Category Archives: Switzerland

Saturday Climbing

After our first jaunt sport climbing on our own, several weeks passed by with either busy weekends or terrible weather. When I finally spotted a good forecast, I started mentally planning that I would not be sleeping in on Saturday, but getting up to go climbing instead.

Kay was surprised by my sudden “Let’s go climbing before it’s too late!!” plan on a Friday evening, but he was delighted that I suggested it because the weather was spectacular and a day climb fit in well with our other plans that weekend.We headed back to the same wall where we took our first course. I remember being intimidated to start our first top-roping climb and some parts where I climbed too far past the next anchor point and had to climb downwards. Nooot fun. This time we seemed to zip up the wall in record speed with our new confidence in the materials and our technique. It’s always really hard to show the grade, because the incline feels so steep when you are on it, but shows up flat in photos. This part below was pretty steep and really scared me the first time we did it. This time, it was pretty painful because both Kay and I were getting killer blisters in our shoes and dealing with very painful feet while climbing.

The view at the top was pretty nice. 🙂It’s fun to look down on views like this while perched against a rock wall.

We also tried to take some selfies to show the vertical drop. Not that successful. Kay started packing up the rope and then we began the long descent down.Throwing the rope out.It actually took way longer to abseil down than climb up because on the way up we climbed using the full length of the rope attached to one another, and with abseiling, we could only use the half length of the rope, one at a time.Happy about a successful climb. 🙂

Salt (Orange) Cinema

Orange cinema has been around for years and I always thought about going, but never made the time. Often the weather in Switzerland was too cold and rainy in the summer the last several years to really think about going to an outdoor cinema. I was also turned off by the idea of people smoking in their seats near me.

Orange had to change its name to Salt earlier this year for legal reasons, but they are still operating their annual summer outdoor cinema and I decided to finally give it a try and tick this off my Swiss “to-do” list.Some friends and I decided to go for the Annabelle ladies night showing of Dirty Dancing, a special evening with some free goodies like a glass of prosecco, free ice cream (not for me, it was a gluteny cone), a bag with some beauty samples at the end, and free makeovers at the entrance.

I was actually really impressed by the cinema. You buy a ticket and then get there early to stand in line so that you can grab a good seat. Normally in Switzerland, all the cinemas automatically have pre-purchased seats, so open seating is a bit strange to go back to. In the end, you arrive around an hour or two early to see the movie, but no fear… there is food and drink!I’m sure this is where Salt makes all the money. With a couple hours to kill, people are more than likely to eat dinner at one of the many pop-up versions of local restaurants in the cinema grounds and imbibe on some adult beverages.

Assuming there would be nothing for me, I ate at work beforehand and brought some GF snacks in my bag, but I did buy a cider and some of the girls did not want their free proseccos, so I ended up having a couple of those as well. I might have been able to eat at some of the places

The movie was also GREAT. I am not as crazy of a Dirty Dancing fan as many women, but it is a great oldie and it was so fun to watch the movie in an open crowd. There was a great atmosphere and audible reactions to all the best parts of the movie. The weather was also fantastic that evening! No rain and the heat from the day persisted so that we never needed the jackets we brought with us. It was the perfect summer evening!

The only hard part was that because it was during the week and connections are not that late, I had to book it to catch one of the last trains home.

Would you believe it that Kay has still never been to this cinema? It’s always me trying the trendy things to do in Switzerland. Maybe some day I will drag him out for a movie while it lasts. Gluten Free Galore!

I can’t recall if a colleague recommend to me or if I found it when I was searching for gluten free hamburger buns, but it was on my list of things to try out for a long time. I really wanted some pre-made hamburger buns!

In July, I finally made a big order for around 100CHF, which got me much, much more than I would from the local Reformhaus, where bio, gluten-free items cost much more for even the same things.A bag of muesli for instance can cost almost 8CHF in the store, but were under 5CHF online. Not only that, but they had tons of brands and foods not available in stores. I ordered multiple types of cereal, muesli, my hamburger buns, and several types of Belgian gluten-free beer that I had never tried.I had high hopes for the buns, but I only ordered two packs to test them out first. I mean, not only have I not tried to make hamburger buns myself yet, but sometimes you just want the convenience of making something spur-of-the-moment, or as on-the-fly as you can with a meticulous gluten free diet.

I can’t tell you how often I have hamburger cravings and know it’s impossible to order one. The gluten free hamburgers we found in Australia were incredible and I had a strong craving again this summer!We are also pretty set on cereal mixings for a long time. Normally if we don’t feel like going to Reformhaus to buy special cereal, we just buy the only available cereal at Coop or Migros, corn flakes (blah!) and add in dried fruit. Sometimes not even Coop carries GF corn flakes though, but now we can make our mixes with puffed oats or buckwheat, buckwheat flakes, assorted puffs and so on. I was also looking forward to testing out all the beer they had. I only ordered ones I haven’t had before and not everything was in stock, but I got five kinds of Brunehaut beer, which is made similar to Daura GF beer where they make the beer and then de-glutenize it later.

It’s worth noting that these beers would not be allowed to be labeled GF in the US because malt/barley is an ingredient, but I have never reacted on one of these de-glutenized beers yet, so I partake in them from time to time. (Don’t worry, my main love is still caipirinhas!) Overall I am happy with my purchase and plan to make another one in the future. The only downside is all the packaging that ordering online comes with, but lots of these products are French or foreign and I couldn’t  get them in a store in the Zurich area anyway.

Swiss National Day

Swiss National Day was the start to our week of holiday and it was a great start at that. Kay’s brother came home and we celebrated the holiday with my FIL as our new slightly smaller family.Even though we are all still pretty sad at times without my MIL, we found time to laugh and appreciate the time we have with each other. There is definitely a lot of love in this family.I’m feeling a little more outnumbered these days, but I guess with six brothers, I should be used to that anyway, right? 🙂 Whatever the case, I am happy to be here!The day went by all too fast and before we knew it, several hours had passed and it was time for my FIL and BIL to go home so that Kay and I could pack for Montenegro.

I am not sure when is the next time we can all be together, but I look forward to it.

PS, isn’t Kay’s Hawaiian shirt just great?! 🙂 He bought them on our honeymoon and I love when he wears them for BBQs!

Doing it on our own

After our last climbing course, Kay wanted to buy a set of quick draws and some more carabiners so that we could go climbing on our own, but we still had the problem of how to get there. Most climbing spots in Switzerland are only accessible by car and Kay just has his motorbike.

Kay was worried that if we would leave our bike gear by the bike, it would get stolen, yet it would really be a lot to hike up with to the climbing areas.That’s when I came up with the brilliant idea of buying a Pacsafe bag to attach to the bike. I’ve known about Pacsafe for years since reading about them in my subscription to Outdoor Photographer years ago, and it was the perfect solution for us to take all the gear off and safely lock it up while we hiked and climbed.The weather was so beautiful this weekend. Sunny, warm, but not hot, and with a cool breeze running along the hills sometimes.After a short hike, we reached the climbing area around Mythen where there are several routes from 3a-7ish climbing grades. We stuck to the 3-4 levels to get used to doing it on our own.Kay at the top of the second route above. Below was the view when I climbed up myself.Some succulents growing near our last route.The last route was actually pretty tough for us. Kay started first and got stuck at one point, and when I went up a little while later, I almost didn’t make it past the same tough point. But I kept thinking, “Kay can do it, so can I!” 🙂

Here he is at the top. The view was definitely worth it, even with the weather closing in.Selfie at the top too!Kay preparing the rope to abseil down.View from up there looking down on Vierwaldstättersee. It was pretty breathtaking.I went down first and Kay followed. I am getting the hang of this abseiling by yourself thing.In fact, abseiling might be one of my favorite parts of climbing. It sure is the laziest part. 😉

Back down again, Kay was pretty smiley. And handsome. Don’t forget that!One last selfie and it was time to head back on the bike. The ride back down the curvy hill was certainly easier than the way up. On the way up, I felt like I was in danger of falling off because of the heavy backpack, but on the way down I just needed to make sure that I did not dive into Kay.We are hoping that we’ll be able to get some more climbing done this summer, but things are starting to get tight. Only a couple more weeks until Kay is off for the army and weekends are filling up left and right.