It has been another quiet week over here. We had a really nice weekend. I woke up Saturday morning, had a little breakfast, and then took off on my first real bike ride of the year. I decided I did not want hills, so I rode around the lake. Bicycle transportation is very important over here, and even though most of the bike traffic on the highway is recreation it is still really nice to have bike lanes. There is only part of the ride that is not a set bike lane, and that is right at the foot of the lake near the opera house. There are signs everywhere that lay out where the bike route is supposed to be, but I am being completely honest in that I have NEVER figured it out. Each corner seems to have signs that contradict the other signs. That is one reason I always try and leave very early if I am going around the lake. I want to get through Zürich before the traffic picks up!
Saturday evening we met some friends downtown for dinner. I do not why we have not done this before, but instead of gorging ourselves we wound up ordering a bunch of different appetizers to share, and then each couple split an entree. It certainly did not make it any less expensive, but we got the chance to sample a lot of different things. Julie says she found a new favorite restaurant, but I think LaPasta still wins out because of the cheesecake!
Sunday we took the train to the city of Zug. One thing you do have to get used to here is the cantons seem to share the name of the major city in the canton. So it would be like the Wisconsin being named Madison since that is the capital or the state of Indianapolis. Half of the cantons share the name of its capital city.
Anyway, just outside Zug is Zugerberg. At the top of the mountain are miles of hiking and biking trails. We had gone up to the top when the kids were here in the beginning of 2020. Finally we took the time to go back. It was a wonderful afternoon spent hiking and picnicking. I can’t speak for Julie, but I felt a little strange, because we were one of the only couples without kids. You can drive, hike, or take a train to the top. Parking is scarce so we decided to take the train. The video below is of the train ride down the mountain. Julie took the video on her phone. I did speed up the video to 2x the normal speed. The trip down is almost 7 minutes. The train is a funicular train. Which means there are two trains that work together. There is one cable for the two trains, and as one cable pulls the train up the hill, the other end helps to lower the other train. As you watch the video, you will see the trains meet right in the middle of the ride.
I decided that I needed to learn something else this year; so for my birthday Julie bought me an enameled dutch oven. I am going to learn how to bake bread. In some ways this is probably a giant waste of money. I mean the breads we can buy at the store or bakery are amazing. I have only tried making a couple of loaves, but I can already tell that part of this process is simply to give me something to do. :). The process is not hard, but it is time consuming. From start to finish it takes between 5 and 6 hours for one loaf of bread. That does include about 4 – 4 1/2 hours of just letting the yeast do its thing; so you are able to do other things at the same time. It does make the apartment smell really good.
The first loaf came out shaped a little strangely, but it was delicious. It made a wonderful sandwich.
The bottom line is that I am finding a lot of things to keep busy, but still need to find a job. I am doing something this weekend, that I would have thrown a fit if I learned my kids had done this. I had a man contact me via Tik Tok. I had made some videos about riding my bike, and he has invited me on a group bicycle ride this weekend. We are going to ride from Zürich to the border of France. It is a little over 100 kilometers, and then we will take a train back. This is literally the first time since the pandemic started that I have a chance to try and meet some new people. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the rain will hold off. After three solid weeks of rain, we have a week of beautiful weather. The sun is shining and the temperatures are in high 60’s low 70’s.
My final thoughts as I end this post. I am really looking forward to August. George and Gabby are coming to see us the first 1/2 of August, and then Kaylee is coming over the 2nd half of the month. It is going to be really good to give the kids a squeeze. Hopefully, the virus trends continue to fall; so Switzerland goes ahead and opens up. The government has said, they will be rolling out the virus passports at the beginning of next week. I am hoping when they do this there will be an announcement as to when the borders will open for travel from North America.
Not that many pictures from this week, but I hope you enjoy them anyway. Talk to you soon!