The screws at Landquart – 2

Continuing the series, just across the outlet mall in Landquart there is a pumping station that is open to the air but protected by a fence:

Interestingly, there is a small creek just behind this installation, but the screws go down much, much lower (probably a good 15 m) lower than the level of the river:

Things like this really confuse me. It smelled a bit like sewage, so I assume it was somehow for dealing with sewage water. But only one of the huge screws was turning, and in fact the tiniest one.  Does it receive a higher volume in the rain? Does it pump more than just sewer water? Sadly, these things are never documented anywhere that the public can easily read about them!

The stores at Landquart – 1

About an hour south of Zürich there is something usual. Very unusual. Well, very unusual for Switzerland, at any rate: an outlet mall! As a rule, Switzerland doesn’t have many of them; I know of one other in the very south of Switzerland, near Italy. And I know of two in Germany and one in France – but they are much less common than in the US.

And here’s what it looks like when you park your car:

Winterthur Building Statue

Not sure what this is – it doesn’t look old – but there are a number of them scattered throughout the north central Swiss city of Winterthur – and I find it a bit frustrating that they have these things with no plaques or explanations!

Anyway, I liked this snap, in this light, because I thought that all the colors were somehow related. I don’t know anything about colors, but I understand there are collections of them that are related.

Schwabentor at Schaffhausen – unstretched

I used Microsoft Lens to unstretch this gate, a surviving artifact of the walled city of Schaffhausen – or, in the Alemanic language, Schaffhuuse:


Seeing this up close, it makes me wonder why the skin tones of some of the people in the painting are dark?  This might not seem interesting, but only about 300 m from this tower is the famous Schaffhausen Moor-fountain that portrays an Arab.

Could it be that Schaffhausen has a history involving the Arabs?  It would not surprise me, since Schaffhause is easily reached from the south of France via a long series of rivers.

It’s a mystery I have to come back and clear up some day!

Swiss house

I took this snap in the Canton of Schwyz, but it is a common sight anywhere in the German speaking region of Switzerland:

In the western part of Switzerland, also called Romandie, the architecture tends to be more similar to what might be called a French style, with buildings mostly made from stone.

When industry overgrows history

The town of Schlieren in Switzerland, just outside of Zürich, has to be one of the niftiest little towns I know. There is a very old area that has been overgrown with a slightly-less-old industrial area, and that has been overgrown with a modern industrial area. You have to really go on a weekend and drive around on the roads marked private, but if you do you see a lot of interesting sites like this, a very old church next to a slightly newer but also old industrial building, while all the while I am surrounded (off camera) by very modern industries:

Here’s a slightly different view from a different angle:

Church mystery

Capt. Kirk once said, “I hate mysteries. They give me a belly-ache, and right now I’ve got a beaute.” Same with me.

Here’s the mystery. Why is a modern church located in Winterthur, Switzerland almost identical to an old church located in Bodega Bay, California?  You’ll notice the major design elements such as the pointed doorway, four windows, and even the proportions are nearly identical. Is this co-incidence?

Here’s the church at Bodega Bay, photographed by Ansel Adams,

And here is the church in Winterthur, photographed by me:

Swiss bloom

As artistic a snap as I thought I could take of some plants in a planter on a pier at the Vierwaldstättersee in Switzerland, in the town of Ingenbohl,

That’s a luxury 4-star hotel in the background, the Seehotel Waldstätterhof, and unless you are willing to plop down a cool CHF 400-500 per night don’t think about sleeping here.

Bern – the highly protected city

If you live in Switzerland then you know how it is. Luzern seems to be the “sacrificial city.” Tour guides, bus operators, and the like all route the tourists to the city of Luzern. It is a very touristy city.

But one of the real jewels in the crown of Switzerland is a closely guarded secret that not a lot of people outside Switzerland know about, Bern. And I’ve often thought, that is exactly how the locals like it, to keep the marauding hoards of tourists from spoiling the city.

Those amazing Swiss bunkers

If you’ve ever been to the Berner Oberland in Switzerland then you know how it is. The Swiss built a tremendous number of fortifications deep within the country of Switzerland, far from any borders, so that if the Germans attacked from the north, they could retreat to the center and – in a sort of scorched earth policy – destroy bridges and roads to prevent German egress into the center.

Here is an incredible sight for anyone driving into Interlaken:

Including a close-up of one of the bunkers, including the picnic bench which I think adds a nice, homey touch:

Winterthur church

As artistic a photo as I thought I could take of the Stadtkirche Winterthur, dating back to the thirteenth century (the church, not my photo),

Just for the sake of transparency, I squared up the image a bit using the SKRWT app on my iPad.

It reminds me of Ansel Adams in two ways: not only is it a black and white snap of a church, but I captured it while just waiting around outside before my dentist’s appointment (my dentist asked his patients not to arrive early for their appointments, due to Covid). Ansel Adams was known to take a little point-and-shoot Polaroid camera everywhere he went – and although I don’t put myself in his category, just about all the snaps he took on that little Polaroid are now hanging in museums.

Where Switzerland meets Germany

Well, this place isn’t anywhere close to where the border of Switzerland touches the border of Germany. But it is in the north central Swiss town of Schaffhausen, which is the largest village and natural embarkation and debarkation point for train travellers arriving from or travelling to Germany.

And you can see that in this magnificent train station, with the “Schweizerische Bundesbahnen” on the left, and the “Deutsche Bahn” on the right.

To me it is also a powerful reminder of the two very different cultures: literally translated Schweizerische Bundesbahnen means Swiss Federal Railroads – a collection of different companies united equally into a larger framework – and the Deutsche Bahn, just one company.