viernes, 15 de febrero de 2013

Walking in a Winter Wonderland (Part II)

But the real Winter Wonderland is, of course, Switzerland, where I was last November. The idea behind this quick escape was simple: I had some spare time, found cheap flights with Swiss Air from Madrid to Genève, didn’t know the country and had some friends in different cities which I meant to visit for quite a while so… off I went.

The first day was spent visiting Genève, the second Luzern, the third Zurich and the last day the… United Nations, that is actually in a spare category. During the next couple of days I’ll post the pictures from the different cities I visited, starting from Zurich not only because of the pressure the friends I visited there are making (guilty as charged!) but also because it was the coziest I ever felt in a winter landscape. Specially in the afternoon we went to Péclard. That really felt as a Winter Wonderland, with the hot chocolate, the Christmas carols and the love of my friends: Judith and Sandro. Guys, I apologize for having taken so long to post the pictures and I’m really looking forward to visit you in the Summer, to see the light and bright side of this Zurich and… go down the river as you promised we would!

The night I arrived was received with the tastiest Fondue ever!

Hummmm, how creamy!!! And, as you can see by the picture above, served in the traditional way: with bread, pickles, little cherry tomatoes and corn cobs, white wine, tea and starch, to avoid the cheese from becoming thick.

The next morning, before we started trudging the city, we went to check the view from terrace of Judith and Sandro’s building. Amazing, almost 360º over Zurich, and what an amazing place to sunbath and to make barbecues in the Summer. Even if they didn’t promise me that we will swim down the river, just seeing this terrace and imagining the possibilities that it hides would already convinced to come back in a couple of months, when the weather will be better. 

What you see at the distance, looking almost like a greenhouse, is actually a swimming pool. Apparently Zurich is the city with more swimming pools in the entire world. These swimming pools are directly in the lake and in the river and when people dive, they’re actually diving into the lake or river. Nevertheless, due to the whole wooden structure they can also sunbath calmly and save their stuff in the specific dress rooms and… during the night, they can party in there. At night millions of light bulbs create the coolest environment to have some drinks and chat with your friends, while you have your feet inside the lake/river water. 

At one side the lake, at the other the river… and us in the middle!

Despite being the largest city in Switzerland, home of several important banks and companies, Zurich still has that little town charm. Especially during Christmas time. 

Inside Péclard. Next time you’ll be in Zurich take my advice and DON’T MISS IT. Apart from the fact that it is beautiful, one of those coffee shops from the old times, it has a huge variety of chocolates, cakes, teas and pastries and they’re all delicious. I must confess that I’m not a chocolate person, but being in Switzerland and not having chocolates seemed like a crime. So, when Judith and Sandro took me to Péclard, I decided to stop counting the calories of everything and taste it all with no regards nor regrets!

While we were waiting for our afternoon snack… Trying with my LOMO fish eye lens and the golden balls from the Christmas Tree that was next to us!

And now with Sandro as well…

Although Zurich is not a “tall” city (it barely has skyscrapers, nor a lot of buildings with towers), its tallest and older buildings are all together, almost if they were competing  (like the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building). 

Oh boy, the sun goes down early in this part of Europe. Especially during this time of the year!

But I think that Zurich looks even more beautiful with all the little lights on. 

Mafie being silly in Zurich!

And Sandro and Judith also being silly in Zurich! 

There’s a bar on the top of that tower. But that isn’t the most interesting view from Zurich. The most interesting is the one we saw from the restaurant/bar/lounge of the Prime Tower, an office building that also houses a hotel and a privileged food and drink’s area on its 35th floor!

Do you want to guess what this is?!

I’ll let you know because I’m sure you’ll never ever guess it right. It is a Police Station! Cool, ahn?! 

The tram railways and the Hauptbahnhof at the distance. I loved the means of transportation in Zurich. Actually not only in Zurich! From Genève to Luzern, from Luzern to Zurich and from Zurich back to Genève I traveled with the SBB and they were incredible (and also incredibly expensive). Always arrived sharp, are clean and comfortable and the people that work in there are quite correct. Not super nice, but I actually prefer it this way… less talk and more efficiency. And, either we think about Swiss clocks, Swiss banks or Swiss trains, we always arrive to the same conclusion: they’re perfect! 

The Hauptbahnhof or Central Station.

The “Protective Angel" hangs over the travelers’ heads in the lobby of the Zurich Central Station. It’s a work from the artist Niki de Saint Phalle and, in my opinion, has the perfect name.  And although this angel isn’t quite my style, here you go a cool piece of information: it was inspired by Gaudi’s art. Cool, isn’t it?!

Having a Kir Royale while enjoying the night view from the 35th floor of the Prime Tower could have been the perfect way to end up this quick escape to Zurich… But, I couldn’t leave without seeing Les Halles. Because we were only a short walking distance way from it, after our cocktail in the Prime Tower Judith took me to see the funkiest and youngest place in all Zurich. We weren’t hungry not thirsty, but couldn’t miss the chance to visit this Bar-Tapas-Restaurant-Gourmet-Shop in the west part of city. It was definitely the cherry on the top of the cake and another reason to come back this Summer! 

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