Switzerland — Wädenswil (Zug), October 25-28, 2014

My final destination for the day is Wädenswil, a little town overlooking Zurich Lake. It’s about 30 minutes by train from Zurich. My friend Kaisu, whom I met in a German course in 1983, meets me at the station.

After we drop my suitcases and grab something quickly to eat, we’re off to the opening of one of her friends, a painter by the name of Francine (Franzi) Laux. Franzi is showing in an old industrial building with a couple of other artists. The venue is very cool, but way off the beaten path. I’ve met Franzi before, and Kaisu has several of her paintings.

Franzi's self-portrait

Franzi’s self-portrait

Sunday, as is their custom, Kaisu and Urs (her husband) go for a Sunday walk. They take along their energetic dog. a Lagnolo-Romagnolo named Haki. We drive to Zug, a pretty town on the Lake of Zug where Urs has his office. Kaisu and I take a bus and a little train to go up the Zugerberg (Zug mountain). From there Kaisu and I take an easy walk, since I only have sandals with me.

Diane above Zug

Me, on the Zugerberg. Photo by Kaisu. Scarf by my daughter, Amy.

Meanwhile, Urs and Haki take off for a more strenuous walk. We eventually meet up and have lunch on the patio of a restaurant on the mountain. Urs and Haki walk back to where they left the car, while Kaisu and I take the train back down the mountain. We wander around the old part of town, where we find another art opening. This is in the Altstadthalle. Four artists are exhibiting: each artist has her own floor. It’s an interesting old building, from the 1400s or so, with some interesting paintings. I collect cards and plan to look the artists up on the web, only to find that they don’t have websites….

Along the way I find this stained glass light.

Stained glass lamp in Zug

Stained glass lamp in Zug

Across the street from the art exhibit is a glass store. Among the interesting fused pieces is this angel.

Fused glass angel in glass store in Zug

This fused glass angel was one of several interesting pieces in the window of a glass store near the art exhibit in Zug

Then it’s back to Wädenswil.

Zurich Lake from Kaisu's house

Zurich Lake, from “my” bedroom window at Kaisu’s in Wädenswil

Monday we go shopping. I was tasked to find a shirt with a hedgehog on it for Mikey, age 4 1/2. We find some pajamas (which turn out to be way too big). Twenty years ago, hedgehogs were everywhere. Now it’s penguins and polar bears.

Tuesday, it’s all over. Kaisu takes me to the train station, where we find her son Michael, also going towards Zurich, so he helps me with luggage. Wädenswil is convenient because this train stops at the Zurich main station, then ends at the airport. This means I don’t have to change trains, though I do have to deal with early-morning rush-hour commuters.

It is a challenge to get on the train in Wädenswil. You have to climb up several steps, and because of the angle of the track in some places, it’s difficult to reach the first step of the train (like where I happened to stand).

The flight back from Zurich is via Washington-Dulles to Tucson. I worry about enough time in Washington, but we arrive alone (not at the same time as other giant aircraft). With the machines that read your passport, I go through passport control, get my luggage, go through the agricultural check, recheck one bag and go through security in less than 30 minutes. A note: I am TSA-prechecked, thanks to United Airlines, but Washington-Dulles is NOT set up for that.

It’s been a great trip, but I’ll be glad to get home.

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