I would be lying if I said that my excitement for friends who get an opportunity to cross the pond doesn’t have a slightly selfish component… so when my good friend from McGill, Naomi, was given the opportunity to work on her Master’s degree in France for 6 months, I was sure to convince her first of the improved academic conditions and fine chocolates that would be at her disposal in France… and then promptly set a weekend when she could come to visit!
So a few weeks ago, brave Naomi hitchhiked with a friend from Southern France all the way to Eastern Switzerland- no trouble at all, and carbon neutral to boot!
3 days went by too quickly, but with plenty of highlights.
The first, though probably not the best, entertainment of the weekend was sitting in on one of my craziest lectures, given by the head of my program- a brilliantly abstract mathematician-psychologist, who pulls ideas from almost every discipline and only happens to be in environmental science because the city screwed up the planning when they discovered that his neighbourhood had been inappropriately placed on a unremediated brownfield. He thought he could do it better, so he not only started to read up on the subject, but started a new discipline at ETH for it- Human-Environment Systems, and has recently finished a book on the topic as well. (I’ve recently gotten around to the ‘school’ page of this site, so check it out for a few more ideas about HES).
From there, we explored the city- stopping into interesting stores and seeing all the major sites. Being as touristy as we could despite of the rainy weather.
As is tradition, we took a series of self-portraits for a range of expressions: see if you can spot ‘it’s ok to keep speaking, but know that I don’t understand that language’, or ‘the more body-language I use must mean more comprehension’, and ‘Naomi’s in Zürich!!’
An evening in Zürich presents endless opportunities, so after visiting with my dog, Tiger, we went to a cinema-bar (a great idea that needs to be brought to Canada) for some of the craziest mixed drinks ever. Naomi had something with a Basil-Lemongrass mix, and I discovered a Carrot-Lime combination.
Sundays are perfect for hikes, because everything is closed, we thought… So even with a little rain in the city, we thought we would head up into the nearby hills for a leisurely tour. But as the bus climbed higher, the hills started to get a little whiter on top. I was shocked to see that not only was there snow still up high, but that it was still snowing!
A few pics of the fun that we were about to get into…
It became particularly exciting when our rain jackets and shoes were soaked through, the snow was starting to whiteout the trail ahead, and our lighter melted while trying to start a fire 🙂
On the way down, we emerged into brilliant fresh green and ended the trip walking through a mountain river gorge where water (now in the liquid form) was the theme. Springs dripping around us highlighted the bright leaves. A few spectacular streams and waterfalls also appeared as little gifts which I took as the reward for making it through the snow.
Thanks for visiting, Naomi. Miss you xoxo