Europe/South Africa Vacation

Zurich, Switzerland

Had our last coffee, fresh croissant, and homemade quince jelly and said goodbye to Paris. Next stop Zurich where we will see our friends that we met in language school in Mexico 37 years ago. Beda was waiting for us with a sign, but I would recognize him even without the sign, except for the gray hair he looks exactly the same. He has his own rhythm, takes his time and is very polite and gentle. We had to laugh as we entered the tourism office, there wasn’t one other person in there, but Beda looked around and sighted the number machine, took a number and waited for the man behind the counter to hit the button that lit up the number to serve us. Too funny. With transport tickets for the next 5 days in hand we hopped on the tram to their house. Isabelle was waiting for us at the stop which was just across the road from their place. They have a modest 3 bedroom apartment that they have been renting for the last 25 years. They have different priorities than most from Canada or the U.S. and save all their money for travel and new experiences, with eight weeks of vacation per year this is easier to do. On their honeymoon they flew to the U.S., bought a car and travelled to Canada, all through the States, into Mexico, Belize and Guatemala, then returning to the U.S. they sold the car and returned to Switzerland after 10 months of travelling. They have been all over the world. Their oldest son Terence was there to say hi, but he doesn’t live at home, Lawrence the youngest still does. Isabelle loves to sing as she gets ready for bed or getting up in the morning. It is a cheerful home.

Friday Isabelle gave us a fabulous tour of the city. We took trams, trains, busses and a boat as we efficiently navigated the city and saw all the spots. One of the main churches in the Center was built in 1271! Most of the churches here in Switzerland are Protestant so they are not as embellished as the Catholic Churches of France. Another beautiful city, not as grand as Paris but it certainly had its own charm and it’s unique beauty. For dinner we had Raclette – each person has their own small metal plate where you put cheese to melt on a hot plate and then garnish it with a variety of spices and condiments. This is served with boiled new potatoes. A very traditional dish.

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