After an amazing house sit in Germany, it was time to move south to Switzerland. For our next European adventure, we spent a little over a week house sitting on Lake Zurich. We traveled 200 miles in a little less than four hours by bus to get from Karlsruhe to Zurich. Then another 20 minutes on a train (that cost about the same amount as our four hour bus ride!) to get to the lovely Swiss town of Männedorf.
I’ve always boasted that my home town in Idaho is the most beautiful place on earth. Upon arrival in Switzerland, I was forced to rethink my stance on the subject. Switzerland is hands-down the most stunningly beautiful place I have ever been. It is a country packed with tall mountains, lush hills, and crystal clear lakes. The streets are clean, the food is delicious, and the people are model-level beautiful.
Switzerland is located in central Europe and bordered by Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, France, and Italy. Because of this, the country actually has four national languages including German, Italian, French, and Romansh. While in Zurich, we mostly heard German, but even then there was a local dialect that is spoken among more than half of the population called Swiss German.
Männedorf is the most adorable little village, nestled on the shores of Lake Zurich about 13 miles south of the city. Scientists suggest that the area has been populated since the stone age. However, the first official settlement was established in the 700s! Now, the small village of around 12,000 people is one of the many agglomerations of the grand city of Zurich.
While house sitting on Lake Zurich, we had the pleasure of staying in a stunning hillside home. The main house (there was also an on-site office and a cottage apartment) had three bedrooms and two bathrooms, kitchen, large dining room, living room, gym, and an office. My favorite part of the home, however, was the deck and infinity pool overlooking Lake Zurich.
Our hosts were a married couple, a doctor and a photographer, and both of their personalities came through in the house. It was beautifully decorated with an artist’s eye for colors and negative space. Much of the space was dedicated to physical and mental health, including a meditation room, sauna, and an organic vegetable garden.
We had the privilege of meeting the hosts both before and after the sit. They were a remarkable couple that really inspired us to live healthier lives and use our strengths to do some good in the world. We were served a delicious local meal upon our arrival and shared some great conversation over drinks.
Charlie was a doll who became instantly attached to Josh. I once tried to take him on a walk without Josh but Charlie just refused to go. He was loyal and loving. His favorite things were sleeping near the windows and following Josh. Charlie slept under Josh’s feet while he worked, next to him on the floor when we watched tv (specifically, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo), and even snuck upstairs to sleep on the floor near the bed. Those two were inseparable.
If Charlie was “Josh’s dog” then Tiffy was definitely “my dog”. She was the cutest thing and would tip tap behind me everywhere I went. I’d like to think it is because she liked me as much a Charlie liked Josh, but I think it was more because she knew I was the one who served dinner. She enjoyed snoozing on her bed and treats. Tiffy didn’t beg for pets very often, but when she did, I loved the way she would squirm and wiggle to get every little bit of attention.
Like most of the places we visit, we made some adjustments to our usual schedules to better fit our new home. For this house sit, we added a lot more health-focused activities to our daily routine. We did meditation daily and found it to really improve our productivity and happiness. Josh used the gym regularly and I could often be found relaxing in the garden.
Although the weather was a bit off and on, we walked and explored each day. We loved the area and the kindness of the neighbors. Our favorite bakery was only a few blocks away and it didn’t take long for the cashiers to begin to recognize us. We toured just about all of the area and even made a couple of trips up to Zurich and south to the old town of Rappersville. There was so much to see and we made every effort to see it all. We didn’t, of course, but we still had an amazing time.