First things first - strangely Zurich celebrated their Carnival this past weekend February 20th & 21st . Yes, yes - I know. Mardi Gras was LAST Tuesday and Wednesday February 17th was Ash Wednesday. I googled for about an hour trying to figure out why they celebrate their Carnival AFTER Lent began, but I came up with NOTHING! Na-Da! (It could have been my use of google translator, but since that is a pretty easy tool to use - I am still going with someone made a really bad calculation last year:)) ANYWAY, if you are Swiss or if you know why Carnival is celebrated "late" PUH-LEAZE let me know! For the record - they even call it Fasnacht (Fasting Eve - as in the night BEFORE fasting would take place - i.e. the day before Ash Wednesday). Okay - so enough about that - I think I rest my case as why I was slightly confused - but hey - it was a GREAT weekend none the less!
So Saturday started out as just an ordinary day. Nathan and I went for a walk. We went to see some Carnival happenings in our little city of Oerlikon. Nice relaxing day. Trouble started when Sarah and Zann called to see if we wanted to go to dinner. Sarah's sister, Susie, and Susie's boyfriend, Jeff, were still in town (these are all the people we skiied with in Gstaad) and wanted to go out. Okay - why not? Sounds fun. While Nathan and I were getting ready we had a glass of wine - but just chill - you know. No pounding or keg stands or anything.
We meet up with the group around 7:30 pm and Zann and Jeff had obviously started early:) They had climbed the Utliberg and drank 2 bottles of wine at the top. And Zann was now carrying the infamous Jansport bag full of beer, wine, and cups (they think of everything:))! Our reservations at The Spaghetti Factory weren't until 8:30 so we decided to roam the streets of Old Town to see if any Carnival happenings were going on. (This is when we took the "before" picture above.) Yes we had a couple drinks during this time, but nothing too crazy.
Then dinner. So I'm not exactly sure what The Spaghetti Factory puts in their drinks, but we all came out WAY WORSE than when we went in! Cool thing though - Zann's friends, Mike and Melana, joined us for dinner. Melana is Brazilian and after dinner we got an invitation for the Rio Carnival next year! Woo Hoo - RIO BABY! I took a picture to commemerate the moment (and for proof if she says she doesn't remember:)!)
After that Mike and Melana left and as we were saying our goodbyes I saw this guy out of the corner of my eye.
Hmmm. What. IS. that? Then out of the OTHER corner of my eye I saw this:
HELLO. Where's mine? Phewww. That's better!:)
This guy was a one man traveling band, with enough instruments for an impromptu groove session whereever he went. LOVED. IT. But I think he had enough of us when Jeff got a little TOO crazy on the drums.
Not that I know what he was doing - I was WAAAAAAAAAAAY to busy on the COWBELL, Baby! (Sometime during all that, a guy came and put red noses on all us girls - random - andom, but I liked it!)
So finally the guy with the grass hair took his ball (instruments) and went home. I guess we were too much for him. (And I'm pretty sure none of us were musically inclined at that point. I wish I had a video to hear what the hell it sounded like:))!
And yes - that is Jeff's "conducting" hand!:)
Nathan even danced with a Cheetah/Zebra/Tiger thing - who he swears was man - but I think was a woman. His point was - why would you cover up your face if you were a woman? Um - maybe because she was FUGLY? I don't know. It was Carnival. Things that make you go - hmmmm.
We even got more beer. Like we needed it....
At this point we got the brilliant idea to head to Nelson's - an english pub/party place late night off the Bahnhofstrasse. I know we danced. And I found out later that the boys shot Jäger. (maybe that's what lead to Zann being pushed in a carriage above - not sure.)
But around 2 AM we were done. The problem was the trains were too. Well - at least for another hour. Dude - an hour? I need to GO now. You know gooooooooo - I had had like 10 beers at this point. And guess what. The McClean restrooms in the HB were closed. What?! No one needs to pee at 2 am? I would think this would be the one time people WOULD need to use their services. Hell - I had never even thought to use them before! We need to get in - pleaseeeeee! Nope. Okay - only 45 more minutes - I can do this. Then I see this:
Not 100% sure what exactly went down here (I don't think they do either), but Zann and I were then taken to the super secret public worker's bathroom in the HB. I have to say that might be my biggest accomplishment in Zurich yet!:) Not that either of us could ever find it again, but I feel so special:)Finally I got us home. Yeah - I got us home. It it wasn't for me Nathan would still be riding around on the train "asleep". It was late - he was tired. Uh-huh.
The next day was the actual parade. We were all a little "foggy", but I was bound and determined we were going to see the parade. It was a beautiful sunny day and a great opportunity to be outside. Nathan and I got there early and saved us all a place - in the FRONT row. In hindsight that might have been a bad idea.....
This guy tackled me and then we were rolling around ON THE GROUND - good times:)! Nathan asked if I had been touched inappropriately - um yeah - absolutely!
You have no idea the amount of confetti we found when we got home! It was everywhere - and I mean EVERYWHERE!
But it was good fun:) Someone even took off with Susie
and put her on a float!
The costumes and makeup of all the parade participants were really awesome. Here are a few of my favorite shots:These guys started the parade - do you know how much those cow bells must have weighed? Yikes!
This was the band from the previous night:) Where's Jeff - does he want to conduct?
The Perchtens welcome spring time. This guy -a Schiachperchten ("ugly Perchts") -represents the dark spirits of wintertime that are supposed to be swept out after the parade.
Finally the parade was over and this is what the streets looked like:
But don't you worry - this is Zurich and I'm SURE it was cleaned up within the hour:)! We also FINALLY got a group shot of all six of us!L to R - Zann, Sarah, Me, Nathan, Susie, Jeff
All in all - GREAT Weekend in Zurich! I love spontaneous nights out like that:) Did you guys do anything for Carnival? If so - I want to hear!
We miss everyone!
Love you guys,
Here is the link to all the Carnival Pictures.