01 March 2007

Fondue Tram!

Last night was the much anticipated ride on the Mobile Fondue Feast through the streets of Zürich.

We had reservations for the 5:30 pm tram, which left promptly from the Bellevue tram stop. After all, the Swiss transportation system always leaves on time. We were warned to be there before the scheduled departure or it would depart without us. We heeded the warning and arrived by 5:15 pm.

We were seated quickly and given our welcome drink of Orange Juice in champagne glasses...

Then the tram was on its way.

The route kept to the central part of Zürich. At first we were a bit disappointed as we had expected more of a tour of the city. However, we realized that with food and drinks on the tables, not to mention an open flame, perhaps going up and down hills was a bad idea! Once you take out the hills, you are limited in how far you can roam.

I had first tried to get reservations for the 8:00 pm fondue tram as 5:30 is a tad early for dinner. However, the Fondue Tram is a very popular ride and all other dates and times were already booked. But in the end I was glad it worked out the way it did.

First off, fondue is quite a dense meal. You end up with a large lump of cheese solidifying in your stomach. You want a fair amount of time between fondue and bedtime to digest as much of it as possible.

But the other reason we were glad is because it was huge fun to ride along the streets crowded with people hurrying home after work on a cold and wet day. The looks on the faces as we rode by were priceless! Truly.

In the past I have blogged about the Swiss habit of staring. On the advice of Ms. Mac and Greg I have started to smile and wave at the people who stare at me. (I highly recommend it. It's fun to see the reactions. Especially when you are on a train or a bus.) So GLH and I waved at all the people staring at us. For the most part, there was a moment of shock when they realized we were actually waving at them. But most laughed or smiled, and a few even waved back.

We did have one surprise. I was expecting it to be mostly tourists with a mixture of languages spoken. However, we were the only English speakers present and everyone else seemed to be speaking Swiss German. At least it was a form of German we could not understand and all of the announcements were in Swiss German. We were the only people who needed to ask for a separate translation after the announcements were finished. And I was very glad we did or we would have missed the information about the restroom break!

I suspect that it would need to be more locals than tourists as it is not advertised much except for one website and the Fondue Tram itself with a telephone number written on the side. People who are not from the area are unlikely to have heard of it.

So what about the fondue? It was quite delicious.

As you can see, we finished our pot...

...including the cheese that hardens on the bottom. Which I have to say was quite delicious on a bit of bread. They did offer to bring a second pot, and many tables accepted, but one was quite enough for two people.

For dessert they served a very simple dish of fresh pineapple with a lightly sweetened sauce. We have to remember that one as the acidity of the pineapple works very well as a digestive.

I would highly recommend the trip on the Fondue Tram. But you are out of luck right now as the last ride for the season was last night. It will not start again until next November.

However, I will post about it when they are taking reservations again in September or October. Perhaps we could get a group together for a Saturday evening ride! Anyone interested?


Impossible Jane said...

Hey, we had fondue last night too...but sadly it was not on a fondue train. Sounds fun.


The Big Finn said...

I think the hardened cheese on the bottom of the fondue pot is the best part of the meal!

Un-Swiss Miss said...

We had fondue on Sunday night. I had a friend visiting, and we wanted her to have an "authentic" experience.

That lovely crusty bit on the bottom is called a nun, by the way... (If my boyfriend isn't pulling my leg!)

Anonymous said...

That sounds like fun! Singaporeans do the same staring thing, particularly if you are Caucasian and blonde, so after a few weeks there my siblings and I held contests to see who could get the best "shocked" reaction. It was sadly fairly easy...

Unknown said...

That sounds like so much fun, not to mention too entertaining if you waved and got reactions.