Thursday, November 22, 2007

"Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet..." Rudyard Kipling

Susan and Lucky headed west to Chicago November 1. Susan, then went to Alaska to spend Thanksgiving with her family. Jesse headed east to Hong Kong on business.

Hong Kong is a nice place, however, the air has been spoiled by the factories and power plants in southern China. The food is excellent and varied.

Below are a few photos, taken into between business engagements.

"Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet..." Rudyard Kipling

Susan and Lucky headed west to Chicago November 1. Susan, then went to Alaska to spend Thanksgiving with her family. Jesse headed east to Hong Kong on business. Meanwhile, Toby split the difference and went to Egypt.

Hong Kong is a nice place, however, the air has been spoiled by the factories and power plants in southern China. The food is excellent and varied.

Below are a few photos from Hong Kong, taken into between business engagements.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

“The mountains are calling and I must go.”John Muir

What have we been doing in the past month or so? Spending as much time as possible in the mountains! Including …staying a few nights, at the end of September, in Zermatt and getting great views of the Matterhorn; taking the mountain train up Rigi in October, with it’s spectacular circular view; staying overnight in Muerren and waking up to see the mountains from our balcony; not to mention taking a boat ride on Lake Luzern surrounded by too many mountains to list. In the midst of all these wanderings, my friend Karen came from St. Charles to soak-up some mountain beauty for herself. I will try to encourage Jesse not to post too many photos below, but it’s probably a waste of time! Thanks for viewing.

Lord Lucky looks over his realm, Bellizona Switzerland

Grand Castle of Bellinzona Switzerland

Coffee with a Castle

Moonrise over Lake Lugano, Lugano Switzerland

Susan and Lucky enjoying the sun in Lugano Switzerland

View of Lake Lugano from San Salvatore, Lugano Switzerland

Outside our hotel, Lugano Switzerland
Eiger, Moench and Jungfrau mountains from Muerren Switzerland
Jesse and Karen photograph the Eiger, Muerren Switzerland
Sunrise over the Eiger, Muerren Switzerland

Karen at Schilthorn
Alphorn player atop Schilthorn

Susan and Karen visited Appenzell on the Susan MaySwitzerland Tour
Luzern, Another stop on the Susan May Switzerland Tour

Ready to launch

Mountain high
Karen and Susan on top of Rigi

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Lucky loves late leisurely lunches lakeside in Lausanne

September 16 - Yesterday we hopped on a train and headed to Lausanne, which is the second-largest city on Lake Geneva. As you can see from the photos below, it was a glorious day. We walked from the train station down to the lake, stopping along the way to purchase freshly made sandwiches from an Italian deli. After lunch, we walked along the lakeside, stopping at the Olympic Museum, the world’s largest information center about the Olympic games. Lucky wore himself out walking along the promenade, and slept like a rock the entire train-ride back to Zurich. This evening we took a more leisurely stroll down by the Lake of Zurich – once again, the weather was beautiful, and Jesse snapped a few photos along the way. Scroll down to view them, and enjoy!

Lake of Thun, with Eiger, Moench and Jungfrau mountains in the distance

Zermatt, Switzerland with Matterhorn in the background
Which way to the Matterhorn?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop." - Lewis Carroll, from Alice in Wonderland

September 8, 2007 - The Jungfrau Marathon this year also served as the World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge.

The weather was beautiful and therefore the views were spectacular. It almost made me forget that we had to ascend about 1900 meters (6200 feet) through the course of the marathon. The total distance covered was 42.1 kilometers (26.2 miles), with most of the elevation gain in the last 17 kilometers.

Susan played the role of photojournalist. There were spectators throughout the course, with large numbers in the villages with train stops. Susan rode the trains up the mountain, along with hundreds of people crammed in like sardines, to watch the progress. The course went along alpine trails, through villages, and mountain trails.
Along the final 10 kilometers there were points where we came to a full stop because the mountain trails were so narrow that we had to go single file. From 38 to 41 kilometers the altitude (2200 meters / 7200 feet), unsteady footing on the trail, and general tiredness made this the toughest part of the course.

The largest crowds were at the start and the finish. Since the only way down the mountain was on trains, we had to cram into them. On the second train we and others squeezed into the baggage car. Susan was almost overcome by the body odor (not her own).
Photos are below.


Monday, September 3, 2007

"I think togetherness is a very important ingredient to family life." - Barbara Bush

Since our last blog update, we welcomed our older daughter Amberly and her husband Nate, who traveled from Chicago to spend some time with us here in Zurich. We crammed a lot of travel into two weeks! In addition to nearby day-trips (to the Rhein Falls and Appenzell), we hit the rails and spent a several nights in Salzburg, Austria; and then journeyed to Zermatt, Switzerland. We enjoyed excellent weather in Salzburg, but Zermatt was a bit cloudy at first. I was worried we would have to return home without viewing the Matterhorn. Thankfully the clouds left on Friday morning and we had a lovely time at Gornergrat, feasting our eyes on all the surrounding mountains, including the famous Matterhorn. Both Jesse and Nate took many wonderful photos (and even I got a few good shots!) so it was hard to narrow the choices for this blog. As a result, there are quite a few to view, if you scroll down. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

"No one traveling on a business trip would be missed if he failed to arrive" Thorstein Veblen

August 1 is a Swiss national holiday. It commemorates the establishment in 1291 of the precursor of the Swiss Confederation. We traveled by train and then boat to the village of Quinten on Lake of Walen. It’s a unique spot with a unique climate due to its location on the lake, the southern exposure with sheer mountains behind. Grapes, figs, kiwis, berries, and nuts grow in the area.

A few days later we visited Konstanz, an old German town on the Lake of Konstanz, also called Bodensee. Jesse was on his way to a one-week course in German language nearby.

Also in August we traveled by boat to a peninsula on the Lake of Zurich for an outdoor lunch with a view and then continued on by boat to one of our favorite towns on the lake, Rapperswil. Lucky has become not only a mountain dog, but also a sea dog.
Toby has finished military training and is back home to Wisconsin. The “newlyweds”, Toby and Melissa, have just moved into a new apartment.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

“Time flies like an Arrow; fruit flies like a Banana” ~Groucho Marx

Time certainly has flown by since we last posted one of our travel-blogs. After our vacation in Italy, we returned home to Zurich to begin welcoming our vacationing friends, coming here to see us and experience Switzerland. I’ve said it before on this blog, but it bears repeating: we love showing our guests around this beautiful country, whether we’re high up in the mountains, here in Zurich walking around the lake, or somewhere in-between. Below you will see photos that span June and July, featuring friends and family. Included are: our daughter Allison, from Chicago, who spent part of her summer with us; Renee & Elaine Morton from Brighton, Michigan; Luan & Mark Bradac from Batavia, Illinois; and Sharon & Milt Feryance from St. Charles, Illinois.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page” – St. Augustine

Welcome to part 2 of our Italian Vacation. Or page 2, in light of the above quote!

As I mentioned before, I had low expectations about visiting Venice. In fact Jesse pretty much had to twist my arm to go. I’m sure glad he did – it was wonderful. The weather was very nice, the crowds not TOO bad (especially early in the morning – the best time to visit some of the more popular spots like Piazza San Marco), the location of our small, comfy hotel was ideal, and of course I have to mention food …more delicious pizza, plus fresh seafood! Jesse & I think the best way to experience any place is to wander around and get lost, and this is especially true in Venice. Besides, like the guidebooks say, it’s an island – how lost can you get? We passed up taking a Gondola ride, but we sure had fun photographing them. There were so many photo-ops that Jesse was really in his glory. It’ll be tough to choose what to show you here on the blog. And while we’re at it, we’re including a few pictures of Springtime in Zurich. There are some very nice views right here – only a 20 minute walk away! Plus, it’s always fun to add a photo or 2 of Lucky, the wonder-dog (I do wonder about that dog). Please scroll down to see …

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Breakfast in Zurich, lunch in Venice, dinner in Florence

Two weeks ago, that was how our day went! Jesse and I left for our vacation to Italy in the morning, after starting out the day like usual with our Yogurt and Muessli. We flew into Venice where we had a few hours to kill, so we had a quick lunch near the train station. My first glimpse of the canal totally won me over (up until now, I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about visiting Venice – I’m not sure exactly why). It’s just beautiful. Soon we were on the train to Florence, where we checked into our hotel and then wandered around the city a bit. Before leaving Zurich, our daughter Allison had given us a great list of travel tips for Florence, since she studied there her fall semester of 2005. We followed her advice and had a great dinner at a taverna that was close to her apartment. I must say, I had the best time just seeing where she lived, wandering thru the streets, going to her favorite restaurants, and envisioning Allison at home in Florence. It was very gratifying. Other highlights of our 4 days there: the Uffizi, The Church and Convent of San Marco and the frescoes by Fra Angelico, walking up to Piazzale Michelangelo for the fantastic view of the city, the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine and more amazing frescoes, and the food: pasta, pizza, gelato and espresso! Being in Florence was a feast for all the senses. I hope you enjoy our photos below. Part 2 of our Italian Vacation is coming to this blog soon! (With more about Venice!)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Mountain time

Once again, we were happy to host friends from the States and give them a taste of Switzerland. This time, Nancy Hodge and Mary Feltman came to visit – these are long-time dear friends, who actually feel more like sisters to me. During their 9-day stay we enjoyed beautiful weather and shared some wonderful experiences. Some of the highlights: Chicken Curry and beautiful views in Rapperswil, with a boat ride back to Zurich … rolling country-side, stinky cheese and shopping in Appenzell … a scenic train ride to the Lake Como region of Italy, where we stayed overnight in beautiful Varenna -- complete with a lakeside view from our hotel room … and of course much walking all over Zurich, punctuated with good food and great coffee. But … probably the highlight would be, once again, a day spent in Muerren, feasting our eyes on the mountains and magnificent views. Jesse and I love living in this beautiful country, and it is a blessing to be able to share the experience with our friends and loved ones. Enjoy the photos below.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Waffles and Chocolates and Fries, Oh my!

Actually, in Belgium they refer to them as "frites", but whatever you call them, they were outstanding, as were the waffles and the chocolates! Considering the amount of chocolate I sampled, it's a good thing we walked to so many places! I can honestly say that Swiss Chocolate in general is Excellent, but the Belgium "Pralines" - individual filled chocolates - are probably just a bit better. I hope none of my new Swiss friends are reading this blog! By way of explanation, Jesse has been working in Brussels for the last year, several days a week, and I wanted to see it for myself, before his work takes him elsewhere. I joined him last Wednesday, March 14th and stayed til Monday morning, the 19th. We saw all the popular spots in Brussels, and also traveled to nearby Bruges, a very quaint medieval town filled with canals and bridges. We spent a day with our friends Anton and Kathy Duval and their children, Camille and Laurence, and visited Dinant (home of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the Saxophone.) They also have a cool Citadel high up on the hill. It was there that I finally had my first Belgian Waffle (or Gauffres, as they call it). All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Belgium. Upon returning to Zurich, it began to snow for only the 2nd time this winter, but thankfully, it is melting as I type. Easter is just around the corner, and I look forward to traveling home to Illinois for a visit, and seeing a lot of you again! Please view our photos below.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Playing host and tour guide

We welcome our first guest from the U.S. My friend Danyelle came from Chicago for a visit last Sunday. We had a wonderful time, roaming around Zurich, and then hitting the rails to see a handful of the great sites in Switzerland. My prayers were answered and we enjoyed beautiful weather the whole week. Danyelle and I discovered that we have similar philosophies about touring: Lots of walking, interspersed with visits to Confiseries, Espresso Bars, Bake Shops, and Tearooms. Lucky only got in on the first few days of touring Zurich, then went off to“camp” – the Tier-pension in nearby Adliswil where he is boarded during our travels. Some of the spots we visited: Einsiedeln, Luzern (where they were celebrating Fasnacht in a big way), Appenzell, Fribourg, and finally the Bernese Oberland. Jesse joined us there and together we traveled up to Muerren, where we got up close and personal with some really impressive mountain peaks. As you can see from the photos below, we saw some awesome scenery and had a lot of fun. Photo at left is of a hearty Swiss dish Roesti - potatoes, chesse and a fried egg on top. ~Susan

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Walk in the woods

Another sunny day in Zurich. We went for a walk on the other mountain in Zurich, Zurichberg. It's on the other side of the lake and very accessible. Lots of people were out walking and running on the trails. On the walk down back to the city we walked through woods in the city very similar to Rock Creek Park.
Photos are below.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hello from Zurich. As you can see from the photos below, we at last have snow on the ground here! Lucky loves the snow, but the shoveling left him exhausted - ha.

Fondue is the perfect meal for a chilly winter evening, and last night we had a group of friends in for a 3-stage feast, to try out various types of Fondue. We began with the traditional Cheese Fondue, moved onto a Chinese-style Broth Fondue for beef and fish, and ended the evening with, of course, Chocolate Fondue. Believe it or not, we actually had leftover melted chocolate, and found a great use for it this morning - Mochas!

I’m glad so many of you are enjoying this blog. We’ll try to keep the posts coming. ~Susan

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Beatiful day in Zurich

Yesterday we took the local train to the top of Uetliberg, the mountain in Zurich. This is the mountain I run up and down most weekends. It was a clear sunny day and felt very warm in the sunshine. We could see the mountains above Interlaken. As soon as the sun went down it got very cold.
Photos are posted below.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Winter walk on the Wanderweg

Yesterday we spent the day in Davos, Switzerland. The weather was crisp, but with the brilliant sunshine it felt warm.
We walked along a winter path from one end of town to the other. Lots of people were doing the same thing. We also saw a large number of cross-country skiers, like when we lived in Alaska. However, Alaska ski trails are a lot more rugged and challenging than the beautifully manicured wide trails in Davos.
Photos of the day are below.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007


Hello family and friends. This is a photo from our trip to Bulgaria.

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