i've been in zurich since sunday morning. i've been couchsurfing with a wonderful couple who have been incredibly hospitable and friendly and welcoming. last night they took me to an expats cooking class where we made turkish food and i got to spend the evening with 10 very interesting people (including one who was from maryland! small world).
i've decided that zurich is the best city for window shopping that i've been to thus far. the window displays are beautiful and while i can't afford to even buy a pair of socks from most of the stores it's fun to look. it was especially nice on sunday when i first got here because everything was closed and the streets were empty and it was incredibly serene and tranquil. since sunday i've walked all around zurich, ate absolutely the most delicious bratwurst i've ever had (and i'm not usually a sausage fan), and tried luxembuergli
SO GOOD! they're like tiny little meringues filled with delicious chewy cream. i tried chocolate, cappuccino, bacardi-coconut and vanilla. i might have to get some more at the train station before i leave tomorrow.
today i spent the day in bern. it was possibly the prettiest town i've been to. very medieval, it looked like it was plucked straight out of a fairytale. of course i forgot my camera but here's a stock photo of one of my favorite fountains
yes, that is an ogre eating babies. i love european fountains. and in switzerland you can drink from nearly all of them!
another thing i love about switzerland is that good food is just a part of the culture. the largest grocery store chain that i have found is called "coop" (though on the logo the "co" and the "op" are in different colors, so you figure it's probably kinda hippyish). they have an amazing selection of organic, fair-trade, and local items which really aren't that expensive. yesterday i made myself a picnic that consisted of gruyere on a baguette, mango lassi (which i have become obsessed with recently), an apple and a bar of hazlenut chocolate. all organic, fair-trade (where applicable) and all for 8 francs. in fact i've noticed the organic sections in supermarkets have been far larger than what i'm used to in slovenia, hungary, and slovakia as well. i've heard germany is the mecca for all things organic so i'm excited to check that out. i'm sure it'll be a bit of an adjustment to go back to the states where you really have to seek these products out and pay substantially more for them.
then when i got back a reporter from a local newspaper came over and interviewed me and my hosts for an article on couchsurfing. it's the second time i've been interviewed on this trip! i feel famous. afterward romy (one of my hosts) showed me how to make knopfli, a tradition swiss pasta, let me borrow "animal, vegetable, miracle" which i've been meaning to read since it came out, and gave me the recipe for the best chocolate chip cookies ever.
tomorrow morning i'm off to bruges, belgium. i'll only be there for half a day before i meet up with jenn in amsterdam!!! i'm so excited.