I decided that since today was the longest day, I'd walk to the top of the Uetliberg (Zurich's Hausberg or "House Mountain") to celebrate and to watch the sun set. We are so lucky to live so close to this amazing mountain. It's 4 tram stops (barely 10 minutes) away, and then you're into woodland. It's a fairly hard 50 minute walk to the top, but it was a lovely evening. It was warm and I could hear singing birds and the gurgling water from the creek and it was just so peaceful.
I'm ashamed to say that my mountain legs aren't in quite as good as the hardy Zuerchers. I was passed by a couple, who must have been in their sixties. I thought I was giving it quite a good pace, but they sailed past me without a worry in the world! As you walk up the winding steep path, every now and again you get a break through the trees with a view down to the city and lake. The evening light here is so special, it really does have a golden glow. There's a few barbeque grills on the way up, and several parties of people enjoying the evening. I do love the smell of smoke :-)
At the very top of the mountain there is a viewing tower. I climbed to the top just in time to see the sun set. I can't quite describe how beautiful it was this evening. The view is gorgeous whatever the weather or time of day, but today it was quite spectacular. There is a fantastic view down over the city, and you can see (almost) the full length of the Zuerichsee, which I think is 40 km. (I'm sure some Zuerich LJ-er will correct me!) In the far distance are the Alps but they're not always visible. Today it was so clear - the peaks were snow-capped, tinged pinky-grey almost indistinguishable from the clouds. The colour of the lake was an indescribable bluey / slate grey / pink and the sky was almost the same colour. Just breath-taking and one of those scenes you don't want to forget. I tried to take some photos, but I don't think they'll do it justice. Even though there were other people up there, it was really peaceful, and it seems as though you're just surveying the whole of the world beneath you.
I didn't want to leave, but then realised I only had 7 minutes to run for the train down the mountain. I caught the train, but the ticket machine ate my 20 Franc note, and wouldn't give it back :-(
The Uetliberg has to be one of my favourite places, and I'm going to try and walk it twice a week in the evenings. We are so lucky to live so close to it! London just doesn't compare...