Beautiful Day in Zurich – Blog

April 20th

Our day started at 9:30am with the usual Swiss breakfast including the homemade whole wheat bread loafs and the many kinds of cereals, yogurts and my favorite, the fruit muesli. Joining that is the excellent café au lait to which I notice several addictions on our team and staff. For some reason I cannot seem to be able to have a morning without peanut butter and I am thankful that Hockey Canada has brought extra for us to share at breakfast, my own being since a long time gone.

At 10:05am precisely we left the hotel to walk to the train station in Winterthur to take a 10:28am train to Zurich. The train stations in Europe are impressive to many of us. I was lucky to travel throughout Italy last summer and really appreciated the train services there. Especially that the little driving experience I had in Florence, the wine country, Positano and the Amalfi Coast was enough to deter me from wanting to drive anywhere in Europe! And they say that the Québec drivers are crazy! I beg to differ!

The scenery on the train was astonishing and we truly were able to enjoy the magnificence of this country, not only for its city architectural buildings but also its green land. We arrived in Zurich about 20 minutes later. I walked around with Marie-Philip, Kim, Charline, and Catherine. We entered several stores but decided that it was quite expensive for our budgets! We walked towards the water and were able to have a good view on the city. It was beautiful. We also enjoyed our first Starbucks of the Month, going cold this time and choosing flavored frappuccinos to help us deal with the extreme heat of the day! I am exaggerating of course, it was about 20 degrees and sunny, the perfect day… unlike what we hear in Montreal where there are rumors of snow, sleet and rain. After being informed of the Montreal weather, the five of us decided to apply for Swiss Citizenship but were told we would only be accepted if we agreed to play hockey on Team Switzerland.

If you are interested in taking any of us on a coffee date here are the preferences:
Kim: Java Chip coffee Frappuccino Light
Cath: Caramel Frappuccino Light
Marie-Phil: Same as Cath, At Boston University they stick together!
Charlie: Vanilla Frappuccino Light… make sure you add an expresso shot
Caro: Coffee Frappuccino Light

By the way, the 5 drinks cost us close to 45 Swiss Francs! Since we received 15 francs each for per diem for lunch, we then had no choice but to beg for money in the hope of having lunch in Zurich. We decided that the most popular with the Swiss men population was Kim. Even though, she clearly displays her engagement ring, she seems to be getting the most smiles and acknowledgements by the locals than any of us.

For lunch, we stopped at a small place called Pik Nik, attracted by the sight of Asian food. Rolling around the upscale bar type seating section were sushi and sashimi rolls! We enjoyed tuna, shrimp, salmon, edamame, even eel and it was a nice change from our typical Swiss eating habits of the past weeks. Charlie and I were by pity voted out of the credit card contest for this lunch so the draw was between Marie-Philip, Cath and Kim! Cath was the winner this time. I do not feel too bad as I expect Cath to be rich sooner than later as she is a very bright mind and is finishing her business master from Boston University in a few weeks!

We returned to our hotel around 3pm and some settled for a nap, others for a tanning session outside! We are really starting to get good colors. Such a change from our usual trips to the north of Europe where we are lucky if we see the sun for a few hours!

At 5:30pm it was time to meet again for a team dinner in a traditional Swiss restaurant. Some of our rookies, Tara Watchorn and Jenn Wakefield needed to be given a time-out for delirious laughter. I would like to blame it on the excessive shopping for the day using at ease their parents’ credit cards! Both came back with a new wardrobe. They are smart, they know that they can abuse a little as their parents are so proud of them for being selected for a world championship for the first time. I remember those days and I sure also used that tactic! Thank you mom and dad!

We started our meal by enjoying Swiss cheese fondue with bread and salad. Then came rice, delicious hashbrown, and a breaded ham-pork-cheese cordon bleu Swiss specialty I had never had in my life. But it was amazing! Always great to experience something you will never be able to cook. We shared ice cream for dessert and could not help but think that our hosts must be impressed about just how much women hockey players can eat. At dinner, our rookie goalie coach Sébastien was fooled by the traditional under the table butter on the shoe but refused to sing us a song because he was too embarrassed! And rumors are that he is the same guy who put tooth paste on some of our door handles to fool several of the girls! Pay back tonight from the girls!

Tomorrow, we are back on the ice for practice! Our next game is only Saturday, which is a long time to wait unfortunately. Sweden will face Finland in the traditional European rivalry for a spot in the semi-final against us. It should be a great game. The surprising Swiss team will either play Russia or Slovakia in the other quarter final game for an occasion to meet the U.S. We will use the next two days to improve on some of our team systems and work to stay sharp for our last two games of the tournament.

Thank you for reading!