Sunday, October 18, 2015

Summer Special Events

There were two special events this summer that deserve more attention than just one sentence in my reflections on year three. The first was an art festival in Zurich: Aufsehen! They advertised the "unique open-air exhibition" "high above everyday life" and encouraged us all to open our eyes and take notice. A special newspaper was printed that listed the locations of the art and some background on the artists. We had fun going around the city looking for some of the installations. 

advertising Aufsehen!
Zurich's main station had photos of immigrants hanging from the ceiling and short quotations giving a glimpse into their lives. "I was here two months when I heard the sound of alphorns - and I had to weep. From then on, Switzerland was in my heart."  (said a woman from Uruguay)   

woman from South Korea and man from Senegal

faces of prominent Zurich businessmen hung above Bahnhofstrasse

There wasn't anyone around when I found the butterfly wings, but the picture of the artist clipped from the newspaper  shows how big they are.

in the style of the Swiss paper cutting art
centipede went around the corner of the building

oldest vegetarian restaurant in Europe - covered in green turf

One of the department stores had large kaleidoscopes installed on their restaurant  balcony. This sign at the entrance to the restaurant announced their placement and encouraged patrons to look through them. I tried taking pictures of the inside of the kaleidoscopes and was pleasantly surprised by the result.

Tom takes a look

Urban Knitting

And finally, the exhaust towers of an underground parking garage were given a knitted covering. People from Switzerland, Germany, France and Finland did the knitting.

The second summer event was  August 1, Swiss National Day. This year, Lynn and Howard were with us and we tried to make sure they experienced a typical Swiss National Day.  (perhaps mostly typical for expats, but we did start with a brunch -  just like the locals)

We had reservations at the same farm as in 2014 for the traditional brunch. Unfortunately, it was a rainy morning, but we ventured out anyway. It wasn't the best conditions for the brunch, but they were well prepared with plenty of dry seating areas and tarps over all the food. 

Howard and Tom

Tables were covered with the traditional blue edelweiss fabric. 

buffet under cover

egg, bacon and potato station

Here's my plate...before I went back for something sweet.  I liked the Swiss cross baked into the rolls.
we weren't alone

We went on a self-guided tour of the farm. 

cows and calves

I must admit to never having seen finger painting done with an animal as the canvas. The horse is tolerant, but the expression says "why me?"

The geese did not like us - they were very loud and seemed to be trying to chase us away!


We're nearly Swiss - we have our own edelweiss shirts! Sure did feel like we were wearing costumes.


Luckily, the weather improved during the day. We took Lynn and Howard for a boat ride on Lake Zurich from Horgen to Rapperswil. 

Rapperswil is known for its rose gardens, but geraniums are very popular all over Switzerland.
rose gardens

Lynn enjoying the roses

getting ready for dinner
Traditional Swiss foods served on Swiss National Day: several varieties of sausages, cheeses, "nusslisalat" (salad with a green that is similar to baby spinach topped with hard boiled egg and bacon), potatoes.

We finished the day with a walk back to the lake to view the local fireworks. Afterwards, we were able to see more from across the lake from our balcony. 

Rivella is  a very popular Swiss carbonated soft drink. Its special ingredient is milk whey. It comes in more than three flavors, but I selected only three for the taste test. Although we did not do the tasting on August 1st, it seems appropriate to include it here. Lynn and Howard shared in the tasting experience. I believe we were in agreement that none are great. We all liked the green best which is supposed to be partially made from green tea. It doesn't taste a bit like tea - tastes more like ginger ale. Now I can say I've tasted Rivella and can close this chapter of my Swiss experience.