The weekend following my 18th birthday, I moved to Switzerland to start my adventure as a jeune fille Au Pair. I spent 14 months in Zurich with the Späh family looking after their first born. The time I spent with the Spähs was a cultural, linguistic and gastronomic experience. They encouraged me to participate in local activities, helped me with my German studies and taught me about the history and current affairs of Switzerland. One of the memorable festivals I enjoyed during my stay was Sechseläuten – a festival celebrating the end of winter and steeped in the history of the various trades that have been practised in Zurich for centuries. This spring, SWISS airlines invited me to attend the festival again and it was just as fascinating in 2014 as it was 23 years ago.
Here I am in 1991 at the Sechseläuten festival:
And here I am in 2014 with my host family from 1990-1991: Carmen Walker-Späh and her mother, Friedel…
This year, Richard Späh (Carmen’s husband) was part of the Stadt Zunft (City Guild) in the parade part of the festival.
The burning of the Böogg in 1991 – a snowman much like our Bonhomme Carnaval in Quebec, but filled with firecrackers! The faster he burns, the better the spring.
And the Böögg in 2014
Many thanks to SWISS for inviting me back to my second home! I truly enjoyed my flight and the many adventures we packed into the 48hr press trip in Zurich. Be sure to check out my luxury guide to Zurich. Here are a few additional photo souvenirs from that trip:
En train de boire un café “Schümli Pflümli” (avec alcool de prunes) avec mon amie Hannah pendant la parade Sechseläuten.
Swiss sausage and rösti at the Zeughauskeller restaurant in Zurich.
Walter vintage möbel and accessories in the trendy Zuri West neighbourhood.
Schwarzenbach general store in Zurich’s Niderdorf neighbourhood.
Showing off our new Swiss rubber boots from NavyBoot.
The Zurich sweet specialty, Luxemburgerli (a chubby macaron) from Sprungli.
The trendy bar Hotel Rivington & Sons in Zurich’s Kreis 5 neighbourhood.