We arrived into Zurich airport on Sunday the 21st December at about 4pm. Elvis was there to pick us up along with all our luggage : ) It takes just over an hour to get to Buochs from Zurich. The temperature was certainly a lot lower than we were used to but the houses are heated accordingly so no problems there.
Karin & Elvis had made the house look very festive with a real Christmas tree, candles, lights on the windows and the garden shed. It was nice to be back here again.
On the 22nd Karin had to work so we hung out with Elvis and went to the shopping mall. They have so many cool decorations – I am normally not so into Christmas decorations but I was quite taken with these ones.
Steve also found a glass that he thought would be suitable for him.
That evening Daniel and Icy from Chiang Mai in Thailand came to stay. We originally met Daniel at Karin & Elvis’s wedding. We have then visited him in Chiang Mai many times and he has been to see us in NZ. It was great to see them both and we had a traditional Swiss meal of Raclette which is where you melt the Raclette cheese and then pour it over whatever you like, in our case we had potatoes along with pickles and cucumber salad. Elvis made a nice desert of caramelised peaches, hazlenut biscuits and whipped cream.
After dinner we went for a walk up to the church and checked out the lights in the village – another fresh night!
The next day we took a drive up to St Jost which is the church where Karin & Elvis got married. It was a beautiful clear sky day.
The Swiss celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. Karin was going to Glarus to celebrate with her family so in the morning we exchanged presents. Steve got some wheat beer glasses and I got some chai tea. Steve had left his sunglasses in Interlarken in July and they had been posted back to Buochs so Karin wrapped them up for Christmas too.
We also had a delivery of freshly made yoghurt from Elvis’s Mum : )
That evening Steve and I were invited to celebrate Christmas with Elvis’s parents Werner and Ana and his brother Manuel. We were made so welcome and were well and truly spoilt with champagne, fine wine and gourmet food. Ana is a fabulous cook. We started with pumpkin, carrot and coconut soup served with Italian roulades. We then had duck, followed by perfectly cooked steak and vegetables.
There was a photo of Werner, Elvis and Manuel that was taken about 20 years earlier and Steve decided it would be a great idea to re create it so in between dinner and dessert we had fun doing that – Werner even changed into a short sleeve shirt. The furniture and ornaments were the same so we had to make sure they were positioned just perfectly.
Dessert was panettone served with almond Mövenpick ice cream and fresh fruit salad. It was about 11.30pm by this stage and we were well and truly satiated.
We got home about 1am and we made some calls back to NZ. I apologise if you were a recipient of one of those calls as Steve had had his fair share of merriment – hopefully you understood what he was saying : )
We had a slow start today – Christmas Day. There was a light drizzle and as the day went on it got colder which bodes well for our white Christmas – it may just be a few days late. We had a nice breakfast, homemade pizza for lunch and Swiss sausages for dinner. In between we have watched the Child’s Dream documentary which is about the charity that Daniel (mentioned above) and Marc started in Chiang Mai over 10 years ago. It is entitled Two Bankers Search for Meaning.
The two Swiss bankers, Daniel Siegfried and Marc Jenni made their careers in the booming 90’s while employed by the Swiss global financial service in UBS working in Hong Kong, Seoul and Singapore. In 2003 they left their ‘golden cage’ and founded the children’s charity Child’s Dream in Chiang Mai to help provide for underprivileged children in Thailand, Burma, Laos and Cambodia. The documentary is about what moved them to make this radical change and the work that they currently do building schools, boarding houses, playgrounds and making healthcare and education available to some of these underprivileged children. It is a very touching story about the meaning of life and happiness. Check out http://www.childsdream.org if you want to know more. They are amazing guys who do amazing work – it is an honour to know them.
Pinot and Riesling also got into the spirit of Christmas and had to send each other Christmas greetings via WhatsAp : )
Merry Christmas everyone – we hope you’ve all had a lovely time with family and friends wherever in the world you are : )