Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer 2015 > Summer 2014

Matterhorn Panorama, Sleachmour Adventures
Can you spot the famous mountain?
Chopfab beer in Altstadt Zurich, Sleachmour Adventures
Beers in Altstadt Zurich
I have fallen far, far behind on blogging. It's been over two months since my last post and I owe updates on half a dozen trips: Dijon, London, Amsterdam, Budapest, Lausanne, Milan.... Plus, we have visits with Matt's mom and my friend Julie to share! I will get to them soon, I promise. I have the best excuse for the delay: it has been the most gorgeous summer here in Switzerland. Last summer was cool and rain soaked. This summer has been the polar opposite, gloriously full of warm, sunny days. We've been soaking up every bit, swimming in lakes and rivers, climbing mountains, learning new hobbies and trying desperately to keep our non-air conditioned apartment cool. The last month was the hottest on record here in Zurich, with highs in the 90s for about half of the days and 80s for the rest. It's been hot! Despite the lack of AC, I really haven't minded. It feels a bit like home (but with less humidity than central Ohio, thank god). Here's a peek into how we've spent our second summer in Switzerland.

Celebrating Comfest abroad, Sleachmour Adventures
Celebrating Comfest from afar
Swimming & Hanging Out Lakeside
Last year's rainy, cool summer combined with my Ohio-bred general distrust of lakes (they're all dirty and slimy, right?) kept us out of Lake Zurich last summer. This summer, the clear blue water and 90+ degree temperatures won me over. We've been swimming! Not only in the Zurichsee and Greifensee, but also floating down the Limmat river. Henry is as enthusiastic a swimmer as ever, but is getting braver, jumping in deeper waters and swimming further away. He'll chase a stick almost anywhere.
Swimming in Zurich, Sleachmour Adventures
Clockwise from the left: swimming with friends in the Zurichsee, Matt & Henry working on the tan lakside
and Becky after a float down the Limmat river
Henry swimming around Zurich, Sleachmour Adventures
Top to bottom: Henry in the Glatt, Lake Greifensee, Henry in the Zurichsee with a very large stick.
Not pictured: the swans that are always hovering nearby waiting to kill the obnoxious little dog!
Fun facts from Switzerland: it's legal to drink and barbecue almost anywhere in Switzerland. BYO grill, meat and beers lakeside for a typically Swiss summer day. 

Fourth of July
Speaking of... in July we gathered fellow American expats (and some favorite non-Americans) for a 4th of July barbecue by the Zurichsee. Special thanks to Beverly whose recent trip back to the states supplied us with American flags and Matt's new favorite accessory.
Expat 4th of July in Zurich, Sleachmour Adventures
Clockwise from top left: Matt & Tom man the grills, sparklers, rocking festive eyewear
and the expat gang enjoying our American-ish feast. 
Nearby Hörnli was our first mountain hike of the summer. Friends joined us for a hike to the second highest spot in Canton Zurich.
Hornli Hiking, Sleachmour Adventures
Hörnli hiking, making friends with cows

We recently purchased a new hiking book: Bierwandern Schweiz, beer hikes in Switzerland for you non-German speakers! It's a book of gorgeous hikes in Switzerland all ending at a convenient spot to purchase and enjoy an unique Swiss beer. Our second hike from the book was the Lötschberg Südrampe, which follows the Rhone through its deep valley. The bierwandern began in Hohtenn, followed an old train route halfway up the mountainside and ended at Hotel Bahnhof Ausserberg where we enjoyed three different Suonen Bräu beers.
Bierwandern Schweiz, Sleachmour Adventures
Lötschberg Südrampe Bierwandern

Our first attempt at seeing the Matterhorn last summer failed miserably.

Matterhorn, July 2014, Sleachmour Adventures
July 30, 2014 on top of the Kleine Matterhorn. The Matterhorn is right behind Matt. Can't you see it? 
This year we were much more successful.

Matterhorn from the Slellisee, 5-Seenweg, Sleachmour Adventures
The real deal in July 2015.
Our favorite way to explore Switzerland is using Gemeinde SBB Tageskartes - day passes for public transport across all of Switzerland available through our local government office for just 42 CHF per person. We got up early and took the train (about 3.5 hours) to Zermatt, hiked 5 hours around the the 5-Seenweg, and took the train home. It was a long and ambitious day, but we were rewarded with gorgeous weather and postcard-perfect views.

Matterhorn from 5-Seenweg, Sleachmour Adventures
Top: beginning of the hike selfie, Middle: views along the way, Bottom: obligatory Henry photos
Matterhorn Panorama from 5-Seenweg, Sleachmour Adventures
I mean, seriously. This shit is unreal. Whose life is this?
The 5-Seenweg is a gorgeous hike, but surprisingly difficult to follow. From Zermatt, we took the funicular to Sunnegga and a cable car to Blauherd. From Blauherd we hiked a loop to all five alpine lakes, each with a view of the Matterhorn. In theory, it was an easy hike. But there are dozens of hiking trails between the lakes and through the surrounding areas. We kept navigating ourselves to the harder (red and white) trails up and down rocky mountain faces, rather than the easy, wide (yellow) trails winding through gently sloping meadows. The 2.5 hour hike took us almost 5 hours to complete. We were beat, but the sense of accomplishment was worth the more difficult route. 

Matterhorn from end of 5-Seenweg, Sleachmour Adventures
End of hike selfie, sunburned and exhausted.
This weekend, Matt leaves for a business trip to the States. He'll be back in time to celebrate Swiss National Day on August 1. We'll be brunching at the same Farm we discovered last year with the help of our friends at Newly Swissed. As the summer winds down, we'll be gearing up for fall visitors and trips to the Dalmatian Coast, Austria and Slovakia. Keep an eye out for posts over the next couple weeks; it'll be a great way to fill my days when Matt travels.

1 comment:

  1. Whose life is this" is right! You are truly living a dream. It's great that you are siezing the opportunity to experience so much of what Switzerland, Europe, and beyond have to offer!