Spring Festival in Zurich

We were driving back home to France from H’s Belgian assignment when we decided to stop in Zurich for a day.

How lucky can we get!  The Spring Festival, Zechseläuten, was underway.  No wonder we have been walking pass locals in colorful traditional costumes as if they are actors going to their theatrical shows.  In the parade that followed, there was also a procession of  different guilds from the cheese, wine and livestock  industries coming from all over Switzerland.   The highlight of the parade was the ceremonial burning of the “Böögg” (a snowman effigy representing the “Old Man of Winter”) at exactly 6:00pm .

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The procession of the guilds

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 We saw the Böögg and its platform of tree branches being assembled that morning.

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The cotton snowman figure is fitted with firecrackers that kept on exploding while it burned..

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Unfortunately, all I could see from where I was standing was pure smoke.
With all the giant Swiss people around me, it was impossible to see anything.

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Tired tiptoeing trying to see what’s going on, we went looking for a place to eat.

Cool! In this Patisserie shop, you choose the patisserie you want and they will serve it to you in the cafe section which is in another room.  We ordered apple strudel which is a must-have when in Switzerland.

According to several surveys in 2006 and 2007, Zürich was named the city with the “best quality of life” in the world.

Cambridge

Cambridge is one of the few remaining English cities that were able to preserve their medieval feel and charm and even the good old gentlemanly conduct among its people.  I’ve been to so many places in the UK but it is only in Cambridge where – for the first time – an old man (in fine suit and tie) walking towards my direction lifted his hat to say “Good morning!”

I fell in love with Cambridge the first time i saw it. Just walking through the old town, on the narrow pebbled streets, where every now and then a student on a bike would be cycling gently past, you are mesmerized by the staggering old architecture, stilll majestically standing there, and now serving either as student accommodations or university/college halls.

If you come across the river Cam, follow the narrow footpath by the riverside and marvel at the sight of weeping willow trees bowing into the water, ducks and swans swimming with their youngs, and the green park,  bordering the other side, rife with flowers blooming everywhere – and you cry with joy because this simply is the real England you have been dreaming to experience!

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Cambridge is a city of bicycles

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The Great Gate at Trinity College. 
Trinity College is the most aristocratic of the Cambridge colleges.
Among its students were King Edward VII, King George VI and Prince Charles.

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Trinity College with a statue of Henry VIII, its founder.

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A flea market is going on

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The Church of the Holy Sepulchre or the Round Church, now serving as exhibition venue. It is one of four round churches in the UK and was built by the Knights Templar. One of the other round church is the Temple Church in London, made popular by the Da Vinci Code .

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A bridge over the river Cam

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Punting is a must-do activity when in Cambridge. Punt is a flat bottomed boat, without a keel, steered with a 10-foot-long pole. This tradition started in Edwardian times. The punters are usually enterprising students who want to earn the extra quid.

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