A taste of the good life ... courtesy of work

Last week, Tim and I enjoyed a night of obscene luxury at the Alden Hotel Spluegenschloss. There'll be a review coming up in Swiss News soon, but in the meantime here's a photo of the five-star continental breakfast we enjoyed in our suite whilst there, and one of Tim being all regal in his dining room - reading the best magazine in Switzerland!

Sledging and bruises ...

The sun has finally returned to Zurich! Taking advantage of this most unusual occurrence, Tim and I headed for the outdoors at the weekend. On Saturday, we took the train up the local mountain Uetliberg, and enjoyed impressive views of our adopted city. It looked sprawling with rather too many high-risers to be described as beautiful, but where the old town stretches to the lake, and the glistening lake slithers into the distance towards snow-topped peaks, the image is fairy-tale like. S was for sledging on Sunday, when we journeyed to nearby Rigi. The views were no less than spectacular, with an impossible landscape of mountains poking up under a blanket of double cream.

There were two sledging routes: the first, a precariously narrow trail with a dangerous drop on one side, dipping and ducking across rivets in the snow and gasping for our lives all the way down - at least I was. I breathed a sigh of relief at the bottom of this one. The second was marginally more sedate, and made safer by the fact that the path was wide with no looming drops. Fear factor made me breathless; bouncing around on the wooden sledge has, I'm sure, done my pelvis damage. I feel bruised and battered! But that feeling of well-being you get from the glow of the sun on your nose, and the biting wind on your cheeks is a feeling that cannot be beaten. I just miss the 'hot chocolate and rum' culture of Austria....

A North Yorkshire New Year ...

Wishing everyone lots of success and happiness in 2012. I safely made it out of a blustery Britain yesterday, and have arrived in Zurich after a wonderful indulgence in Britain over Christmas and New Year. I spent a lovely few days in Newport with family an friends. It's always nice to have home comforrs again, and breathe the air of the countryside you grew up in. I miss the open, rural landscape of East Yorkshire at times. Christmas decorations and a delicious Organic turkey from Farndale made Christmas come alive, along with the company of friendly faces.

New Year was a highlight. Tim and I spent it in Farndale - the epitome of a calming landscape, goo for the mind and soul. Visits to York, Kirkbymoorside and Thirsk gave us plenty of opportunity to enjoy the fantastic British shops (I don't know why European cities don't use them as a model) and lots of veg straight from the garden cleansed our bodies.

The New Year was brought in very stylishly with a black tie inner party at the Old Vicarage with Elsa and Dad's close friends, and the icing put on the cake on New Year's Day when we visited Whitby. The salty air, fishy smells and chilling breeze of the seaside revived my mind - and the best fish and chips I've ever tasted satisfied my appetite. The weather was overcast, but this served to heighten Whitby's atmosphere - I could imagine Dracula emerging from the shadowy abbey at any moment. Now we're back in Zurich, we have skiing and sledging to look forward to, as well as Argentine Tango classes.. wish us luck!
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