Claire’s first visit to the ‘thur

Two weekends ago Claire made her first visit to Winterthur.  She arrived late on Friday night after a 6 hour train ride from Grenoble and I met her at the station with my friend Daniel, who lives downstairs.  We went straight back to my place and I introduced her to the Africana, which I have been slowly molding into something more comfortable than the old brothel it used to be (no joke!).  The land lord was kind enough to drop off an extra mattress, blanket and a mega-sized pillow for her to use while she was here.

The next day I thought I’d give Claire the run down on how to live in Switzerland on a budget.  This is a pricey country, and like all countries they pay their intern’s like temporary immigrant labor (…which I guess I am), and thus I have learned the ways of ‘shopping the deals’ in Winterthur.  Normally this isn’t such a big thing, but with no car and no U-pass (UBC’s budget transit pass for students) we were forced to do the shopping by bike.  And we hit it all – Brokenhaus (this is actually the name of the local Salvation Army-type store!), all the different kinds of budget food stores and the mall.

dscf3554_907×680.jpg Seth and Claire in Winterthur, the home of Falkor (link)

One thing that was a theme for the weekend was looking at rings in jewelry shops…this is something that I have not learned to do on a shoestring.  We looked at every shop in the city and the cheapest, even-okay ring was in the range of $700 each! Feeling the the old ‘thur wasn’t going to do it for us, on Sunday we took our search to Zürich where we managed to find the perfect one – only it cost CHF50,500 (~$50k).  You know what they say, “How else can two year’s salary live forever?”

dscf3565_907×680.jpg Lunch in good Euro fashion – bread, meat, cheese and the water bottle contains wine :)

We also went by the Rhine Falls on Sunday – the largest in Europe – and were sort of disappointed.  For the largest waterfall on the continent we kind of expected more (see photo).

dscf3556_907×680.jpg Seth at Rhine Falls. Sweet! Now let’s kayak it.

On the way back to the train station we had a tour through the local town and found what may be the most fightening place I have ever been.  There were very few people, but plenty of cats (with cleverly constructed ramps for getting in and out of their houses) and a den of gnomes, frolicking in a hot spring or something.  No doubt breeding like rabbits behind the bushes.

dscf3563_680×907.jpg Cat house

dscf3560_907×680.jpg Gnomes relaxing, unaware that we were watching them. Someone must stop them!

Monday I had off, and we spent the time enjoying the company.  Running in the woods, Skyping, etc. I was really glad to have Claire here and to get to show her my town, work place, living quarters and all that good stuff.  I look forward to having her back, with more local knowledge and more activities up my sleeve!  But first – it’s of to the French quarter for me.  I’ll be headed to Grenoble next weekend to see Claire and her diggs.  Looks pretty sweet from the photos!

Auf wiedersehen!

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