Bahnofstrasse – the pleasures of life, defined…

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Strasse in German means street. And by no means is Bahnofstrasse just a street. It is, to put it more mildly, a burst of great shopping experience, people watching and a gentle walkathon, café-hopping, restaurant-indulging, all put together. Right across the bustling Zurich HB station, lies the very famous Bahnofstrasse, with a wide main lane that is traversed every other second by trams going up and down,  and also  by the many by-lanes where classy boutiques of known designer brands, not-so-known-designer shops, hypermarkets, boutique hotels, a pure-vegetarian  restaurant and cafes that offer affordable bites and a beverages, jostle for foot-fall – and they get it all.

At any given point of time of a year, there are sales going in at least some of the outlets here. One word about the sale here – it’s an absolutely wonderful experience. Be it hand bags, shoes, accessories, or apparels, the design factor is defined by pure elegance and sheer style.

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Even on a non-sale time, it would be worth to invest in clothes that are sold in the boutiques as they are known for their time-less elegance and their long-lasting endurance. Yes, they come with an expensive price tag but that’s the price you give for a good brand and design right, ladies?

The Bahnofstresse is easy on legs since the weather ranges from cool, to cold, to extremely cold and metabolically speaking, walking does get better in colder weather.

The walk is made easier by the eye-catchy shops on either side. While summer is the time of sale and tourists, spring also heralds more people out into the street.

You could walk through the bye-lanes that stretch out from Bahnofstrasse and reach out to any place – it could be another street, or it could take you to river-quay side or to the cathedral square, but you wont be stranded nor would you feel lost. You need to get into one of those delightfully efficient trams and go to the place of your choice if you know where to get off that is, or  get back to Bahnofstrasse or to  Zurich HB bus station from where you could go anywhere – by train, tram or bus.

There are easy indicators at the bus and tram stops on the tram numbers and the direction they will be going to. You can even ask the driver of the tram to know if you are in the right tram or not. The 24 or 72 hours Zurich pass that you should buy gets you unlimited rides on tram, train or bus for that period. Just don’t forget to validate your pass before you board for your first journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few shops you mustn’t miss here:

B’strasse has a couple of H&M stores, besides Coop (has everything that you would have dreamt of inventing or owning) Jemoli store (for sports items and other accessories that make you stand out)
Glob us store, Manor (another Coop-kind of multi-level store which is has an awesome array of everything), Bucherer AG (for designer watches), and an array of shops that catch your attention that sell, clothes, accessories like handbags, scarves, bracelets, chokers, belts etc. And when you get tired of shopping, the Movenpik ice-cream stall in front of Coop which is busy at any given time of a summer day, is an ideal watering hole. Or if you so prefer, there are many cafes that dot the street. You could also pick your choice of beverage and bite from the hypermarkets like Coop and assemble your meal in one of the tree-shaded rest areas.

If you are in a mood for an Asian or Indian vegetarian fare, then head to Hiltl which nestles close to Coop in Bahnofstrasse, for a tasty but expensive bite. But it’s every bite worth it!

And last but not the least, you MUST VISIT the Sprungli store. The ultimate haven for every good thing baked, ice-creams, hot chocolate and some great cookies and quiches.

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And while you are at Sprungli, am sure the sight of Macaroons won’t leave you with any other choice than buying a box full of it!

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<a href="Photos of Sprungli, Zurich
This photo of Sprungli is courtesy of TripAdvisor” title=”here’s a close-up of the Luxemburgerli”>here’s a close-up of the Luxemburgerli

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Holy Macaroon…!!!!

Holy Macaroon...!!!!

Zurich has the best of this. Melts in the mouth with a soft crunch….ahh the pleasures of Zurich…..

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Laugh….its good for you….

Laugh....its good for you....

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Phil in India

I found the narrative humorous. So, sharing…..

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Nostalgia series – Chennai….

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Come December and Chennai glows. Seriously…the place glows…the greenery has a velvet tinge…the morning hue is mild and gentle…the afternoon sings a secret lullaby…the evenings are pristine and divine and the nights are spiritual…

I had the opportunity of spending three peaceful weeks in Chennai during one December, a couple of years ago, and we, hubby, kids and me, decided to stay in New Woodlands near which is the famous Music Academy.

If Chennai glows during December Woodlands glows all through the 365 days. The small temple inside the Woodlands hotel premise and the small little convenient store make the place even more endearing.

Morning dosas and idlis later we would walk to the nearby market place and hop into an auto rickshaw to go to the City Centre Mall (thats another story) or Spenser Plaza (nothing can take the charm away from this monument) or the new Express Avenue. Whiling time away in these malls is one of the simplest things in life to do. Window shopping, people watching (I can write four volumes on this itself), binge eating…cafe hopping, book-store rampaging…..list is pretty long.

…and then as the sun goes down, its back to the premises of the good old Woodlands. On days there are weddings, which is like every other day, the entire place wears a festive look and we could witness the typical wedding scenes of a Tam-Brahm (Tamil Brahmin) household,  with  typical scenes….different age groups of uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces, joking and laughing around…the grandfather, grandmothers, grandaunts and granduncles, participating in the gaiety with as much glee as the youngsters…the fragrance of the jasmine that is used to decorate the bride’s braid and everyone Else’s, mixed with the yummy food aroma….hmmmm…it was heaven!

We used to just hang around in the vicinity as would any other hotel guest just to relive the moments.

December also necessarily means the music season. It is then a great moment of musical knowledge when you go for lunch at the hotel. Since the hotel was very close to the Music Academy, the music lovers after the concert would straight head to Woodlands and in groups would occupy the tables and discuss the concert. I used to find it highly entertaining! Along with ragas, the mamas and mamis would also lavish praise on the tomato rasam, potato roast or the payasam served in their thali. To be in that age group, to be able to enjoy the joys of life, to be able to share that joy with similar-minded people, seemed like the ideal life, at least for me.

Before December wore away and the musical season ended, we said good-bye-till-we-meet-again to Chennai one Friday afternoon when we loaded our stuff in the Innova heading to Bangalore. The tree-filled Woodlands, the tiffin room rollicking with food-goodies and good-foodies who loved their grub, the small temple with the wafting fragrance of sandalwood agarbathis and the jasmine garlands waiting to adorn Ganesha’s neck, the convenient store that used to be second home (after the hotel room) for my kids and the simple joys around, refused to leave our mind for a long long time.

Like we said, till we meet again Chennai…

Bangalore was slowly coming into view as the dusk settled into darkness. The distant silhouette of dancing lights, and the motorcycles with guy-girl  combo zipping past us, said just one thing: This is Bangalore…this is THE Bangalore… on Bangalore, then the next post….

 

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Circa 2009

Circa 2009

Worries never worried me….

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Simple vegetarian recipes (for Tambrahms from Kerala)

On a quiet day, the yearning is for a simple yet tasty food and where else would you look than the taste-filled pages of a palakkad cook’s diary!

Of course, the easiest is what we call, mulagoolam…

Goes like this:

Butter-milk or laban as it is called in the ME lingo is the best but if you have a can full of curds, take 3 ounces of it, beat it to good thick yet thin consistency (you know what I mean, dont you?). Keep aside.

Now take a kadai or cheenachatti (remember??), keep in low flame, and when it is sufficiently hot, add til oil, (before you take the kadai, keep ready turmeric powder, crushed black pepper (5 for three fluid ounce of beaten curds) and mustard seeds. Now what happens next has the rhythm  of a symphony  – add mustard seed to the oil, as it splutters, add turmeric powder and crushed pepper and within two seconds, add the beaten curds (dont forget to add salt to the beaten curds) and immediately switch off the stove.

Ready in flat 10 mts!

Have it with hot rice…a little ghee added to the rice will add more flavour to the food.

Next, Bread Balls:

Very simble…

Take the left over bread.

Add a little water and knead it.

Add sugar, and grated fresh or desiccated coconut. Make balls out of it.

Deep fry it in oil. Voila! Tasty bread balls ready!

If you want a salty flavour, instead of sugar, add salt, a pinch of hing, ground green chillies and onion, and proceed as explained above.

Yummy! (of course, this has nothing to do with the Tambrahms.)

Arachukalakki:

You get best results if you use fresh coconut.

Pick four/ five pickled mangoes, or half-ripe fresh mangoes, or a few pieces of cucumber, carrot and other veggie pieces from the Lebanese pickle that you get in supermarkets.

Add three medium spoons full of fresh coconut to this, three green chillies and grind to a smooth paste.

Add this paste to fresh beaten-curds. Splutter mustard and 1 red  chilly in oil and garnish over this.

Good on a good-summer day! This, rice and vazhakkai mezhukkupuratti is great combo.

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