Exploring Switzerland: Volketswil, Örmis

0 Permalink

Happy Monday! I hope everyone is well and healthy and can somewhat enjoy the quarantine at home, too! We still go out regularly with our dogs so we have the ability to enjoy the warm weather that Switzerland has been showing off with this past weekend. The other day I asked some of my friends / followers (not a large group, but still!) on Instagram whether they had any tips for us regarding where to take the dogs in and around Zurich. After a while, it seems we have walked every path at least twice in our neighborhood and the surrounding 5-10 km.

I also always check out the account from different people on Instagram, including that of Andrea Monica Hug (@andreamonicahug), whom is not just an amazing photographer but also goes for many runs and walks. The other day she went for a walk with her dad to a place that looked absolutley beautiful and one that I really wanted to see. I wrote her asking where this place was and not only did she tell me, but she also sent me a screen shot of google maps to find it easily – thank you so much, Andrea – that was highly appreciated!

My fiancé and dogs loved the walk as much as I did, though, I probably loved it the most (or perhaps second-most after the dogs). I used this time to work on my photography skills a bit again and just enjoy the time with my camera. Here are some of the photos I wanted to share with you. Of course this is after the processing – all done with Lightroom Classic and Lumiar (Skylum Luminar 4 to be precise). What do you think of them?

All photos are shot with the Canon EOS R with the RF 15-35MM F2.8L IS USM lens.

Exploring Switzerland: Bremgarten (Aargau)

0 Permalink

It’s been almost 6 years since I moved back to Zurich, Switzerland. Six years, and it feels like I still do not really know the country well at all. I meet so many expats here, so many people abroad that have visited Switzerland, and almost all of them seem to know more about the country and have visited more places than me. The reason is simple: work. I’ve been working almost constantly these past few years, with little time to travel other than for work and I’ve not had my car for all too long. And let’s be honest, I was never the type to go “explore” all too much on my own.

Being a Swiss, Sam obviously has seen much, much more of the country than I have. Nevertheless, we made a little promise to ourselves. I want to explore more of this beautiful country, see more places than what is near and around Zurich. A few weekends ago we went to Bremgarten, in Aargau. Sam partially grew up there when he was younger and lived in a house we visited with his family. It was so nice to see where he grew up and kind of get a feel of how his childhood may have looked. At least I know where he went to school, hehe.

The old part / town of Bremgarten is beautiful. So many of the houses are hand-painted and in different colours. You can walk over the river via several bridges and walk into the forest and be in nature within 10 minutes of walking: breathtaking. You all know how much I love and enjoy being out in nature, so it really felt good. Also, the weather was amazing. We stayed for about an hour and a half before we went on to visit his dad and the girlfriend. There we went for another walk with our dogs and then enjoyed a lovely cooked dinner – so good!

Driving up to Saas Fee

0 Permalink

If there is one thing that can always sweep me off my feet – it‘s the breathtaking beauty of nature. Whether it is art, design or fashion; us humans usually try to replicate the beauty we see out in nature. Photography, is one of the greatest tools invented. The fact that I can capture certain moments in life and be able to re-visit them in years from now, is something we need to appreciate. Yet, no photograph in my opinion, no piece of art or painting, captures the actual roughness, the raw beauty of what nature has given us. It is our memories together with the moments we capture that take us back in time.

Yesterday I drove up from Zurich to Saas Fee for to attend a training program by a large law firm I work with. The drive up was already breath-taking; absolutely fascinating. The higher I went (almost 3000m above sea level) the more snow was around me. Not the fluffy snow we know, however, it was parts of the glacier, leftovers from the previous winter. Hard blocks of ice slowly melting in the sun with 16°C temperatures barely being able to move the ice. Together with the greens of the grass, the brown tones of the earth slowly warming up to summer and the blues of the sky – the colors couldn’t have been more harmonizing, more inspiring, more motivating.

Saas Fee is a fairly old town in Switzerland with a great history in regards to cars. Cars are used a lot to getting to Saas Fee, but have been forbidden for generations within the actual town. Shortly after entering the town, we stood introns of a huge parking space to leave the car. Every couple of meters there are cute little oldschool phones to call the hotel one will stay at – or the regular transportation service. Shortly after we called our hotel, a small electro-shuttle came to pick us up. I couldn’t stop myself from smiling – and being impressed. This environmentally friendly approach, which so many praise these days and try to incorpate into our lives, has been with Saas Fee for so long.

We then arrived at our hotel – the Fletschhorn. It is an absolutely cute hotel, with great servicing, amazing breakfast and very spacey rooms. I can only recommend it. The wine cellar is huge, the cook received a Michelin star and the view from the balcony of the room, is simply stunning (second photo below).

Today my day is mostly consisted of a conference and team-building exercises. My personal goal is to exploring the area just a little more before leaving again Friday morning!

A Sunday Hike in Einsiedeln

0 Permalink

I love all season – really. I love winter and the Christmas season – when all is covered in white (at least in the mountains here in Switzerland) and there is nothing better than putting on the fireplace and drinking a glass of red wine whilst sitting on the fur. Then comes spring, when finally everything awakens again and the birds start coming back to slowly build their nests. The greatest flower fields are usually found in spring and near summer. Summer is just fabulous because of the weather – there is nothing better than being able to wear a t-shirt and shorts and not freezing our asses off. Yet autumn,.. it something special to me. Perhaps because so many of my beloved people are born in autumn, or maybe because we are getting ready for the festive season. Surely, I love the magic of nature – when all leaves turn turn their colors and everything becomes yellow, orange and red. When the sun turns gold in the evening and every look at nature takes my breath away – that is when I enjoy being outside the most.

One of my closer friends and I decided to use this time of the year and start exploring Switzerland just a little more. I can’t believe I have been living in Zurich for nearly 4 years (in spring) and I still don’t really know the country. There is so much beauty – and we decided we want to explore as much as possible of it. Because Zaphira (my puppy) is only 4.5 months old now, we decided not to do a huge trip (she does not have the energy, yet). We wanted something nearby but still go outside the city – outside of Zurich. Quickly, we decided on Einsiedeln. It is a super tiny town just about 1 hour away from Zurich city. There is a huge monastery one can visit, see the Black Madonna inside the church and go for an amazing short hike (or longer, if one has time and feels like it).

Stepping out of the train already made us realise we are definitely out on the countryside. The air was brisk clear – and that is almost surprising as I always believed Zurich already has such clean air. No, Einsiedeln topped it off immediately. The second smell that we immediately welcomed was the smell of horses. Oh, how I love those graceful animals. It reminded me of my childhood, when I used to horseback ride once in a while and loved every minute of it. It now is back up on my to-do list for the future. First, however, I need to get Zaphira used to those “long-legged dogs” which she saw for her first time last Sunday.

After a plentiful lunch that we jumped into right when leaving the train station, we went up the hill and enjoyed nature to it’s fullest. Of course, being “big city girls”, we had to stop about every 5 minutes to either take picture of the surrounding, my puppy, or ourselves (selfie-time for the win!). To not bore you in trying to explain the beauty, I wanted to share some of the photos with you.

I cannot say it often enough – people, go out into nature! There is so much to explore. Sometimes just around the corner – perhaps a few streets aways, but there is always something beautiful if we only just try to see it. It seemed like all the pressure, all my worries, all open tasks – everything just went away for those few hours we were outside. I really recommend it to everyone; for your heart and health!