Thursday, 14 August 2008

Zurich Street Parade - The Day After

On Sunday I woke up and headed immediately into Zurich hoping to catch it unprepared, expecting to find the town a mess after the previous night's partying. I couldn't believe it when I stepped off my bus onto the streets only to find them glistening wet and spotlessly clean after what was obviously a concerted night of cleaning.

There were still little teams of cleaning trucks scurrying about spraying and scrubbing, but it was pretty rare to find a stray beer bottle lying around. You have to hand it to the Swiss, they sure can clean!

Sundays in Switzerland are the day when everything shuts. There was a few Cafés open and, inevitably, McDonalds, but mostly the centre of town was very quiet. Since the weather was clear and sunny, I decided it would be a good idea to spend some time cruising around the lake, and bought a ticket for a 4h ferry trip.

It was a really nice way to spend the morning, spotting all the little towns around the lake and the mountains beyond, but I have to say I prefer 'our' Lake Geneva, since the mountains are closer and more spectacular, and the lake feels less densely populated.

After the cruise I was really hot, after spending the whole time out on the deck and reapplying suncream, so I found a patch of nice cool grass in the shade and lay down for a while. There was a magician busking near by; an obnoxious American endlessly saying he'd brought his act all the way from Manhattan, but no-one seemed interested - not surprising given the perfect weather and surrounds. Eventually he gave up and left without collecting a cent.

I spent some more time wandering around the city, but being so quiet, and that I didn't want to do too much in case I came back some day with Linda, I eventually got tired of walking around and checked the times for a train back to Vevey.

When did get back to Vevey I was really proud of myself that I'd spent the weekend alone at a street festival and not lost anything - I had split my wallet in two and kept my keys buttoned up all weekend. However, I then took myself down for a swim by the lake to wash off the suncream and cool down after a long day in the sun, only to flick my keys into the lake when I picked up my towel.

I spent a bit of time freaking out, since the keys had fallen in deep water with a rocky bottom - I thought they would slide between some rocks and be lost forever - plus the sunlight was fading so I couldn't see anything once I put my head underwater. Fortunately one of the locals offered me a facemask and after a bit of searching I tracked down my keys. I would have been completely stuffed if I hadn't found them, with Linda out of town, no phone and only 20CHF of cash on me. I thanked the kind person who leant me their goggles and quickly went home before anything more could happen.

No comments: