Autumn in Switzerland


The trees are on the cusp of fiery autumn flame in a marked contrast to the soupy grey cloud that is tangled, matted, above the rooftops when Mum and Nigel arrive for a November visit to Zurich. We stroll around the Katzensee lake, where a flock of white gulls, migrated here for winter, is gathered on the shiny silver surface. A tree studded with red berries is as if singing with tweeting from birds camouflaged in its foliage, and a plump stork gazes proudly into the reeds.







Another day, we warm up over tea and cake at Conditorei PĂ©clard im Schober in Zurich Old Town. It is a warren of rooms with stuccowork, murals, Alice in Wonderland-style counters of sweets and red velvet armchairs. Hoards have come in from the cold, and the ambiance is lovely as we tuck into delicious chocolate Gugelhupf and lemon tart.


At last the cloud loosens - reluctantly and ever so gradually - and we enjoy a glistening day at Basel Autumn Fair. Walking from the train station towards the St. Albans Vorstadt quarter, we pass pastel-coloured properties on serene boulevards and curtains of pale gold foliage dangling over canals in the area known as Little Venice. At St Peters Platz, the aroma of roasting chestnuts, waffles and candy floss lingers on the air - whetting our appetites nicely for lunch in Restaurant Atelier at Der Teufelhof - a hotel-cum-cultural centre within two elegant townhouses at the top of the old town. The restaurant is excellent, with jolly service and we dine on pumpkin soup, sweet potato pureed with Philadelphia cheese, veal chops and homemade vanilla ice cream with stewed plums.








Later, we ride the big wheel on Muensterplatz, gliding over the rickety rooftops and up as high as the terracotta-coloured spires of the Minster. The Rhine is sparkling in the cool autumn sun; views stretch as far as the Black Forest in Germany. The city is majestic in its seasonal golden mantle, a proud display before the matted November fog reclaims its prize. 


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