Monday, October 24, 2011

Brugg Downtown - Oh, How Nice It Was

Thinking - and writing - about a place we visited which is very different than the one we're living (and was about ten degrees warmer), is sometimes difficult, as there are always details our memory tends to deform: for a travel enthusiast like me, it's hard to mute the refrain that goes "oh, how nice it was".
Sure: the weather was beautiful. Mostly.
But we also had a couple of rainy days. And: we were in a small town, which means concentrated beauty, but - if compared to a city like Berlin - little choice for what concerns events or restaurants, stores or other attractions.

Oh, how nice it was!

When we arrived with the train in Brugg, 25 minutes away from Zürich, my first thought was: I guess we'll go to Zürich every second day.
That first thought, though, proved to be completely wrong.

We spent our first afternoon walking down the Hauptstrasse (first trying to find a restaurant and later a café) and some of the alleys that surround the center.

The buildings were really charming and well maintained, as well as the gardens. 

We took some pictures from the famous bridge (Brugg=Brücke in Swiss-German) which is supposed to be the first bridge in Brugg. 
At this point, I could tell you that this was it.

But, if you know me a little, you will also know that this wasn't all. 
At the train station I had already seen a sign that read "RUINS" pointing in the direction opposite to that of downtown...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My First Time in Switzerland

Watch hanging on the ceiling at Zürich Airport

Sometimes I like to joke about the fact that I am "made in Switzerland", like a watch, because my parents vacationed there nine precise months before I was born.
In fact, I had never been in Switzerland until three weeks ago and - although I knew it was famous for its watches - I didn't expect to find watches (and watches advertisement) EVERYWHERE.

I found it a bit overwhelming (as I stopped wearing a watch some years ago), but somehow this "time-filled" oasis gave me a strange sense of security. 

As much as it is a stereotype, being on time is one of the things that made our stay in Switzerland very smooth, especially regarding transportation.

Zürich Airport train Station

My first impression, watches aside,  was that we were still in Berlin.
Ticket vending machines, signs and colors were exactly the same.
Here and there you'd have a touch of French design, but - maybe because we were in the German-Switzerland - the difference wasn't that huge.

Only later, emerging from the "non- lieux" (train stations, airports...), we had a clearer vision of the differences we were going to experience.

Vending machines, too, revealed interesting details (tell me if I am wrong, but I don't think I've ever seen anything like this in Germany!)
Is buying pregnancy tests from a vending machine a sign of a liberal society or a sign that people would feel ashamed of buying them in a drug store or pharmacy?

From Zürich-Airport we took the train and reached our destination: Brugg, about which I'll tell you in the next posts.