If you ask me, spring came early to Zürich. As soon as March arrived, so did the sun and the 15-degree weather. Patio tables and people came out of hiding, and you didn’t have to search hard to find a well-dressed old gentleman sipping an espresso over a newspaper at an outdoor cafe table. I kept waiting for it to get cold again, but it never did. Yesterday in the city I already saw women in dresses and men without their suit jackets.
I am just not spoiled like this. In Vancouver, you don’t get much of a spring because it rains until June (that’s why they call it Raincouver). In Helsinki, spring is famous for, well, never really showing up 😀 (there are many great memes about it, like this one or this one). Probably the only true spring I experienced was in Paris, where the are many strategically placed magnolia and cherry blossom trees that become overnight Instagram celebrities when they bloom (especially this one at Champ de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower). But even then, I remember that it didn’t really get warm until April. So all around, Zürich wins First Place in the Spring Race.
I care about seasons because they define how I feel in the city. When I was growing up in Moldova, our life was really shaped by the weather and the time of the year – it affected what we ate (fresh fruit in the summer; jams and canned vegetables in the winter) and what we did (playing with leaves in the fall; looking for a hill to slide down in the winter; running outside as soon as it was warm in the spring). I probably could live on a tropical island for a year or two, but I need a golden fall, a white winter, and a pink spring to feel like home.
A few days ago, I went to Lochergut, a residential area in Kreis 3, where the Idaplatz square is the local Champ de Mars in terms of bloom celebrity status but is much more beautiful and less touristy. Imagine quiet cherry tree lined streets of pastel colored houses, with little cafes, tucked in here and there, and petal-covered sidewalks; a faintly sweet smell in the air, the sound of chirping birds, and a warm sunset. Bikers leisurely driving by while pedestrians stop to take photos. I was one such pedestrian and below are some of those photos 🙂