Monday, 31 December 2012

Holiday Snaps 2012

Dublin on a tour bus 
Locks on a bridge

Afternoon tea

Son Bou
Mont Blanc
Broughty Ferry Castle

St Monans Harbour
Amsterdam canal

A Church in The Hague

For my last post for 2012 it seemed like a good idea to recap on all the beautiful places I visited this year. I visited new places and revisited some old places, with family and friends and always had a good time.

In April with Alessio and my parents we went to Holland, there we visited Linden, Keukenhof gardens, The Hague and Utrecht. We stayed through out the trip in Amsterdam the only place that I had already seen about 4 times.

In May I revisited Dublin for a hen weekend, we visited the Guinness warehouse, took the tourist bus, had lovely afternoon tea in a posh hotel, listened to Irish music, got drunk and had lots of fun!

In July I went to Worksop in England for Hannah and Markus`s wedding, which was lovely, then stayed a bit longer and visited Sherwood forest.

At the end of July I went to Menorca with Alessio and there we met up with my parents, sister and her family. It was a great week, very hot and the kids had fun swimming. We visited the capital Mahon and the other city Cituadella.

In September my parents came to Zurich and we took a long weekend trip to Chamnoix, there we saw the majestic Mont Blanc and explored Chamnoix and the surrounding area.

Finally in October I went back to Scotland with Alessio, blessed with great weather we kept ourselves very busy. A trip to Berwick upon Tweed with my sister and two great family hikes, it is always good to return to Scotland.

Next year is looking already very interesting with a trip to Munich in January for a wedding and then in February I will go to Hong Kong for a week.

Hope you all had a great traveling year! Happy New Year and a great start to 2013!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

November - Books, Films and Concerts

The month of November passed really quickly and now practically  December is over, so here is what I read and saw last month.

I managed to see three films, first up is Argo starring and directed by Ben Affleck. I really enjoyed this film, it is very good and has you sitting on the edge of your seat. This is especially true at the end of the film where I was nearly shouting at the screen.

Then I saw the latest Bond film Skyfall, which I also enjoyed and I really like Daniel Craig as James Bond.

Then finally saw the last installment of the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn part 4. It was good to see the last part of this series and I did enjoy it, liked the ending dream sequence.

I went to one concert this month and the last of this year in Winterthur, Florence and the Machine. It was a great concert, she has a wonderful voice. Spector was the support band and they were also good.

I got through 6 books and nearly all of them were crime books for some reason. I will start off with only non crime book, called In Office Hours by Lucy Kelloway. Two women working in the same office have affairs, one with a younger guy and the other with an older man. I enjoyed this book it was quite interesting to see what happens to both women.

Tooth for a Tooth by T F Muir is a crime novel set in St.Andrews where I lived for a long time, I liked reading about parts of the town and other places in Fife. It was also a good detective novel featuring DCI Andy Gilchrist.

The Unluckly Lottery by Hakan Nesser, this time the Inspector van Veeteren is not in the novel as much as ones before, but still enjoyable.

A Room Full of Bones by Elly Griffths another in the series about Dr Ruth Galloway and solving a murder involving old bones.

The Forgotten Affair of Youth by Alexander McCall Smith, the 8th Isabel Dalhousie novel, she is a philosopher and sometime sleuth. She always seems to be asked to help other people solve their problems, their are lots of other characters which appear in all the books, her niece, her boyfriend/partner, her housekeeper. I enjoy these books.

Finally, Catch Your Death by Lousie Voss & Mark Edwards in this book Kate Maddox volunteers at a research centre to find a cure for a common cold. An accident occurs and the man she loves dies, she goes to America. 20 years later she returns to UK with her son on the run from her husband and she bumps into a person she thought was dead. A good thrilling book, which kept me gripped to the end.

Hope you have all had a great festive season so far!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Markets in Zurich

Since it is Christmas Eve I thought I would put a post up of the various Christmas markets that Zurich has to offer. Today is usually the last day for most markets, some already had their last day yesterday. I visited a few yesterday and some today, as it was really a lovely sunny day.

The Christmas markets usually begin the last weekend in November and there are 4 different ones and they all vary in sizes. The biggest being the one in  Zurich main station which has the Swarovski tree glittering in the middle. Over recent years a small one opened at Bellevue which I like a lot, it has a big hut kind of in the centre where you get the food and glühwein.

There is one in the old town but I never visited it this year and a food and drink area where the Singing Christmas tree is situated.

I did not manage to visit any other markets in Switzerland or abroad this year. Last year I went to the Nuremberg Christmas market with a friend and that was very nice.

Wishing everybody a Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas Time in Zurich!

The bus to leave your christmas presents and do more shopping

Here you can make your own candles

Lindt & Springli Window at Paradapltz

Decoration in Sihlcity

It is nearly Christmas Day and over the last three weeks whenever I have been in Zurich I have been busy snapping away at lots of Christmas sights. I really love Christmas and the build up in Zurich is usually lovely.

It starts with the Santa parade at the end of November, then comes the 6th December which is St.Nikolas day when all the kids gets a bag full of goodies. Of course there are the many Christmas markets to visit all over Zurich and not to mention Switzerland and the rest of Europe. There is nothing better than standing in the cold and drinking Glühwein to warm yourself up!

There are lots of shows to see and on Saturday Alessio is going to Circus Conelli, never been myself but it is supposed to be good! Only for kids there is the Märli tram which Santa drives and there are angels telling stories, Alessio did not want to go this year!

Quite a lot of people have their birthdays in December (me included) and there are the usual Christmas celebrations to enjoy! This year Alessio and I stay in Zurich for the whole holidays, but we have a lot planned to keep us busy.

Enjoy the holidays this Christmas!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Photo of the Week - Our Christmas Tree

I am particularly proud of this Christmas tree as for the first time ever, I actually did everything! Alessio and I went just along the road to the place where they are selling the trees and bought a medium sized one.

We carried it home and settle it up, then came the fun part, deciding what decorations we would use. Alessio had chosen two decorations while out shopping and he put those up, he broke one or two ( well it happens). The colour theme is silver and red, once I untangled the lights and found out they did not work, I hot footed it to the city to buy new ones. It could do with more lights but nevermind, it will just have to do.

Then I put some presents under the tree, Alessio asked if Santa will bring more presents and then I thought oops better not to put out anymore, I guess he still believes in Santa!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Ice Skating at Dolder

At the beginning of December Alessio and I wenting ice skating with some friends Katrina, Linda, Hannah and Markus. We went to the open air ice rink at Dolder, to get there we had to take a funicular up and walk a short way.

The ice rink opened back in 1930 and is still one of the largest rinks in Europe, we were lucky with the weather. Even though it was cold and snowy, there was a lovely blue sky and sometimes the sun peeped out from behind the clouds.

Do not be fooled of the photo of me posing with the ice skates, let it be known that I was really scared and if wasn`t for Hannah and Linda I may never have left the side. They took me round once and that was enough I would have liked to done more but was really nervous maybe the next time!

On the other hand Alessio really enjoyed himself and thankfully he had Markus to take him round and round the rink. Everyone really had good fun and afterwards we had a glühwein to warm ourselves up (always a good thing).

On the way back down a few snowballs were threw here and there, since then Alessio has not stopped throwing snowballs at anyone. It is a really lovely ice rink, a nice atmosphere and a restaurant where you can eat indoors and out too.