by Jane Shivers
Telluride and towns in Switzerland have a lot in common; gorgeous scenery, challenging skiing, clean air, great food, and a reputation for being a bit pricey.
We are in Zurich often on business. It is a beautiful city with eye candy galore on its cobblestone streets; boutiques, parks, churches, trams, sidewalk cafes. Women and men here dress well. Clothes come from Italy, Germany, and England and even women pushing babies about in fancy strollers look as though they just stepped out of a photo fashion shoot. I am almost certain I saw a Prada handbag on a tiny baby wrist yesterday.
Food here is amazing. Fresh. Local. Everywhere. For lunch yesterday I ordered a simple green salad with chicken and green tea. The bill was around $35 US. I will never view lunch at Rustico’s as expensive again.
I saw a handbag in a store window that was really good looking. I went in and examined it and then asked the saleslady its price. Thirteen thousand Swiss francs she said without batting an eye. That is $14,390.09. I am not sure what animal gave its life for that bag but it must have been something rather exotic. Next time I’m in Telluride I think I’ll pick up a couple of handbags at Two Skirts. What a bargain they are.
Socks. Why am I here without socks? It gets pretty chilly here in the evenings just like autumn in Telluride. So I headed to Globus, the department store, to pick up a couple of pair. Wow. These better be darn good socks. They cost a bunch of Swiss francs. It might have been more frugal to have Scarpe send me a few pairs by Fed Ex.
Thank goodness they make great wine here in Switzerland. We do consider it a good deal.
There are some other things that truly are bargains. One is health care. I had Swine flu here two years ago and went to a wonderful clinic that is in a shopping mall called Sihl City. The clinic is on the third floor across from a large pet store. It is very Swiss looking—white walls, all staff wearing all white, clean and efficient. I waited a very short time. Two doctors examined me, gave me a bunch of tests, spent lots of time explaining everything, gave me meds to take home and the entire visit and meds was around $100 US. In the States it probably would have been days before anyone could see me, I would have had to go to several locations for tests, and no telling what it would have cost. Oh, and stand in line at CVS contaminating all people around me. The mail would have been full of envelopes for months from various entities saying, “This is not a bill”. Huh? If you travel in Europe, try to hold off getting sick until you hit Switzerland. They do healthcare really well.
Traveling around the city and the country is very easy and inexpensive. You can apply for a special card and travel half price on trains and trams. And believe me, the trains do run on time. To the second. Not free like the Goose or the Gondola, but a pretty good deal. Most people here bike or walk, even in those expensive Italian clothes, which must be why they are out in droves in the afternoon having coffee and whipped cream- filled desserts. You don’t see many chubby Swiss.
There are still black truffles abounding on the menus. Veal with cream sauce and black truffles. Unbelievably delicious. The dinner tab is approximately the cost of a new sofa in America. Makes one appreciate the food and tab at 221 and Cosmo.
Can’t wait to get back to our little mountain village, Telluride, over the holidays. TelSki lift tickets look like a real deal compared to Swiss skiing. Who knew 81435 was such a bargain destination.