Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hills Found!

As the song goes, "Isn't it ironic?!" The Hillseekers live in Amsterdam, the most hill-deprived location in the world! Why on earth would they do such a thing?

Well, sometimes it's worth taking a big risk and choosing a really, really unusual path when chasing your dreams. We had a great time living in Amsterdam and we thoroughly enjoyed our immersion in the biking capital of the universe, but the mountains and new opportunities continued to beckon -- and finally, we found a path that would bring us to the perfect base camp. Two weeks ago, we arrived at our new home on the outskirts of Zürich, Switzerland, in the quaint village of Rüshlikon. We're far from settled (our apartment sits mostly empty, awaiting the arrival of furniture we ordered), but we've already been made to feel at home by the natural beauty of our surroundings. It didn't take long before we discovered forested mountain bike trails, panoramic running and walking trails, clear lake swims, and road cycling on mountain passes -- all within minutes of our driveway.

We think of our friends and family often -- wishing that you all could be here to share this with us -- ok, maybe not all at once, our flat is still Euro-sized -- but you get the idea! To share the experience, we extend an invitation to visit and also the series of photos included here to give you the first taste of what it's like to live in Switzerland.

Above is the view from our terrace of Rüshlikon, Lake Zürich, and the Alps. We actually use the clock on the church tower as our main house clock and enjoy the frequent bell concerts (video included below)!

It's all about bringing the outside to the inside ... this is the view from our main living area. The middle section of glass is actually a huge sliding window, which we leave open most of the time.

View from the kitchen -- the end of Lake Zürich and the city itself, is hardly visible, but present in that long, narrow window on the far-left.

View from our back terrace, where several cows live. And yes, you can hear an occasional moooo and the famous sound of cow bells. In the mornings, we hear a lone rooster. It's really bizarre living a six minute train ride from the city in a place where compared to the U.S., Porsches are as common as Honda Civics and Ferraris as Corvettes, all the while having livestock and apple orchards in your backyard.

Sights and Sounds ... from our terrace, the Sunday Evening Bells in Rüshlikon. Chimes sound every 15 minutes and at the top of various hours, we're treated to a little concert. The 7PM Sunday evening bells are the best -- when combined with the view, it's almost beyond reality. The bells toll nicely on weekdays at 7AM as well -- it can't be beat when heard on an early morning run in the forest. For those mornings when 7AM is a bit too early, we've learned that our bedroom door does a good job of allowing others to enjoy the bells while we enjoy sleeping in!

That's it for our introductory Swiss-living post. If you're ready to discover or re-discover the Swiss Alps, please come and see us!

Jeff and Becky


i8chocolate said...

Incredible! We're so happy for you both (and insanely jealous). Enjoy those "hills", views, and clock concerts!!

Sandy said...

Wow...loved the bell concert...complete with a fantastic view! Just throw me in that briar patch:-) I can't wait to get back over there again!!!