Friday, September 28, 2012

Bellinzona - Castles, Castles & More Castles!

Last weekend, we checked the forecast and saw that rain covered 75% of Switzerland so we abandoned our original plan and headed to Bellinzona instead!  Our friend Rachel is working in Basel for a couple of months so she joined us for our day adventure.

There are three castles in Bellinzona.  According to Wikipedia, the site of the Castelgrande has been fortified since at least the 1st century BC.  The current visible parts of the castle dates from 1250 - 1500.

We really enjoyed the castles.  We were able to walk around, check things out and have some drinks overlooking the city below.  Two thumbs up!


the view from Castle Montebello

that would be Andre & Sophie napping (bottom center) while Rachel and I climbed the tower


Montebello in the foreground and Sasso Corbaro in the very back

Sophie likes castles!

Other Pictures:

Sunday, September 16, 2012


I think after our first 8 months, the excitement level has died down a bit.  Here are the exciting things going on in our lives over the last few weeks:

1.  Yesterday, Andre and I spent more money at the Lindt Factory store buying chocolate for our trip home than we spent at the grocery store for food for the next two weeks.  :)

2.  I was helpful this week!  I've been stopped a few times by people asking for directions and have never been able to assist before.  It's always nice to be stopped though because at least that means I at least look sort of like I belong and not like a total tourist.  But anyway, this week, someone asked me for directions (in English) and I was actually able to help!  Wooooo!

3.  I paid off my student loans.  Wooooox2!

4.  As we were walking Sophie yesterday, we passed a field of sunflowers where you could cut your own.  Today I bought a vase and Sophie and I walked back down to cut our own flowers.  Fun fun!

That's all folks.  America watch out - we invade Sept 29 - Oct 9!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Catching Up #3 - Weltklasse and Wiener Schnitzel!

Who knew Zurich was a top spot for track & field events?!  Apparently, Zurich is one of 14 of the best invitational track and field meetings in the world and is part of the Samsung Diamond League.

As luck would have it, we had a team outing and I got to go this year!  A bunch of the big names from the Olympics were there:  Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay, David Rudisha, Sonya Richards-Ross, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, etc.

The weather was crap but the Letzigrund has an overhang so we stayed nice and dry.

Pics from the event:
Tyson Gay

Usain & Kuhli
It cracks me up that the Swiss mascot is a cow.

I saw lots of US flags there!

Jesse Williams doing a little high jump. 

Usain won!

I think this is the men's 100m relay.  The US won!

They handed out little flashlights when we entered.
At the end, they cut the lights and everyone turned on the flashlights.

And of course, the best part of the week - I found a restaurant that serves gluten free food!  I had my first weiner schnitzel finally.  It was delicious!


That's it from us this weekend.  Have a great week!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Catching Up #2 - Prague!

So a week before we were planning to go on a trip, we sat down to plan our trip.  We chose Prague as it was the cheapest option!

It turned out to be a great choice.  The city was beautiful.  And cheap!!  I was quite nervous before going as it's the first city we've been to where the language was completely foreign to us.  It turned out not to be a problem at all.  The people were very friendly and almost all of them spoke English.  Of course, it helped that we were mostly hanging out in the tourist areas.

We definitely recommend Prague as someplace to visit.  We'd be happy to take you when you come visit!  :)

Our ridiculous hotel room.  Suite for about 100 Euro a night.
The exchange rate was about 20:1 so this is about $200

We stumbled upon this open air market on our first morning.  

mmmm - fried potato on a stick!

The Powder Tower - built in 1475 - one of the old city gates

The Charles Bridge with the Prague Castle in the background.

Why not?

St. Vitus Cathedral
inside of the Cathedral

Old Town Square

Our dinner restaurant was a steakhouse.  Love the decor.  Cowboys & Medieval dude.

Our other dinner place - 5 course meal and a show!

View of the city from the Powder Tower.  St Vitus Cathedral waaay in the back.

One more blog tomorrow!  Who's excited?!

Catching Up #1 - Limmatschwimmen 2012

Hello world!  The last couple of weeks have been crazy here.  I've been put a special project at work that involves commuting an hour in the morning.  These crazy Swiss expect me to be in another town, an hour away, at 8am!  Yeesh.  I long for the days of leaving my house at 8:45 and being at work by 9am.  :)  Point:  US

Of course, the great thing about Switzerland is nobody lets work get in the way of fun!  So even while working a lot, we still get the weekends off and an occasional day off as well.  Point:  Switzerland

One of those fun things was the Limmatschwimmen.  The Limmat is a river that flows from the Zurich lake through Zurich city.  For the last 49 years, Zurich has held an annual event where a bunch of folks (4200 this year) jump into the river and swim (or float) down for 2km.  The weather was perfect this year.  Sunny and almost 90 degrees.

Some pictures from the event:

Andre enjoying the Swiss river & a Swiss beer!

we floated under two bridges!  and yelled appropriately!


They handed out the yellow butterflys but some folks brought their own floats.  This one was particularly impressive.

Ignore the peeps (who were lovely) and check out the scenery!
More posts to come over the weekend.  Right now, Andre is forcing me to change out of my pajamas (it's 1pm here) and go to the grocery store.  Rude!