Life’s a Beach

Hello everyone 🙂 here is a piece I wrote recently about part of my trip to Zürich. Hope you like it!

Under the romantic backdrop of the 26-degree C sunshine sparkling down on the azure blue water and the, quite literally snow white mountains rising above you in the distance, the entire picture appeared surreal, as though an enlarged green screen had been erected for tourists; the banks of Lake Zürich or Zürisee as the locals call it were abuzz with life and energy. It appeared as though the entire population of Zurich was in the same place.

It was a beach, or at least the next best thing to a beach in a landlocked country. Some may say it is even better than the beach because there isn’t any sand to get in between your toes. Single people, couples, families, friends, dogs, you name it they were there. Walking, cycling, driving their fancy, show off expensive fast cars down the main roads, paddle boarding, boating, picnicking or sunbathing. Everyone was there.

A man alone wandered past, his boom box happily blaring out loud hip hop tunes in a peculiarly somehow non-intimidating way. Nobody bat an eyelid.

Groups of young people, predominantly kitted out in Aviator sunglasses and shorts, drinking beers by the can lay sprawled out on the grass in circles, laughter disappearing into the din.

Families were having full out barbecues all dressed in beach wear. A child on his scooter going so fast with reckless abandon, he almost took an elderly man out as he missed scooting into the backs of his legs by a whisker.  The brake was screech worthy.

A convoy of those retro high handle-barred bicycles, (choppers I believe they are called) cycling towards us.

A group of paddle boarders sat half way out in the lake, donned in wetsuits, legs dangling either side of the board in the cool water, chatting amicably as boaters motored past waving.

Children in swimsuits running into the water, before screaming with glee because of the icy temperatures and running back out again.

Set back from the shoreline were gender segregated sauna houses with balconies where suntanned older men and women stood proudly outside virtually naked taking in the view.

Don’t stray too far from the path unless you wish to find yourself embroiled in a group of ten-year olds’ football game.

We passed a queue for the ice cream van 15 people deep all decked out in varying states of undress.

Similarly, outside the Chinese garden, a gift to the city from Zurich’s twin town in China, Kunming, a Chinese takeaway was also doing good trade, although it appeared as somewhat of an anomaly within its European beach like surroundings.

Set back from the lake, outside the Opera house, groups of people, all dressed for the opera took photos in together outside dressed up to the nines, a far cry from the people not 20 metres away on the banks of the lake.

This was the ultimate place to people watch.

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