The Pursuit week of travel continues with a stop today and tomorrow in lovely Zurich Switzerland. Man, I love this city. During a spot in the 90's I worked for one of the local financial institutions and found myself traveling to Zurich (and later, Basel) fairly frequently. The truth is that I was here so much that I actually wound up in the background of the "Welcome to Zurich" video that American used to show prior to landing. Might still be there, I don't know.
Anyway, I sort of fell in love with this place. It's not very cosmopolitan, but this to me was its allure. Zurich is just a terrifically civilized, extremely livable place. People who live here can commute to work, in under 30 minutes, get to the slopes in 40 minutes, and enjoy a real outdoor lifestyle.
Times are changing a bit though. When I first started coming to Zurich in '92 every Thursday was known as "late shopping night"; literally the night that shops stayed open so that folks could pick things up after work. When I mentioned this to my hosts tonight, they all laughed and talked about how shops now stayed open later every night. "We just had a vote to allow shops to open on Sunday and voted it down though", they told me. It’s not very anti-regulation of me, but I hope this continues. It’s nice to come to a country where every day isn’t a 24 hour binge of consumption and people understand that quality of life is more important than quantity. As other countries have learned, once the magic is lost, it is gone forever.
Today was a great day. The weather - sunny 60 degrees - was perfect. I went for a run along the Limat and down the Bahnhoff Strasse (were I was rocking to Guerrilla Radio, followed by Rasta Holliday) and then had a lunch of veal bratwurst and pommes frittes in Schnitzel Park. After some quick study this afternoon, I met our hosts for dinner and will spend the day with them tomorrow. I brought my camera, so if I get out early I'll try to post some pics.