When Tom decided to move to Stäfa, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I had absolutely loved living with him in Rapperswil the year prior, which had felt like my home away from home. I had looked forward to returning and once again wandering through the cobblestone streets of old town and watching the sunset from the castle.
“You can still visit Rapperswil if you miss it too bad, it is only a few towns away, an easy 15km bike ride.” Tom assured me.
“Is there also a castle in Stäfa?” I asked.
“No,” Tom said, “but it is also on the lake.”
“How about an old town, does Stäfa have one too?”
“No” he said, “but there are lots of vineyards. I think you will like living in Stäfa.”
Wine. He had my interest.
I would discover the first weekend spent in Stäfa that there were actually five wineries within walking distance from our house. Unfortunately tastings are not offered daily as they are back in Napa Valley. But nevertheless I walked to the top of the vineyards almost every day for exercise and for the beautiful view.
Tom had been right, I did enjoy living in Stäfa the past two months and as I bid farewell to the pretty little town on the lake, I wish I could stay longer. Summer seems to finally be arriving just as I am leaving. Switzerland had an extra long and very wet winter this year, depriving me of Spring and gifting me with severe allergy attacks when everything finally decided to bloom all at once last month.
Because the weather wasn’t always inviting me to go outside, I often enjoyed being lazy … guilt free. I was able to read books I never had time to open in San Francisco, tried new recipes I had pinned, wrote when I felt inspired, took long baths, and just relaxed. A hard knock life, I know! It was also really nice just to live with Tom in one place versus always being on the go in our travels.
I loved living like a local and not feeling the need to see sights, but to just be. I attended a Swiss wedding and I made new friends and caught up with old ones. I feel my time and experiences living in the country for five months has really given me insight into the Swiss culture … and so sweet it is.
When the sun did shine, I raced outside immediately, having learned that it usually only made a short appearance before being chased away by rain clouds. On nicer days I explored by foot and bicycle, finding a new love for cycling up hills when you actually have access to an awesome mountain bike with proper gears (my ghetto bike back in SF has none!) I even managed to cycle all the way from Stäfa to Zurich, 23km, and I only got lost once. I didn’t really get lost, I knew I just needed to follow the lake on my left but I had lost my bicycle route, Route 66 as it was called. I came upon two guys on bicycles and I asked them how to get back to Route 66? They laughed at me and suggested that I might find that route in my own home country. Very funny I thought as I peddled away slightly annoyed. There really is a Swiss bike route called Route 66, I swear! which I came to love as it was most often clearly marked and avoid the heavy traffic roads. I also found an appreciation for padded bike shorts, they are not to be laughed at, they totally saved my ass!
One goal I had for the time spent in Stäfa was to get in better shape for my best big adventure and to break in my new hiking boots. On rainy weekends Tom and I were determined to hike as planned and often ended up driving to the other side of the Alps, as sunshine and warmer weather always greeted us as we emerged from the tunnel in the Italian part of the country.
I am not sure if I am prepared or in shape enough for our next big adventure, TBD … COMING SOON!!!
Ode to Stäfa in photos …
To see more photos of downtown Stäfa, Switzerland CLICK HERE!
To see all of my photos from Switzerland 2013 CLICK HERE!