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Trip Start Aug 27, 2007
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Trip End Sep 17, 2011


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Flag of Switzerland  , Zürich,
Monday, August 31, 2009

Hey Guys,

Yup its only been 2 weeks since my last update...thats got to be a record for me but I have just gotten back from Zurich, Swizerland. Ive been here before but it has been seven years since my last visit so I got one heck of a shock to see how different things are.

The last time I came here it was winter and now its summer so the atmosphere is just completely different. This place is simply beautiful. Everywhere I go it looks like a postcard. Wooden houses with flower boxes oozing with colour. Hills dotted with little chalets and stacks of firewood eveywhere.

Everybody is just so friendly as well, as you walk down the street you are greeted by every single person that passes. Its such a nice feeling. I spent most of my trip visiting with family who live just 20mins away from the city yet already it is just little villages with a village atmosphere. Its just incredible and couldnt be any more different from the hussle and bustle of London.

It feels like Switzerland is in a world of its own and trends of the western world mean nothing. Its ok to wear white trousers here and socks and sandles? no problem...and for the record that goes for women too wearing stockings in sandles. I love it. The rules just seem to be so relaxed or non existant here. Its brilliant.

This trip wasnt so much to sightsee but more to see the family who I havent seen in years. My Godmother or Gotti picked me up from the airport when I arrived. It was so nice to have a friendly face waiting for me in the arrivals hall ready to hug me. Its something that living in London I miss so much. Normally I arrive back into Heathrow airport and sneak past all the expectant families waiting the return of loved ones but just this once the expectant family was waiting for me and gosh it felt good. I miss having family nearby. 24 hours is a long way away.

Gotti cooked an incredible meal that night for us which I devoured like an animal...i know thats not a very elegant thing to say but if you knew how good my Gotti cooked you would understand why. I fell fast asleep that night in a home that although I hadnt been in in 7 years felt as much as home to me as my own bedroom.

The following day I caught a train out to a place called Schlieren to visit some family friends. This trip has been good as its forced me to try out my long ago studied German. That morning as I tried to board the bus I had rehearsed my speech to buy my ticket that I was all prepared I had even sussed out what possible replies the driver would have for me. What I wasnt expecting was the driver not to to gve me the ticket but to offer me about 10 alternatives. None of these 10 options being the answer I had thought the driver would reply to me with. I was very embarrassed but also very thankful when a lovely elderly gentleman came to my rescue and translated. I guess my German was a bit rustier than I had thought but hey at least I tried.

After my bus and train ride I made it to Schelieren to visit the Isenschmid family. It was great to catch up and I was treated to a meal at a gorgeous restaurant overlooking a valley with the most incredible view of Zurich. They also took me to visit their daughters farm. Anyone who knows me knows I am not a farm kind of girl but this was different. I had a ball. The farm buildings were about 200 years old and with the horses and sun shining and shutters on the windows with flower boxes it was just magic.

I returned to Winterthur that evening to meet Gotti for a spot of shopping. It was a vey odd feeling as 7 years ago I would walk those same streets after school. Some things had changed but others were exactly the same and it was a wonderful sensation.

On Friday after a spot of shopping my godfather, Goetti came back Germany where he had been working. Gotti had managed to get a half afternoon off work so the two of them very kindly took to Appenzell a Swiss village to have a look. I said before that all of Switzerland is like a postcard but Appenzell is the real meal deal. Wooden buildings hundreds of years old, each handpainted with designs and pictures telling  the history of it. Settled amongst the bills with housese dotted in between it was just so picturesque. Ive been there before but you have no idea how excited and thankful I was to go back.

Saturday saw the end of my stay with my Godparents. Gotti took me to visit my Grandmother. I cant begin to describe how nervous I was going to see her. I know she is my grandmother but I havent seen her in so long, and with speaking different languages I was really worried. I recognised her in an instant and it was nice to see her still active and able to empty a dishwasher. It was a bittersweet moment to see her. Fantastic ti see her after so long but with Dimentia setting in she didnt know who I was. After Gotti kindly translating and explaining that I was Renes daugther from New Zealand she understood but it was still hard.

After a teary goodbye to both my grandmother and Gotti my cousin Delia picked me up and drove me to Bern to see my other cousin, her sister Romy and son Leon. It was fantastic to see Delia, but as I had seen her only a few months ago I had more of a shock to see Romy. Last tme I saw her she was 14 had red hair and was a typical teenager. Now shes blonde, all grown up, a mum and living in a gorgeous house. Her son is absolutely gorgeous and fell asleep in my arms as I fed him. She really has done well for herself.

That night we hit the town, Delia had something special instore for me and took me to a Museum. It looked more like a castle than a museum and in the courtyard a giant bar had been set up with disco lights and dance music. It was incredible to be under the open skies listening to music in such incredible place. It reminded me of the open air dance I went to in Barcelona but compared to this that doesnt compare.

Delia and her friends took me to Niederdorfstrasse aftwerwords to go to the Doerflifest. Its kind of like a town celebration ann the streets were packed with people and vendors selling food and alcohol. There was a smell in the air of beer and cheese a smell which I associate with Oktoberfest but it was just so lovely. Raclette, Cervelat and Fondue floated through the air and made my mouth water despite having only eaten a short while ago.

We danced in the streets to the music while people packed around us it was just so much fun. And as we happened to be stopped outside one of Zurichs most well known Gay bars I got to see a small insight to the fun and atmospheric Gay scene.

From the doerflifest we headed to what is supposedly one of the best clubs in Zurich. It was awesome, played my kind of music but as Delia and her friends chose an open platform to dance on I was a bit reluctant to dance. Im not exactly a good dancer so the thought of dancing sober on a platform with people I dont know scared the crap out of me. Despite this I had a ball all the samee and we finally arrived home at about 5 in the morning.

After some much needed recovery and a sleepin we headed out to the Zoo. It was the perfect day for it with 33 degrees. The zoo was awesome but even more than that I enjoyed the place we went next. Delia took me to a museum on the top of a hill which had a platform looking out over the city. The view was just amazing and with the sun shining and the mountains in the background it was just so picturesque.

My final day in Switzerland was spent doing a bit of much needed shopping and exploring the hillside near where Delia lives. It was the perfect way to end my trip just sitting on the top of the hill watching the world go by surrounded by rows of cornfields.

Its hard to believe my week is over already and that tomorrow I go back to work but I had a ball all the same and it just makes me want to come back even sooner.

I just want to take the chance to say thank you again to my wonderful family, Gotti, Goetti and Delia for making this trip so special.

This is my last trip for a while but the minute I jet off again Ill send you all an update.

Miss You

xxx


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