Sunday, July 29, 2012

Schaffhausen, Switzerland

Although I did some posting this past week, in truth, I was traveling for work and posting from there at odd hours, thanks to jet lag and my inability to sleep on airplanes.  I went to Europe on business and my first stop was Schaffhausen, Switzerland.  I'd been to Zurich before some years back but not to Schaffhausen.  I didn't have much time (I was there to work after all, ha) but I flew in a day early to (theoretically) get over the jet lag before I had to show up in the office.  I had a chance to walk around Schaffhausen for a few hours, partly because I was looking for our office and partly because I like exploring new grounds on foot.  It turned out that the hotel had given me the wrong directions to the office so I ended up covering more of Schaffhausen on foot than I had intended.  But it was all good since it gave me a chance to leisurely explore the area.  Walking along the Rhine was pure poetry because it was a beautiful day with cool temps and the sun shining.

Around my hotel, there were a lot of little cute shops but since I was walking around on a Sunday, many of them were closed.  I did happen upon some restaurants, one of which I patronized for lunch and a gelato shop where I availed myself of the gelato.
Spaghetti Carbonara from Don Quixote restaurant

Chocolate and mocha gelato
I didn't know much about "Swiss food" beforehand but when I looked it up, it seemed to be a combination of German, Italian and French.  German was the primary language in Schaffhausen but I ended up eating Italian cuisine most of the time.  The great thing about Europe is the variety of cuisines available.  Ironically though, in the area around my hotel and the office, I really didn't see any German restaurants.  They all seemed to be predominantly Italian.  A coworker and I went out to dinner one night and I had Italian again - risotto this time with prawns.  And in sticking with the Italian theme, a banana split with gelato.

Risotto Gambieri from Santa Lucia
One tip if you ever find yourself in Switzerland and don't speak German (I'm bilingual but German is not my 2nd language).  "Flughafen" means airport. I almost missed my stop on the train ride back from Schaffhausen to the Zurich Airport because I erroneously assumed the stop I was going to get off at was the airport, since I didn't recognize Flughafen as the stop I originally came from when I arrived.  I was so intent on figuring out how to get to Schaffhausen when I first arrived and which train to take that I made the cardinal mistake of not noting where I started from.  Fortunately though, my coworker ended up on the same train as me and, having lived in Switzerland for the past year and a half, she knew exactly where to go.  Whew.

And I must give props to the Flughafen Zurich because they had an inordinate amount of chocolate shops that I must applaud.  Even down to the classy chocolate button proclaiming your location on the gelato from the Lindt store.
Milk Chocolate Gelato

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