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Down In The Valley

So the schools are open again, the city is busier and back to normal. So now’s the time to get out of town again. One of the great things about the end of the summer holiday season is that traffic at the Gotthard tunnel eases and the journey down to the Ticino becomes bearable.  A few weeks ago (via a series of adventures i won’t bore you with here but involving a bass guitar and five bottle of red wine) i found myself travelling up the Maggia Valley and in the beautiful village of Maggia itself. Now Switzerland is more full of beauty spots than a pomegranate has pips but this place near to the village of Maggia literally took my breath away. A short walk north of the village takes you along the Riale Salto and to a place where the river cascades over the rocks and falls into a pool 50 metres below. It really is a spectacular scene and whilst there was a small number of people it felt unspoilt. Of course, i had to swim in the pool and under the waterfall. Amazingly fresh and went along way to curing the ailments caused by the previous nights wine.  parrocchiemaggia.ch  Above the waterfall is the beautiful Capela Da La Pioda which commands amazing vies over the valley and the stone bridge which crosses the Riale Salto. As usual, i did it all back to front but i would recommend heading up the path to the top and then finishing of your short hike with a dip in the pool under the waterfall.  Of course, there is a short cut which this chap here took. I wouldn’t recommend it though… If you get a chance, check this place out now the holidays are over and the weather is still good. A beautiful place to visit.

Go To Hellas

Having spent a good deal of time in Greece i fell in love with the culture, the people but above all the food. I love Greek food but have found that my enthusiasm is not shared by everyone. Too greasy, too boring,  too unhealthy… But who knows, maybe you like Tzatziki and Dolmades as much as i do. If you do, then i am sharing some of my favourite Greek restaurants with you. If you don’t then you have eight new places in which to discover Greek cuisine. καλή όρεξη! Oh My Greek: Zorba The Newcomer Every time i see the food truck of Oh My Greek at the Zurich Openair or the Christmas village on the Sechseläutenplatz a smile immediately crosses my face. My taste buds go into overdrive with anticipation of the delicious Pita Gyros and the Halloumi fries. Recently owner Nikos and his son Alexandros opened their first restaurant in Lochergut and I think I will soon be a regular guest. See you there. Kalkbreitestrasse 1, 8003 Zürich  Le Beaujolais: Zorba The Generous   I still haven’t worked out whether this Greek taverna is called L&P oder Le Beaujolais but, as the latter would be a strange name, i think i’m just going to think of it as L&P. What is important is that there a very varied menu which caters for every palate and the portions are huge. I recommend trying the appetiser plate which gives you a chance to try the spectrum of greek cuisine.  Seefeldstrasse 167, 8008 Zürich Nikos: Zorba The Hospitable When I visit Nikos Taverne in the Letzigraben I feel as if I am taking part in a Greek family dinner. Landlady Voula and the rest of the team are very hospitable and always available for a short chat (for example about the most beautiful spots in Greece or the new look of her restaurant, which has recently been completely renovated). My favourite dish is the Pita Gyros and the grill dishes. If you fancy a cheap meal out, the lunch menu is a very reasonable 16 to 20 francs. Albisriederstrasse 181, 8047 Zürich   Taverna Apollo: Zorba The Cozy «Live today, because tomorrow is another day.» With this motto the Taverna Apollo welcomes its guests from Thursday to Sunday in Schwamendingen. I have to agree with this because, with a glass of ouzo (usually offered if you behave nicely) in your hand, it is very easy to forget everyday worries. I especially recommend the lamb racks, which, if the weather is nice can be enjoyed in the garden. Überland Strasse 14, 8051 Zürich   YNOS: Zorba The Glamorous If you fancy a romantic dinner then i recommend the Ynos in Europalle. Although it is more expensive the dishes taste great and look fantastic, if you are the type of person that likes to instagram their food. If the restaurant is full and your lust for Tzatziki and Souvlaki needs to be slaked then the Bistro Yamas is next door. Don’t worry, it’s run by the same people. Europaallee 47, 8004 Zürich   Mythos: Zorba The Cheap   Whether you want to take away or eat in the restaurant eating at Mythos in Stauffacher is tasty and inexpensive. Furthermore, you have come to the right place if you are in the mood for a glass or ten of greek wine. Not only is the selection great but starts at a very reasonable 5.50 CHF per glass. Stauffacherstrasse 35, 8004 Zürich   V.P. Catering: Zorba The Gardener   At .P. Catering in District 4 you will not only find Greek food, but also the perfect place to enjoy it: a very cosy garden terrace. If you like, you can also order the individual dishes to take away and with the selection of local specialities (oils, wine, etc.) you have the chance to take a taste of Greece home with you.  Ankerstrasse 16, 8004 Zürich   Tavernaki Kalymnos: Zorba The Inside Tip   A wise man once said, Never judge a book by its cover! This restaurant does not have a website, nor does it look particularly inviting from the outside. Nevertheless, a visit to the Tavernaki Kalymnos is well worth it. Here you'll find well seasoned and authentic dishes, served in decent portions. If you're out with friends, I recommend the large meat or fish platters for sharing. Motorenstrasse 25, 8005 Zürich Did i miss one? If I did, leave a message in the comments↓↓↓↓↓

Keep Your Head Down, Bambi

US indie band Deerhunter have had a pretty chequered history. From the death of their bass player in a skateboarding accident to naming their first album, “Turn it up faggot,” in reference to a taunt thrown from the audience in one of their early live shows. This Wednesday they are stopping in Zurich to hit the stage at Bogen F. Check them out. Wednesday, Bogen F, Viaduktstrasse 97, 8005

Take Me To Volkshaus

This Monday the Volkshaus is hosting Irish singer/songwriter Hozier. Hozier hit the big time with his massive international hit, Take Me To Church and is touring the world and elsewhere in support of his latest record, Wasteland, Baby! Have a listen to his recent live performance at Youtube. Monday 7pm, Volkshaus, Stauffacherstrasse 60, 8004