Sunday, September 29, 2013

September fly by

September has always felt like a short month to me, and this year was no exception. My parents visited for three weeks, and in that time we managed to see a bit of Germany (Munich), Austria (Salzburg, which unfortunately was a bit of a rained out mess), and Italy (Milan). We also did more tourist-type activities around Zurich than I'd done in my previous 7 months combined, including a wonderful afternoon at the Zurich zoo, a boat trip on Lake Zurich, and visits to three of the main churches in town. We also trimmed hedges, dug up my entire garden, planted various bulbs for next spring, painted a bookshelf, organized the basement storage, picked apples/made homemade applesauce, and my amazing mother hemmed a set of curtains (by hand!). Busy times.

Before departing for Munich, I watched a few lectures from the "Great Courses" (photography) series my parents had bought me before departing Boston - yes, about 8 months late. I was eager to try out my newfound expertise 45-minutes-of-knowledge and ended up taking well over 1500 photos in an attempt to learn more about both photography and my specific camera (a Nikon D3200). And what I learned was - well, I learned I want a more versatile lens. But! I also learned a lot about aperture and shutter speed and how to mess around with them. Good times.

So when we returned, I was all excited about playing around with the photos after the fact and posting stunning photos. Unfortunately, my poor 4-year old MacBookPro has single-digit GBs of memory free (as in, 2 or 3 GB), so I can't download my photos onto my computer. Boo. Hopefully I'll get an external hard drive in the next week and treat you all to magnificent works of art pictures that don't suck. In the meanwhile, I downloaded and am posting just one or two representative pictures from each outing as proof samples.

In other news, my German continues to be spotty (some encounters leave me triumphant, one has left me in tears of frustration), I think that I finally have what the Swiss consider a complete job application package (I'll find out this week if a picture of my PhD diploma counts as a "copy of my certification"), and I took on the position of managing editor for the bimonthly publication of the AWCZ - October, bring it on!

Bavaria, the statue:

Unfortunately this picture gives no sense of her size, but as per Wikipedia, she is 18 and a half meters tall (I originally typed it as '18.52,' but the period doesn't show up well, and I didn't want anyone to think she was near 2 km tall). 

Rainy view of Salzburg:

View of the river Salzach. The large building in the foreground is the Salzburg cathedral.

The (unbelievably enormous) Duomo in Milan:

Nice cathedral. BIG.

View from the Duomo roof back over the Piazza Duomo. An entrance to famous shopping area Galeria Vittorio can be seen to the right. Sorry for the crane ruining the shot. Zurich has the same problem ("Oh, look, what a beautiful cityscape - crap, never mind.") 

Zurich zoo:

Three tapirs and a capybara walk into a bar...

It's a llama! Or an alpaca. But definitely not a vikunya or a guanaco (yes, the zoo had all four). My Peruvian husband had only a 50% success rate in identifying the various types, so I don't feel bad.

Lake Zurich and mountains:

Yep, that's snow. I plan to try another outing on a clearer day (who wants to come visit and go with me?).

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