It is an incredible day. The end of April and the temperature climbs above 25 degrees. Sunshine with a few hazy clouds. Nothing can stop me. Together with my youngest we pack our stand-up paddles and drive to Lake Zug. The access is ideal, straight from the parking lot into the water. Continue reading
On Sunday my youngest and I were out and about in the city with our scooters. We both enjoy that. We scoot aimlessly right through the city and discover something new. Two stone snakes high up on the facade, the exhibition «The Wolf in Switzerland” in the Zoological Museum, an amusing poster full of artificial teeth in the Weinbergstrasse. Continue reading
I like being a citizen. I have a high regard for the state, in which I live. I express my regard by fulfilling my duties, by paying the bill it sends me for its work on time and observing the laws it passes. I have a high regard for what it does, whether education, road building, security or health, to name only a few. Continue reading
What one immediately notices, is the exuberant kindness, which you meet wherever you go. Everyone seems to be very optimistic and almost enthusiastic. That feels good. I wonder whether depressions can be prevented by this collective optimism or whether it’s vice versa because those who suffer from a depression are drawn into the depths, because all around them are only people, who are in really good spirits.
Everything is more relaxed, aggression nowhere in sight, crowds (despite the queues) non-existent. The level of daily aggression is in Europe, and even in Switzerland, much higher than in Florida. This is very noticeable for example in traffic. In Zürich one is hooted at if one doesn’t move as soon as it’s green. In Florida on a four-lane road with heavy traffic without a sign of a pedestrian crossing, the traffic stops for pedestrians. Scarcely conceivable in Zürich.
In the lift there are polite discussions about who leaves last and people hold the door open for one another. No-one pushes and shoves anywhere. The queues at Cape Canaveral to visit the Kennedy Space Center were numerous and long, but nonetheless everything was very friendly and relaxed.
When I went swimming with my youngest in the sea, hardly more than 150m from the shore, a police boat turned up. I was rather anxious and expected an admonition or a warning that somewhere we had done something wrong. At least that is may experience with the maritime police in Europe. Jack the policeman was extremely nice, asked us if everything was OK and gave my son a little alarm light, in case he should get into an emergency.
When I rented a stand-up paddle I was recommended to wear a life vest (but of course willingly), but there was no obligation. That impressed me, because I believe that responsibility for me and my life is mine, not the state‘s. And of course without a life vest I would never have gone out. One NEVER knows!! But if I once were to do so, in Switzerland I would be fined, as soon as I was more than 300m from the shore. And I don’t think that’s right.
In the sea on the paddle I travelled with and through fishes. I have never seen so many fishes in open water as there. And then came a school of dolphins, who swam by only a few metres away from me. Medium-sized silvery fishes sprang vertically out of the water. The first surprised me and by all the rest I enjoyed their skills. And there were hundreds of birds, which were anything but shy and a few alligators, which I could see, but were fortunately very shy.
One is very prudish. During my whole stay I didn’t see a naked child on the beach or a topless female. Even in the Aircraft Museum, which we visited with my youngest, there were old planes decorated with big-bosomed beauties. One of these ladies displayed on a clock you could buy at the shop had her breasts covered with a sticker.
Here the toilets are called rest rooms, although for a rest they are totally unsuited.
New Year in Florida was great. Warm, many friendly people, who were all ready for a chat. Lights, attractions, music, many booths with food, drink and small gifts. There were fireworks and at midnight, instead of an apple as in New York, a pineapple was split open. Wonderful and very entertaining.
I can recommend Florida. Everyone can find something here. Entertainment and nature, peace and ramba-zamba, sport and culture, food, drink, sightseeing and beach, shopping. The weather and the people are right. The prices are at the higher end. But even with a small budget there’s a lot to discover.
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
Because it is quite a long distance, I sometimes drive him. It is actually a peaceful refreshing hour while I wait for him, because I can read the newspaper,undisturbed with a cup of coffee in my hand. I wait for him and then we drive home.
The last time I was surprised by music and discovered a gymnastic group. It looked very harmonious and rhythmic. I felt a desire to participate and decided the following week to give it a go.