Summer is party time. Are you ready to move your body this weekend? I got mine warmed up at Ricky Martin's concert last night. Boy, I realized that last time I had been to a concert people still swayed their lighters. That says it all, doesn't it?
Would you get those smartphone screens out of my face so I can see Ricky Martin's sexy moves, pliiiiiissss!
Anyway, there is some hot Latino music heading towards Switzerland this weekend. From Friday to Sunday, the streets surrounding Helvetiaplatz in Zurich will be colorfully decorated with Latin culture thanks to CALIENTE! the annual Latin Music Festival.
Every year in mid-June, Zürich is gripped by the Caliente fever, when the biggest festival of Latin-American culture in the German-speaking region takes place during a weekend. This combination of live concerts, dance floors, and a market is unique.
Admitteldy it's a wee hike from Lugano to Zurich but hey, now that the new "Autobahn" has opened and you don't need to drive along the Sihltal any longer you can be there in a 2 hour hop. So, go do something crazy this weekend. 250'000 people are expected this weekend to make their way to Helvetiaplatz and the grounds of the Kaserne to party in the open air within the city in a relaxed, tropical ambience, so it must be worth the trip.
The programme features many international live bands and dance shows, as well as plenty DJs and MCs. On the open-air stage at Helvetiaplatz, a colorful mix of well-known musicians and dance groups will give visitors a taste of Switzerland's Latin cultural scene. Lovers of Salsa, Brasil, Merengue, Bachata, Cumbia, Cuban Jazz, Timba, Rumba, Spanish Rock, Flamenco, Mambo and Reggae will be in seventh heaven. The colorful Mercado Mundial at Helvetiaplatz, covering an area of 32,000 sq.m will be bursting with more than 250 market stands, selling exotic drinks, spicy dishes and handicrafts.
While the majority of the festival is free and in a public area, several events do require tickets so be sure to check the Caliente website for special performances that require advance purchased tickets.
To render your weekend escape absolutely perfect book a room at the Seegarten Hotel which lies walking distance from the city center as is right next to the Seebad Utoquai, a public bath which is located on the eastern side of the lake and is housed in a historic monument dating back to 1889. For many Swiss, the "Badi" (local dialect) has been an integral part of their life for years or decades. It is a small world in itself. It offers fantastic sunsets, especially after the sky has been whimsical.
There is a small restaurant offering warm meals as well as a rich salad buffet. The northern (and nicest) end of the Badi is reserved for women, the southern side for men and the two central areas are mixed.
Yes, life is still a beach.