The alarm went off at 2:45am. I climbed out of bed, walked over to the bathroom, and splashed cold water on to my face. I changed into my day clothes, taking care to put on extra layers. At a few minutes after 3am, we left the house and walked to the Bruderholz tram stop in the freezing cold. Thank heavens for the extra layers.
When we got to the tram stop, I couldn’t help but smile. The tram was full. At 3am on a Monday morning. There were no seats left, and people were standing. We got on and squeezed past the standing passengers towards an empty spot by the window. I looked around; parents with their young children, elderly couples, grandparents, teenagers; the entire neighbourhood was here. Some were in costumes, others were in plain clothes. Almost everyone had their Blagette pinned onto the lapel of their jackets. Nobody looked sleepy or drowsy, not even the kids. The lady standing next to me had even taken the effort to make herself up: foundation, mascara, lipstick – the works. Dedication, I think to myself. Or vanity and insecurity? It didn’t matter. Everyone was there for the same reason: Morgenstreich.
There are a lot of things you could do on a cold, mid-winter Saturday morning. Going to the zoo is one of them.
Because if you do, you get to see this:
In the industrial quarter of Zürich, the arches of the railway viaduct house various independent boutiques, cafés, and trendy furniture shops. Markthalle (the indoor market) has lovely artisanal food stalls, and a restaurant which opens 7 days a week (seriously? In Switzerland???). Not quite Brooklyn, but this part of Zürich has hipster written all over it.
Last autumn we went to the largest waterfall in Europe: the Rheinfalls near Schaffhausen. It’s over 150 metres wide, 23 metres tall, and is apparently anywhere between 14,000 to 17,000 years old. There’s a rock right in the middle of the falls, which is accessible by ferry. You can climb right up to the top of the rock and enjoy the view, which many visitors do. I chose not to, because the weather wasn’t too great at the time, and I have a deep aversion towards narrow, spiral staircases. We did, however walk to the platform which juts out from the middle/underneath the falls, and experience the gushing water up close. It’s worth a visit if you’re in the area and you have time on your hands.
Oh and according to our good friend, Wikipedia, fish can’t climb the falls; but eels can.