The Indian family in Switzerland


A hot Saturday afternoon on the A61. Slow moving traffic. Near the Swiss border we exit the highway into a parking area. Beyond the burning asphalt with a few parked cars is a wooded slope with tables and benches under tree shades. A path leads down the slope. At the end of this path, hidden behind tall bushes, is a large pond. Ducks float idly on the calm green surface. Sun filters through the foliage forming irregular patches all over.

We are struck by the beauty of this spot that has appeared, like an oasis, where we least expected it. On one of the tables Mom lays out a South Indian spread she has prepared for this journey.

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At the Ibis hotel in Luzern, a sparsely furnished room on the second floor, with a view of dull office blocks nearby. But Wife is happy: there is free WI-FI. A clean bathroom and an Internet connection is all she wants from a hotel room.

In the adjacent room dad is happy too: there’s a TV on which, later in the evening, he can watch the Euro cup soccer match.

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It was past 9 p.m. when we reached Langwies. Sarah, our host at the B&B, had asked us to come in late, so we spent a couple of hours at Chur, a small city not far from Langwies. It was the Monday after Easter Sunday, and the streets in Chur wore an empty look. At the railway station, the lady at the tourist information desk handed me a city map and suggested a walk through the altstadt.

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Stations and trains


Is there anything in the world sadder
than a train standing in the rain?

– Pablo Neruda, The Book of Questions

Last week, on our way to an Alpine village in the Arosa region of Switzerland, we stopped briefly at the Zurich main station. Zurich is a hub for trains to and from Italy, Austria, France, and Germany; mid-afternoon on a weekday seemed like peak hour. A good spot, then, for a few pictures.

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