Luzern

A daytrip to explore Luzern and its historic district.

We took a family trip to Luzern – just a brief train ride from Zurich – to explore the famous “Kapellbrücke” (Chapel Bridge, a wooden bridge first erected in the 14th century) and the historic district.  It was a cloudy and sometimes drizzly day, but a fascinating place to visit.  We enjoyed a fine lunch at Des Alps, along the riverfront, a walk along the historic walls of the old city, and a brief exploration of the stone potholes left by retreating glaciers in the previous ice age.  I’ve assembled a gallery of some of my favorite scenes.

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Another Uetliberg sunset

Another grand sunset above Zurich.

It appeared that another grand sunset was due to grace Zürich, so my father and I took the train to the top of Uetliberg to capture the view of the Alps.  Here is one sample – but check out the gallery for my other favorite photos.  If you’re interested in current conditions, check out the webcam view.

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Geneva

A day to explore Geneva.

After an evening event speaking to Dartmouth alumni in Geneva, Mara and I had a day to explore the old town and lakefront area.  We were fortunate to have a beautiful sunny day, with the city decorated for the Christmas season.  Even with such a short visit I feel Geneva is different than Zurich – a different language on all the signs, of course, but also an even more international feeling.  Geneva “hosts the highest number of international organizations in the world”, “including the headquarters of many agencies of the United Nations and the Red Cross.”

We wandered the streets of the old town, climbed the towers of Cathédrale de Saint Pierre, ate lunch in the pop-up Christmas Market in the park at la Promenade des Bastions, passed a memorial statue to the founder of the Red Cross, and walked along the lakeshore to view the iconic Jet d’eau and watch the swans (and swimmers!) at Bains des Paquis.  We hopped the train back to Zürich before dark so we could view the Alps across the lake as the trained zipped along its northern shore.

A quick visit, but worthwhile.  Will need to return someday!

Visit the full gallery for more photos.  If you’d like to follow our adventures by RSS or email, click the “Follow” button at right.

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Lausanne

A short visit to EPFL in Lausanne.

I made a short visit to EPFL in Lausanne, to give a talk in the Computer Science department. It was also a good chance to catch up with an old chubber friend, who is a professor of geography.

David with Christian Kull '91 in Lausanne.
David with Christian Kull ’91 in Lausanne.

I had a chance for a quick tour of the campus, which is about fifty years old and includes some fascinating architecture – such as the Rolex Learning Center, a curvilinear structure that (to me) evokes a sense of the tiny gears in fine watchworks.  That website has much better photos – but here, my photo shows the reflection of the sky and mountains in the windows.
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But the most stunning feature of the campus is its spectacular view of the Alps, across Lake Geneva – on this day, mostly clear with a few clouds clinging to some summits. This view is from the rooftop café in the Computer Science building.  What a view!
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The gallery has full-res photos.

Another beautiful sunrise

Another beautiful sunrise from Zürichberg.

December 15 – Another beautiful morning in Zurich.  I’ve added these five photos to the sunrise gallery from earlier this week.

Sunrise view of the Alps from Zürichberg.

Trugberg, Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfrau, as seen from Zürichberg at sunrise.
Trugberg, Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfrau, as seen from Zürichberg at sunrise.
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Finsteraarhorn, Lauteraarhorn, Schreckhorn, and Wetterhorn, as seen from Zürichberg at sunrise.

Sunrise view of the Alps from Zürichberg.Sunrise view of the Alps from Zürichberg.

Alpine sunrise

A spectacular sunrise over Zürich.

Every morning I climb Zürich’s steep strasse and steig until I reach the clear ridgeline of the Zürichberg hilltop, with its broad view across the city and Zürichsee lake to the Alps.  Some days I am enveloped in the valley fog common this time of year.  Other days the clouds grudgingly give me glimpses of the Alps beyond the valley.  Today, finally, I was treated to a spectacular sunrise, with a crystal-clear view of the Alps and a sky painted with deep red sunlight.  I picked just five photos for the (must-see!) gallery, and share only one below.

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