Zürich - Winter delights

December has treated us quite well so far - no big snow storms, but rather calm weather. Well, the cold is to be expected.
Anyway, perfect conditions for some outdoor activities with Willow before she had to go home to her tropical island…

On Monday I left work at noon and met her and Olivier up at the Dolder Kunsteisbahn. It must have been 20 years since I last went ice skating… But after the first wobbly 5 minutes it all came back to me!

Having grown up in Honolulu, Willow is a surprisingly good ice skater - thanks to her time in New York, apparently.

Zanottis, getting the ice ready

The three of us skated around the big Christmas tree for a good part of the sunny afternoon, with just a short break for a warm beverage.
I tried out a lot of my old tricks and raced over the ice with Oli. What a workout!
And I clearly used some muscles that I normally don't - the inner sides of my thighs were sore for days afterwards!

Here are my feeble attempts at being artistic on the ice:

I was rather glad that it was Willow who taught two substitute classes that night - all I wanted was to sit on my sofa and keep my legs warm…

Tuesday was another sunny afternoon and not too cold either. This day's goal was the Seefeld area.
We started out with a visit to the park of Villa Bleuler. Of course parks look better when there are flowers, but they even have a certain charm in the cold season.
Which we also could see during our following visit to the Botanical Garden.

For example there are trees with exotic fruits that our local birds apparently don't like.

Frost in the shadow
Willow in one of her classic photographer poses: There is a leaf on the ground!

There are also 3 "bubbles" - green houses that look like UFOs - in which you can experience plants in different climates. A good way to warm up a bit.

It's a-moosing!
 Leaves with fur
 No coat required!

 This is how big the trees would grow if they let them!

 The endless variations of nature - spiral leaves

Our next stop: Unfortunately Villa Patumbah is closed on Tuesdays - but a look at the outside is well worth it!

 This statue represents "Winter" - how fitting!
The museum part of the afternoon: Mühlerama. A complex that used to be a big mill, no divided into shops and a gym. But they left a small part the way it was and we got a private demonstration of how this mill used to work. It was quite fascinating to watch the machines at work, all the wheels turning and parts going up and down.

 Instead of a bag with grains, we have a Willow sliding down!
 There was also a special exhibition about the story of sausages!

We finished the afternoon with a visit to the brand new hamam by the Patumbah park. It's very nicely done and since it had opened only a week ago there were very few people - actually, while we were in there we were alone! Perfect for 2,5 hours of relaxing, washing, rubbing and more relaxing!