Posts Tagged ‘weather’

Summertime in Zurich and the Living’s Easy

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

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By Kristi Remick

So before you condemn me for writing on boring subject matter, let me first point out that not too long ago it was 50 degrees Fahrenheit and rainy –  until the 3rd week of June to be exact.  Then it was as if someone flipped a switch and we went from a “suicide by butter knife Spring” to full on Summer overnight.

With some notable exceptions (modern buses, trams and trains), Zurich is almost void of air conditioning. As a result, the moans over the cold and damp weather have now turned into shrieks over how it is too hot. Shrieking over the additional moisture coming out of your pores can be tamed however and these methods for dealing with the heat are sure signs it is summertime in Zurich:

1. Get to the nearest body of water: There are 3 bodies of water in Zurich, two of which are famous for cooling you down fast.  On hot days, most people can be found on the shores of the Zurichsee or Limmat River.  Both are clean and cool and full of people watching.  People here really appreciate the water and the small amount of time they get to use it.  When I take the doggies to the park at 8am it isn’t unusual for me to see a pair of empty shoes along side a dry towel.  Morning swimmers are in abundance here.

2. Go for a bike ride: Grab your bike or rent a free bike and go for a ride.  Believe it or not, riding your bike can cool you down on a hot summer day.  It is also a great way to explore parts of Zurich you have never seen before.  OR you can do what we did last weekend – bike from Zurich to another town or city. We got lost a couple times going from Zurich to Baden, but that was part of the fun.

3. Grab a drink outdoors: Cafe and bar patios are alive during the day, filled with people soaking in the sunshine.  At night private Bades or “Baths” turn into bars or nightclubs.  When I hear people say Zurich is boring, I ask them if they have checked out Rimini, one of the many private Bades that turns into a public bar at night.  The atmosphere couldn’t be more energetic or enchanting.

Do you have any tips for beating the heat?  Are you happy to be sweating your buttocks off like me?

When I am not busy stuffing my face with chocolate, you can find me over at From A to Z blogging about my life in Zurich Switzerland.

Great Hikes in Switzerland

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
The Five Lakes Hike near Pizol

The Five Lakes Hike near Pizol

By Chantal Panozzo

Summer, I know you’re out there. As I write this, it is June 2, and I haven’t seen the sun for about a month. While gray and fog are typical for Switzerland, this has been a rather unfortunate spring.

That’s why this post is dedicated to get you into the mountains (i.e. at an altitude above the gray and fog). Just like during the Swiss winter, sometimes in the summer you also have to ascend a few thousand feet to get your dose of Vitamin D.

Here are a few suggestions for hikers (and sunbathers) in Switzerland:

Mt. Rigi

The great thing about Mt. Rigi is not only its proximity to Zurich, but also the way that you can hike (or not hike) parts of the main trail due to the efficient railway that makes scheduled stops along the mountain. And if you just want to sunbathe, that’s ok too, there are several restaurants with fantastic terraces at the top of the mountain, which is directly reachable by train. Bonus: the Rigi railway now accepts the GA travel card.

The Five Lakes Hike (5-Seen Wanderung)

This is a tough hike. You are not just walking around five lakes. You are climbing up and descending from a lake and then starting the process all over again. The turquoise lakes and camera-worthy scenery make the blisters worth it though. But keep in mind, if you do the whole hike, it will most likely take you all day. And the chair lift that brings you back down the mountain closes exactly at 5 p.m. So start early.

The Bürgenstock Felsenweg Hike

This is an easy and scenic hike along the side of a ridge overlooking Lake Lucerne. The highlight is the option to take a short cut and ride the Hammetschwand-Lift, a crazy elevator that the Swiss built into the mountain in 1905 for the novelty of proving they could do it.

What hikes do you recommend in Switzerland?

Chantal Panozzo is a writer in Switzerland. She’s the author of One Big Yodel, a blog about life in Switzerland and moving abroad, and also discusses living abroad as a freelancer at Writer Abroad.

Endless…winter?

Monday, November 9th, 2009

It’s November, and that means that we should be sweating down here in the Southern Hemisphere. This year, however, not yet, much to my dismay.

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/dsalgado/ / CC BY 2.0

In fairness, last summer stuck around a bit longer than usual. So I could forgive an extra week or two of winter. September 18, Chile’s independence day and time for long weekends and general merry-making, is usually considered the start of spring. After that date we still get plenty of grey, chilly days, but it’s usually heating up more or less definitively by mid-October.

But this? This seems like overkill. This morning was overcast, and I froze in my 3/4-sleeve jacket, wishing I’d opted for fuller coverage. Sure, by the time I got out of work it was decent enough, but by no stretch of the imagination was it hot.

Most Chileans I know are similarly frustrated by this shy summer, but they’re not too worried about it yet. That’s because unlike me, they didn’t hear about the Northern Hemisphere’s awful, cold, wet summer. As soon as I saw raindrops fall in California in JUNE, I started hoping Chile wouldn’t get hit with its own weird weather during what should be the warmer months.

I’m not giving up hope just yet. We’ve had enough nice, warm and even hot days to give me hope that this might just be a fluke, and by this time next month I might be missing the cool mornings and downright cold nights. But I will say that I’m starting to get worried. Weather gods, if you’re listening, please bring a little summer to Santiago.

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/dsalgado/ / CC BY 2.0

Emily Williams is a US gringa living in Santiago, Chile. She writes about expat life at AffordableCallingCards.net and on her personal blog, Don’t Call Me Gringa, and loves hearing from readers!

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