Back in host mode – sharing our Swiss home with some of our most favourite people. 

We’re not new here anymore. We’ve got our favourite spots, our routines, our groove. We can even chat with the locals in a way that almost feels like we know the language. 

We are maybe slower to gape and gasp at the beauty around us now, than we were in those early days. But nothing brings that sense of wonder back quite as quickly and effectively as getting to show off our world to guests for the very first time. Even more so when it is friends who are seeing Europe for the very first time. (Meg, that is. Shane’s been around…)

What a treat this weekend was, to have Meg & Shane here, two of the most genuine, dear souls one could ever know. We’re lucky enough that they traveled across the globe to come see us.  

They arrived in Frankfurt Friday morning, rented a mini RV (so our kind of people!) and headed straight to us. 

They’re here! They’re here! After a quick stroll through the neighbourhood to stretch their legs, we deposited them on our balcony to enjoy some charcuterie while taking in the view.
Attempted my first hazelnut plum tart. Not bad for a first effort. Must keep practicing.
Prepared a “traditional” Swiss spread for their first meal. Raclette to ensure they started their cheese consumption off right.

They did amazingly well, considering the long travel day and pending jet lag. We let them go to bed with eager anticipation of the adventuring and sightseeing in the day ahead. Confident that they wouldn’t sleep late, we planned to start the day good and early to take in as much as possible. 

But the morning came and there were no Keysers. So we waited. And waited. 8:30 came and went. 9:00 came and went. No response to our cheery “Guten Morgen” texts. 9:30, still no Keysers. Finally at 10:00 a text came in “Holy crap, what just happened!?!? How did we sleep until 10!?”

Dazed and confused, they arrived back at the house ready for a quick coffee, museli  and breakfast charcuterie before setting out for our first forest wander. 

Borrowing Nelson for a morning walk. Into the woods to show them our own little taste of Bragg Creek right here in Winterthur.
There are no vineyards in the woods back in Bragg!
Shane enjoying his first refreshing Swiss forest fountain.
Once back from our “wanderweg” we switched gears to urban mode. A quick hustle to the train station to send the kids off for the weekend to Bäretswil so that we could be completely selfish with our time with Meg & Shane. 

With Meg questioning if what we were doing was legal, we put the kids on the train and waved goodbye, knowing that Titi would be awaiting their arrival at the other end. (Perfectly legal by the way.) Their very first solo train trip. One more check on the list of becoming independent. Well done kids! 

Look at our happy little travelers!

Which left the Keyser’s and I with an open agenda in pursuit of scenic and gastronomical adventures. Giddy-up!!

First stop, Jack & Jo, our oh-so-pretty coffee shop.

I had hoped that we’d already be day-drinking by now but considering that these two were in the stunned-by-jet-lag phase, coffee was a greater necessity. 

First European train ride, complete with sweet pup to cuddle.
Arrival at the always impressive Zürich HB (Hauptbahnhof or main train station) and the obligatory photo under the grand departures sign.
Seeing the sights for the very first time. So much to take in!
Taking in the quirky sights in the old town in Zürich.
A beautiful couple in front of the beautiful city on the Limmat River.
A warm sunflower seed pretzel at the Opera House. Total perfection.
Hooray! We finally achieved day-drinking.
First beer & bratwurst of the trip. (To be accurate, that’s a cervala, the Swiss sausage equivalent to bratwurst.)
European-Meg is a wild and crazy Meg. She’s even a meat-eater here! She’s got the right approach to a European vacation – no gastronomical experience left behind!
Clocks, cathedrals and doorways. All part of the Swiss tour.
The view looking over the city.
These two. ❤️
Turning water into wine? This fountain had been converted to dispense wine! It was a special private function which we were not included in. A failing on my part as host/tour guide. Must look into that for future visitors.
So much cheese!!

A quick pause to call the children, in front of a gourmet chocolate shop.
No trip to Switzerland is complete without a super-car sighting.
All guests must experience a funicular ride too.
Captivated by the view.
The view from The Dolder Grand, high above the lake of Zürich 

At this point Manolo was able to join us having finished up his day of work. The tour took on a slightly more colourful nature at this point, Manolo feeling it was important that the Keyser’s saw the underbelly of Zürich too. 

With a “special restaurant” in mind, he led us through some streets I didn’t even know existed; streets with a red-light district kind of feel. 

After a few circles and some back tracking, we landed at a tiny Italian restaurant. Barely got a table (had to agree to be gone by 8:00) but managed to squeeze in. The menu, handwritten-by-the-chef, each week, was entirely in Italian. Picking out the words we recognized, we managed to order amazing wine and food that was out of this world. 

We were in the deep back corner of the restaurant. This is the whole place.
Sadly, we forgot the before picture on the cheese platter appetizer. If the meal had ended here we’d have been blissfully satisfied.

Shane was disappointed his calzone wasn’t very big.
Sea bass for Meg.
Seafood risotto. Amazing.
Manolo and Meg, pretty pleased with their selections.
Once they brought out the limoncello shots thing got a little fuzzy…literally. Delish to the last drop.
It’s such an exclusive, top secret place, we can’t let you see the actual name.

We carried on our tour after supper, meandering our way towards the Viadukt.
Rubber ducks are a thing here. Who knew?
Quick stop for a beer at the Viadukt Market.
Meg and I at the pop-up IKEA store in Zürich. Open 24 hours! (Meg, was this before or after I fell down? I can’t recall…
 

T’was a perfect day in perfect company. We made it back to Winterthur and into bed, ready for our final hours touring our friends. 

An early morning forest stroll and down into the city for brunch.
Meg might be dabbling in the odd bit of meat but this would be a bit of a reach. We stumbled upon a happy little forest pig roast on our outing.
Enjoying the old-town in Winterthur.
Farewell my friend. Please come back soon. There’s so much more we want to share with you! Thank you for coming to see our world.

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