ZURICH Switzer­land

GT (UK) - - TRAVEL - WORDS jonathan wa­lik Zurich Pride Fes­ti­val takes place from 10-12 June 2016, zhpf.ch. Flash Party 2016 takes place on 13 Au­gust, an­gels.ch. For more de­tails visit zuerich.com/lgbt.

mood – sorry, not sorry – and trag­i­cally forced an early wrap-up un­til things got go­ing once more later that evening.

In terms of nightlife, there seemed to be a va­ri­ety of straight, gay and – for lack of a bet­ter term – gay-friendly bars. And with ev­ery­thing from all night sau­nas to multi-lev­elled clubs, this lit­tle city sure gives you all the op­tions. Af­ter ex­plor­ing a cou­ple of the lo­cal bars, we gained en­try into the ex­clu­sive Plaza Klub, which was hav­ing its weekly old school hip-hop night. Side note: Ger­man rap is bizarre/ hi­lar­i­ous. Prices were rea­son­able for such a place, but af­ter re­al­is­ing how much weight our wal­lets were los­ing, we de­cided to check Pride af­ter­party at renowned gay club X-Tra.

This is when things started to look a lit­tle more like the Pride par­ties we were used to see­ing. Not much cloth­ing, tat­toos, fast techno, sloppy kiss­ing and the odd cou­ple get­ting emo­tional was all clearly on dis­play in this three storey mon­ster club. The rest of the night is a blur, but we did even­tu­ally limp back to the com­fort of our ho­tel.

In Zurich, every­one walks with a pur­pose, all just qui­etly mind­ing their own busi­ness, while ag­gres­sion seems to be a trait longdis­carded. This at­ti­tude is per­fect for ex­plor­ing the town in the sun, but proved a lit­tle to the Pride cel­e­bra­tions. Be­ing more ac­cus­tomed to dozens of mus­cled danc­ing queens in G-strings lead­ing marches, it came as a bit of a sur­prise to see so many fam­i­lies and teenagers about. It turned out that the fam­ily friend­li­ness of the march was ac­tu­ally quite re­fresh­ing, and re­ally did al­low for an in­cred­i­bly di­verse group with high­lights, in­clud­ing a t-shirt with “I <3 MAMA + MAMI”, which melted even the cold­est of hearts. An es­ti­mated 10,000 peo­ple at­tended Zurich Pride, which is pretty amaz­ing con­sid­er­ing the small size of the place, but still much smaller com­pared to the mil­lion-strong of Lon­don Pride. Nev­er­the­less, if you’re look­ing to try a more in­ti­mate sort of Pride out­side the big cities, then Zurich is the per­fect al­ter­na­tive for a week­end away.

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