All tagged life in Switzerland
But every so often, there is a hike that is special (shh, don’t tell the other trails). And this one, the Brisen Peak and Haldigrat ridge, was special enough to merit its own blog post. There are a couple of reasons why. First, I had never even heard of this canton before, so the whole area felt a little bit undiscovered. Second, the whole experience felt “classically Swiss,” from start to finish. And third, this was a hike that challenged me in a new way. Physically demanding, yes. Tough, absolutely. But I wasn’t expecting it to be so mentally taxing.
Moving to a new country is equally thrilling and terrifying. It’s an opportunity to call another country home, learn a new language, and foster your own independence. It also means you’ll be far away from friends and family, will be surrounded by a completely unfamiliar culture, and will need to build a whole new community from scratch. It’s exhilarating and exhausting and frustrating and adventurous and lonely and heart-burstingly full all at the same time.
And with this summer transformation comes Zurich’s bathing culture: the multiple badis that line the lake and river. Badis are essentially public “baths” or swimming areas, where you can come swim, cool off on grass beaches or wooden decks over the water, sunbathe, socialize, eat, drink, and simply enjoy being outside in the warm weather.
Raunaq and I have been living in Zurich for over a year. Given that we hike a fair bit (in Switzerland and elsewhere), I thought to put together a “Swiss Hiking 101” guide for anyone interested in exploring this lovely country on foot. Generally, we hike moderately challenging to challenging trails, but if you are not an avid hiker, don’t despair. Every single mountain included in my hiking lists have trails for all abilities and interests, and no matter what you chose, it’s absolutely worth trying at least one hike while in Switzerland. It’s really a hiking paradise.
As we are approaching our one-year anniversary in July (“expatversary,” if you will), I started thinking about all of the things that really surprised me when we first moved to Switzerland. It’s actually a bit funny writing these out now, because as we have adapted to the Swiss lifestyle, we’ve simply gotten used to most of these things as a way of life. I’ve written about my unexpected favorites, things Switzerland does well, and things they could work on, so this list is a new mix of all three. Some affect my daily life, some don’t, some things I love and some still leave me a bit bewildered, but they all contradicted a previously held notion in some way.
Apartment living can sometimes be more than just a place to lay your head and store your things: it can be an adventure in of itself. I have such fond memories of every place I’ve lived, and in some ways, each one has become a framework of that specific stage of my life. That apartment, this neighborhood, that landlord, this roommate. Each apartment comes with it’s own quicks, intricacies, and sometimes, a mirror to reflect the culture of the city itself. Swiss apartments, in this way, are no different.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you know by now that I love living in Zurich. But not everything is perfect. I wrote last week about the five things the world can learn from Switzerland. So now, here are five things I think Switzerland can learn from the world. The Yin and Yang, all of which contribute to the uniqueness of Swiss life.
A bit unexpectedly, I’ve fallen in love with the Swiss way of life. I say unexpectedly because while I knew there would be things I would enjoy (mountains and cheese and chocolate), I didn’t know much else about Swiss lifestyle or culture. The Swiss do plenty of things well, but in the past 8 months, I’ve noticed five things they do exceptionally well.
Summer afternoons, it seems the shades of blue are undecided, too lovely for nature to choose just one. The sky and the sun compromise, picking a new blue each day: turquoise, robin’s egg, canary, the deepest of navy, the lightest of aquamarine, sometimes a solid hue, mostly blended, always radiant. It shimmers and it beckons. Coyly, almost suggestively.