, when all the while inside I have been screaming - "WHY DID YOU HAVE TO ASK ME?!!" (just discovered that I can change the colour of my text - can you sense my frustration?!)

Anyhoo!  Rant over, work week over, wedding invitations - nearly over - I'm composed and ready for a blog!

The holiday.   I choose to visit Switzerland for two reasons.  Firstly - because I have very dear friends who live there and secondly - because I love it!   Whenever I visit I  feel like I have received an injection of happiness and that keeps me ticking over until my next visit. I don't 'do' Switzerland in any lavish style - in fact part of what I love about it is that to enjoy it, it is not necessary to do so in a lavish way (though there is certainly evidence all around of many who can afford to - and do so - with bells on!).   From the moment I arrive in the country I sense an atmosphere of prosperity. A country where everything seems to be well cared for, which has a wonderful transport system - and it is stunningly beautiful.  But there's no getting away from the fact that it is expensive!  This year, more than any other, I noticed how much more expensive it had become - for little old me (£1.00 bought CHF1.29 - ouch!).

I travelled via Amsterdam and everything went like clockwork - in fact our flight was 20 minutes early when we approached Zurich airport but there was no landing slot available to us so we had to circle Zurich a few times before we could land.    The sky above was clear blue, the cotton-wool like carpet of clouds below were ultra bright, ultra white - and in the distance the mountain tops peeped through the clouds.  As we awaited permission to land we were treated to an an amazing mountain peaks' skyride as we circled high above the clouds over Zurich!

First day and overnight I spent in Zurich.  Leaving my large suitcase in the left luggage at Zurich train station (CHF8 for 24 hours - which I think is a real bargain!) I had a brief wander along Bahnhofstrasse, with its high end shops, beautiful window displays, street cafes full of coffee drinkers and  people watchers, trams clanging away busily and lots and lots of people - but I felt something was missing this time and couldn't quite decide what.  Street Art - that's what it was! During previous visits  the  Cow Parade and the Plant Pot Parade had added colour and even more interest to this very busy street. (I've also seen the Cow Parade in Edinburgh and Florence.)

As it was a brief visit, not too many pics but I did stop to purchase some of these

from Sprungli, who, I am reliably informed  make the best chocolate in Swizerland (tasted pretty good to me, and should have, as the little blue box of goodies - top right pic - cost around £32.00 for only the one layer of chocs!).  Sorry to be crass but just to give you an idea.....!

In the afternoon and evening I visited with friends, relaxed, then had a BBQ overlooking Lake Zurich.

A good first day!


  1. Hello:
    As Zurich is only a quick hop from Budapest, you are tempting us to visit Switzerland again without further delay!

    How wonderful to have friends there since that does always make one feel less like a tourist and more like an insider with all the advantages which that brings.

    The view lookng over Lake Zurich looks simply breathtaking. How marvellous to live with that as a background to your garden. We are sure that we should never tire of it. But, the price of chocolates.....still, it helps with the diet!!!

  2. Prosperity and cleanliness! Wish we had more of the latter, especially, in London. Is that the view from your friends' garden? Wow!!
    Look forward to seeing more...

  3. wow those chocs make me want to get on a plane now! looks lovely,b - and hope your wedding invite scenario calmed down! Cx

  4. Sounds as if Switzerland was just as lovely as ever.
    Yes, Swiss chocolate will be served in heaven......I think.

    About the wedding invitations:
    I think you should print up the old adage


    All best wishes from hot and muggy New York

  5. I just got caught up on your latest posts on switzerland and it makes my heart so so happy!!! i wish i could have seen you though, so that is very sad. but i can't wait to hear about luzern -and you sure did zurich right from as far as i can see!!!!

  6. hmmmmm, Sprungli! I don't know if it's the best, but I do know it's my favorite :-)

    Next time you are in Zurich drop me a line, would love to meet you in real life!