Around the Bodensee
May 6 - May 13, 1998

Steve Maas
Long Beach, California, USA
 

 Part I: The Tour

 Part II: Impressions and Suggestions for Bodensee Bike Tourists
For a map of the tour route (~53K), click here

(If you'd like to read more of this sort of nonsense, see A Month of Bicycle Commuting in Sweden, 1997)
Also, see Part II for some interesting links.


  A vineyard on the island of Reichenau


We Start the Bicycle Tour

Part of the reason for this trip is to do some bicycle touring in Europe. I turn 50 next year, so I'm way overdue for a mid-life crisis (all the books say I'm supposed to have one.) The options are things like (1) buy a sports car [too expensive], (2) find a bimbo [really not my style], (3) take up parachute jumping [are you serious?!] or (4) do something that looks more difficult and adventurous than it really is, brag about it to your friends, and lie a lot [my kind of thing!] So on May 6, I leave for a self-guided bike tour in which I will circumnavigate the Bodensee. It should take about four days to circle the lake. With some time for getting there from Zürich, bad-weather delays, local exploration, and serious beer-drinking, the trip should fill up a week.

I've been in Switzerland for a month already, doing a stint as a visiting professor at Einstein's alma mater, the Swiss Federal Technical Institute (ETH) in Zürich. This is a pretty good trick, in view of the fact that I am not an academic in real life. I work as an engineering consultant. Still, I did some hard time as a professor in the electrical engineering department at UCLA, and although I ran screaming from the job back in 1992, somehow I still managed to retain my academic credentials (as well as a modicum of sanity, although this is still in dispute). As a result, I'm occasionally invited to spend some time at various universities. So, when Dr. Urs Lott of the ETH approached me at a symposium in mid 97 and invited me to come to the ETH for a month, I jumped at the chance. As I planned the trip, the germ of an idea sprouted: why not bring the bike, use it for local transportation, and try a little touring in Europe by bicycle after my job at the ETH is over? The more I thought about it, the more attractive the idea became. Also attractive was bringing my wife, Julie, and younger son, David, for two weeks. They love to travel and they've had a great time while I've been working. But my month at the ETH is now over, and it's my turn to have fun.

I've prepared for this. I've increased my mileage around LA for the past six months, working up to a regular 60-80 miles per week. (OK, I realize that this isn't a lot to you young Turks who do 100-milers back-to-back every weekend. I'm an aging engineer with bad ankles who doesn't have that kind of spare time. Someday you won't, either.) I've lost weight. I've scanned the internet for stories and suggestions from other bike tourers. I've even found some Bodensee web sites, which have information about the bike route (links in Part II). Finally, while here in Switzerland, I've been doing a lot of hill climbing (impossible to avoid) and getting used to riding in the country in various types of weather (also impossible to avoid, except by staying home.) I’m ready.

Since this is my first real bike tour, I educated myself and planned carefully. I have a special problem to contend with: a bum ankle that prevents me from walking much. However, the ankle doesn't prevent me from bicycling, so I often use a rented bike as primary transportation when I'm in Europe. The ankle problem forces a lot of decisions: for one thing, if the bike breaks, I can't walk it to the next town, so I have to bring enough tools and spare parts to get it into rideable condition wherever a breakdown occurs.

I plan to stay in hotels, not to camp. This has two advantages: (1) I don't have to carry as much, and (2) every evening I get what I crave after a long ride: a shower, a very large beer, a good dinner, and a decent night's sleep. I have several maps, including a 200,000-scale Michelin map of northern Switzerland and a 75,000-scale map of the Bodensee. I studied all this stuff well past the point of productivity; there isn't enough information on any map to make a final choice of routes. Still, in the last few months, a day hasn't gone by when I didn’t think about how this whole thing would go. 

We Depart: Odometer 1782 (Statute Miles)

Wednesday, May 6
Odo 1830; 48 miles

I never should have had that espresso after dinner last night! At the time, it seemed like the polite thing to do—to join Urs and Martin for a tiny shot of high-test Java—but I was still awake at 2:00 AM! I finally got to sleep, but at 6:15 I was again wide awake. So today I set out for 48 miles of riding (as it happened) on four hours of sleep.

I have received permission to store my suitcase and bike case at my office in the ETH. The suitcase is heavy, but I manage to muscle it down to the ETH. I leave my cleaning supplies and extra kitchen staples in front of my neighbor's door with a note written on the side of the bag. I lock my briefcase inside the bike box, which I had moved the previous night. I am in and out before anyone else gets to work. Back at the apartment, I strip the bed, put the keys in the mailbox, and I’m off!

I start by going through Kloten, as planned, and then go north along a scenic route that parallels the Rhein. At the end of that stretch, in Flaach, I have the option of going east to Stein Am Rhein, as originally planned, or picking up the Rhein bike route through Schaffhausen and then to Stein. Figuring that the latter route might be flatter, have less traffic, and be more scenic, (but longer), I go for it. I ride through fields, forests, farms, and neat little towns like something from Anno’s Journey. I lose the path awhile, do an extra two miles, but finally get reoriented and back onto the route. (I really don’t mind the extra distance; I see a lot of interesting things: farms, fields, nice scenery.) I stop for my usual lunch, bread and fruit purchased from a grocery. At one point I even enter Germany on a gravel path as easily as if I were crossing a state line in the US. (At this point I’m sure I've lost the route, but when I get to the bridge over the Rhein, which takes me back to Switzerland, there it is again!)

The bike path leads me along a painless route through Schaffhausen, the only real city on the route. It has a huge castle, but I don’t try to visit; it looks like a long climb and does not appear to be open. I do stop at a small castle at the Rhein “Falls,” actually a set of rapids, not a waterfall.

The weather is cool and overcast with an occasional threat of rain. Fortunately, I get only a few drops. At one point I put on my rain gear but take it off a few minutes later. I put on my rain suit and take it off a couple of times. It’s teasing me.

I stop at a hotel in a small town just north of Stein Am Rhein; I figure that it will be a little cheaper to stay away from the tourist areas. Indeed, it is a nice place, one of the best rooms in the entire trip, as it happens, for only $50. A good dinner, some time watching TV (CNN and NBC) for the first time since I left LA. I listen to the German channels, too, to practice the language.

Thursday, May 7
Odo 1873; 43 miles.

I am now in the town of Mittelzell, on the island of Reichenau, in a very nice $40 hotel room. I have had a huge dinner of rinderouladen, a salad, and a beer for $15. Besides that, I have spent $2 on lunch (pastries and an apple) and $1.50 for admission to the local Heimatsmuseum. Cheap travel.

It is a beautiful morning, sunny, clear, and cool. There are bicycles everywhere, even a few long-distance tourers like me. Most, however, are just out for the day. I leave the hotel and in a few minutes I head into Stein Am Rhein. What a charming little town! Most remarkable are an ornate city fountain and medieval buildings with detailed paintings on the front. Past Stein, I leave the Rhein behind and I am on the Bodensee, or at least the Untersee, a finger of Bodensee that stretches west from the main body of the lake. After a few miles I’m in Germany again.

I continue following the Bodensee radwanderweg, occasionally losing it for a mile or so, but always eventually connecting with it again. And it’s easy to lose: it goes through alleys, farm-access roads, an occasional grocery-store parking lot, and God knows where else. Around noon I come to Radolfzell, one of the larger towns on the route. I poke around its altstadt, admire its 15th-century church, and relax on its lake shore awhile. I linger on an overpass, taking a picture of the neat garden in a park below. A friendly German guy walks past and asks, “Well, having fun?”

I continue working my way down the north shore toward Konstanz. On the outskirts of the city, I see a map and realize that I have missed the turn-off for Reichenau! Damn! Back a mile, down the causeway, and I am soon riding through the neat little vegetable fields of the island. Strange—many of these farms seem to have only a few acres of land, divided into sections that often are less than an eighth of an acre. The farmers use hand cultivation, hoes and roto-tillers. These aren't farms; they're kitchen gardens. How does anyone make a living this way?

The black wasp-like bugs I have been encountering along many cultivated fields are especially bad here. They are hard to avoid as I ride alongside the fields. Often they are in very large swarms.

I find a hotel around 3:00, leave my panniers in the room, and explore the island. There are three ancient churches on the island, but only one is open, St. Peter and Paul's. It is worth the stop. Not as ornate as some of the churches I have seen, but the paintings on the ceilings are spectacular.

I have dinner at a small gasthof: rinderouladen, salad, and a huge (0.5 liter) beer. Boy, did that taste good!

In the evening I get a weather report from the TV. It should be sunny and warm at least through Sunday. 

Friday, May 8
Odo 1913; 40 miles.

Not so many miles today, but a much tougher ride.

After a nice breakfast, I head back down the Reichenau causeway in the clear, cool morning toward Konstanz. Although it has a nice altstadt, or so I’m told, I decide not to stop; I’ll see plenty of these, and I am rapidly developing a phobia for the larger towns and cities. In any case, I’ll get another chance when I go through Konstanz again on the way back north.

I have things to do. First stop is the island of Mainau, a botanical garden and arboretum, a nice place to walk and just to look at the plants, animals, and scenery. There are huge topiary figures, including a pheasant perhaps 15 feet high and 45 feet wide at the base. There is a hothouse full of orange and banana trees. There is a wonderful formal rose garden, but the roses, alas, are not yet in bloom. There is an arboretum that actually has real sequoias in it, big ones, at least a couple hundred years old. How did they get there? There is a cute model train layout that looks like a scene from the US West.

A nice thing about Mainau: it’s set up for visits by bicycle. Bike parking is plentiful and there are even free lockers for panniers.

It’s another spectacularly beautiful day. I head down a bike path lined with large trees, leading through a forest. The path leads inland, up some long climbs, to the top of the mountains of the Bodanuk Peninsula, which separates the Untersee from the Uberlingersee, another finger of the lake. I gain about 150 meters in altitude a couple times; there are lots of uphill and downhill stretches. The road leads through fields and rolling hills and finally down a long, steep grade through a cool, pristine forest to Bodman, where the bike-route signs (which had apparently hidden themselves out of shame for putting me on a real road) miraculously reappear.

I continue toward Uberlingen, heading down the north side of the Uberlingersee. On the way to Uberlingen, my chain seems noisy. I stop and lubricate it. After all, a day of use here is like a week in LA, and I haven't oiled it for a few days. In Uberlingen, I stop for a break, buy an Italian ice cream cone, and sit by the shore awhile. It is a beautiful Friday afternoon, and the area is full of people bicycling and walking.

I continue on through Ludwigshafen and Uberlingen. The bike route takes me through many lakeside resort areas, full of charming hotels and restaurants. I almost stop a couple of times, but it is really too early, and I want to get farther. Finally I stop at one area, just short of Meersburg, with lots of hotels and outdoor restaurants. I try a couple of pensions, (managed by formidable, old, potato-stuffed german women) but they are full. I settle for a hotel room, again inexpensive and very nice.

I have dinner at an outdoor restaurant overlooking the harbor and the Bodensee. Absolutely delightful. I sit at the table awhile after dinner, sipping the remains of my traditional evening beer and watching the sunset.

I spend some time planning my remaining days. I had considered going to Liechtenstein, but I decide to skip it. I just barely have time to get there, and it’s not worth the two days it will take. It might also prevent me from completing the loop; if I fall behind, I might have to head back to Zürich from Konstanz. Without Liechtenstein, and if the weather remains good, I’ll have an extra day. We'll see what happens.

The weather report for Monday calls for possible cloudiness but no rain. I’ll take it.

Saturday, May 9
Odo 1954; 41 miles

A couple of hours before stopping, I had a bad case of the no-hotel panic. Funny how a good dinner and a very large beer (and, of course, successfully finding a room) will change one's outlook.

First stop today is Meersburg, a neat little medieval town with a wonderful castle. I don’t take any pictures, since I’m sure that Julie and David have documented the place quite adequately. I lock the bike and tour the castle—a wonderful, well preserved but not “modernized” schloss. I continue along the Bodensee bike route. It is not much fun, frankly; it goes along a major road for some distance, without much of interest. Then when it does go through a nice area, it’s mobbed with people. Well, what do I expect for a spectacular Saturday?

At Frederickshaven I stop for lunch. My usual: I find a bakery near the harbor. I sit on a bench to eat, and across from me I see the Graf Zeppelin Museum. I put my panniers in a museum locker and go in to see the stuff. The museum is pretty good; it shows a lot of the history and technology of the big dirigibles. Most interesting is a reproduction of the passenger cabin of a Hindenburg-era dirigible: all aluminum and lightweight plastic. The big gasbags even had aluminum grand pianos. (I wonder what it sounded like? Tinny, no doubt!) In the 1930s  aluminum was a very expensive metal; it must have cost a fortune.

I bull my way onward to Lindau. My first attempt to get to the “island” (really a peninsula) fails. I end up in a dumpy area, not sure where I am. After some effort, I find the good area, including the harbor and a wonderful painted building, my only photo. The crowds are driving me nuts, so I want to get out of town as fast as I can. Unfortunately, it is 4:00 PM, there are no hotels south of town, and I have no Austrian money, so I can’t stay in Austria, which is only 3 miles south of Lindau. Finally I reach the border and there is a money-exchange place. It’s open! I exchange 200 SF so I now have hotel and dinner money. I go on to Bregenz, where I finally find a $65 room in a four-star, bicycle-friendly hotel. Whew!

Dinner is beer and pizza, God's greatest creations, in an outdoor restaurant. I’m beginning to get the hang of this outdoor dining!

In the evening I finally call Julie. It is nice to hear her voice, and she seems relieved that I have called. She has probably been imagining me in a twisted mass of aluminum tubing, sinking slowly into the lake. Or some such thing.

No CNN on TV—and this is four stars? Boy, do I want to get back to Switzerland!

I've had a little stomach trouble, and I suspect the water from some questionable sources. More likely, however, it is the long miles and heavy evening meals. Still, to be safe, I empty, wash, and refill my water bottles.

Sunday, May 10
Odo 2008; 54 miles

A long day. And I check into a hotel with no TV!

(I should explain. I'm no typical, TV-addicted American. At home I watch a total of about three hours of TV per week, all PBS. Still, here in Europe I try to watch CNN for the news and a local station for weather. On a bike trip, you really need a decent weather forecast.)

I have breakfast and check out. A busload of tourists is saying at the hotel; they are boarding their bus as I leave. I load up and get the bike ready in full view of the bus, and I feel puzzled eyes upon me. Is that strange guy really traveling on just a bicycle? My perverse nature takes over, and I go through the whole ritual for them: panniers, helmet, sunglasses, gloves. Adjust the mirror. Zero the odometer. Rub their noses in their own effeteness.

I leave Bregenz and work my way north, now on the south shore of the Bodensee. At first it is a mix of rural areas, forests, and cities, with a stretch along the Rhein canal. The first few towns, Rorschach, Arbon, and Romanshorn are nice. It’s another sunny morning, hotter today, so I stop in Rorschach for an ice cream. I’m surprised to find a bakery open, and I get bread and pastries for lunch. I’m back in Switzerland, and I’m using Swiss money again. I have a little Austrian money left, but I've worked it so there is less than $1 worth of coins. I can exchange the paper money easily in the US.

After Romanshorn, the bike path is unpaved and covered with a thick layer of fine gravel. It is dusty, hard to ride on and, frankly, dangerous. Eventually it simply follows the train tracks that go alongside the lake. It is crowded with walkers and bikes, narrow, and not particularly attractive. Finally, after a few miles, and the realization that it is not going to change, I switch to roads. The main highway has a bike lane, sometimes even a paved bike path, and it is altogether much nicer. I cut off the main highway in places, following secondary and tertiary roads. Some of these involve a bit of hill climbing, but I’m rewarded by spectacular views of the Bodensee. Many of the fields are newly mown, giving off the sweet earthy smell of cut hay. There are dozens of apple orchards still in bloom. Another California-weather day: blue, cloudless skies and bright sun. I can see for miles.

Another chance to see Konstanz, but I don’t take it. Somehow the idea of big cities bothers me, and I’m getting too tired to make side trips. At this point I just want a place to stop. There is really nothing special to do along this stretch, so I just ride. North of Konstanz, I stay on the main road.

I do encounter some paving operations on the bike path north of Konstanz. Perhaps, in a year or so, the path will be a little more inviting.

Finally at Stackborn, I find a lakeside hotel that seems nice. 54 miles, almost the whole length of the lake. I’m tired, dusty, and ready for a beer. I find a nice hotel and get an inexpensive room with a pleasant, lake view.

Dinner is a struggle. I ride into town, but only one restaurant seems decent. I go back to the hotel, but its restaurant is full. Back into town, and dinner at the one decent place. Even then, the waiter makes me uncomfortable, somehow. I just want to finish and get back to my room.

I’m almost around the Bodensee so I think a bit about where to go from here. I decide to head for Winterthur on Monday, spend Tuesday at museums, and continue to Zürich on Wednesday as originally planned.

Today I have seen two hot-air balloons, one in Bregenz and one across the lake from my hotel room. I haven't seen a single American yet on the entire trip. I must be doing something right!
 
 


Monday, May 11

Odo 2039; 31 miles.

I leave the hotel at 8:00 and continue north to Stein Am Rhein. I’m there in an hour. I stand by the fountain awhile, savoring the moment. I have closed the loop!

I head back across the Rhein, planning to follow main roads to Adelfingen and then south to Winterthur. Immediately I intersect a marked bike route to Winterthur, so I follow it, figuring that it will be the flattest route and the most interesting. First thing, as usual, it leads me off the main roads and onto some very pleasant and almost traffic-free back roads.

Well, it might be flatter, but it sure isn't flat! This is one of the hilliest routes I've taken. Still, each hill has a reward: a spectacular view and a pleasant coast downhill. I stop at a bakery for my traditional lunch and eat it in the shade next to a city fountain. I continue to Winterthur and, after 30 miles, I pull into town.

First order of business is to find a hotel. I find the tourist office, but it is 12:30 and the place is closed until 2:00. I sit in the park nearby for an hour, then wander around a bit. Finally it is 2:00. I go into the tourist office, have them make a reservation for me, and 10 minutes later I am in my hotel. It is within hobbling distance of the art museums.

Well, this is the end of the cheap hotels: this little hacienda costs $100 a night!

Tuesday, May 12
Odo 2045; 6 miles

Today is my rest day, a day for skulking through museums. Of course, I’m awake at 6:00 AM, breakfast is at 7:00, and the museums don’t open until 10:00. I kill time with a bike tour of the neighborhood. Near the hotel there are some nice residential areas with big trees, large, old houses, and neat gardens. Nicest is a park with desert plants in a hothouse and, of all things, an aviary full of exotic birds! I sit and watch the birds for about 15 minutes. Finally, the museums are opening and I hate to leave.

The first is the Oskar Reinhart museum. It contains the collections of both the local museum and a second one, on the outer edge of town, which is being renovated. It’s a great museum; lots of good stuff, including lots of impressionists and several works by Caspar David Friederich. I spend three hours there.

I get a sandwich for lunch and head to the city art and natural history museum. They are both in the same building. The art museum is closed, but the natural history is open. It is mediocre; lots of dead animals in display cases and little explanation. A new section dealing with minerals and geology is much better. I then try to do the Jacob Briner, but my ankle complains, so I give up and limp back to the hotel. I spend a couple hours watching TV and just relaxing.

Finally I go out for dinner. I see several groups of Americans; obviously, it’s time to leave. Dinner is at an open-air restaurant just down the block from the hotel, and I sit people-watching for an hour or so. By then it’s late, so I return to my hotel room.

I go outside to check the bike (which is chained to a tree next to the hotel) at 10:00 PM, and everything is still hopping. People are still having dinner!

Tomorrow, the Technorama and back to Zürich. It’s been fun.
 


The Final Days

Wednesday, May 13
Odo: 2072, 27 miles, 290 total

The last day of the odyssey.

It’s pretty clear that I've exhausted all the good museums in Winterthur; unless you want to count things like the clock museum and the antique collection among the good museums. I don’t. It’s time to go outside of town, to the Technorama, and to see how the Swiss do a science museum, the Winterthur Technorama.

The answer is, pretty damn well. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The usual problem: up at 6:30, breakfast at 7:00, and nothing to do until 10:00 when the museum opens. Solution: watch CNN until 8:45, check my panniers at the hotel, and start out for the museum. Of course, it doesn't take anywhere near an hour to get there, so I do a little riding around before arrival. At one point I see a sign to the Schloss Hegi, and not being one to ignore a good schloss, I head on over.

The place appears to be a youth hostel! In any case it’s not (yet) open for visitors, so I look around the outside a little and continue on. I try to follow a marked bike route to the Technorama; the signs lead me to the main road, but don’t tell me which way to go to get there. I guess right (50-50 chance, in any case.)

The Technorama is very new, modern, and well done. Very hands-on, with lots of exhibits that can accommodate a large number of people. Unfortunately, the exhibits are explained only in French and German; no English or even Italian. There is a model train exhibit in the basement floor and a textile-technology exhibit on the top floor. Both of these seem a little out of place. I sit through the demonstration of electrical phenomena, including a Tesla coil, a Jacob's ladder, Van de Graf generator, and lots of other good, noisy stuff. Interestingly, I understand most of the German in the explanations. Making progress!

After the museum, which I leave around 1:00 PM, I return to Winterthur, pick up my stuff, and head to Zürich. As usual, I start following a main route, but then get seduced by bike-route signs. I am faced with a common choice: the steep, hilly, scenic route, or the ugly route next to the freeway. I make the usual decision: the steep, hilly, scenic route. I strain my way up a couple miles of a 10% grade. It’s sunny, hot (maybe 85 or 90 degrees), and I haven't had much lunch. I start thinking that I really shouldn't have done this, but finally I reach the top and enjoy the fields and forests immensely. Then, the payoff: the long downhill glide into Kloten, Oerlikon, and finally Zürich. I find the hotel where I have reserved a room, check in, lock my bike in the hotel garage, take a shower, and finally I can relax.

For dinner I hit the rosti place at the train station. There is a farmer's market right in the station, which I don’t notice until after I eat, and I probably could have just had a bratwurst there. (Bratwurst and a big chunk of bread: a standard Swiss sidewalk meal.) In the evening I go to the university, pick up my suitcase and briefcase, and go back to the hotel.

Thursday, May 14

A day to finalize things: say good-bye at the ETH, pack up the bike.

I start, as usual, with a big hotel breakfast. Then it’s off to the ETH. I see only the secretary, Anne-Marie, and Jakub, my office mate, so I wait awhile in the library, reading. At one point a professor who has been very friendly comes in and we talk awhile. No one else is around. I decide to pack up the bike and return later for visits.

I lug the bike case (which has been stored in my office) to the trolley stop and muscle it onto a trolley. I then go to the hotel and convince it to enter the tiny elevator and descend to the garage, where the bike is stowed. It takes an hour, but the bike is apart and in the case, and I've made room for the panniers as well. I clean the bike a little; fortunately, most of the dirt is just gray dust, and it comes off easily; the chain is greasy, but I just wrap it in a rag. Next, I bring the case up to the lobby and put it in the checked-baggage room. Whew!

Back to the ETH. A few of the profs have arrived, so I say good-bye to them. I go to the cafeteria for some lunch and have  the most awful pizza I have ever tasted: it has beans and capers on it, as well as some type of fish (probably sardines). The crust is soggy in the center and overdone on the outside. The Swiss might make their trains might run precisely on time, but they don't have anything on us Amerikanskis when it comes to University-campus pizza!

After the ETH visit, I have an afternoon to kill. I go to the ETH mineral museum, which is quite good, but my ankle is giving me trouble so I can’t spend much time there. I hop on a trolley and go into town. I cruise around town awhile, do a little window shopping, and finally just head back to the hotel. There are a lot of Americans in town; seems like there are more Americans than Swiss. The tourists are starting to show up. A sure sign that it’s time to go home.

Dinner is at the bar and grille across the street from the hotel. Decent food, but the menus are printed in Swiss German; this is the first time I've seen it written. It looks like Finnish to me. The waitress, however, brings me an English menu, and I am saved from a dinner that would otherwise have matched my lunch.

Friday, May 16

Time to go home. I have reserved a spot on an airport limo; it arrives precisely on time (of course; this is Switzerland). I lug the bike box and my suitcase out to the van, put both on board, and head to the airport. This is the first time I've been in a car since I've arrived! The van is fast and I am the only passenger, so it takes only about 20 minutes. At the airport, everything goes smoothly. I drag the bike box to the bulky-baggage area, check the suitcase, and again I’m traveling light. I buy a couple chocolate bars to use up the rest of my Swiss coins. I do a little window shopping, take the long hike to the boarding area, and sit and wait.

Home again. I pick up my luggage, which fortunately appears quickly. A customs agent shows some interest in my bike box, but he accepts my explanation and doesn't ask to inspect it. Julie is waiting at the curb. Things are getting back to normal, now. I can feel it already.

Postscript, October, 1999

I returned to Zürich in the fall of 1999 as an "opponent" at Jakub's Ph. D. final exam. The weather was cool and exhilarating, the trees were bright with yellow leaves, and the alps glittered above the city in the low, autumn sunlight. After the exam, Urs and Jakub took me to dinner at a restaurant along the lake; we travelled there by the lake steamer. While in Zürich, I also took in a concert at the Tonhalle, the city concert hall (a Beethoven piano concerto), and bought Julie a Christmas present. A good trip, and a nice way to complete the experience.

I've moved the links that once were here to Part II. Click here to go to them.
   


Created 7 July, 1998
Copyright (C) 1998 Stephen A. Maas, All Rights Reserved