European Adventure

Pfäffikon to Schmerikon

Poor Cosmo. We practically had to drag him the last hour of our 16 kilometer walk from Pfäffikon to Schmerikon. The weather and scenery were beautiful, the conversation riveting, and the dog, well, he couldn’t care less. After all, there were cats to chase, balls to catch, and swans to avoid (those things are big and mean!).

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Ich bin ein Berliner

Quick history lesson in case “Ich bin ein Berliner” doesn’t ring a bell. This is a famous quotation from a June 26, 1963 speech by John F. Kennedy in West Berlin. By declaring “I am a citizen of Berlin” Kennedy was expressing solidarity with West Berlin, which was surrounded by communist East Germany. Since the Berlin wall fell in 1989, the city has been reunited (and it feels so good). Anyhow… the city has really transformed in the past 20 years. The mixture of modern and Soviet inspired architecture makes for a very interesting and complex city. We loved it!

To Einsiedeln and Back

Up and over the mountain from Pfäffikon is a small town called Einsiedeln. The hike was amazing. Cosmo kept up and slept on the train ride home. The town is home of an ancient Abbey complete with horse stables, schools and monastery.

Country Fair- Swiss Style

I guess the Swiss have more in common with us Americans than we thought. Who can resist an autumn country fair, complete with junk food, farm animals and carnival rides? What was the best part of the day you ask-well, we’ll tell you- the “Rennschwein” or the pig races. The prize must have been a free pass from the bacon factory, because those little piggies can “run wee, wee, wee, all the way home” pretty darn fast! Stay tuned for video…

Mother of All Gnomabilia

The Ultimate in Gnome Kitch. Gnomes are in many, many Swiss gardens, yards, doorways etc.  Just gotta love it.

Föhn

Winters in Zurich are typically wet and foggy. But every once in a while, a weather pattern known as föhn clears the skies and provides views clear across the country. This is a view of the Eastern Alps from Thalwil. Once over the ridge, we could also see the famed Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau in the Bernese Oberland.

Lost in Translation?

What were the “Mad Men” of Switzerland thinking when they came up with this product name? Maybe they were on “crack”.

Felix Unger would love it here!

Organization and order is the rule of the day. This is one family’s newspaper recycling for the month and every other household folds, stacks and bundles their old newspapers in exactly this same way. It is truly an example of the art and science of Swiss tidiness. Beverly, obviously, loves it here. New ways to clean and organize, what else could you want?

Walensee

Every time we discover a new part of Switzerland, we declare “this is the most beautiful place we’ve seen!”. Our hike from Walenstadtberg to Weesen, along Walensee was no different. We stopped for lunch at a waterfall, bought some home-made jam in Quinten, a Medieval town halfway down the lake, and enjoyed a 9 CHF (roughly $9) bottle of mineral water at a restaurant / cow pasture. Cosmo loved cooling off during the 16 kilometer hike. He was a real trooper. After a few more hikes like this, we should all be in ski-season shape. The mountains have already seen their first dusting of snow.

Thalwil

We took Cosmo for a walk around our neighborhood in Thalwil, a suburb ten minutes from central Zürich.  In many ways, this place reminds us of home: it’s beautiful, close to the city, and rural enough to keep us grounded.  OK, we have cows in the neighborhood, so maybe it’s a bit more rural than home.