Tag Archives: switzerland

Happy Swiss National Day

It’s here, it’s here again! Happy Swiss National Day!

(Badi Tiefenbrunnen)

We are celebrating today with Kay’s family. His brother flew in from Madrid and we are grilling and enjoying some gluten free goodies.

Of course it will be a bit sad and definitely different without my MIL to celebrate, but we will remember the nice holidays we enjoyed with her. When Kay was away for work one year, I spent one of my first Swiss National days with his parents seeing the parade and festivities in Zurich. I remember being proud that I was making the step to spend time alone with my then boyfriend’s family.

I’ll be sure to take some pictures and make an update, but for now I’m enjoying a cold, gluten free beer. If there is one thing that is really on my to do list this weekend, it is taking a family photo!

Enjoying all things summer

In some ways, this summer feels like the last summer because next year Kay will be in a different country. Ever since the temperatures peaked to HOT, we’ve been spending night after night outside enjoying fresh air and everything gorgeous Switzerland has to offer in the summer, from swimming in the lakes and rivers to climbing in the mountains.

(Walking past the Sihl river on a warm night.)

Every day it’s warm enough at lunch, I also head to the lake for a quick dip and swim in the lake. It’s really heaven on Earth.Now that Kay is “in” his school, the stress of applications is over and we are really trying to maximize our time together.

(BĂĽrkliplatz, on the way to Bade Enge for my birthday)

For instance, after we took our second climbing course in June, we decided to order a set of express (quick draws) and some carabiners. Now with our other gear, we have everything we need to head to the mountains and climb all on our own for the rest of the summer. 🙂My cute boy on my birthday. We probably won’t see each other on either of our birthdays next year.Evening sun.Below we were swimming at Obere Letten, a public swimming bath at the Limmat river in Zurich where you can jump into the river, take a float or swim, and then pop out. We stopped by shortly on my birthday before dinner and movies. It was glorious.

Sushi in the park near Limmatplatz. Everyone was playing in the park and enjoying themselves. With the warm weather, there’s really a lively feel about the city.

I’m also obsessed with all these flowers planted around many towns around Zurich and in the city. I didn’t notice them last year, so they must be new, but they are beautiful.

Between all the swimming, weekend activities, socializing, and planning for the future, life is very, very busy at the moment!

Are you enjoying summer in your city to the fullest?

Guided Husky Walk in Muotathal

A while back I headed in the direction of Luzern for the weekend for a friend’s hen do. On a Saturday in February, we headed to the HĂĽttenhotel Husky-Lodge in Muotathal to learn how huskies are cared for and to go on a guided snowshoe walk with them.

The dogs were SO sweet and I left the trip wanting to bring one home with me!

We learned that they are so friendly and tame. If you do not hurt them, they will not hurt you. Belly rubs were much appreciated!

We split the hike with one dog per two persons and unknown to me and my partner, we picked the alpha dog of the pack. She always wanted to be at the verrry front of the trail!

Although we didn’t ride on a sled with the dogs, it was very interesting to experience walking with them. I already have experience snowshoe walking with Kay and with the dogs, it was a whole different experience!

The dogs with blue eyes were male and the ones with brown eyes were female. They had some Siberian huskies and some Swedish kinds… I forget all the different types, but they said they sometimes trade dogs to keep the genes healthier in breeding.My partner had the dog most of the way up and the dog was really pulling her. My friend could barely control the dog even walking. It was a bit funny seeing the dog surge forward.We switched shortly before our summit and the dogs really do help alleviate the energy required for uphill climbs! But on the reverse… it can be quite disastrous going downhill if you are not in control of your dog!

I have an OK time leading dogs and I seemed to be better about holding our dog back than my partner. Maybe part of it helped that I was speaking to my dog in Swiss-German, unlike most of the English colleagues around me. It was hilarious to hear them try and say “Stop, slow, slower!!” to the dogs with no reaction.

She might be peeing during our break, but she was still cute. 🙂

I really had to be careful on the way down to take slow and steady steps and make sure that when she would pull ahead, she would not set me off balance, toppling me over.

Overall, the walk was much more enjoyable with the dogs. They helped pull you up, down and forward on the long stretches. You could really feel the difference in energy exhausted on the flat stretches.

The weather was not the greatest, but it didn’t rain or snow, and at the end of the day we saw a bit of blue sky and some mountains in the distance. All in all, not a bad day!

We ended the evening back at the lodge with a fondue dinner. I had risotto and lamb to keep gluten free and we all enjoyed a well-deserved glass of wine!

Finding Glass Tupperware in Switzerland

When I purged gluten from our kitchen, I had to give away all of our plastic tupperware. I planned to replace it with glass to be healthier and to make reheating food at work more convenient since I normally transfer my food to a bowl before microwaving. It took me about 8 months to finally settle on a few sets with some prices that I can stomach here. (Spoiler alert, it’s still a lot more expensive than anything available in the US.)

Without Amazon or Target, it’s sometimes hard to find quality kitchen items for a reasonable price here. You can get a lot of things from Migros or Coop, but often the quality or choice is lacking. There were hardly any glass containers like Pyrex available or they were very expensive or mostly round-shaped. I even searched in Globus and Manor and didn’t really find anything suitable. Honestly, I just wanted something like a Pyrex value set below, but Pyrex Europe does not offer sets, especially at these prices.

($29.99 from World Kitchen. I cannot express what a fantastic deal this set would be here!)

We do all of our cooking on weekends and then I portion half the food into lunch containers and the rest into bigger family-style containers to keep at home, so I was looking for a mix of big and small containers, with more small ones for transporting food to work. Moreover, I also wanted containers that fit well in my cooler lunch bag because they need to stay cool during the two hours I’m at the gym and traveling to work. Ideally, I wanted to be able to pack four containers or two containers and yogurt/fruit as I can now.

Even though I found (and bought) one kind of large Pyrex dish with a lid from Migros since de-glutening the kitchen, I resigned myself to the idea that finding a whole set would be difficult here. I began searching for Pyrex alternatives because there was no way I would pay 20-45CHF per container and the smallest Pyrex available was anyway not small enough to fit well in my lunch bag.

(59.95CHF from Pro Idee)

Lock&Lock is a fairly big brand here and I was very interested in their individual products from Globus. I thought maybe if I found a set online that it would not be quite so expensive as the one off pieces. Nobody wants to pay 15-40CHF for one container, but 60 for a set of five was starting to sound like a good deal

I would have gone ahead and gotten the Lock&Lock set, but the three smallest containers were all square, which is not as space-friendly to my cooler as rectangles would be, so I didn’t stop my search there. After finding Lock&Lock on Toppreise, I was able to do searches for “Boroseal”, “Borosilicat”, “Frischhaltedosen glas” and similar to find several more brands, sets and value options available in Switzerland.

Emsa was a brand I had never heard of, but they popped up in my searches with several affordable sets.

(37.90CHF from Erwin MĂĽller)

(29.90CHF from Erwin MĂĽller)

After I found the Emsa sets, I somehow found this Silit set. We have a Silit knife from my MIL that’s awesome, so I know the brand is good.

(59.90 from Erwin MĂĽller)

This set from Birgitte St. Gallen looked like one of the most affordable, but it was still square and the site needed a minimum order of 50CHF, which would mean ordering two sets. Plus shipping was a little more expensive than the Erwin MĂĽller site.

(39.90 from Birgitte St. Gallen)

Likewise, this set from Weltbild was also relatively cheap but the sizes were actually a little too big for my needs compared to the Silit containers. Apparently I really had a specific size in mind for my lunch containers! (39.95CHF from Weltbild.ch)

Lastly, I heard that IKEA has some offers for cheap containers and they do, but unfortunately the smallest size (sizes are not accurate in the picture!) was square and the smallest rectangle container was also too big.


(Individually, 2.95-7.95CHF from IKEA)

I really like Lock&Lock as a brand, but I didn’t want to buy all the rectangle pieces individually and I was having a really hard time deciding which sizes I needed. It’s hard to tell from pictures online and I kept using a ruler to approximate how big or small things were. I wanted to make sure we would be investing in smart size since this would cost us way more than plastic containers.

At the same time, I was also lamenting the fact that QVC Germany offers some awesome lime or purple Lock&Lock sets that would totally go in our kitchen, but they only ship to Germany. Rats! Likewise, all those cheap US options don’t ship here.

Having gotten really fed up with searching, I finally made the decision to order the two Emsa sets above as well as two Silit sets for about 190CHF with shipping. That would give us 12 containers in addition to our glass Pyrex and the few bell jars that we have.

Did I save money? I think I still did. 190CHF works out to 15.8 a container, which is generally how much the small to midsize rectangle Lock&Lock cost from Globus. Also… bonus: with their black lids and red silicon, the Silit containers should be fairly stain-proof against tomato sauce and curry! I think that’s worth paying a little extra for…

Not only am I happy that we will be storing most if not all of our food in glass going forward, I am very happy that we are no longer strapped for containers! I had bought just the bare minimum to get by with plastic and we were always running out and sometimes had to stick whole pots of food or pans in the fridge. So happy I’m back to my usual storage container setup!

Also happy how many small containers I have! I figure if I still want some more, I should try the IKEA ones out since they are such a good price, but I’m looking forward to next summer when I can just heat these up and stick them in my bag to head to the lake.

I might have been able to find an Amazon business that ships to Switzerland, but I would have had to deal with exorbitant shipping fees and import taxes, so I’m happy to just have my containers sorted out locally.

Have you converted to glass storage containers yet?

Swiss Features: Rolling blinds

There are a few features in our new house that I feel are fairly Swiss or European compared to US homes, so I wanted highlight them as I have time to take some photos.

First up are our automatic rolling blinds.

I had these at the first house I moved into in Switzerland but I have not had them in every house or flat I’ve lived in. I consider them kind of luxurious. They are basically big blinds on the outside of your house so you don’t have to deal with all the muck and dust on blinds within your home… and they are a lot more sturdy and hard-wearing than traditional American blinds.

Some Swiss houses have manual rolling shutters that you have to crank by hand, but these ones have buttons for up, down and stop in the middle of the switch. They are sooo convenient and I kind of love them.

I honestly wish we had had the option to have them in the bedroom because it would be SO much darker with them. They are really great for blocking out light.

My only complaint with ours are that there are two sets of shutters in the living room and the switches are not together so if you want to open or close both of them, you need to walk the length of the hallway and switch each shutter individually, which can be slightly annoying if you are heading out of the flat and want to shut off everything from the door.

We also have two for each set of windows in the kitchen. If we had gotten a flat on the side of the complex we actually would have these shutters everywhere, but we strangely landed on the side of the building with green plantation shutters on the bedroom side of the units. More on how those work later!

How do you shut out light in your house? Do you have different treatments for different rooms?