Friday, February 28, 2014

Fredags Glädje

Vart tar alla dessa dagar vägen? Redan fredag men alltid lika efterlängtat. Har äntligen lyckats få kläm på den där adjektivböjninge på tyska som jag satt i tårar över förra veckan. Känns väldigt väldigt bra. 

Älskar tulpaner både då är nya och fräscha samt när de har stått ett tag och hunnit slå ut fullt som dessa, då de spretar åt alla håll och buketten hunnit bli så där lagom messy snygg.

Stundande helgen då, vad bjuder den på? Vi ska vara hundvakter igen åt Chipotle fredag till söndag då hans husse och matte ska iväg på bröllop. 

Vi har blivit bjudna på middag hos en av mina bästa vänner i Basel. Lär nog bli en väldigt trevlig lördag kväll. 

Funderar på att slinka in på Coop ikväll som anordnar lite vinprovning av italienskaviner. Inte helt fel att kicka igång helgen med lite Chianti kanske.

Söndag ska vi träffa våra svensk-tyska vänner som vi firade jul med och gå en långpromenad i solskenet (det är vad dagens väderprognos utlovar iallafall). De har precis blivit fyra i sin familj så vi ska få träffa den nyaste lilla familjemedlemmen för första gången.

Fredagsfrukost, havregrynsgröt toppad med blåbär och mango samt lite flagnad mandel. Yummy! Blå-gula färger.

Gick på power yoga igår. Shit vilket skönt pass. Brukar dumt nog prioritera ner yoga som träningsform men inser att det borde jag köra regelbundet. Man får en hel del smidighet, flexibilitet och styrka för att inte tala om balansövning. Man lämna gymet med ett nytt inre lugn och styrka samt en fin hållning.

Just nu lyser solen men det ska tyvärr övergå i regn under eftermiddagen. Resten av helgen ser bättre ut vädermässigt som tur är

Ha en fin fredag och skön helg allihop.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

Bye bye February and Hello March. Winter is over and spring is here. Actually winter seems to have skipped much of Europe this year and instead taken full blown force on the US. Can't believe that February already has come to an end and we are about to enter the third month of 2014. Yesterday it was raining the entire day. A day now and then with rain does not bother me. Today the sun is shining even if it is cooler now and will stay cooler for a few days compared to the beginning of the week.

Do you ever think of people from your past and wonder where they are, what kind of live they are living or just what happened to them. Class mates, high school friends, teachers, others that crossed your path in life. People you will never see again, they either drifted away or passed away but come to life for a brief moment among your memories.

That lovely spring weather we had at the beginning of the week has fled somewhere else. Hopefully it comes back soon. This is how I did my German class homework Monday afternoon. Monday and Tuesday were just incredible. We had sunshine and 14-15 degrees C. What a bliss. Since we yet have not put our outdoor furniture out I just pulled out two of our kitchen chairs and spent the entire afternoon studying outside. One of those things that I am lucky enough to be able to do for the moment.

Swiss windows. I like them. I like the metal shutters that are great in summer when it gets really hot and you need to close the sunlight out to keep the interior as cool as possible. I also like the way one can open up the windows by tilting them inwards leaving a crack open for ventilation and fresh air.

I have made friends with our Swiss neighbor and house warden, Frau T. I have been helping her by translating regarding a new tenant that moved in that did not speak any German. This week I have had an assignment in my German class about the Swiss school system. So I made a short interview with Frau T. She was very kind and helped me with all my questions. She had just pulled out a couple of fresh loafs of bread from her oven as well and she gave me one. What a wonderful treat.

Trying to get some stubborn stains out from our white living room carpet. Bought this product in France and tried it. Even if they are not completely gone they at least are faded. It looks much better now.

We booked another ski trip. Going to Chamonix in France in about a month. Get to access a friend of a friend’s apartment. Already looking forward to that a lot. It's the Swedish bikini team (a nickname C has given my Swedish girlfriends and me) and C that is going. I think it will be a lot of fun. In two more weeks our Swedish friend E is coming and we have a ski-weekend with her to look forward to before we go to Chamonix.

So what's up in your neck of the woods?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Swiss made and the Swiss

The Swiss people are in several ways similar to the Swedes but also unique of course in their own way. The Swiss are:

Highly traditional (things are to be done in the proper way and in the way it has always been done).

Friendly and kind but careful and quiet. They care about privacy and personal sphere. In this sense they are very much like the Swedes.

They may not be very easy to get to know and befriend but once you made a Swiss friend it is for life is something that I have heard. Being invited to a Swiss home is being invited into the sacred shrine. The way I have understood is that close friends are invited home whereas more distant friends, co-workers and acquaintances are people you meet up with outside the home.

They are proud and take great pride in their country, their culture, natural beauty and anything that has been made or produced in their country. They have a national pride that is much greater than the Swedes and are very patriotic in many ways.

They are very correct and tidy. Rules are there to be followed and things are supposed to be done in certain ways. Streets are clean and trains run on time.

They are hard working, ambitious and dutiful

They are outdoors people making sure to enjoy the magnificent natural beauty that this country has to offer. Sundays are days for hikes or long walks.

Land of the holy cheese and cows. I can not think of a better place to be a cow than being one in Switzerland. Spending the summer high up in the Alps gracing the fresh green lush grass of those mountain slopes. I even envy the cows for the views they have. Most national dishes contain cheese in some way. The Swiss do know how to make excellent cheese. There is just nothing to miss at the dairy section when you enter a grocery store here. 

The Birchermüssli originates from Switzerland. It was developed around year 1900 by the Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital, where a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables was an essential part of therapy. Here it is traditionally served premixed with yogurt. At the grocery store you can buy yogurt containing mussli or when you stay at a hotel you will find a big bowl of yogurt and mussli mixed that you server yourself from. The premixed version is actually pretty good .

Very Swiss to put the shoes outside your door. The Swiss like the Swedes do not wear shoes in their homes but whereas the Swedes take them off when the have stepped into their home the Swiss take them off outside. 

There are many different kinds of breads and pastries throughout the year to celebrate various traditions. It is always interesting to figure out what it might be, what they taste like and what the tradition or history behind them are.

It is an honor for me to be here, to get to know both the country and it's people, to be able to enjoy the immense natural beauty that Switzerland offers and has. I feel lucky to be here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bern - beautiful and proud capital of Switzerland

Sunday was a beautiful spring day. We decided on making a trip to Bern - the capital of Switzerland. It is one of those hidden gems. Zurich is otherwise the city that most people hear about. Zurich is also the largest city in Switzerland and therefore often thought to be the capital. Bern is only the fourth largest city. Actually Basel is larger than Bern. However, Bern is a beautiful city with plenty of charm. The Aare river flows through it. In the distant horizon you have the pretty and impressive snow capped peaks of the Alps that can be seen from here. 

When we celebrated the Swiss national day on August first we floated with the small rubber boats along the Aare river all the way from Thun to Bern. We got our first glimpse of Bern then and decided we must come back to see more which we finally did this weekend.

This is the Bundeshaus or House of Parliament. The national monument of the Swiss confederation. In front of the this magnificent building there is a nice park with a view over the city and the river. 

The people of Bern are known to be notoriously slow spoken. My German teacher in Basel once told us that a phone conversation between someone from Zurich and a person from Bern would never work as the people from Zurich are the most fast spoken and used to fast pace city life. 

Here in front of the House of Parliament people of all ages are enjoying themselves on this sunny quiet Sunday in various ways such as with a game of Chess. 

Bern is on UNESCO:s list of world heritage sites since 1983. The city's cobblestone arcades and clock towers have been beautifully preserved since the 1400's.

The Old Town is charming and very pittoresque. Most of Bern was destroyed in a big fire 1405. There is nothing left of the old wooden houses from medieval years. The city was then rebuilt in sandstone and the many arcades make the city especially beautiful. 

We made a nice stroll a long the river bank in the sunshine. This is the city where also Albert Einstein lived and worked in. You can still visit the Einstein house. It has been recreated to the year of 1905 when young, newly married and badly paid Einstein working as a clerk at Bern's patent office developed and published his Special Theory of Relativity.

The river tuns and twist itself around the city center. During summer the water is truly emerald green. The water line was pretty low now as it has not snowed as much this year as the previous year. A long the river are some really cute houses such as this one. Looks like a small cabin or hutte that are seen in the small villages in the Alps.

The city mascot is the bear. At Bären park (the bear park) you can visit the bear family of the city. The city has kept live bears since 1513 when the Bernese soldiers brought the first bear to the city after a victorious battle. 

A city with an interesting history, impressive views and pretty architecture.

A lovely first spring day. People enjoying the sunshine in the various parks around the city, strolling, talking to a friend, or playing a game of some sort. We enjoyed the many views and the long nice walk we made, taking pictures, having a coffee at one of the coffee shops in Old town. There is something very pleasant and inviting about Bern. It is a city that you easily fall in love with.

A city a definitely want to revisit many more times. There is a lot more to see and do that we did not have time for this time. It is an easy visit from Basel as it only takes an hour to drive here. It is well worth a visit if you get the chance. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

En good helg

Det har varit en riktigt skön helg. En avkopplande helg med en bra mix av lite allt möjligt. Inledde helgen med ett besök på muba mässan här i Basel. Lite av en allt i allo mässa. De hade allt från matprodukter, vin, öl, smycken, inredning till vitvaror. Köpte inget men kul att gå runt och kika på allt. Stor mässa eftersom den innehöll så mycket olika. Jag var nyfken på mässan och hade dessutom fått en gratisbiljett från en vän. Värt att besöka även om det fanns mycket där som jag fick mig att köpa något eller känna att jag behövde något. Efter att ha gått runt där ett par timmar på fredagen var jag helt slut faktiskt. Jag 

 Köpte denna fina, stooora och lyxiga bukett i fredags. Hur fin som helst med en tulpanmix innehållande olika sorter och färger som matchar snyggt ihop.
Superfina. Jag har njutit så varje gång jag kastat blickar på denna bukett. Extra snygg blir den ju då den dessutom får stå i fina Iittala vasen (den vasen kräver dock en lite större tulpanbukett för att den ska göra sig).

 Film! Vi har kollat massor med bra film i helgen. Vi som inte gått på bio på evigheter gick och kollade in American Hustle. Så himla bra!!! Cool film med suveräna skådespelarinsattser och en story som väcker mycket nyfikenhet samt ett slut som överraskar.Gillade den mycket. Förstår att den fått många fina Oscar nomineringar. 

Sedan kollade vi också på Her hemma. En film som handlar om en kille som blir kär i sitt operativsystem. En tankvärd film om relationer och kärlek.

 Det har varit en "god" helg med mycket olika sorters godsaker. Bakade dessa citronmuffins med vallmofrön och som dessutom innehöll lite hirs. Ett spännande recept jag hittade HÄR. Hirsch (amarath tror jag det heter på engelska) blir knapriga och ger en spännande och väldigt god smakupplevelse.

Att baka eller stå i köket och prova nya recept är något jag tycker är både kul och rogivande. I lördags gjorde vi godaste pizza någonsin! Flera faktorer gjorde den extra lyckad. Dels gjorde jag en deg som fick jäsa lååångsamt (8h), dels så kostade jag på mig att göra en lyxig variant av tomatsås med riktiga färska tomater som var fullmogna som fick koka ihop länge på svag värme med olika kryddor. Men det riktigt stora denna gången var att göra pizzan på pizzasten på grillen. Ooooh my god! Det blev precis som äkta stenungsbakade pizzor med knaprig och fin botten. Pizzastenen och hög värme underifrån gjorde helt klart underverk. Nu kommer vi aldrig kunna göra vanliga ungsbakde pizzor länge.

Godaste pizzan ever. Slår alla pizzor jag någonsin smakat hittills att köra på pizzasten på grillen. Yum!

Älskar helgen då man faktiskt har tid att njuta av en riktig lååååång frukost och kosta på sig lite mer jobb och lyx. Pricken över i:et skulle vara en pappers DN söndagsnummret men det gick ganska bra att njuta av god French toast och en smoothie med jordgubb och basilika.

Vi söndags gjorde vi också en trevlig utflykt till Bern (schweiz huvudstad) men den tar jag och berättar lite mer om en annan dag. 

Måndag, ny vecka och nya tag. Har ni något lite extra kul eller spännande att se fram emot denna vecka? Här börjar veckan med alldeles strålande vackert vårväder. En sådan där dag då solskenet får vårkänslorna att fullkommligt skutta runt i kroppen.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Vår i luften

Sorry, legat lite lågt med bloggandet denna vecka. Jag har velat göra om lite när det gäller designen på bloggen. Har lekt lite, blev inget avancerad. Helst skulle jag vilja göra om mer men mina webkunskaper räcker inte riktigt till. Men lite nya färger och fonter iallafall. Det är ju så här när våren nalkas eller hur, att man känner för att fixa till och göra fint med lite nytt. Man vill liksom damma av, städa ur och piffa till med lite nytt och fräscht. Denna gång ville jag göra mer än vårstäda mitt hem, lite vårstädning på bloggen också.

Nog känns det som om våren slagit till här i Basel. Iallfall så gjorde det det igår då solen lyste och det var hela 12 grader. Helt underbart!!! Sådan njutning att cykla i solen.Krokusarna blommar överallt och lyser med sina vackra färger runt om bland stans gräsmattor.

 Än sover inte videungen. Den har vakat till liv. Fina kvistar med videung säljes på marknaden nere på stan.

Förutom att vårstäda mitt hem och min blogg har jag varit sysselsatt med träning, jobbsök, översättningsjobb och tysk grammatik. Häromdagen då C kom hem satt jag bokstavligt och grät över min tyskaläxa. Hade suttit hela eftermiddagen och försökt förstå mig på reglerna för adjektivböjning utan framgång. Precis gjort en övning och fått 95% fel då C klev innan för dörren. Jag fick snyfta lite mot hans axel och sedan började jag skratta då jag insåg hur löjligt det egentligen är att sitta med tårar över något så löjligt som tysk grammatik. Det ska nog gå men lite till får jag nog öva innan jag gör veckans dugga/tenta.

 Förutom att spilla tårar på tysk grammatik så har jag också hunnit med betydligt trevligare saker som en vinprovning. Första vinprovningen för året via Amerikanska klubben. Surprising wines of Switzerland var kvällens tema. En fantasisk kväll anordnad av kvällens värdinna som håller på att ta en master examen just inom vin. Hon var väldigt duktig och hade full koll på de schweiziska druvorna och vinsorterna. Vi fick prova hela nio olika viner samt ett dessertvin. Flest vita men några röda också. Jag har länge velat få en större koll på just de schweiska vinerna eftersom vi bor här. 

Schweiz producerar en hel del vin av hög kvalité men exporterar väldigt lite av sina viner och det är därför svåra att få tag på utanför landets gränser.

 När jag cyklade förbi min favorit kyrka här i Basel häromdagen såg jag minsann att det börjat knoppas på några av de fina stora Magnoliaträden utanför kyrkan. Kolla in vilka stora och fina knoppar alltså! Det har varit en osedvanlig mild vinter här i år till skillnad från vargavintern som drabbat den amerikanska kontinenten. Känns som om hela europas vinter också hamnat på andra sidan atlanten i år. Men jag tycker det är perfekt med snöfritt. Älskar att cykla på rena fina gator fria från snö, is, grus och salt. Nöjd så länge det finns snö i alperna så att man kan njuta av skidåkning.

På tal om skidåkning har vi precis bokat in en helg i franska alperna i mars med några av våra svenska vänner här i Basel. Det blir en weekend i Chamonix tredje helgen i mars. Ska bli underbart! 

Dessa fina rosa blommor blommar just nu på någon slags buske eller litet träd. Vet dock inte vad de heter men de är jättefina. 

Idag fredag så öser regnet just nu ner utanför. Det ska dock upphöra under eftermiddagen och jag hoppas att helgen bjuder på lite mer skönt vårväder. Jag önskar er alla en skön fredag och mysig helg.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Conquering the mountain

We had such a great ski weekend! Could not imagine a better start to our ski season. It was my first run for the season but C had gone once before. Saturday we left Basel very early, at the crack of dawn (7 am sharp). I think it is totally awesome that we are able to reach the alps within 2 hours. Again this makes me love living here in Switzerland.

We spent the weekend in the small town of Murren. The village is perched on a mountain top shaft. Located at 1645 meters (5400 ft). It is just one of those super cute Swiss villages with lots of charm. Picture perfect and no traffic allowed. You park your car in the valley and then take the cable car up the mountain. A village that offers picture perfect views, fresh alpine air, quiet nights and the most splendid panoramas of both the Eiger and Jungfrau peaks.

We were here together with some of C's co-workers. This is an annual ski event that the company organizes. We were a group of about 30 people. 
Not everyone skied downhill however, there were other activities such as snow shoeing, cross country skiing or just going for a walk. We stayed at a simple but very cozy lodge.

Saturday was absolutely gorgeous. Stunning views of the alps and the glacier. The temperature was just right and the slopes pristine. The big happening this weekend was that I had a major personal break through. We took the lift up Schilthorn at 3000 meters (9800 ft). That is also where they shot some scenes for one of the James Bond movies. You got quite a spectacular view from up there. 

What I was not aware of however, was that the only way down from this point was a dubbel diamond (black slope). I have never really done one of those before. My hart was beating fast as I decided to at least give it a try. Iiiiiiiih, I made it all the way down!!! I could hardly believe I had made it. My legs were all shaky and I was out of breath from concentrating so hard but the feeling of having overcome this obstacle was just the greatest. I actually also proved this was not just a one time happening as I did most of the other black slopes as well. Truly felt like I had conquered the mountain.

C was incredibly proud over me. A small step for mankind but a huge leap for me personally in my ski progress. This means that me and C can actually go skiing together in a whole different way. The ski lesson that I took last season did play a huge impact on my progress this weekend. I plan on booking yet another ski lesson for the next time we go skiing. I would really like to improve and refresh some of the knowledge that I got from the last lesson.

The majestic beauty of the grand alps.

Saturday evening we all had dinner together at the hotel. The choice was either traditional Swiss cheese fondue or the menu. Here is what the traditional fondue looks like. Me and C chose the menu. The cheese fondue is just not my favorite thing, I just find it too heavy.

Sunday morning we woke up to a soft white world. It had snowed all night long and the little village had turned into winter wonderland. The snow flakes kept sailing through the air. Looked very pretty.

The snowing did bring down the visibility quite some. The heavy snowfall also made the skiing technically more difficult. Pretty heavy on the legs to make turns in deep snow. As I have never before skied off pist this was a new kind of difficulty and experience for me as well. Even if Saturday was a much better skiing day with absolutely perfect weather we still enjoyed a few good hours in the slopes Sunday.

We have a ski weekend booked when our Swedish friend E comes (that also came last year to ski with us). We will be trying out a different area of the alps when she comes this year. We are also planing on a ski weekend with some of our friends here in Basel in Chamonix in the French alps. Besides that we might well head for the slopes just for a day or so. This is one of the great things of living in Switzerland, being able to reach the alps within less than two hours. 

Today is a beautiful and sunny spring day here in Basel. Blue skies, sunshine and a temperature of about +10 C . Love that! A perfectly beautiful start to the week.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Friday & Happy Valentines

Happy Valentines! Have a great start to the weekend. Quite a special Friday it being Valentines and all. Even if it is not a day that I celebrate in a passionate or serious way I still like it and enjoy it. A day to give an extra thought or do a kind gesture for the one you love as well as friends and loved ones.

I love all the pretty flowers. This is the day when most roses are sold. Passed by some flower shops today and it sure was looking busy in there. What is your flower of choice? Are roses the most romantic flower or do you think there might be other kinds of flowers that are equally romantic? I actually prefer tulips over roses. They win my heart over any time. 

Do you celebrate Valentines or not and if so how? We will just be enjoying a nice dinner at home and perhaps a glass of sparking wine. We have an early morning ahead of us tomorrow as we are heading up into the alps for a ski weekend.

Yesterday we had the most incredible storm hitting us. Took this picture just moments before it striked. Gushing and forceful winds in combination with heavy and intense rain. I had to shut our shutters to protect my newly washed windows yesterday. First time I ever used them in that way. I went grocery shopping in the afternoon and as I left the store the rain was pouring down again. Got quite soaked on my way home even if it was only a short bike ride of 5 minutes. But considering the full blown storm that came about 2 hours later I sure was glad I was home by then. Today it has been calmer but still pretty windy.

It's been a nice and mild winter in Basel so far this year. We have not gotten any snow. Temperature wise it is about 8-10 degrees C here. I love it the wait is. As long as there is snow in the alps I don't feel I need snow around my house.
The streets are cleaner without snow and it sure makes it easier to bike around the city.

Have a great weekend!