Chronicles of a writer abroad



I’ve had no words, this week. Extraordinary things have been happening to people other than me — things that make you grateful for helicopters and surgeons. In the midst of this drama, I haven’t wanted to prattle on about my everyday life, but I’m aware that some people check the site regularly and that I’ve been quiet for a while now.

So, instead of words, I’d like to offer a few pictures today. These are ones that either I or Stelian have taken during the past week or so.

Snow leopard at the Zurich zoo

Swiss cow in pasture

A high-altitude hike

A truly urban park

The last two photos are of one of my favourite spots in Zurich-Nord. We may not have the lake at our end of the city, but we have this very cool area called the MFO Park. It’s a sizable open space inside of a large steel structure draped with vines. The interior boasts trees, benches and a pool set into a square of different-coloured glass pebbles. During the day, it is a peaceful green oasis where people read and take their lunches. At night, spotlights come on, making the glass sparkle and turning MFO into a haven for teenagers and a spot for adults who want to get lost in conversation. You can climb onto the structure – there are balconies and benches offering different views from the different levels.

Apparently, this park won some sort of architecture competition a few years ago. As I was reading more about it on the internet, I came across a letter by artist Jürg Altherr to the planners of the park, in which he terms it “A public hall as big as the biggest industrial halls; a park as a walk-on sculpture; the green opera!”

The green opera, indeed. Now those are words I would not have thought of.


3 thoughts on “Snapshots

  1. Ah yes, the blessings of helicopters and surgeons. And at this point, Peter is about 1 1/2 hours from Toronto where your Mum will collect him and settle him in his abode. We have all had our thoughts elsewhere lately, so your pictures are appreciated. Love you.

  2. beautiful, beautiful photographs Kristen, thank you. He’s home safe.

  3. That park is amazing! Lovely photos.

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