My first Swiss birthday. 

Heute ist mein Geburstag. Today is my birthday. The fountain of youth is alive and well within me. 

Literally. 

I woke up with about 5 pimples. Damn you hot-muggy weather & greasy sunscreen! 

So I figured, hey, if I’ve got the acne of a teenager, maybe I’ll have the stamina too. Any day is always improved with a bike ride in my books. So I set out to climb some hills in hopes of feeling more deserving of the birthday gluttony to come later in the day. 

Turns out pimples and stamina are not as correlated as one might think but I still held my own. It’s actually not my stamina that is showing my age but rather my need to stop to take photos around every bend. 

Rode past orchards, vineyards, castles and pretty little villages. Everywhere you go there is absurd green beauty, interspersed with quirkiness. 

Castles sprinkled here and there.
When nature calls…literally.
Poor little Santa has been stuck for sometime.
Today’s route took me past a “Selb Pfluck” (U-pick) strawberry field. Selb pflucking is my favourite. Riding past, the air was rich with the fragrance of the strawberries. It was intoxicating. The taste of a sun-warm strawberry off the vine is gastronomical perfection to me. So much so that I found my mind wandering to disturbing end-of-life thoughts. 

“What if I started picking strawberries to eat and couldn’t stop. I’d eat so many that I’d have to lie down amidst the plants. I’d keep eating them until my stomach burst. If that was how I died, it would be in such blissful happiness.”

It really made me think of the scene in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy and her friends become intoxicated in the field of poppies and have to lie down to sleep. The air full of the aroma of the strawberries had a total hypnotic effect on me. It was trippy.  

This is the first birthday I can remember in a long while that wasn’t pouring rain. Over the years I had become resigned to knowing that sitting on a sunny patio would not be part of my day. 

Today more than made up for dreary birthdays. 30 degrees, crazy hot for us Canadian kids. So after the bike ride we went swimming at our neighbourhood pool. Heaven. 

Our neighbourhood pool, overlooks the city.

Then onto Zürich to soak in the fabulousness of the city before heading to Bäretswil for supper with family. Pretty much a perfect day. 

Well fed Zürich swans.
The red umbrellas are the Frauenbad – the private women’s swimming area on the Limmat river in the heart of Zurich. D scored his first view of some topless ladies from afar.
The Opera House in the Stadelhofen area in Zürich. Too hot to lounge in the chairs in the sun.
The proverbial ugly ducklings! Not so ugly at all.
Birthday treats on a hot day.

Thankfully Zürich is on the water which, as you’ll recall, is ideal for us as a cooling down mechanism. If there is water, you can bet we’ll be getting in!

Pretty girls in dresses still get into fountains.
Heaven for little ones and sweaty moms.
I thought we were the only ones who swam in the river in Zürich.
Couldn’t ask for a prettier swimming hole. Dressed for dinner but with this heat they’ll be dry in no time.
How’s the river?

The end of a perfect birthday.
We come from a family of very gifted gardeners.
This is a huge vase of the most gorgeous hydrangeas ever.

This week provided 2 reasons to enjoy Zürich with what felt like an early birthday present and the arrival of good friends from home. Having a quick chance to share our world with the Desilets felt so, so good. The ease and familiarity of old friendships is still something I miss so much. New friendships here have been lovely but nothing replaces the old friends from home. 

Desilets at Zürich HB.
Expensive cocktails are so much better in good company. Jane’s first Aperol Spritz.
Enjoying the view of the Limmat.
Jane capturing the beauty.
The Desilets do Zürich!

All the birthday wishes and cards/gifts from home sure do make a girl feel spoiled. This next year is off to a very promising start.  My cup runneth over. 

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