Monday, June 8, 2009

A Day on the Rhine

Yay, I finally figured out what button puts pics in my posts.  About time, I know.

This weekend was supposed to be really rainy, and Saturday sure was.  It ended with me and my roommates all cooking a lot of soup over the course of the day.  And lots of reading and Ted Talks.
Sunday, I decided to take the rain risk and I bought a special ticket for a Rhine day-trip.  I went north by about and hour to Stein am Rhein, a cute old medieval town just at the start of the Rhine river.  It was fun to wander the little Germanic streets lined with cafes and cute touristy shops.  Lots of bakeries, chocolate shops, and tons and tons of cafes.  Some of the buildings in the central square were really old with murals on the fronts.  And of course quaint church towers.  There was a nice castle on the hill above town with a good view and some vineyard surroundings.  There were also a lot of cute little snails around.  Like slugs but with the shell, like you see in books, like I've never seen in American terrestrial environments.  Cute. 

After an extensive wander and some
 Hemingway to tide me through the lulls, I caught a boat downriver to Schauffhausen.  It is home to the continents largest waterfall.  Alas, though I walked toward it, I didn't really get to see the front because I had to run back to catch my train.  Luckily, the train went by and had a great view.  Now why did I walk 6 km there and back?  Anyways, the town was again really cute, though a little more modern with trendy boutiques and a McDonalds.  I like towns with pedestrianized centers.  Speaking of, I have to go to Copenhagen someday.  Back to the Rhine, I caught a train back to Zurich.  

I had seen a poster last week for a concert in Zuri's Grossmunster church.  This church was the post of Zwingli and the most important site of the Reformation in Switzerland.  Sure enough, there was a nice little choir/organ concert to round out my lovely day.  I like organs, but never realized how awesome it is that piano keys are so sensitive.  And there is something so magical about multi-part music.  They ended the concert with a couple American spirituals, which were classy, and I forget how fun their odd harmonies can be.  

Today was a normal day at work, packing for tomorrow's trip.  When I got home, I packed lunchy things and baked three little bread rolls for sandwiches and also baked some plum snails..  Kind of like caramel rolls but with plum jam and cinnamon instead of caramel.  

Tomorrow at 6AM, I leave for the Eingaden mountain region near St. Moritz, where we will be sampling in the Val Rosegg glacial valley.  It'll be a fair bit of walking and carrying, but I'm sure the scenery will more than make up for any hassle.  I'm going along as an extra pack mule to help people carry their samples and equipment.  Oh, life is hard.  I'll be staying a couple of extra days to savor the mountains, and returning for a BBQ at a friend's house on Sunday.

Best wishes to everyone back home.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

exactly two weeks!! Hope you're having fun in the mountains! Jealous!