I moved to Zurich just under a year ago. When I told my colleagues what I was doing one said, “Aaaaaaaaah, Zurich….” wistfully, and then stronger, sharply even: “Europe’s most boring city.”
I suppose that’s one way to look at it. It’s not how I see Zurich.
Life in Zurich makes sense in so many ways: it’s clean, easy and beautiful. It’s quiet. Kids ride public transportation alone without any problem. In fact, to even notice that would be unusual here. It’s safe enough you just don’t have to think about such things.
Zurich is a wonderful place to come home to after taxis screeching through Rio, getting lost in Mumbai, having my credit card number stolen in Johannesburg.
Zurich’s just discovering its funky side, and its entrepreneurial spirit, too. Maybe Freitag started it, I don’t know. Expats are definitely fueling entrepreneurship here now. One of those is a fellow blogging Gypsy Girl I met recently. I’d like to introduce her to you. She’s an American living her dreams, following her passions. Nothing boring about that. Even better, they are Europe and sweets — such a combination! Check out her award-winning blog, My Kugelhopf.
On a Friday afternoon this summer my Mother and I met Kerrin at Sprüngli, that fine Swiss chocolate institution, and headed off on her Sweet Zurich tour. It features almost exclusively expat-owned and operated boutique sweets shops, like the only cupcake bakery in Zurich. What’s not to be passionate about?
When we arrived, a customer had tripped and fallen on her way out the door with boxes full for a wedding; the owner of the little shop was frantically piping new icing on hundreds of cupcakes. Ah, the life of the entrepreneur – never boring! The crisis didn’t stop us from tasting the red velvet, double chocolate and a couple other mini cupcakes. I took some home and froze them. (They didn’t last long.)
In the only old-Zurich establishment we visited, Conditerei Schober at Napfgasse & Münstergasse (in the heart of the old part of town), we met a pastry chef I swear was a dead ringer for Heidi’s Peter. Actually his name is Marc Döhring, but isn’t he exactly what a young Swiss pastry chef should look like?! When we were there, there was much talk and some photos exchanged of a birthday cake he’d just made for a very famous Swiss person. I’ve been sworn to secrecy on that.
As for secrets, the rest of the tour I’ll leave for you to discover, Gypsy Girls. It was great fun for me to meet another one of us – right here in my own new home town.