(Alternate title: more hot, sweaty summer in Zurich, with guests)
The visitor parade is almost over, and none too soon. Don’t get me wrong – I have adored the chance to spend time with each and every one of the dear friends who have come to see us this summer, but I am the worst warm-weather tour guide ever. When the temperatures soar, all I want to do is hide from the sun. Not easy to do when you’re out walking around the city all day.
Kesha compared me to some creature on a sci-fi show that can’t go in the light and just slinks along from shadow to shadow; this basically sums up how I move around in the summer, if I have to move around at all.
Even so, we’ve managed to have a little bit of fun here and there. Boat rides across Lake Zurich are cool and breezy, as long as you are on a big boat and not one of those small, stuffy glass-topped things. The Kunsthaus café is cool and relaxing, even if the top floors of the museum could use some air-conditioning. And if you go to dinner late enough, and sit outside, you might just be able to enjoy a nice meal without having the seat stick to the back of your legs.
Even better than riding a boat across the lake is actually swimming in the lake. While Badi abound on Zurich’s lake and rivers (which charge around CHF 6 admission and provide useful facilities like changing rooms), my new favorite spot to swim is in the park at Zürichhorn, which can be reached by boat, bus, or tram. The grassy areas are packed full of sunbathers in the afternoon, but there’s always room in the water.
The restaurants that have been the biggest hits with our guests (who were almost all disappointed to learn that summer is not exactly fondue season) are listed below. All offer outdoor seating and menus in English (although the daily specials are only listed in German. I am getting good at translating food, even though I still don’t have a clue what most of the meats are).
Zeughauskeller is awfully proud of its extensive Wurst menu (see picture), but also offers a couple options for us vegetarians, as well as plenty of meats of the non-encased variety.
Linde Oberstrass offers big salads and Fladenbrot (sort of like a thin-crust pizza, but swissified), which make good summer foods, along with pastas and a bunch of typical Swiss meat-and-potatoes dishes.
Crazy Cow has traditional Swiss food that tends to be on the heavy side, so save this one for a really cool evening, or better yet, the winter.
Hiltl combines two of my favorite things: a huge variety of delicious vegetarian food, and air-conditioning that you can actually feel. The special summer ginger shandy I had there was pretty yummy, too.
To all our summertime visitors: please do come back to see us in winter. You will find me a changed person. I love winter, and winter in Switzerland is hard to beat. Snow-covered Alps, Christmas markets, skiing, Glühwein, sledding, fondue, raclette… I will be so freakin’ enthusiastic you won’t even recognize me.