Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

This is the second time I've been in Zuerich on the day a Harry Potter book was released. Like last time, we went to the English Orrel Fuessli and joined the queue. They were crowds and quite a few non-Harry-Potter buyers were looking at the crowds and leaving which was strange because we were in and out in 5 minutes. You had to pay at a cash register and then go upstairs to collect the book. Someone said the downstairs register was not buys so we went down stairs, paid in 1 minute, told the lady advising people where to pay that the downstairs register was empty and then went up and collected the book.

We continued shopping for a few hours - which I though was most restrained of me. I had been talking about going for a bike ride later but luckily the perfect excuse for staying in turned up. It began to rain heavily and didn't stop all evening. Finished the book at 1:30 am.

I really enjoyed it. I was laughing out loud at some of the jokes and not wanting to be interrupted in the tense bits. It was very well done. I'm very impressed that J. K. Rowling managed to create a book that could stand up so well to so much anticipation.

Obtaining and reading the book made me remember what it was like going to see the last Lord of the Rings film. A sense of a ritual ending. For the previous 2 Christmas periods we had joined lots of other people to see these movies and this was the last time that this would happen. Reading the book was like that. This was the last time I would ever read a Harry Potter novel for the first time.

Very cool :-)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cold In Sydney

Classic Quote from the Sydney Morning Herald about a very cold day in Sydney

"You know it's cold when your Australian cattle dog is whining for you to dress her in her hooded fleece doggie jumper and refuses to go outside in the morning," she said.

from Tania Liebenow

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Originally uploaded by bristley
Yesterday we went to the train station with our bikes to catch a train to Geneva so we could ride to see the Tour de France. Unfortunately, things didn't go quite as planned. It was the first day of school holidays and there were power problems in Fribourg (I think it was there - began with an F anyway). The 9:30 train didn't go and the 10:00 and 10:30 which were supposed to be ICs turned out to be ICNs for which bikes needed a reservation and they were all taken. So we randomly decided to go somewhere else.

We hopped on the train going to Chur after they managed to find the last two spots in the luggage van for our bikes. We got off at Chur and after looking at the various bicycle route signs, chose the two north. Shortly afterwards this became non-sealed. We always get strange looks from the other cyclists when we ride these routes on our road bikes- but they're not too bad.

The route followed the Rhein through the valley - into a head wind of course and after a while detoured into "Heidi Land" - Maienfeld and Bad Ragaz. Very pretty views. It started getting hotter and we bailed out at Sargans. It was 12 degrees earlier in the week and yesterday it was at least 30. It's a bit of a shock to the system.

We caught an IC back. The last carriage was one of the bike downstairs, play room upstairs carriages. The bottom was filled with bikes - all the official spaces were taken and they were 4 deep against the walls. Luckily it was express from Sargans to Zurich.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Glass of Wine

Glass of Wine
Originally uploaded by bristley
We learnt an important lesson today. It can be important to know the properties of the mystery wine you have bought. Otherwise you end up with bubbly wine all over your toes :-)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A very nice view

A very nice view
Originally uploaded by bristley
This is a photo from our walk near Luzern. There are some very nice houses on the lake like this. Later there are houses with high hedges around them and "privat" signs so that you can't see the houses - or the view.


Haven't blogged in a while. I've been busy working. Still in Switzerland. We went to Luzern yesterday and started walking along the edge of the lake.

According to GMaps Pedometer we walked about 11 km. This is our route. Actually it would be a bit more than that because we had to backtrack a few times when we lost the Wanderweg signs.

The Vierwaldstaettersee is very pretty. For quite a section of the walk we weren't along the edge of the lake because of a lot of people have "Privat" on the roads going into areas having I assume bought up the lakeside property. There are quite a lot of townhouse like flats along the edge quite remote from anything - but there is of course a bus because this is Switzerland.

For one part of the walk it was right on the edge of the lake. We were passed by normal swiss rollerbladers who were using the excellent quiet roads to go somewhere. We were also passed again and again by this same pair of odd rollerbladers. This particular pair were just going backwards and forwards on the same 2 km stretch of road. They weren't racing rollerbladers. Maybe they were from somewhere other than switzerland and hadn't caught on to the idea of "touring rollerbladers".

Today we entergetically went for a walk/run in the forest around the base of the Uetliberg. How extercisey of use :-)