I am in Switzerland (the Montana of Europe) and this visit could not have come at a better time - I had been CRAVING mountains, rivers, and lakes. Ask and ye shall receive!
Me=Kristina (personal friend from NYC)=Andrea (my host)
I am staying with (my darling friend) Kristina's fella, Andrea. I had a day filled with local trains and multiple connections due to the heavy travel rate from Paris and my last-minute method of travel (I typically show up at the train station and hope that there is a seat on a train, as you have doubtlessly noticed). Andrea gave me the most specific instructions of how to get to his home that any host has yet and I made it to his home with very little trouble. Although he was not there when I arrived late Saturday night, I was greeted by a welcome note, a fridge stocked with food, and a bed made for me. The next morning, I met Andrea and immediately felt that he was the older brother that I never had. Later, we discovered that he was born just a few days after my older sister - if you believe in astrology, which I do to an extent, it would explain why he seemed so familiar to me.
My dear host gave me a grand tour of Zurich on Sunday. We went to the "Red Factory" which was once a factory but was converted into an artspace and a restaurant. The exterior was covered in graffiti, which Andrea told me was recently sprayed by graffiti artists from all over Europe, and it was located just on the shores of Zurichsees (Zurich Lake). A POWERFUL storm released its fury on the lake and we took refuge with coffee until it passed. Andrea gave me a proper tour of all the most interestıng parts of Zurıch so that İ could return when he was at work. As the guest I was not allowed to help prepare the meal but Andrea took on the International male role of working a propane grill and we had a nice meal by twilight.
The next few days I spent by the water, either at the Lake ın Schwarzenbach or in the Ljmmat Rıver which runs through the city of Zurıch. The water calmed my spirit and restored me.
Andrea was a fantastic host that really taught me quite a bit about Switzerland. İ truly felt at home and at ease. And being in European Montana was precisely what I had been needing after feeling homesick for... home and stability.
My final evening we had brautwurst outdoors and sipped Pastis and Gin and Tonics. Tranquil. A perfect ending.