In the run-up to Easter, it is a downright bonus to fly to a country known for its chocolates. With so many choices on where to savor famed Swiss chocolates, on my layover in Zürich I took a three hour walk along both sides of the Limmat River to soak it all in, and be treated to over-the-top, spring window displays from a citizenship celebrating the end of another long, and cold, Swiss winter.
Everywhere I turned, there were bunnies, or chicks, or eggs, or flowers, or Swiss chocolates, many in shapes every size imaginable, in virtually every store, and, of course, in the Swiss chocolate houses of Sprüngli, Teuscher, and Steiner. The windows, saturated with riotous floral beauty, speckled with chocolate bunnies throughout, made it a feast for the eyes as lush abundance stuffed the window fronts; these are the window displays that become the inspiration for wedding and party planners who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to create a floral fantasyland for a bride. I was confident my favorite confiserie in Zürich, Péclard, would have window displays that defied all expectations. Péclard’s offerings of fresh, mouth-watering pastries, handmade chocolates, fresh flowers, and bunnies, bunnies, bunnies were a visual treat and sensory delight as I sat outside drinking a cup of café au lait, slowly savoring their fresh chocolate truffles.
All through the Old Town, bookstores, home decor stores, gourmet food and wine stores, restaurants - all managed to display something to resonate loud and clear Easter and the advent of spring weather, almost three weeks into the spring season. Even along the famed financial powerhouse Bahnhofstrasse, storefronts had every variation and persuasion of Easter bunnies: floral, paper, metal, glittered papier-mâché, and, of course, chocolate. The entry to one of the discreet Swiss banks along Bahnhofstrasse had tall, thin, metal bunnies sitting upright, guarding the entrance like sentry soldiers at Ali Baba’s cave. At the department store Wenberg, one block from Hermès and Prada, the mannequin showcasing women’s clothes stood surrounded by bunnies, in matching colors, no less. Along the Bahnhofstrasse, these are the stores where clients can buy not only the clothes shown, but all the bunny displays too, if they wanted. One of the jewelry stores had football sized gold eggs upright amongst the diamond necklaces.
The next morning leaving Zürich, more chances to buy Easter bunny chocolates were throughout the airport. I stopped at Sprüngli. I couldn’t resist; I bought more.