On May 11, Switzerland began its second phase of reopening.

Today Switzerland began its second phase of a slow reopening of the country since the stay-home and shops-closed orders took effect on March 16. (Two weeks ago they reopened barbershops, salons, and gyms.)   Rail services have resumed their full schedule.  The official site says “Classroom teaching at primary and lower secondary schools will again be permitted. Shops, markets, museums, libraries and restaurants will be able to reopen under strict compliance with precautionary measures.”  Indeed I could sense the change immediately during my morning walk through the neighborhoods above me.  Children were again on their way to school – which I had always enjoyed seeing in months past… though today I saw most of them accompanied by protective parent(s).  Not everyone is happy; read on.

Mom and daughter off to school again.  (The reflective tag above the girl’s backpack is standard for all schoolchildren under a certain age.  Smart move!)

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A beautiful day to climb a big peak.

I’ve had my eyes on Mount Pilatus for months, since a local friend suggested it as a place for hiking and (in winter) sledging.  Andy had hiked there in the fall – walking down from the summit.  Today, Andy and I decided to visit and climb up from the base.  The funicular railway is closed (due to coronavirus restrictions) so we planned a round-trip from the Alpnachstad train station to the kulm (summit) and return.  It was a beautiful day and, though a bit hot and humid for hiking, it still granted us spectactular views. Read on and check out the full gallery.

Andy descends through the alpine meadows with views of the Alps beyond.

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Alpine view

Morning views from Zürichberg.

We are blessed with a view of the Alps from our flat, across the historic district of Zürich, the northern tip of Zürichsee (lake), and beyond the forested ridgeline that separates us from the valley to the west.  On a clear morning, like today, it’s a delightful view (below).

Even better, my normal morning walking route takes me straight up the hill behind our flat, nearly to the top of “Zürichberg”, the forested ridgeline that separates us from the valley to the east.  It has a lovely viewpoint, from which I have posted many photos (notably, a series of beautiful sunrises in December).

Today, I thought it would be nice to bring you a bit closer to that view, with a 10-second video panorama… including the sound of birdsong and joggers out for their morning run. Enjoy!



The nightingales sing us awake every morning.

It’s 5:22 A.M.  Time to wake up! sings a bird loudly from its perch in the chestnut tree outside my window.  I sleep with the windows cracked open all night, so the early morning lights and sounds tend to wake me early.  As spring arrived, I noticed the arrival of a new bird, one with an incredibly complex, non-repeating song, one I’d never heard before.  It was mesmerizing to listen to it chatter away in complete paragraphs, then pause and listen for a response from a distant colleague on a tree down the street.  I’m used to the early-morning birdsong back in New Hampshire – where it seems hundreds of birds start their mornings at 4:30am every June – but never before have I heard a song quite this entrancing.  Read on, and listen.

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