InterNations co-founder Malte Zeeck paid a visit to our Zurich Expat Community last weekend – here are some of his impressions from his trip:
It is just a fifty minute flight from Munich to Zurich and the train from Zurich’s airport gets me to the city center in only 10 minutes. The weather is incredible with 25°C and a clear blue sky! I am anxious to find out how many of the 200+ members who signed up for the April Zurich InterNations Event will actually show up.
The venue couldn’t be much nicer than the bar of the five star boutique hotel ALDEN Splügenschloss, which we have exclusively reserved for InterNations. Deepika Bindra and Johann Schiessl, our two Zurich InterNations Ambassadors, welcome me at the entrance of the hotel. Deepika has lived and studied throughout the world, becoming acquainted with the expat life from an early age on. It’s no surprise that she found her way into the Travel Retail industry, managing global duty free projects. She says she enjoys combining the two things she loves – traveling and shopping – in her job. Johann is originally from Germany and is quite active in the social circles of Zurich.
A great mix of people have come to the event. Around 40 nationalities mingled in the glamorous bar and did not hesitate at all to approach other members. There was Shira from Israel, May and Jack from the US, Silvia, Francesco and many more from Italy, Caroline and Stefan from Germany, Alvaro from Bolivia, Paula from Ecuador, and countless more. I got to talk to almost every one of the guests and the atmosphere was absolutely genius! Instead of the usual welcome drink, members were served a tasty risotto snack. Since the weather was still terrific, some members took a seat outside at the “Strandkorb” on the hotel’s front terrace.
Many of the participants were visiting an InterNations event for the first time, but there were quite a few who have already attended InterNations events around the globe. It was nice to see that phone numbers and contact details were exchanged and joint activities planned.
With this wonderful weather, Zurich really does present itself as one of Europe’s most beautiful destinations. It is nice that I got to spend a few more days there over the weekend. I took my time to stroll along the famous Bahnhofstrasse, which connects the central train station with Lake Zurich. It could be considered the 5th Avenue of Zurich, where you will be sure to find all the luxury stores for fashion, jewelry, Swiss watches, and chocolate. The street also seems to be a catwalk for Zurich’s rich and beautiful…
The view of Lake Zurich with all its sail boats and the snow topped mountains in the background is simply magnificent. I was able to spend some time in the sun at one of the many floating bars by the side of the lake.
As it was the weekend of the “Säächsilüüte”, Zurich’s Spring Festival. Taking place on the 3rd weekend in April every year, it serves to bid farewell to the long, cold, dark winter and welcome longer days and warmer nights. As a result, the streets were full of people, locals and tourists alike, watching the parades and the burning of the “Böögg”, the symbol of winter in the form of a snowman. All the houses were decorated with colorful flags and the usually sleepy town was full of life.
For dinner, I met up with friends at a rustic Italian restaurant, Cucina, which serves great pizza and pasta. The cuisine was traditionally simplistic with tremendous flavor. To eat outside for the first time after a long winter was incredibly relaxing!
If you find yourself in Zurich and are looking for a good place to have Sunday lunch, I can highly recommend a trip to the “Chäsalp” about a 15 minute trip by car from downtown Zurich. Here you can have lunch with friends and family in a typical Swiss setting – or enjoy traditional Swiss fondue! Seated at tables with a white tablecloth under cherry trees in full bloom on a lush green pasture: it’s all you can do to stop yourself from yodeling in tune to the alpine horns!
Photos courtesy of Malte Zeeck and Wikimedia Commons.