Zurich - Sunshine and Christmas lights

If there is one thing that we couldn't complain about in 2015, it's the weather. And December was not exception. OK, there are those who wished for snow, but I ride my bicycle to work every they, so I am definitely not one of them!

Here's what the first Sunday of December looked like around noon. I had just finished brunch with a friend and we were walking through the city center, along the Limmat.

Somebody was feeding the birds, they got all excited!

Yes, the bad habit of leaving "love locks" has reached Zurich...
I went home afterwards but met my boyfriend Olivier in the afternoon for a stroll along the lake. More people were feeding more birds...

It wasn't too cold - just the right temperature to make the mist rise from the water...

This had of course to be explored from various angles :-)

Looking to the right, at Zurich in the afternoon light.

OK, I just couldn't decide which one I liked best (and this is already the top choice of photos!). Well, swans always look good in pictures, right?

Here's the rocky version.

Me with the sun...

You can hang your Christmas decoration in any kind of tree, right?

Time for some art: The "sheep piece" by Henry Moore. A popular meeting point by the lake.

As it got dark, we walked back to Bellevue and strolled around the Christmas village. It had great food stands! We liked it.
Also, the scenery is pretty there. With the opera house in the background.

On Monday I went to see the Christmas market in the train station hall. It was pretty much the same as every year, with the famous, gigantic tree decorated by Swarovski. The bottom part is protected by a glass wall, hence the reflected window.
There is Winter / Christmas themed stuff popping up all over town. One of them is the ice rink at Europa Allee which we went to for a little ice skating practice before tango lesson:
Next station: the Sihlcity mall - inside...

...and outside
Just put lights on EVERY tree you can find!
On the second Sunday of December a bunch of us met to bake cookies together. I had bought a new form to make mine camel shaped!
I stopped on my ride home for this classic view of Zurich:

More ice skating practice on a Tuesday after work - the ice rink is literally on my way home, very convenient. And just for a short time I had it nearly to myself.

I had been avoiding the crazy shopping but there comes a moment when a girl must go to town... Especially when the shops are open on the Sunday before Christmas. I made sure to go before noon to avoid the crazy crowds.
On the terrace of the Manor store.
Walking over the Rudolf Brun bridge.

Short days mean that you can actually see the sunrise without having to get up especially early. Well, if there aren't any buildings in the way... View from my bedroom.

On my way home from work - constuction workers with a view!

December 23rd - last round in the city. The words on this building's corner change every day. This time of the year they had of course chosen fitting words.

Some more Christmas lights.

And a look over to the Grossmünster
On the 24th while driving to my parents I passed by the same building. "Still" = "silent". Probably not what this night was actually going to be :-)
The next day I woke up in time for the sunrise again. I was standing on the rooftop terrace to watch the slowly changing colors. Fortunately it wasn't very cold. 
The big mountain is called Säntis, the group to the right are the Churfirsten. I used to know all the names of these seven mountains because we learned them at school, but I forgot most of them.
Back in Zurich - Oliver's brother and his family from Luxemburg had come to visit. We went for a walk along the lake. Eating ice cream and playing frisbee with the kids as if it was in the middle of Summer!
But the sun was low and shining directly into our faces.
Mia, Olivier and Elvis
The ladies posing
The next day we went back to the Europa Allee ice rink. Only this time there was a ton of people. Real skating was out of the question. Too many plastic seals, uncoordinated beginners and racing children.
So we chose to go up to the Dolder on Monday where there was much more space. I just grabbed an ice bear for posing :-)
Neat light effect!
And finally - New Year's Eve. I had a gig at a Moroccan restaurant in Allenwinden, a tiny village in the canton of Zug. 
I got a nice room with Moroccan decorations and mirrors to get ready. Mirror selfie time!
My second show was a folklore dance - a woman later told me that I was wearing too much :-) I tried explaining that this is a traditional style, but she apparently wanted to see my naked belly!
And ready for the last set. The audience was very nice and showed their appreciation with loud clapping and some tips.
I was done at about 11 PM. Drove back to Zurich and put on warm clothes, but I missed midnight - I heard the church bells ringing just when I got on my bicycle to ride down to the lake. 
Olivier and a bunch of friends where already there. One of them is a member in a rowing club, so we had an exclusive view on the fireworks from the pier of the club house.
Yes, there are more rowing clubs with more piers :-)
At the beginning the upper part of the fireworks disspeared in the clouds, but it got better towards the end.

And that's it! Looking forward to new adventures in 2016...