Zürich

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  • 4

    Of Mice and Men on Skateboards

    Tonight we went to Michael's place after work for dinner. His girlfriend Rahel made us a delicious meal followed by some of her famous sweet temptations. After some good conversation and a bit of Xbox Kinect, we headed for the train station with Michael as our guide. He gets around on a skateboard and is quite fast when he needs to be.

    Michael skates at night in Zurich.

    I snapped a couple of pictures in the Zurich HB, which is the main train station in town. We like to call it,"Rail City, Rail, Rail City!" This giant arrival / departure board is impressive. Every few minutes all these times change mechanically, like a flip chart. In an otherwise digital world, its really cool to see this thing in action.

    Zurich HB

    The train station is fascination. We see something new each time we go in, and tonight was no different.

    Ceiling in the Zurich HB.

    While we were waiting for our tram to take us home, Kathryn spotted this little mouse running in and out of the grates in the sidewalk. He was likely scouring for food so I set my camera down to see if I could catch him in the act. It was about 11:30 at night and I sat for 15 minutes in the middle of the busiest sidewalk in Zurich, trying to take this little guy's picture. People must have thought I was nuts. Anywho, he was pretty shy but I managed to catch him peeking.

    Mouse in Zurich.

    We had a good night. Here's to a good tomorrow!

    Andrew
  • 6

    Valentine's Day Weekend in Interlaken

    Andrew's going to have a hard time topping this Valentine's Day. This weekend we went to Interlaken, Switzerland... a.k.a. the most charming place I've ever visited. We took a 2.5 hour panoramic train-ride on the Golden Pass from Lucern to Interlaken, whose name literally translates to "between the lakes."

    Kathryn Cornelius Golden Pass panoramic train Switzerland

    Lake Brienzersee

    http://www.johnnys-interlaken.ch/

    After two hours of gorgeous views, we were able to walk from the east train station directly down Höheweg (the city's main street) to our hotel, Hotel Krebs. The hotel was reopened in 2008 after major renovations and is a place I'd recommend to all of my friends. It has that *perfect* mix of traditional and mod. We LOVED it. :)

    Hotel Krebs in Interlaken, Switzerland

    I also loved the big crest below the front desk with my nickname — "KK." :)

    Hotel Krebs KK

    On Saturday, we had a five-course dinner in the hotel's restaurant. It's tagline is "Fresh, Bold, Traditional." Overall, I'd agree with the assement and classify the food as truly delish. I only had one problem with the food... the first course... Duck Liver.

    I'd never tried Foie Gras, but being an adventurous eater, I was happy to give it a try. Unfortunately, after two small bites I could eat no more. Usually, I can convince myself something's tasty, even after a less-than-thrilling first bite, but this foie gras was a different story — a story I won't go into. It photographed nicely, however:

    Foie Gras

    The next course, a creamy lobster bisque, helped renew my faith in the meal:

    Lobster soup

    The third course, veal with mushrooms atop a bed a creamy risotto, was my favorite dish of the evening:

    Veal with mushrooms and risotto

    Next out was a pear sorbet. We both had a difficult time placing the pear flavor, so we had to ask. Andrew thought it was "some type of fruit that looks like a grape, but has no skin, and is white." Friends, can anyone tell me what species this is or has Andrew completely lost his marbles? That's what I thought.

    Pear Sorbet

    Our main course was lamb, potatoes, squash, and some sort of finely cubed veggie medley.

    Lamb with potatoes

    And finally, bread-pudding with melted milk chocolate inside. Underneath, warm black cherries:

    Bread Pudding with cherries

    After dinner, we headed to the Casino Kursaal (yes, we like to gamble) and spent a few hours at the roulette wheel. We actually left about 150 CHF richer!

    Casino Kursaal Interlaken

    And following the casino: dancing at Johnny's into the wee hours of the night... pictures intentionally unavailable. ;)

    Sorry boys, don't let your girlfriends read this post. You just can't compete this year. Happy Valentine's Day!

    Kathryn
  • 14

    My First Day at Amazee Labs!

    Today is Monday, February 7th and you know what that means! Today was my first day of work at Amazee Labs!

    Everything went splendidly. This morning Andrew and I woke up in Dübendorf, a small city just outide of Zürich, at the apartment belonging to my colleague, Michael. He invited us over last night to watch the Super Bowl on BBC — late night style. The three of us were up until almost 5 in the morning — cheering on the Packers, talking Drupal, playing Kinect, and partaking in other equally geeky activities and discussions. We had a blast.

    Here's a shot from his place this morning. He and his girlfriend have a remarkable view:

    Dubendorf Switzerland

    When we arrived at the Technopark office, I was kindly greeted with a book on Zürich, Sprüngli chocolates, and the coolest welcome sign ever — made entirely of Legos.
    See for yourself:

    Welcome Kathryn Cornelius to Amazee Labs

    Not bad, eh? My kind of peeps!

    Once settled in, Michael and Dania set me up with all the info needed to get me up and running in the office: a new email address, an account on Dropbox, a crash course on their past, current, and the future projects, and the low-down on other general administrative processes.

    I was also given some great company swag, including this bad-to-the-bone Amazee tee!

    Amazee Labs Tshirt

    Once we got home this evening, Andrew and I were both physically exhausted — it was a LATE night and all the excitement of the first day at a new job would make anyone tired. So we quickly whipped up some good ole' fashioned spaghetti and meat sauce and now we're hitting the hay. Looks yummy, no?

    Spaghetti and meat sauce

    Bon Appetit and Goodnight! Thanks to everyone at Amazee for a great first day! :)

    Kathryn
  • 3

    Tidbits

    We're back! We've really been at it the last couple of days, working to get our flat put together, organized, and stocked for the work weeks ahead. Let's rewind a couple of days.

    I think we left you in The City of Lights, which was indeed a beautful city. Here are a couple more photos from Paris, both relevant to the subway or metro as they call it.

    Paris Metro

    We used the metro to get around the city, burrowing under the streets to save time. Once we figured out our map and how to tell which way the trains were going, it was really easy to get from point A to point B. The trains were super efficient, fast and made for some great photography. I was inspired to try to replicate Mark Figart's (president and founder of Digett) famous subway photograph of his wife, entitled 42nd Street. If mine is half as good as Mark's, I'm happy.

    Kathryn stands in front of Paris subway

    Since we've been back in Zurich, it's been a whirlwind of activity. We thought it important to organize our flat for the time we're here and what better place to go for organizational goods than IKEA. That's right, IKEA. Kathryn's cousin Rob and his wife Roberta took us out on the town, for a picnic by Lake Zurich and then to IKEA. Among other small items, Kathryn bought a "rolling closet" to hang her clothes. Now in Texas, we would roll our basket full of prizes out to the car, throw it in the trunk and drive it right to our doorstep. Here in Zurich, we had to lug these bags and boxes from the store to the train, from the train to the bus, and from the bus to our flat. No wonder these people are so skinny.

    IKEA Zurich

    Transportation here is fascinating. Public transportation is dominant -- trains, trams and buses. They all run on a schedule like clockwork and are very dependable, which makes getting around the big city very easy. It really is neat. If you're not using public transportation, you're walking, driving or biking the city streets.

    Man on a bike in Zurich.

    As a web designer, I'm always on the lookout for beautiful aesthetic and Zurich has no shortage of design inspiration. What I love about what I've seen so far is how seemlessly the city combines modern design with gracefully aging landmarks. Here's a graphic I think is nice, above a train station to represent connection.

    Zurich bus stop.

    Our outting today was interesting. We took a trip across the city to visit Kathryn's office for the first time. On our way back from Amazee Labs, we saw this sign outside a night club.

    Drink Dine Dance

    Notice a type of music they play is Old's Cool. HA! Old's Cool! We're not sure if this was meant to be funny or if it's just quirky English -- funny either way.

    Halfway back to the house we got off the bus to eat lunch at Falcone. Kathryn, being the wonderful cook that she is, had an easier time reading the menu (in German) than I did. She ordered the caprese salad and I got wienerschnitzel, which basically turned out to be chicken fried steak over a bed of french fries, much to my delight.

    Wienerschnitzel.

    Faclone, Zurich

    I'll leave you with a tip for your visit to Zurich. In the words of Jack Parkman, "Don't stand on the tracks when the train's coming through." They come fast and they don't stop. Goodnight!

    Kathryn in front of a train.

    Andrew
  • 8

    'Tis in my memory locked...

    One of our very favorite places in Paris was the Pont des Arts, a pedestrian bridge over the Seine. We discovered it accidentally, after our visit to the Louvre.

    We decided to walk to the center of the bridge to take in the sights from above the river, but didn't get far. Thousands of padlocks secured to the bridge's rails stole the show. On each lock — inscriptions like "A & E forever" or "Tim and Sarah 2008" were hand-scrawled in permanent marker. Some locks were even engraved.

    We spent at least thirty minutes browsing down the rails, thinking of how many love stories were behind the locks.

    In any case, later that evening, we decided we simply must add our lock to the bridge. We went back on Thursday before leaving the city and added our own momento. Look for it next time you're in Paris. We can tell you exactly where it is:

    Kathryn Cornelius Andrew McClintock Our Swiss Life lock Pont des Arts

    Kathryn Cornelius Andrew McClintock Our Swiss Life lock Pont des Arts

    'Tis in my memory locked, and you yourself shall keep the key of it.
    —Shakespeare

    Kathryn
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