Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Our first Swiss New Years Eve

On New Year's Eve day we went skiing with our favorite "Abenteuer"(adventure)-loving couple...They led us down a bunch of off-piste stuff... living up to their name! I even got to climb down a snow wall at one point...Also we did some practice using our avalanche rescue gear. We ended up being the last people on the mountain, and were pressured by the local ski patrol (or whatever they call it here) to get down before dark... They were eager to get out of there and on to the New Year's Eve parties! So we skied down the whole mountain with them at our heels - Very interesting considering it was only Jeff's fourth time ever on skis!

After all that, when we got home I had to take an hour-long nap just so I could make it to midnite! But I'm soooo glad I did -- The fireworks here in Zurich were incredible. The landscape is perfect for viewing something like this -- Lake Zurich is large and long, and along each side there rises up a hill where all the village homes are situated, so that the maximum number of homes have a view of the lake. It seemed like every single one of those homes was setting off some kind of firework after midnight - Everywhere we looked there were fireworks shooting in the air. And not just a simple bottle rocket - These were the serious kind!

We just stood on the terrace and watched in amazement while fireworks kept going off all down the lake -- From one end to the other, they kept going and going... Everywhere you looked there were fireworks. Then, as if that wasn't enough - The church bells started ringing!! It was a beautiful moment. One that seriously brought tears to our eyes. That all kept up for about half an hour, and then around 12:30am Zurich had their grand finale so there was a big fireworks display down on that end. It was simply amazing. The Swiss seem to do everything to the extreme, and this was no exception!

The video might help share the experience somewhat, but it's one of those times you really "had to be there". We wish you all could have been there with us! Happy new year!!

(sorry for the stumbling beginning of this video - we were frantically running outside to catch the moment!)

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