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Week 2 Zurich & Freiburg

SWITZERLAND | Monday, 11 May 2009 | Views [928] | Comments [1]


Our week started with a flight from Berlin to Zurich. This was the one euro flight, plus all the taxes that Paul had waited for many months. Our hosts, Max Buechel, his wife Liselotte and daughter Ursula and her family were wonderful hosts. We toured the city in the old quarter and went on a tour of the lake. After lunch we went to the Beyer watch museum. We nearly purchased a $98,000 Rolex watch at the insistence of Max, but it wasn't quite within our budget for the rest of the trip. Zurich is a wonderful European city with a large Bahnhof Strass with perfect shopping. The city is linked by tram and you can easily travel. On the first night Max took us to a restaurant where we had a wonderful view of the city. It was our first taste of Swiss food and the Rosti, that my father, Bob, raves about. Our second night we were treated to a traditional Swiss meal of Raclette, which is like fondue but the cheese is cooked on small spatulas. Paul loved the home of his host Ursula, which is a 150 year old home consisting of 3 renovated apartments. Probably the best he loved was their large dog, 'Choc' which was a Labrador cross. I think Paul could have house sat for some time with the dog.

Max continued our tour the next day with a visit to Technorama. This museum is like a huge and highly efficient Scienceworks with lots of really amazing interactive displays. Again, I think we could have left Paul there for some time. He particularly enjoyed making volcanoes explode, waves and cyclones in the 'Water' section. That afternoon Max took us to St. Gallen and he was very proud to show us his home town with the wonderful medieval monastery and library. In the evening we went to Max's home where he showed us his beautiful garden and a huge flowering cactus plant, of which he is very proud.

Thursday we sped off up the Autobahn to Basel. After some difficulty with technology in Max's car with his GPS. Despite stations are very large in Europe, they still need a street address. We visited the museum of the Swiss artist Tinguely who created machines out of found objects. Then for the highlight which was a visit to the Van Gogh exhibition at Basel Kunstmuseum. Many people in Europe are dying to see this exhibit and we were fortunate having Max to acquire us tickets. The paintings were better than I have seen in Australia and the tour in English was excellent. We have recommended to Max that he run a tour company in Zurich and that his daughter Ursula runs the bed and breakfast. He is considering the idea.

We left Zurich and took the ICE for half an hour, which satisfied Paul for the week. He has really enjoyed the efficiency of the trains and trams in Germany & Switzerland, even if the trips are only for 10 minutes. We arrived in Freiburg, in the Black Forest to be greeted warmly by Paul's old friend Sebastian. Sebastian lives with his wife Beate and six year old twins Max & Emma. We have spent the past 4 days enjoying their company and trips around Freiburg. On Friday we were special guests at Sebastian's school in his English classes. Paul was a bit nervous about returning to school to work for a day. We enjoyed a chat and a cup of coffee with the principal Dr Wolk. Sebastian, Paul & I then went for lunch by the Rhine of which the highlight was getting stuck in the most unbelievable hail and rain storm. Yesterday we were guests at a local winery with Sebastian's friend Georg and his wife Daniella who travelled from Munich to see us as we had met them in Australia. We had a wine tasting at a winery on the Kaiserstuhl, which will create some amusement amongst those who can remember cask wine in Australia. Today we visited the village where George grew up. This village is called Staufen and is on the edge of the black forest. The village is very picturesque but is in danger of 'cracking' as they have drilled below the main town hall to install thermal heating and thus water is leaking into the chalk base. So there are these buildings that are hundreds of years old that are cracking.

By the time you read this we will have visited Europa Park. This is the German equivalent of Euro Disney but we have been told it is better. The twins are very excited we are going and I think they will enjoy the rides with their new found friend 'Pearl' (a six year old pronunciation of Paul). The next update of our travels will be from our ultimate destination Paris. Until then 'Schuss'.



Kathryn and Paul a teacher couple from Australia have helped us during our 4 moths tripp in Australia. It was a pleasure for us to show them how we live in Switzerland. We had a good time.

  Max Buechel Dec 24, 2014 6:52 AM



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