Thursday, June 2, 2016


Zürich, Switzerland

"Balcony, external extension of an upper floor of a building, enclosed up to a height of about three feet (one metre) by a solid or pierced screen, by balusters (see also balustrade), or by railings. In the medieval and Renaissance periods, balconies were supported by corbels made out of successive courses of stonework, or by large wooden or stone brackets. Since the 19th century, supports of cast iron, reinforced concrete, and other materials have become common.

The balcony serves to enlarge the living space and range of activities possible in a dwelling without a garden or lawn. In many apartment houses the balcony is partly recessed to provide for both sunshine and shelter or shade. (In Classical architecture a balcony that is fully recessed or covered by its own roof is described as a loggia; [q.v.].) In hot countries a balcony allows a greater movement of air inside the building, as the doors opening onto it are usually louvered." ~ Encyclopedia Britannica

Sunday, May 29, 2016


A view of Zürich's riverfront with the twin towers of the Grossmünster in the background.

Sunday, May 15, 2016


A very particular purpose brought me to Rapperswil on the east side of Lake Zürich only hinted at in this sparse sentence in Wikipedia: "Rapperswil was involved in wars between the Catholic and Reformed cantons of the Old Swiss Confederation." I had to chuckle when I read that. The barest of sentences brought me over the ocean and thousands of miles from my home, just so I could see this old, mostly forgotten, battleground of the Reformation. :-)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Zurich Airport

Can meals aboard commercial flights ever be considered memorable? I wouldn't have thought so, except my "supper" (served at 9 a.m. EST!) served aboard Flight #134 was an Indian dish called Chana Saag, and included--besides the chickpeas--cumin and basmati rice. The flight attendant warned me that it was "spicy," but I didn't find it especially so, which is in itself remarkable as I am notoriously sensitive to such things. 

In any case, my flight landed on time at 8:50 a.m. Switzerland time and after claiming my baggage I was soon headed by bus to the little medieval town of Rapperswill on the shores of Lake Zurich,

Flight 134

Even though my departure from Washington National was delayed, my plane still arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport in plenty of time to meet my transatlantic flight to Zurich aboard this B777-200. I even had time to grab a quick snack before boarding. If there's one thing I've learned from my years of travel, it's that it doesn't pay to get too stressed out about flight schedules. About the best you can do is to take advantage of whatever little comforts may be available to you (like San Pelligrino & raw almonds!) and to go with the flow. On this particular day, though, I was lucky.; rotation was right on time at 7:32 p.m.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Flight 4155

Flight 4155
Washington National Airport

First leg of my trip to Switzerland (well, not counting the taxi ride to the airport!) was a short hop from National to Newark aboard this Embraer 145. As it happened, I arrived at the airport just as a massive police motorcade also rode in to help kick off National Police Week. I think they were there to escort special guests to the ceremonies being held next door in Washington, D.C. Who knew?! Whether it had anything to do with it or not, I don't know, but my flight was about an hour late departing.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

National Airport

"Washington National Airport is an airport in Arlington, Virginia, that is one of two major airports serving Washington, D.C., the other being Washington Dulles International Airport. It is the nearest commercial airport to the capital and serves the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. . . . 

National is a fortress hub for American Airlines which operates near-hourly air shuttle flights to Logan International Airport in Boston and New York LaGuardia Airport. Delta also operates near-hourly air shuttle flights to New York LaGuardia Airport which are all operated by Delta Shuttle." ~ Wikipedia