Trams, trains, and the Hugo

My first full week in Zürich has quickly gone by.  Prior to moving here I was a bit concerned that I’d be bored during the workweek but that hasn’t really been the case.  I haven’t exactly been jam packing my days with sightseeing cultural landmarks but, instead, have been taking it easy, getting up without an alarm, sometimes going for a run by the river in the morning, sometimes not.  I’ve been meeting Christian and his coworkers for lunch, walking around the city and just generally figuring out how things work here in Zürich.

Silh River, Zurich

Sihl River, a great place for a jog

There happens to be an amazing little bakery right by our house. I’m sure it isn’t anything special by Swiss standards but it is by mine. They make one heck of a tasty Gipfeli  (That’s Swiss german for croissant). I’ve been experimenting and trying a different one each day. I thought chocolate was may favorite until I tried vanilla. The vanilla completely changed my longstanding perspective on chocolate croissants being the superior pastry in the hierarchy of buttery baked goods.

Aside from contemplating the hierarchy of Gipfeli’s, I’ve taken notice of some things that are very different here in Zürich compared to Boston. First, people stop for you at crosswalks. Even if you literally just got to the crosswalk and hadn’t even thought to cross the street yet.  Maybe you weren’t sure if you wanted to cross. Too late, they’ve already stopped. That also means that pedestrians adhere to walk signals. Again, a novel concept.

I know everyone says this but it’s hard not to extoll the efficiency of public transport here. The trams, busses and trains are immaculate and always on time. Stops are clearly announced and marked. It’s just so… civilized and easy to get around which is a good thing because cabs are out of the question and uber is not ubiquitous or the bargain it is back home.

There are some things that will take some getting used to. Laundry for example. One would either need to be a native speaker or have a masters in high german to understand the myriad of options on the dryer. And if you plan to do laundry, don’t plan to do anything else. It’s two hours for a wash and another two to dry.

Swiss Clothes Dryer

Not everything is efficient time-wise, anyway

And recycling? Don’t even get me started. One day is paper, one is cardboard, there’s regular trash, food trash, and I haven’t even figure out plastics, glass and aluminum yet but once I do, I will surely devote an entire post to it.

In-between all of this recycling and laundry I did get a chance to experience a little bit of the afterwork scene at a restaurant bar on the lake, called Qaui 61.  I did not try the food, however, I did enjoy a Hugo, my favorite drink on their roof deck which has a striking view of the lake.

View of Lake Zurich for Quai 61

View of Lake Zurich from Quai 61

What is a Hugo you ask? Only the most delicious and refreshing drink I’ve ever come across. I discovered it for the first time skiing in the dolomites where it is hugely popular as an apreski aperitif. It is a little bit like a Mojito, but lighter and more refreshing. I think it makes the perfect summer cocktail. Maybe you will too. I’ve included a recipe below.


Recipe for a Hugo Cocktail adapted from Spicy Seasons
Makes 1 glass


  • 150ml prosecco
  • 100ml plain sparkling water
  • 2cl elderflower cordial (St. Germaine)
  • 1 slice of lime
  • A few leaves of fresh spearmint
  • ice cubes

Place the mint leaves into a wine glass and press on the leaves with a wooden mortar (or just throw them in). Add the lime slice and the ice cubes. I like to squeeze the lime but that’s just me. Fill in the elderflower cordial, prosecco and sparkling water.

Stir and enjoy.









8 thoughts on “Trams, trains, and the Hugo

  1. Fun blog, Allison. I look forward to reading more as you continue your adventure. And thus must be a fun new creative outlet for you…though I would like to know what you’re doing artistically. 🙂



  2. I think Switzerland will be a wonderful place to live and I look forward to reading more of your blog posts! The cocktail looks very tempting, perhaps when the good weather returns to northern Europe, I will give it a try! 🙂


  3. We vividly remember driving from the Como region of Italy over the border into Switzerland. Our first comment was “how civilized.”


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