Monday, April 19, 2010

A Whirlwind Week of Friends

This is one of those times in life where you just have to laugh about how things work out. We had a couple sets of friends planning to visit us in March, and after many planning emails and throwing dates around, both sets of friends ended up planning to come to Zurich at the same time! After a momentary thought of panic at the thought of having six adults and one toddler sleeping in a TINY 'studio' apartment, we figured that we should just laugh and this would be one of those times where things just worked out - and of course, they did. (after borrowing lots of sheets and towels from a friend, and buying some paper plates- b/c we only have 5 plates here, and making the guys sleep on tiny mattresses in our hallway!)

We spent Wednesday wandering around Zurich, enjoying the sights of the city.

Looking over Zurichsee

I was even introduced to the Beyer Clock Museum, which contains pieces dating back to 1400 BC. Even Ella loved watching some of the fancy clock designs.

By Friday, everyone was in town and ready to see other parts of the country. We took the train to Schaffhausen, walked along the Rhine river for about 45 min to see the Rhine falls. This is the largest falls in Europe, it has nothing on Niagra fall, or most of the stunning waterfalls in the NW. But, the sun was shining and it was nice to see a new part of Switzerland.

Having friends visit you in a foreign city, means you get to expose them to all the great things you know about (like liters of beer!) Or you can expose them to things like this:

The Rivella is a Swiss soda. The Swiss LOVE this soda - it is made from cheese. In case you're wondering, it does not taste good, it doesn't even taste, OK. Unlike the beer, which was reported to be, not too bad, but not great either.

From Schaffhausen, we all took the train to St. Gallen to visit the Abbey Library and enjoyed the life of the town. The library was gorgeous, and it's one of Europe's oldest library and a UNESCO world heritage site. Before heading home, we stopped at a local stand to pick up some bread and cheese for the train ride. All the cheese was great. This was the most unusual - ever seen green cheese before?

Pesto Asiago

That night I made a second attempt at cooking fondue. I made sure to get specific directions from the French lady at the market, and followed them exactly. To feed six adults enough food to make up a meal, you need 1200 GRAMS of cheese, and TWO fondue pots! The cheese turned out great, and everybody had plenty to eat. Then Virginia made a Tunnel of Fudge cake to celebrate Chris's 30th birthday- delicious!

On Saturday morning, we headed down south to Geneva.

John and I had been there before, and I posted our story about their infamous 'flower clock.' You can bet that I dragged everyone back to the clock to see if it was looking any more spectacular.
Jury's still out....

         Most recent visit                                                                                          Previous visit

While wandering the gardens near the United Nations, we came across a little animal park. Deer, goats, birds, etc. It wasn't all that exciting, but definitely unexpected to see the animals in the park (fenced in, of course) But the one little bird that intrigued us all (including me!!!) was this little guy

By the end of the day on Saturday, we were all exhausted and starving, so we ended up eating dinner at a Tex-Mex restaurant, in the French part of Switzerland, served by Asians..... random. But, John and I never get Mexican food anymore, so we were thrilled. 

Sunday we had dinner at the Zeughauskeller. It's a tourist trap housed in an old armoury building built in 1867. We had not been there before, and rumor has it that the food is pretty good. Rumor stands true- we all had great meals. The guys loved the Swiss cuisine of meat and potatoes, so they were easy to please! And the liters of beer made for a great end to a busy trip in Switzerland.

Of course, Ella couldn't have been more excited that everyone came all the way from the US to visit her  :o)  Thank you to all of you for being so sweet to her! She adores you, and hasn't stopped talking about your visit!

A HUGE thanks to all our friends for coming all the way out here for a visit! We loved spending time with you guys, and can't wait to see you in the states soon!

Thanks to all of you for sharing your photos!

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