birds

#26Cantons52Weeks: Zug

Canton: Zug

Destination: Zug (cantonal capital)

Guests: immediate family minus one due to school!

Interesting thing: We caught the Zug (train) to Zug. But Wikipedia tells me the name comes from a fishing term, where in the middle ages, Zug referred to the right to pull up fishing nets and hence to the right to fish.

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I met a guy from Zug at a Scandinavian Midsommar party in Zurich (just to confuse the Switzerland/Sweden thing even further). This has little to do with my story, except that it amused me at the time to meet someone who was born in Zug, one of Switzerland’s smallest, richest and lowest-taxed cantons. It seemed a bit like meeting someone born in London – ie: a rarity – when most residents move there because reasons.

Anyway, we had a little jaunt to Zug today, it’s less than an hour by train from Zurich. And it couldn’t have felt less like mid-summer. In fact, I think it’s the first day I’ve seen snowfall this winter! Brr.

I was unexpectedly charmed by Zug’s altstadt (old town). Although it’s fairly similar to other well-preserved old towns around Switzerland such as Solothurn, Fribourg and even Zurich itself, with lots of cool old buildings, carved wood and moulded stone, gothicky images and script and lots of fountains featuring knights and jester-types, Zug has its own unique charm. Not least because Lake Zug is very pretty, especially today, with a light dusting of snow on the slopes of the mountains across the water.

We had a stroll, or should I say, a brisk, chilly walk by the lake and visited the local aviary. Said g’day to a couple of Kookaburras looking rather miserable! Some snowy owls were more in their element. But I was mainly lakeside to check out the Roman Signer “Seesicht” sculpture, which takes you down below the waterline. I found it underwhelming and a little public-toiletesque. It looks much better in the Zug tourist site pictures. Oh well.

With snow zinging through the Zug air, it was time for lunch. I had a few hot tips on spots to eat from fellow blogger and local resident, Tamara, the part-time working hockey mom (thankyou!) and we couldn’t resist buying a couple of the indulgent, adults-only Zugerli chocs for afters. Yum.

I have read that the lake is also positioned to provide spectacular sunsets but weather conditions were not conducive and we couldn’t hang around… I’ll simply have to return to Zug in mid-summer for that!

 

Do I look cold?

 

PS: Thanks to the encouragement of various people and my own sheer pig-headedness, I now think I will manage to achieve my goal of visiting every Swiss canton this year. Woo! 

 

Cantons visited / to go so far. 

Aargau

Appenzell Ausserrhoden

Appenzell Innerrhoden

Basel-Landschaft

Basel-Stadt

Bern

Fribourg

Geneva

Glarus

Graubünden

Jura

Luzern

Neuchâtel

Nidwalden

Obwalden

Schaffhausen

Schwyz

Solothurn

St. Gallen

Thurgau

Ticino

Uri

Valais

Vaud

Zug

Zürich

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Morning song

Beardsley-inspired ink poster by Steven Huntington from www.behance.net/gallery/7198651/Aubrey-Beardsley-Poster

 

Soft, stilldark early morning

birds’ small, individual rounds

chirping, tweeting, calling

create a wall of nature-sound

 

The trams surging up Schaffhauserstrasse

juddering scrape, metal wheels on rails

a sibilant symphony: electric power

near-majestic, benign strength prevails

 

Church bells bong quarterly

soundwaves hanging in the air

on the hour a vortex: echo-vibration, stereolocation

you almost see it shimmering there

 

The planes: further away, their churn

high-up, unmistakable

as toward tarmac or clouds they kern

ripping the sky, rippling by

 

My baby lets out a cry: 5am

down the hall in his room

he snuffles, goes quiet again

I don’t get up… but soon

 

Traffic noise, a distant soundtrack

underpins cities like cement

no one drives up our street yet

Still: the neverending improvement

 

The soft crunch of my duvet

as I stretch my legs in the warm bed

can’t sleep now should I choose it

I think about Sydney instead

 

I’m doing National/Global Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo) – write one poem, per day throughout April. Today’s prompt/challenge was to write a poem in which you closely describe an object or place, and then end with a much more abstract line that doesn’t seemingly have anything to do with that object or place, but which, of course, really does.

Food for flight

image

Snails and worms abound today
Spring rain has brought them out to play
If I were a bird I’d find
The seasonal menu just divine

I’m giving National/Global Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo) a go – write one poem, per day throughout April. Today’s prompt/challenge was to write about food.