Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ich will in die Schweiz leben

I love Switzerland. I love everything about it. My incredible family, the amazing sights, the calm country side, etc. I feel I owe it to a lot of people (okay, my mom - haha) to write an entry about my experiences there. 

My last trip to Switzerland was during early March. I got to see my family and I did a lot of awesome things.

My Aunt Arlette and Uncle Walter picked me up at the airport and took me to the oldest house in Dietikon where we had a traditional Swiss dinner. Apparently, my great grandmother used to take my mother to the bakery there. They told me all sorts of memories of it. I love stories like that.
The dinner was to die for!
And we had whole conversations in German, which was really good for me. 

One day, my family took me up to Mount Rigi. It's considered the "pre-Alps" and it is absolutely beautiful. It was covered in snow and this girl had the wrong shoes, so, she fell on her ass, but it was beautiful.
We took a boat on the lake (Lake Lucerne) to the bottom of the mountain before we took a tram to the top. I felt like I had the cover of the Sound of Music in my background and all I needed was Julie Andrews singing (yes, I know that was a different country) and it would have been perfect.

Then I took a tram to the top and caught this lovely view:

And here is my lovely family:

Zurich is called the "Little Big City" and that's exactly how I feel it is - at least how I feel after living in a big city... I got to go around the lake with a boat and see some great things like the Großmünster.

I also saw so many clock towers, which reminded me of my mother and her love of clocks, which made me think that her love of clocks derived from her love of Switzerland. 
I got to see more great members of my family:

They told me a lot of cool things about Zurich including a lot of interesting legends. I really liked the legend about the women who saved Zurich. Basically, the men of the town were off fighting in wars and the women had heard that they woud be attacked, so, they dressed up in armor and stood at the wall of Zurich to scare the upcoming attackers away. Although it's a legend, there is a wall there and I got to see it!
Then I went to the bookstore and I got a copy of The Great Gatsby in German! I am currently making my way through it in Spanish and trying to collect it in as many languages as I can. They also had a seperate English bookstore that was two stories high! This book lover got her fix after months of going through intense withdrawals.

Dinner in Dietikon at Wintergarten
I got to spend some great, relaxing time with other members of my family and got to practice my German some more. They made fun of my love of Brussels sprouts (favorite vegetable!) and my hatred of bananas (hate 'em!!!!!). I got to translate a bunch of German proverbs that came on the cookies wrappers from when we ordered tea and cookies. It was great just spending time with family!

Fassnacht (Carnival)
I got to go to Fassnacht in Basel and it was one of the most epic events I have ever been to in my life. I've never experienced anything quite like it. The Basel parade was quite different than the one in Madrid (a different post for a different day). 
I wasn't sure what to expect at first. People in costume. Kids throwing confetti. 
Then the parade began.
And it was madness. 
It started with peoplein obnoxious witch masks playing the piccolo. They were followed by a float of a book! A book! A BOOK! I believe the purpose of the book was to start the story of Fassnacht. At least, I think it follows a story... Either way, it was a book. Fassnacht knew the way to my heart!

And then people on the floats started throwing candy and confetti and such. Some guy on one of the floats was pointing me out and he ended up giving me a stuffed heart while saying things in really fast German that I didn't quite get. Either way, this is the guy:

Let's hope he looks better without the mask....
Then I got a lot of chocolate and flowers and papers and chips and confetti and flyers and confetti and confetti.
And confetti.
Some costumed man actually came up to me, pulled my shirt out and shoved confetti down my shirt, while my family stood by and snapped photos. It made me consider the "space bubbles" we have (especially me haha) that don't seem to exist in Europe. Why does America have such space bubbles? But, yes, confetti down my shirt, in my bra, etc.
My dad would have loved all of the confetti. It made me miss the hay fights my dad and I used to get into. He would be happy to know that confetti is even harder to get out of your clothes than hay. It's been three weeks since I was there and there is still some confetti in my shoes and purse despite my attempts to shake it all out. And it was nearly impossible to get out of my hair. 
So much fun. 
This is what I looked like after about the first 1/4 of the parade (just imagine what I looked like at the end):

And after Fassnacht was over, this is what the ground looked like:

It was just piles and piles of confetti!!

After that, I got to spend a bit more quality time with my family. And then I had to return home to Madrid and work and real life, which I will update you about in a blog post coming soon!