Tuesday, June 24, 2014

euro-whirl 2014: zurich, day 1.

hi all! finally, finally i am able to start blogging about our europe trip. our first few days here left us without internet access completely, then the next few days we experienced the most incredibly slow internet ever, & so on. but who, we thought, were we to complain? so we tossed our gadgets & our internetz & threw ourselves into the cities we've been able to visit, alternately scrambling about excitedly, documenting like crazy, & leaning back in a cafe or leaning against one of the many, many fountains you'll find in a european city, taking slow bites of chocolate cake or an apple, doing nothing but soaking in the day, & the atmosphere, giving ourselves little glimpses of what it would be like if we actually lived in these places.

so, let's start with zurich! i landed in zurich at about 9 in the morning on tuesday. ben picked me up from the airport & we made a quick stop at the hotel to drop off my bags & shower (maybe i'm making it up in my head, but i always feel like i gotta get all of that airplane smell off me before i can feel like an actual human again) before setting out in zurich. 

zurich was amazing. beautiful. everything about it appealed to me. the crisp lines of the buildings, the shutters flanking every single window everywhere, the bright, refreshing colors of the buildings (see the photo below), the orderliness, the bright, tree-lined streets (see the photo above), the public transportation, the cleanliness...it's a quintissential european city, & we agreed we could totally see ourselves living there. check it - we're not the only ones who find zurich immensely livable. [the one drawback - zurich is hella expensive]

i fell in love with the look of this restaurant:

one thing i noticed about zurich was their tendency to mount or hang...

...the swiss flag...


b in front of the d of one of the dozens of magnificent churches we passed:

i made ben stand in front of this window with the little soccer (football? futbal?) jerseys in it because dude loves his world cup. when the usa played portugal a few nights ago, their match started at midnight, & we had to get up at FIVE AM the next morning to catch our flight to london. i was explaining to ben the ridiculousness of this late hour & how little sleep he would get because the match would probably be about two hours, even more, meaning he would get approximately less than three hours of sleep before we had to be up & out the door. his response? "they need me!!" ("they" being the usa world cup team, natch :)

unsurprisingly, it's actually pretty fun to be in europe during the world cup. any & all restaurants & cafes we pass have a giant tv set out, either inside or mostly out in front, blaring the most recent game. guests of the restaurants & passers-by alike gather round to watch, fixated on the action on the screen, & there's a huge feeling of camaraderie as everyone cheers, groans, or tenses up in anticipation as they watch. the other day we stopped to watch the iran/argentina game at an outdoor cafe in vienna (one rather drunk guy would yell, "merci! merci!" any time yon argentine footballers did something well, & ben & i just looked at each other with a bemused "?!!?" every time he made an exclamation, until finally we grew accustomed to it & tuned him out, as everyone else in the group seemingly had). the audience was pretty much divided in half, so each feat or mistake by the players was met with an equal mix of triumph & disgust. here is one such moment we stopped to watch:

i appreciated these gatsby-esque, t.j. eckleburg-glasses watching us over us. it was a helpful reminder for me not to run anyone's mistress over with a buttery-yellow car or throw clean, immaculately folded shirts up into the air in a frenzy.

along with the voice of robert plant, hefty hardcover books, & my husband in swim trunks (the shorter the better, obviously), colorful shutters are a quick way to my heart:

i mean, these ones:

in the afternoon we stopped to eat a bit of lunch (that cost us like 50 american dollars & i'm only exaggerating a little) sitting on a ledge by the limmat river. i love when slow, lazy rivers run through cities: zurich's got this one, paris has the seine, london the thames...what you got, new york city?! (the answer: nothing, really :,( ...could splash pads count??)

please for you to notice the truly charming buildings on the river...behind ben's right shoulder, & a little to the left behind my right shoulder in the one below that, you'll see [albeit faintly] a grey building with red - red! - shutters & kind of a checkerboard pattern in between the windows. let's all move into that one!

you can see it better in the left of this photo. & that sky! what dreams are made of:

& the other side of the river. we sat on a ledge in front of that grey building at the very left of this photo:

on my list of things to do if we ever live anywhere with windows visible to the outside world (because right now, the only people who see our windows aren't people at all. they're rats! :)

the sequence of colors in the picture below simply slays me, & my minimalist sentimentality adores everything the swiss flag is doing. that is all.

benjamin, our resident german, was just killing it with the deutsche, speaking in fantastic german to everyone we came in contact with

we came upon this rather intense remainder of a hopscotch game, with the flames of "holle," or hell, burning at the bottom, & if the intrepid warrior is able to hop 8 squares, he or she lands safely in heaven. it's like a wee simplified pilgrim's progress in these latter days.

part of zurich's public transportation system includes a ferry that makes a few stops on the lake. we hopped on for a few stops & had a fun little ride - with some great views. by this time, i had been awake for about 48 hours (since waking up for work at 8 am the day before in NYC, leaving that night at 6:30 pm for my flight at 9:55 pm, making the 7 hour trip in which i was able to sleep about 3 hours, & then arriving in zurich the next morning & walk around all day), so by the time this photo was taken at our last stop of the way, i was BEYOND DONE. haha.

& a view of the lake from the ferry. we were down so close to the water! the boat rose only about six feet above the water, haha.

more to come! auf wiedersehen, adieu.

1 comment:

  1. loving this trip's wardrobe...the hat (two thumbs up) !



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