Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hiking the Uetliberg

Today is catch up on the blog day! There are several things I never got around to writing about so here I go...

The Uetliberg is the mountain range that you can see from downtown Zurich. It isn't that high - only 873m (2864 ft) but it has a great view of the entire city of Zurich, Lake Zurich, and a beautiful panaramic view of the Swiss Alps.

View of the Uetliberg from around Bellevue area

During the summer, right after I got back from the States, we decided to do a hike along the Uetliberg mountain range. While I was gone (it was almost a month) Nathan had been riding his bike up to the top (it is his goal to get to the top without stopping before we leave Zurich) so he wanted to take me there. I would like to take this opportunity to say that this is not MY goal. I NEVER want to ride my bike up that thing!:) Hike yes. Bike - not no but HELL no.

I can't believe I never shared the pictures from the "Top of Zurich". During this particular trip we took the S-bahn (line 10) to the Uetliberg Station, climbed to the top of the tower for some spectacular views of the city, and then hiked from the Uetlierg Kulm to Turlersee (about a 4 1/2 hour hike). It was really beautiful (as most hikes are in Switzerland) and a great leisurely day during the summer. I vaguely remember getting lost (which is almost impossible to do in Switzerland b/c there are little yellow signs pointing you in the right direction all over the place) but I'm pretty sure we did on this particular day. But since it is Switzerland (and the public transportation system is amazing) when I had finally had enough (after about 6 hours of hiking) we searched for a bus stop and were taking to Thalwil where we caught a boat back to Zurich. The only probably with catching a bus in the mountains is that they don't come very often, so be ready to wait - I think we had just missed it so we ended up waiting for about 45 minutes. But anything was better than continuing - I still remember how my feet felt on that particular day!
Cool light posts on way from Train station to viewing tower.

Zurich photo op from top of viewing tower.

View towards Swiss Alps
View of Zurich
Boat ride from Thalwil to Burkliplatz - you know how we like to BE ON A BOAT!
This is one of my favorite shots of downtown Zurich and the lake!

Pan forward from that weekend in July to the last weekend in February. It was a particularly warm weekend and most of the winter here has been freezing(!), so we really wanted to get out and do something active. We decided to hike up the Uetliberg. A lot of Zurichers do this on the weekend as it is a pretty leisurely hike (for Swiss people) and it takes about an hour. We took Tram 14 to Triemli (the end of the line) and started our hike there. It was a great day and we both loved being out and hiking again.

I think Nathan has finally been Swissinized - do you see this outfit? I think it would have been better if he had on "man capris" though!:) Which of course he REFUSES to wear - although he was okay being seen in public like this - hmmm...

Here are a couple other pictures from our hike on this day - totally different from July! I for one am ready to see the green trees again! I know we wouldn't appreciate spring and the rebirth of everything but geez - enough is enough! (Can you tell I'm done with the winter?) We hiked from Triemli to Uetliberg Kulm to Felsenegg (another 1 1/2 hours) and then took the cable car down to Adliswil.

The very next weekend (last weekend March 5 -7th) our friend Miriam flew in from Hamburg for a ski weekend! We were so excited to ski again, but Mother Nature had a different idea. A HUGE snow storm basically covered all of Switzerland and it was impossible to ski on Saturday(at least for us non-expert skiiers). So after it snowed about 6 inches in Zurich we were stir crazy in our tiny apartment and decided to hike the Uetliberg again. It was a little late in the day to go farther from home and we were excited to hike up and sled down!

This time we took Tram 13 to the end of the line and started there. This hike was more "straight up" but it was SO beautiful covered in snow (even though I am done with the snow I do appreciate its beauty:)). I REALLY want to show you guys pictures, BUT I forgot my memory card on this day and ended up taking pictures on the internal memory of the camera. So whenever I find the cord to get the pictures out I will update this post - okay? It was truly a winter wonderland!  I found the cord - woo hoo! 

There were a lot of shenanigans hiking up - Nathan couldn't resist throwing snowballs, shaking all the snow off of the trees onto us, etc - but we all made it to the top without frostbite. Although the ridulous amounts of snow that went down my back - inside of my jacket - could explain the terrible cold I have now! But I won't dwell in that...

We ended up renting sleds from the Uetliberg train station and sledding down. It turns out the sledding course ends up at Triemli - basically the same path we hiked in February. The fresh powder (and possibly the public sleds) kept us from going at warp speed but it was still fun! All three of us ended up in a snow bank face first at some point and I really wish I could have gotten a video of when Miriam landed in a ditch and her sled kept going - good times!:) Another great day in Zurich!

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