Friday, April 25, 2008

The Best Quality of Life

Zurich has been voted the city with the "best quality of life." I would have to agree! I travelled with my friend Mary (neighbor who works at US Steel) to Zurich for my 2nd ever marathon. I had originally signed up with encouragement from my friend Jamie, but after she broke her arm, she didn't think she would be able to train and I was left without a running partner. Luckily, Mary was a sport and went along for moral support.

Upon arrival in Zurich, we both immediately noticed the increased air quality due to the mountains, lake and smaller population. We immediately took public transportation (which is fast, spotless and on time) to our hotel, and then lugged our luggage up the 15 minute stairstep hill to our hotel. In the morning, we woke up to a FANTASTIC view of Lake Zurich!


In exploring Zurich, we marvelled at the old buildings, tried out the different forms of transportation (tram, bus, train, cogwheel train, and finally boat). The old town was exactly what you would expect from Switzerland. Narrow streets, old buildings, and all sorts of watch shops and banks. We browsed the shops, walked through the "preferred" neighborhood of Zurich, and then hopped on a city tour. There were all sorts of interesting Swiss facts... perhaps the most shocking to me was that only 30 % of Swiss people own their own home. The rest rent. Imagine if you were one of those 30 %! They must own two or three.

After our day of exploring Zurich, we took the ferry back to our hotel (yep, the ferry). While on the ferry we saw all sorts of sailboats, and I was finally convinced that it was OK to have the rail in the water... they all put their side rails in the water! We had a fantastic (though not cheap... nothing there is cheap) Italian dinner in preparation for my Sunday morning race and I did my best not to think about the run.

The morning of the marathon was beautiful, and again I took the train to the race start (I was quite enthralled with the incredible public transportation). Immediately, I noticed that EVERY person at the race start looked like they might win the race. They were all in incredible shape and wore fancy sweat suits. I started to get nervous, as I wasn't sure I could finish 26.2 miles, let alone in a decent time. Luckily, there were tons of people along the race course and lots of bands to keep me moving. That along with the views of the ALPS kept me moving (barely) to the finish. It HURT!

After the race, Mary and I weren't ready to be done exploring Zurich. We hopped on the train again and headed to the largest volume waterfall in Europe. I was busy scouting it for runnable kayak lines as Mary was amazed at how fast the water was moving. It was beautiful and the perfect afternoon in the sun.

Zurich pretty much shuts down on Sundays so we grabbed some pizza (again, NOT CHEAP) and headed to bed. It was an great weekend and I now know why Switzerland gets such great press!

42 comments:

Pop said...

Time for an update -- OK Catherine - its itme to let your friends, family and fans know what's up - Uncle Bob

MarshallShepler said...

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如此的 said...

Since it is the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.............................................

馬甲 said...

能付出愛心就是福;能消除煩惱就是慧。........................................

陽明山花季 said...

If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.............................................

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Look before you leap.......................................................

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怡谷ShanikaMaxey怡谷 said...

向小善致敬,它使人生旅程較為平順。 ..................................................

AshleyRemley12俊財 said...

你不能決定生命的長度,但你可以控制它的寬度..................................................

坤郁 said...

成功多屬於那些很快做出決定,卻又不輕易變更的人。而失敗也經常屬於那些很難做出決定,卻又經常變更的人..................................................

宛齊陳 said...

第一次睇你blog,鐘意! .................................................................

林建隆 said...

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慧杰慧杰 said...

幸福不是一切,人還有責任。.................................................................

韋志韋志 said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。.................................................................

彥安彥安 said...

人生是故事的創造與遺忘。............................................................

JasonBirk佳琪 said...

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與發 said...

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穎翰翁穎翰 said...

Accept that some days you are the pigeon, and some days you are the statue.............................................................

陳佑發 said...

一個人的快樂,不是因為他擁有的多,而是他計較的少。..................................................

方偉白方偉白 said...

享受你自己的生活,不要與他人相比。............................................................

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人應該做自己認為對的事,而不是一味跟著群眾的建議走。..................................................

吳淑惠 said...

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珮鄧韋 said...

時間就是塑造生命的材料。

平幸蔡婉玲杰 said...

Subtlety is better than force. ............................................................

承王蓁 said...

好的開始並不代表會成功,壞的開始並不代表是失敗..................................................

周俊許佳蓉安 said...

河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。............................................................

文王廷 said...

我從來不認為不同意我的看法就是冒犯................................................

怡靜怡靜怡靜怡雯 said...

人不能像動物一樣活著,而應該追求知識和美德................. ................................................

48684 said...

超棒的,給予最大支持。(* ̄△ ̄*)..................................................................

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多謝美味的心靈雞湯......................................................

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生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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君子遇窮困,則德益進,道益通。............................. ....................................

王辛江淑萍康 said...

說「吃虧就是便宜的人」,多半不是吃虧的人。......................................................................

江仁趙雲虹昆 said...

心平氣和~祝你也快樂~~..................................................