The Long Way Up For Sorbet – ZH

going up uetliburg

This was my view last month. I was sitting on a rock along a muddy, vertical trail up to the top of Üetliberg (a mountain in the Swiss plateau). I was covered in mud as it had been raining for days prior, and I was hot. I hadn’t expected the sudden appearance of the sun and had dressed too warmly. I was also tired. David and I had decided to take the direct way up instead of the taking the train, or the easier, but longer paved road that wrapped around the mountain. The path we picked may have been theoretically shorter, but it was also harder, muddier, and probably less safe.

At the last clearing, we had run into a group of old Swiss men drinking beer in a make-shift house at the edge of the mountain. They told us we were close. We just had to go straight up and we shouldn’t have a problem as long as we had good shoes on. Our shoes were okay. Sensing my hesitation, they said we were young and as long as we go slow we could make it. I appreciated their optimism, but little did they know I was older and grumpier than they thought. Now sitting on a rock, overlooking Zurich, I was feeling very emotional. The end seemed impossible, and I felt defeated. It made me wonder why life had dumped me on a mountain in Zurich so far away from home. Sadness overtook me. Then I heard David ahead of me saying we were close, and I started climbing again. About twenty minutes later, we made it to the top. Civilization! At the top there was a hotel, a restaurant, a bar, and a bathroom! A hotel restaurant never looked so good.

cherry sorbet @ uto kulm

We sat in the outdoor section of the restaurant of Hotel Uto Kulm, and I scanned the menu for something cold. I decided on the Sorbet Sunset (CHF 14 / USD $14.72), cherry sorbet submerged in champagne, and a Coca Cola Light (CHF 5.20 / USD $5.47). It was just what I needed. The sorbet was cold, smooth, and studded with cherries. And because of the slightly bitter champagne, it didn’t taste too sweet. Also interesting was the fruit on top. It looked like a small tomatillo. I asked the waiter what it was, and he said it was a physalis (ground cherry, a distant relative to the tomatillo). He was surprised I didn’t what it was. He said it was very common there, and they put it on top of everything. I liked it. It had the texture of a tomatillo but a bit tart and sweet.

going up uetliburg

After the sorbet and drinks, we took a few photos and went back down. This time the paved way. And it made me think. The road less traveled is probably not always the wisest choice. Also, that cherry sorbet was pretty damn tasty.

Hotel Uto Kulm AG
8143 Uetliberg
Zurich, Switzerland
+41 44 457 66 66

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  1. hungry

    Oh dear, that reminded me of a climb I did in NZ. We asked the concierge if it was doable and they said yes, it was considered an easy trail. Hours later, sweat and exhaustion hit me. That was no easy climb for me and I struggled all the way to the top. Next time, taking the tram.

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