Tis the season for glühwein, tacos and a touch of the tropics

Ok… I admit, it’s been weeks since my last post. Yes, I went back home for some time but I have no real excuse for my recent hiatus. You were probably thinking that my foray into blogging was just a fleeting hobby, or momentary novelty, that I abandoned as quickly as I began. My lonely WordPress site, languishing untouched much like the box of origami papers I once purchased with the best of intentions.

My sincerest “Es tut Mir leid” to those who have been on the edge of their seats waiting to read my next post. I promise (to all three of my avid followers) that I will not leave you hanging for so long again.

So yes, I’m back in Zurich, after a long trip home. It felt a bit odd at first to be back but I’m settling in nicely once again. Having been in Boston for the past month, there were certainly some things that I missed about Zurich and vice-versa of course. I will just say the T is does not stand for tram.  Conversely, try as they may, there is nothing here remotely close to Toro, my favorite tapas restaurant in Boston. For that matter, restaurants in Zürich don’t offer quite the same variety and value I’m accustomed to. They tend to be very expensive, best saved for special occasions and are sometimes hit or miss.

Interestingly enough, a recent trip to Frankfurt reminded me just how quaint and different from Boston Zürich really is. Frankfurt has skyscrapers, a large American style shopping mall with a food court and… get this, a Chipolte! Of all of the restaurants in Frankfurt I elected to go to Chipolte and it was worth every euro. The train station even had a Dunkin Donuts with some seriously, neon-colored confections. I’ll stick with the Gipfeli. Nicht für mich, danke.

Here are a few photos from my short trip to Frankfurt.

I’m also excited to share some photos I took at a indoor tropical garden here in Zurich. The garden which houses a handful of tropical birds and hundreds of varieties of plants was teaming with exuberant kleinkinder on a rainy Sunday afternoon.  I didn’t manage to capture many birds or kleinkinder but the lush foliage provided ample inspiration.

Lastly, it’s officially Christmas season here in Zurich. I met a friend and a few new acquaintances by one of Zurich’s most popular glühwein stands to watch the lighting of Bahnofstraße. This is the yearly event when the Christmas markets officially open and everyone gathers and cheers as the lights along the main shopping district are all lit at once. Stores give out free cookies and wine. There’s a 1970’s era Sesame Street evoking “Singing Christmas tree” and another famous tree in the Bahnhof lavishly dripping with three stories of Swarovki crystals.

Bahnhofstrasse

I personally love how Zürich transforms this time of year. In addition to the lights and decorations, the main streets and stations bustle with Christmas stalls selling all kinds of crafts and novelties, while the pungent aroma of glühwein and raclette waft through the air. It’s probably a bit touristy or even kitschy for the locals but for a just-off-the-plane, Amerikanerin like myself it looks, feels and smells like Christmas, and everything a quintessential European city could aspire to be this time of year.

Advertisements

One thought on “Tis the season for glühwein, tacos and a touch of the tropics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s