After several trips to Zurich with more sun than one can wish for we were bound to have bad luck with rain and moody weather one of these days. On my five-day trip to Zurich and the surrounding area in February, luck was definitely not on our side. Every day provided cloudy, gloomy, and quite depressive weather. But worry not in these situations - if you have the best people surrounding you, things will get memorable and quite fun nonetheless.
I was visiting my best friend for her birthday and we had quite the plan: to go hiking! Yes, very fun activity for a birthday week you might think, but that's just how we roll! (not really, it was my very first time hiking "seriously" and february might not have been the best time to start doing so in the first place) well, what can you do. I had bought perfect and expensive new hiking boots to take on the Zurich region.
We arrived and it was pouring. Determined as hell however, we decided to head up towards the Uetliberg within Zurich to start a moderate tour despite the rain and wind.
Once we got up to our starting point we were almost content weather-wise as it looked like it was clearing up a bit and one could assume that there must in deed be a sun out there somewhere. Under these false impressions we headed on a two-hour tour which ended at our starting point. What we forgot: the calm before the storm. About half way in we got ourselves into the worst storm with high winds and such heavy rain and hail that it hurt. Naturally, we were completely drenched within minutes and had little to no shelter from the storm. We tried making it back as fast as possible, but walking up-hill with such wind-forces is not that easy!
We did manage to fight ourselves back and ran into a cute little summit station with a restaurant where we threw ourselves and our drenched clothes against the huge oven in the center of the room. The staff smiled at us, wondering how the hell we thought it was a good idea to go out that day. The "Apfelstrudel" (apple strudle cake) was a welcoming treat however, and we started to have a big laugh about the whole trip. It will always be a unique memory, that's for sure.
I did manage to take some nice pictures during the first half of our hike. Despite the moody weather, the images are quite nice but don't capture the dramatic scene entirely. The light and heavy clouds were quite picturesque and the landscape was beautiful. We had some nice overview of the city down below and the huge Zurich Lake stretching towards the alps. When it started to storm so heavily I had to tuck away my camera, so no photos of that spectacle. All of the photos below were taken while the weather was still "good"!
The above two pictures are after the storm had cleared and we had a nice view over Zurich and the beautiful lake before taking heading back down.
Despite our weather-condition, the hike was actually quite fun. Probably in hind-sight more than when it actually happened. But I do recommend to check out the Uetliberg whenever you are in Zurich if you want to head out a bit and walk some paths along a moderate mountain directly in Zurich with quite pretty views.
NAMES AND NUMBERS
– Üetliberg Zurich | mountain in the Swiss Plateau as part of the Albis chain | rises to 869 meters and great views over the city and the lake, with the alps as a panoramic scene in the background | you can hike towards the Üetliberg Tower, from where you will have another great elevated view. we did not make it there unfortunately as we had to turn around and head back due to the storm. Next time.