As a child I was forced by my father to weed his fruit and vegetable garden. That was uncomfortable, boring and for me quite senseless. I would have preferred to play with colleagues, instead of making a contribution to the economic success of my father, the hobby gardener. His successes were also mixed and it seemed to me that that the cost far outweighed the benefit. Once condemned to gardening, there was no escape. Continue reading
The Pfingsteggbahn cable railway is celebrating its 50th anniversary on 2 July 2017. The prices are the same as in 1967: Fr. 3.60 single, Fr 5.40 return. A bargain. Everything else is free: the view of the Eiger, the mountain air, friendly and down to earth locals, a calmness that is missing in city dwellers, the fantastic view down to the valley, the toboggan run, the play area, the bells of small goats grazing, the mountain bar and perhaps a few yodlers practicing. Continue reading
Cycling along the wild Maggia in Tessin we enjoyed with my youngest the day off, the warm sun, the fresh air and the scent of summer. There is always something to discover and so it was not long before after half an hour my youngest stopped by a stone mosaic beside the cycle trail. Continue reading
I have three children, since the last millennium a full-time position and a demanding, satisfying job. You could say I have succeeded in finding and living the hotly discussed work-life balance. Continue reading
It was an incredibly beautiful warm afternoon in late May. I was walking home slowly. A luxury. Normally I rush to get home on time, but today my youngest had gone swimming with colleagues and I knew he would come home late. There was no need to hurry. No-one was waiting for me.
I crossed the market square and observed the blossoming trees in all their glory. The air smelled of a mixture of lime blossom, grasses and slightly sweet. It wasn’t at all overpowering, but inviting and soothing. My soul and my body were in wonderful harmony and I was enjoying the moment of peace of mind.
This unique harmony was suddenly interrupted by a scolding, childish voice. The tone was lecturing, bossy and almost aggressive. The words were rough, harmful and some even vulgar. Continue reading
My youngest (10 years old) had expressed the wish to visit the highest church tower in the world. He said it was in Ulm. I had never been to Ulm, let alone known that there was an architectural sacred jewel there that in addition was even the highest on this earth. My youngest is usually interested in Lego and he has already expressed the wish to visit Legoland. Up to now he has never wanted to climb a distant church tower.
Obviously I drove there, although it takes more than 2 hours by car. Firstly I was also curious and secondly I wanted to support his interest in architecture. Both of us like climbing and the idea of conquering the highest church tower was more than attractive.
And honestly, if you have never been to Ulm, I can only recommend it. Ulm Minster is something you have to have seen. It is imposing, beautiful and has an enormous capacity for 20,000 people. You have to imagine that, when the foundations were laid, it didn’t have so many inhabitants. That’s as if today Zürich built an auditorium for two milllion visitors.
First we visited the interior of the minster. One has an overwhelming feeling, when one sits there and feasts one’s view on all the statues, images and wooden figures. The space feels airy and lends the soul wings. I was very taken by the wooden figures on the choir stalls. We wandered from one to the other and studied them. We wondered who were the people illustrated there, what were their fates?
Actually that was only the prologue to the climb. And the climb was something else. The tower is 161 m high. The next highest tower is the church tower in Cologne with 157m, followed by the one in Strasbourg (142 m) and Vienna with almost 137m (which we have already climbed with my youngest). To us it looked like a competition for: „Who builds the highest tower“.
Even if then the motives were perhaps not so noble, the result is breathtaking in two senses. To reach the tower, one has to take the stone staircase step by step. 768 steps until the top up to the tiny balcony at the very top, which is so narrow that standing aside is not possible without intensive body contact. This balcony is perhaps 150 metres above the ground and the steps are steep. Even if one’s condition is not the best, the motivation to reach the top and look out over the city from the highest point lends one wings. I believe that I have a head for heights, but this narrow staircase with the windows and the view for many kilometres made you overcome the unease. It would not have entered my head to give up, but keeping up with the tempo of my youngest was really a challenge. And he was driven only by the thought of arriving at the top as quickly as possible.
The distant view from the small balcony is phenomenal. Not much is left of the old town, because on 17.12.1944 the allies reduced the city to rubble and ashes. The minster remained unscathed. If that wasn’t intentional!!
After the descent my left knee signaled that I had overstressed it. From the conversations around me I gathered that it had nothing to do with my age, but the others, who had also made the climb, were just as bad. It felt as if I were using the ancient sewing machine of my great-grandmother, on which one had to tread regularly in order to be able to sew at all. My knee was trembling and so made a funny, uncontrollable movement. Fortunately only for a short time.
In the nearby monastery garden Weiblingen, this weekend the middle ages had unfurled. And so we concluded our trip with archery, jugglers, mediaeval music, making pergament, prophecies with mice and many other enjoyable things. We didn’t really want to return home and back to the present. But just as the towers do not grow up to heaven, the fun also comes to an end somewhere.
The Béjart Ballet was in town. That is an experience that I never miss. Béjart exceeds one’s expectations and time and again succeeds in surprising me. It is like a meeting with another dimension. It is perfection, it is essential pure art, the realisation of music and movement, which attracts me. Continue reading