Theme: European Christmas Holiday Country: Switzerland Languages: French, German, Italian, & Romansh Unit of Currency: Swiss franc Locations: Zurich Year: 2011 & 2012 Bucket list: Drinking Swiss hot chocolate
Video: New Year’s Eve
DO: DRINK HOT CHOCOLATE ON A COLD WINTER’S RAINY DAY
- Joining an excursion to bus, cable car, and ferry in Zurich and the outskirts of Zurich
As New Year’s Eve quickly approached, the decision had to be made on where to bring in the New Year! The options were Brussels, Belgium/ Munich, Germany/ Prague, Czech Republic/ or Zurich, Switzerland. It was evident that the Eurotrip that I created for this Christmas holiday adventure would not be complete without adding Switzerland and their Swiss Francs into the mix! With 2012 right around the corner, the final location selected to welcome 2012 was in Zurich!
Amazing Views in Zurich, Switzerland:
1) Settling for an excursion- Instead of having a rainy day in Budapest, Hungary I was now introduced to sleet in Europe! Due to the sudden change in climate (it was sunny in both Prague and Vienna); I was faced with walking around the city on New Year’s Eve day in the sleet or jump on a tour and join in an excursion for the day. The weather made it easy for me to stick with an excursion, keep the camera dry, and see the sights of Zurich more creatively. The excursion involved a coach bus, which toured the city, aerial cable car to Felsenegg, which over viewed the Swiss Alps, and a ferry that crossed Lake Zurich.
2) Coach bus tour – The guide was very descriptive and spoke in English, Spanish, and German. Though she was a bit firm, she was an informative tour guide and the bus was relatively warm (oppose to the blistering cold outside!).
3) Photography in Old Town & Lake Zurich – St. Peters Church was known to have the largest clock-face of all the European churches and was definitely a great sight to see. In addition, the world famous Bahnhofstrasse, the Limmatquai, and the Guild Houses were also excellent to photograph. I learned about the history of Fraumunster Church and the famous Marc Chagall stained glass windows that were located there. The Old Town was remarkable – so much history seeping from the ancient buildings staring down at me. One of my favorite icons to photograph is bodies of water.
With my current lifestyle and infatuation with water, it is quite fitting for this passion to unscramble into my everyday photography images. Lake Zurich was indeed, my favorite place to photograph – surrounding hills, the city, and the boats reflected off the water, which created a unique atmosphere that, combined nature and culture. In this moment taking photographic images of Lake Zurich, I soon was able to realize why the Swiss adored this “industrial-styled” and financially powered city.
4) Aerial cable car ride – I have been longing to have a “magical moment” in snow and actually soak my boots in fresh powder with a mountainous backdrop over my shoulders. On the cable car ride in Felsenegg, the cable stretched above the mountains and landed in a bed of white powder! I was a bit unsure about what to expect, because I was encompassed by thick clouds of fog and packets of sleet.
To my surprise, I reached to the top of the mountain and was anxiously greeted by a cold breeze and sparkles of white coming from the sky. I was thrilled to finally view a single snowflake that positioned itself onto my multi-colored Croatian made Snowboarding gloves! Bloody brilliant! The time had come when I found myself enveloped in a patch of snow covered trees and a view of the snow-capped Swiss mountains! This was the “magical moment” that I desired, which in return, made an amazing session of snow photography and videos!
5) Fast ferry – Of course, every great tour should end with a peaceful cruise navigating itself within a body of water and signifying a city’s reflections of the historical significances and heroine figures that once stepped within the walls of this remarkable landscape. This particular tour on Lake Zurich highlighted the coastal city shaping the path for the ferry to cross to the other side and for me to take this journey on a couch bus that was carefully placed on the ferry.
The crisp, cold breeze awakened my senses as I stood on the top section of the ship anxiously awaiting the snow-capped mountains to smile down at me. I would have taken pictures from the bow if I was allowed, but due to the safety precautions I remained at a favorable distance that the security guards encouraged and were pleased with. The Christmas lights of the city welcomed me as I walked back onto the couch bus and the nightlife of Zurich seemed to unravel as the couch bus strolled through the last path of the tour, the “Golden Coast.”
6) Hot chocolate – In every country and each city, I had begun a tradition of ordering hot chocolate in Europe to determine which one I fancied the most and which location had the best cup of hot chocolate (more on this in a future post). When I was given a silver plate with an excessive amount of whipped cream and a large cup of hot chocolate, I knew that the competition was getting fierce! This was a great start to the night of New Year’s Eve and the quickly approaching 2012.
7) Fireworks – New Year’s Eve would not be complete without the amalgamation of colored fireworks, loud noises, and smiles and laughter in delight. After the shambles of playing in the sleet and snow all day, it was evident that a hot shower and some relaxation was on the agenda for the evening. An hour before the stroke of midnight fireworks was launched and the sky was soon lit with a concoction of vibrant colors. Then at midnight, the fireworks were seen over Lake Zurich and a display of shapes and sizes carefully outlined the shadows of the sky. At one moment, there were four different sets of fireworks that collided into the same area and were seen from a far distance. Zurich, Switzerland was a sweet location to welcome the New Year of 2012!
Next stop: Innsbruck, Austria! xoxo