This blue marble

– and yet it spins

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A glitch in time

zurich-3Just for a moment I slipped in-between the seconds of time. I was not happy nor sad. Not awake nor asleep. There was no sun nor shadows. Nothing brand new and nothing very old. Nobody coming or going. Nothing beginning or ending. Just an old tree and a lady reading underneath it.

I wish there were more of these in-between moments, these glitches in time.

(Zurich, Switzerland; February 2018)

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Cocktails above Zurich

zurich-1In the middle of Zurich, high up in the Urania observatory, there is a panorama bar. It looks a little like an old water tower from the outside. And it can be so busy on the inside that one barely can take in one’s surroundings, which somehow are supposed to have something to do with Jules Verne’s stories. Fortunately the windows are large.

And fortunately the views are great. Because the drinks at the Jules Verne are quite pricey.

(Zurich, Switzerland; February 2018)

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Swiss cheese

fondueThere are no holes in Swiss cheese in its proper form: melted into a fondue pan, and mixed with white wine and a hint of garlic. In this form it is solid, warming energy on a cold winter’s day. Fat and carbs galore (because oh, all the bread served!).

There are three tricks to survive this bonanza AND feel good: 1) sparkling water; 2) digestive enzymes, or 3) a shot of something afterwards. This time I had no pills and did not request sparkling water – and thus was offered cherry schnapps afterwards. At least it was past noon – barely.

(Zurich, Switzerland; February 2018)

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Saturday chilling by Zurichsee

zurich-6If you are a waterfowl spending your winter on the Zurichsee you are bound to have stomach cramps and indigestion from all the bread on offer. But perhaps there are worse ways of spending a winter.

Feeding birds is an odd phenomenon. Where did it start? Why not feed the fish like the Japanese? Do we do it because it makes us feel serene and in connection with Nature, or because it makes us feel good to help other creatures? Or because it makes us feel powerful over small creatures of Nature? And why do most people feed birds with something not really intended for their stomachs at all?
zurich-5(Zurich, Switzerland; February 2018)

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Les Halles

leshalles-2Les Halles in Zurich is not like Les Halles in Paris. Its is much better. Sure, you get Moules (mussels) there, too, but the feeling is that of a food hall and not of a modern shopping center.

There even are bicycles and sneakers hanging from the ceiling, to create that “authentic hipster feeling” (is that an oxymoron by the way?).

The moules were excellent. The food is cheap. Only cash is accepted. Do book before you go.leshalles(Zurich, Switzerland; February 2018)


Zurich, one restaurant at a time

zurich“You have such a fabulous job!” “You get to see the most cool innovations, and so many places!” “Sounds like so much fun!”

These are common comments when people hear what I do. Yes, it’s fun. But it is also very many f**k-o’-clock early mornings on the airport, many hotels that all feel the same, and many taxis. Sometimes I snap to consciousness in a taxi, unsure of what language I should use. Often I remember the previous hotel room number and try to break in to the wrong room.

I try my best to see the new cities I visit, but sometimes it is just not possible. As an example let’s take Zurich. I have visited the geographical location about 4-5 times. 2-3 times due to a layover at the airport, with no time to go see town. 2 times I got to go to town, where I saw the city center pass by the taxi window on the way to the hotel and the Six Swiss Exchange. I saw a river. Twice. Yay. I had some Tannenkäse. Absolutely amazing. But the most I have seen of Zurich is 2 local restaurants, one for each visit.

That’s it. Can I say I have been to Zurich? Probably not really. Perhaps next year I should try to squeeze in a weekend stay-over. And lots more Tannenkäse.

I posted a photo above. I suppose I should tell you which restaurant I went to this time. I forget. My apologies. Maybe next time.

(Zurich, Switzerland; February 2017)

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Perfect weather to fly (part II)


Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air… .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

(John Gillespie Magee, Jr)

alpsair-1(Above the Swiss Alps; February 2016)

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Grüezi from Zürich!

zurich-1There was wind. There was rain. Wet gusts pushing our airplane sideways. “Landing in 10 minutes”, the captain said over the intercom. “Really?” I said to myself. The ground plunged up through the dark and I saw the lights of the airport. And then full throttle forward and upward, back into the sky. Apparently we had blown off the runway. “Misapproach, landing in 6 minutes”, the captain again spoke, cool as ice. I saw dozens of blinking lights: airplanes circling the airport, trying to land.

We managed to hit the runway in a controlled fashion. Some flights were diverted to other airports. And all were late. Grüezi Zürich, thank goodness you offered me a big chunk of Tannenkäse and a glass of port to cool my nerves.zurich-2(Zurich, Switzerland; February 2016)