Once again, I have had a very exciting past couple of weeks here in Switzerland. I have been busy with hockey, work, and of course exploring the beautiful sights of this country. During the first weekend of September, I had the opportunity to re-unite with a former UNH teammate, Angela Taylor. Ang is playing hockey in Switzerland as well for the SC Reinach organization. She drove to Regensdorf and we decided to tour around Zurich for the day. We ate lunch at a cute, Italian restaurant that borders the river of the Lake of Zurich. We continued through conversation, and simply enjoyed the sights and people of Zurich as well as the company of an old-friend! Later that night, I played in a game in Rapperswil, Switzerland and Ang came to watch that as well. The next day (Sunday 5th) we traveled to Winterthur, Switzerland to watch the Switzerland and Austrian national teams play. This was a lot of fun because we both had teammates on either team so it was exciting to see them play for their countries. After the game we toured the city of Winterthur before Ang had to travel back to Reinach for the night.
On Monday the 6th of September, I moved to Bülach with the help of Angie. For the rest of the month of September, I am to live with a gentleman named Ernst, who is also a sponsor of the Lions organization. Currently, I am still living with Ernst and on Monday, the 27th, I will be moving to my own flat located 1-minute from the middle of the town of Bülach. On Tuesday, the 7th, I started working with a hockey program located in Oerlikon. Oerlikon is a quick, 15-minute train ride from Bülach, as European transport is very convenient and easy to use! I have been working with 6-8 year olds, twice a week, for an hour and a half each session. We focus on skill development through skating, stick handling, shooting, and passing. This is a great opportunity for me because I have a lot of experience in this field of work. Communication, however, can be a challenge, as most of the kids cannot speak English, so I am forced to use alternate ways to communicate such as demonstration. Later that week, Angie (a teammate who resides in Bülach as well) and I learned how to make tomato sauce from scratch with Ernst. Ernst has a garden and a shed just 3 minutes from his flat. This is an annual event for Ernst so we were fortunate to be able to be a part of it this year. It was a very interesting process that took patients and a large portion of your time. The end results are definitely worth it because you get a fresh, healthy tomato sauce with no preservatives or chemicals added! This was a lot of fun and it is something I would be interested in doing again. On Sunday the 12th, we had the start of the Swiss Women’s Cup. We played two games against Rapperswil and Huttwil, and we were successful in defeating both teams. We now move on to the final four of the SWC that takes place in December (I will keep you updated on our results or you can check out the team website at http://www.lions-frauen.ch/). Later that night, I met up with my friend Nicki (who lives in Woodstock but was traveling Europe) at the Bülach train station as her and her roommate from College (Becky) were staying with me until Thursday!
I was really excited to see Nicki as she was the first person from home that has visited Switzerland. It’s always nice to see a familiar face and someone you feel comfortable around! On Monday, we had plans to go to dinner with a couple from Winterthur that her parents had met on vacation. I had to work from 4:30-6pm, so I met up with them in Zurich around 6:30pm. The couple was very nice and generous as they took us to this amazing restaurant located in the heart of Zurich called WalliserKeller. This is where I tasted my first real cheese fondue since living in Switzerland and I loved it! I also had veil with potatoes as my entrée, which was also very delicious. On Tuesday, I traveled to Zurich with Nicki as we toured down Bahnhofstrasse; Zurich’s main downtown street and one of the world’s most expensive and exclusive shopping avenues. We also decided to take a tour on a boat over the Lake of Zurich to view the mountains. On Wednesday, we went to visit the largest waterfall in Europe,the Rheinfalls. The falls are just a short, 40-minute drive from Bülach located near the city of Schaffhausen. The falls are a big tourist attraction, kind of like Niagara Falls. We could walk right down to where 132 gallons of water are pumped every second! The height isn’t nearly as tall as Niagara Falls so it is not as dramatic in that sense; however, the water, scenery and buildings were absolutely worth seeing. Unfortunately, on Thursday morning, Nicki and Becky had to continue with their European adventure by traveling to Italy so I decided to travel to Langenthal to meet up with some friends from the Langenthal hockey team to go hiking in the Jungfrau region. The Jungfrau is the third highest mountain in the Bernese Alps and it is located just south of Interlaken. We started our 6.5-hour hike in the city of Grindelwald and climbed 2278 meters high! This was a breath taking experience, literally!! Apart from this being one of the hardest, most physically demanding challenges I have ever done, the pain and sweat was well worth it when I stopped for a minute to take in the views. A lot of my pictures look like a post-card, it was unbelievable experience that I would do again in a heartbeat! (check out my pictures on Facebook, if you’re interested). Following this, on Sunday the 19th, I had the opportunity to play Reinach! It’s always fun playing against your friends and it’s nice to know someone is going through the same, amazing experience as you are (Angela). Again, my team was successful in winning the contest, although this was a friendship game.
We start our season next Sunday against the defending champions, Lugano. This will be a good experience for our team and it will set the bar high for the rest of the season. Other than that, you are pretty much up-to-date on my European experience! ….I have figured out the transportation part so it’s starting to feel like home here in Bülach…..my next big adventure is Oktoberfest…can’t wait to tell you about that!!