…they exist! i need to have my camera with me more often, but i have caught a few characters. note the resemblance of the lady on the bus to Amada Lepore of NY tranny fame. and yes, the old lady in the fur is drinking out of a golden chalice on the street.
I recently took some videos while riding my bike around zurich and put them up on youtube. they’re not super exciting but, well it was kind of an experiment and one is able to see some of the city at least. and also to see rico’s house at the end of the first one.
A few weekends ago we took a train ride to the town of Zermatt, to see the famous Matterhorn. We went up to 4,000 meters via several ski lifts….shit was cold up there! Fun fact — the Matterhorn is what is said to have inspired the shape of the (also swiss) Toberlone Bar.
back in Zurich:
For Rico’s Fall break we decided to head south to sunnier weather and explore Morocco. Starting in Fez we moved down the coast to Casablanca, Essaouira and finished in Marrakesh where we spend five nights. We stayed mostly in Riads which are a very popular and easy option. They usually have between 4 and 8 rooms, facing inward to an open-air courtyard with lemon or orange trees. They almost always have gardens, and a rooftop terrace and sometimes a pool. We stayed in two in Fez, both were the best ones all trip and made Fes a great introduction to Morocco.
Oh right, we did leave the Riad’s at some point and explore the city. We stayed in the Medina, or old town, which is like an ancient maze of market after market after butcher after market after hash seller after hammam after chicken coop, etc, etc. There’s no way to convey the craziness of walking through these areas with pictures.
Fez is (apparently) known for it’s leather. They dye it in the tanneries which have big pools of ….ah, stuff and the whole process is terribly toxic and smells so bad they give everyone mint to hold under their noses. Considering the rest of the smells that assault you everywhere else, that means the tannery smell must be pretty bad.
Some more random Fez shots:
Casablanca didn’t do much for me. It’s a huge city with not much for the tourist to do unless you want to go to someplace called Rick’s that needless to say is NOT the same as in the film
The only sight they have is a mosque (eh), which is the third biggest in the world, has a light that shines from the minaret toward mecca, and is built across the street from thousands of families who can’t afford to feed their children. Oh, but at least they have a place to pray! Forgive me, i’ve overdone it on the religion thing this trip…
After Casablanca we headed down the coast by bus to Essaouira, a small town on the beach that was just what we needed. Spend two days there relaxing in a great little B&B type thing on the water. And we got hit on by two British girls who were looking for some vacation fun after their days in the desert with only camels as company, ha.
We finally saw our first camels here, on the beach! They were, of course, for tourists to ride, which I really wanted to but after five men ran up to me trying to get me to, i was too put off. They were really cute though…
Some more random pics from the town:
It rained on the day we were leaving and africa isn’t quite build to handle heavy rain. Everything seemed to flood in a matter of hours. Off to Marrakesh!
Our riad in Marrakesh wasn’t as nice as the one in Fez, but was still very cute. It was again in the Medina which was much bigger than the one in Fez, which meant more peddlers, hash sellers and all around craziness. The main square, jamaa el fna, is something that has to be seen to be believed. It’s the scene of an open air market/theater type entertainment venue that happens every night and i’ve never seen anything quite like it. The monkeys are very cute, but alas, rico wouldn’t let me pose with one on my head, so i settled for a boring snake.
Cats are everywhere in Morocco. They eat all the leftovers from the butchers and fish sellers and everything else that ends up being thrown in the streets, which i guess is plenty. Lots of them are very cute, like this little fella who looked like he was blind in one eye.
Most buildings in Morocco are simple and very plain. But the ones they choose to spend time on and still maintain are really amazing. We toured some old buildings, mostly religious schools, but also a couple of palaces. It makes you wish they could put so much attention and detail into more places…
saw some more camels on one of our famous hop on/hop off bus tours:
We took hundreds more photos but there’s too much to show here, so that was just a quick summary. It was quite a place, much more stimuli than i was expecting. Quite an adventure and I recommend it to everyone who can get there…..
So I’ve been taking some pictures to try to show what I’ve been eating and cooking at home mostly. It’s been a bit of a fusion between American easy cooking and Swiss traditional food. With cheese of course being the common and most essential theme. I swear the pictures do not do justice to how good everything tastes…
Raclette is a traditional Swiss food, very much like fondue in that it’s a bunch of delicious cheese that you melt in this little cooker in the middle of the table. You get your own little dish to do it in, one slice, or brick, at a time, then scrape the melted cheese off only potatoes, onions or whatever else you’ve cooked on the grill. It’s delicious.
sometimes i have to fend for myself and get a little lazy:
sometimes i try crazy things, like baking blueberry muffins. it didn’t turn out the prettiest, hence the long shot of them. But this way i can show more of the apartment as well. They were a little heavy and took longer to clean up than they took to make.
And don’t think that i’ve let being far away from mexico stop me…
And finally one more night of spatzli, but this time we made it from scratch, using what looks like a cheese grater to form the little doughy drops, it looks a little bit like tiny gnocchi.
I finally got a new bike! It’s a quick little road bike, a Peugeot all the way from neighboring France. It was a great deal and I’ve been having run riding around the city with it. I think today I will finally go on a long ride, along the river since it’s a nice day. Here is me and the newest part of the family posing in one of zurich’s tourist look-outs:
The only drawback of having a road bike in Zurich is that there are actually more tram tracks throughout the city than there are in SF, so having tires that fit perfectly within the tracks can make it somewhat nerve racking. But i’ve learned well from muni tracks and so far so good. And I’m already good at texting while riding on this one, so that’s a good sign
Me and Rico went to visit some friends of his in Basel which is only about an hour away by train (as everything in Switzerland is) and their new baby. A very cute, quiet town (it was a sunday in all fairness) with some nice museums and the Rhine separating it from Germany.
The next weekend we made our way to Switzerland’s capital, Bern, also one hour away by train, to meet Rico’s parents, sister, brother and nephews to see the film Young At Heart and have dinner for his parent’s birthdays. It was my first time being back in Bern since I spent one night there about 10 years ago. I recognized a lot of what I saw since it’s a small city, but this time I had a much nicer time. And i got to see their one bear on display…