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The Boy, 2 Muttleys and I have finally realized our dream of living 1 mile from the Lindt Chocolate Factory. Leaving Atlanta (the World of Coke) for Zurich (the World of Chocolate) hasn't come without challenges, incredible fun or giggles. Follow along as I chronicle our adventures as we acclimate to this new Swiss lifestyle.
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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ue La La

Last Sunday the boy, mutts and I embarked on our first hike in Switzerland.  We took the S-Bahn to Uetliberg, a popular spot for tourists and locals to take in breathtaking panoramic views of Zurich, Lake Zurich and surrounding areas.  Uetliberg is located in the Albis mountain chain and is a popular spot for thrill seekers and Boston Terriers.

Once you get off the train in Uetliberg, it is a short hike to the vantage point you see above.  From there we took some steps to the trail headed to Felsenegg.

Along this trail you see pasture, lake views, forest scape and the famous Planet Trail or Planetenweg.  The Planet Trail starts with the sun followed by all the planets to scale.  I could have gone with Uranus, but I went with Saturn:

The hike from Uetilberg to Felsenegg should take 1.5 hours but it took us about 2.  We stopped to watch some crazy bastard take off to paraglide, take photos of some stunning scenery...and lastly, to listen to some cow bell.  The boy and I were walking and said to each other "what this hike is missing is some cow bell".  Well the heavens heard us...these cows do in fact wear bells and they are bad ass.

The hike, the air, the scenery was spectacular.  It won't be the first or last time we make this trek as it is so close to home.  More pics from the day:


"Adventure" is our middle name

It was 4:35pm EST on Wednesday August 19th that the boy, 2 caged muttleys and I embarked on our new adventure. We had just completed the hardest pack and move of our lives but we knew the end result was well worth all the stress, backaches and planning. We sold our home in Atlanta, both cars, all of our furniture and said goodbyes to many friends and family, not once, not twice but about 20 times. Thanks to you all for giving us so many bon voyage outings, great memories and hugs/high fives/ass slaps (ok, maybe not the latter but I am a coach's daughter so I thought I would throw that in there).

The mutts did amazingly well for being trapped in soft prisons for 13.5 hours. See below as Dooley does have the "What you talking bout Willis" face though. He not only used that face whilst in his soft prison but also when the boy took him to the mens room to pee on puppy pads in the rear stall, on the floor. The bright green things you see in this photo are said puppy pads and needless to say, they were never used. Our mutts apparently have taste when it comes to what kind of green they will pee on and it seems to be the organic kind only.

After a glorious 9.5 hours in the first class cabin where they stuffed us to the gills with good food
and wine, we stepped off the plane and started our new life. Customs was uneventful and we had to stop to get the dogs checked in (first of many times we have and will need to do this). My greatest fear was we didn't do all the necessary steps to get the dogs into the country. This fear
wasn't helped by the knowledge that your pet will be sent home immediately or destroyed
if you don't do everything correctly. I can now say confidently that it isn't that difficult to import your dogs into Switzerland and it was quite easy. (a post will be dedicated to this soon, promise)

We were then greeted by our relocation specialist appropriately named "Giorgia". I wonder if that is their thing, pair up the new expats with people who have names of your home state or country. Either way we found it very cool. Giorgia saw we had 6 monstrous bags, 4 carry ons and two mutts and said "I have a big car, but not that big". The boy and I proceeded to split up, he taking the monstrous bags and I the mutts to our temporary apartment. Our apartment is located in Kreis 8 in an area called Seefeld. Seefeld is a trendy and popular living area in the canton of Zurich. It is quite quaint and skirts the east side of the Zurichsee (lake).

We then registered with the local police for our resident permit cards, opened a Swiss bank account and bought our train passes for the year. Our passes are good anywhere in the country of Switzerland for one year. We can take any mode of transport: train, tram, bus, boat and most mountain funiculars. I can honestly say I do not miss having a car. The rumor is true, the Swiss transportation system is clean, on time and efficient.

We ended our first day/night with our friend Art and his Mother who was visiting from Atlanta. Special shout out to Art for had it not been for his guidance and help, we would not be here today. Art works for the boy's company but he is located in Geneva. Thanks again Art and we had a very nice visiting with you and meeting your Mother.

First impressions of Zurich you ask? What a beautiful, vibrant place in the summer time. From the architecture to the lake to the mountains to the trees...just breathtaking. It has exceeded our expectations, the canvas my mind had it on was on a much smaller scale and not as beautiful. I love it when I am pleasantly surprised. I also love how active and healthy people seem to be. We are already plotting to buy bikes and kayaks for next Spring/Summer. So far, so awesome! More pics from our first days in Zurich:
Monday, August 3, 2009

Are you from there???

Wait, what? Sprechen sie what??

So, I have decided that the next 2 or so years will be dedicated to Switzerland; its curiosities, oddities, idiocies, so I may as well highlight the same for the good ole US of A before I leave. Part of a country's differences include their people, so I found the following quite curious.

Two different people that I have had actual conversations with, multiple times, have asked me if I am from Switzerland. Am I terrible for thinking these two people are idiots? Now if I had a habit of speaking as if I were hocking a loogey, I could understand the confusion...alas, I don't have a hint of a German accent. Maybe people just think everyone sounds American everywhere...maybe they don't understand why I would leave this great country. Whatever the case, I stick with my first hypothesis...idiots.

I almost did a post about the folks who wished us well in Sweden, but I can sorta understand the confusion there.