The Hills Are Alive…

…with the sound of my labored breathing. Seriously. I feel like lately I have been huffing and puffing my way around the city. My pedometer is racking up some serious mileage (kilometerage?). This weekend is a perfect example. It finally warmed up around here and I almost don’t recognize the city. The Swiss have  come out of hibernation and are traipsing around like they own the place. Saturday was filled with plenty of aimless wandering, as Jill’s friend was in from Milan and we were giving her a tour of Zurich. The day happened to be my “anniversary” of arriving here. That’s right, it’s been 3 months and they a have flown by faster than any I can remember. I try to treat myself to something on these joyous occasions and this day was no exception. I truly indulged and awarded myself with a Diet Doctor Pepper, which cost me a cool CHF 3.50. Yes, you are correct, that translates roughly into $3.50, which is hands-down the most ludicrous amount of money I have paid for a pop, but let me tell you it was absolutely worth it. Seeing as DDP is my all-time favorite I thought it was a worthy treat, if not ridiculously over-priced.

Yesterday, however was the real gem of my exercise. If I had a dollar for every time someone made a reference to me either becoming Mary Poppins or living in my own “Sound of Music” I could actually afford to live here. Sunday Jill, Gabri, and I decided to hike up Üetliberg and see the city from a bird’s eye view. One can either hike up or take a train, and being an thrill-seeking trio we decided to gear-up and walk the trails. I had some sense and wore Converse shoes, but Jill was in her Topsiders and Gabri in moccasins, so one could say we weren’t necessarily dressed the part. That didn’t stop us, however. Without actually realizing it, we took the path, out of several, that was the most steep and heavily wooded. About 200 meters up the climb I peeled off my cardigan and the elusive sweatstache was making its appearance. I feel like I am equally justifying my physical fitness and and dispelling it through my writings. The hike wasn’t the hardest thing I have ever done, rather I just didn’t mentally prepare myself. About halfway up when we were all re-evaluating not only our decision to come on this journey, but also our friendships, Jill, with her identical twin, Positivity, began to sing “Climb Every Mountain.” I had to grab onto a railing for support as I was laughing so hard. It was exactly what I needed to hear. The remaining trek passed in alternating fits of side-splitting laughter and animal-like grunting. Finally, a little over an hour after take-off we reached the summit. We were quite the group as we approached the other patrons at the lookout site. Thankfully my white tank top hid the “make it rain” effect my sweat glands tend to have. I’m almost positive people could smell us before they saw us, and if not, they would notice the big black cloud of bugs that had somehow become our climbing companions. We were a full-on nasal assault. I’ll spare you the rest of the details, but one can assume it was not my finest moment. The view was great though, and definitely worth it, as was the celebratory beer. It was on the list that sits on my desk of things I want to accomplish whilst I’m in der Schweiz so I am very proud of myself.

On an equally exciting note, I booked more travel today! I will be in Manchester and Cambridge June 4-8 to go to a couple of concerts: John Mayer and Band of Horses. I know what you’re thinking, “Going to John Mayer, what a sell-out.” But, this is not true as I am not 14 years old with an irrational crush on his brooding, self-deprecating, and semi-obnoxious persona. I just happen to like his music. And Band of Horses is amazing and I have wanted to see them live for a while, and what better opportunity than abroad. Looking forward to a weekend full of melodious sounds.

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