After a long day riding three different trains up the Rhine River it was my pleasure to arrive in Zürich to visit friends Dave and Regula in the nearby town of Baden and stay at their lovely new home. Baden (which means "bath") is a spa town on the swift Limmat River. It has been around since at least Roman times.
Naturally we made a cheese fondue one night. Dave served pints of his own home made ale. We laughed at recollections of our adventures when we met in 1995 and traveled from Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan and met again by chance in Kathmandu. We watched some videos of our antics back then when we were about half as old as now.
Regula comes from the valley of Safien in the south east near Italy. We decided to make a road trip down there one day and the weather was perfect. The mountains grew into monsters all around us. We passed through them in tunnels and along narrow winding roads above precipitous cliffs. At the back of the valley all was still covered in snow. Skiers swept past us and we could see two figures far up climbing a massive ice fall. The cold outside made our dinner in a small restaurant feel very cozy.
Back home the next day Dave showed me how to brew one of his ales, from boiling the barley to adding hops to cooling the mixture as it went into the fermenter. He added live yeast and we put the vessel aside to sit and burp for several weeks until it was ready to be stored.
Bad news came from the airline: my flight was canceled and I was moved to a flight the following day. The corona virus was beginning to take its toll on business, if not yet on very many people. This did however give me an extra day that we used to explore some of the Zürich lakefront.
It sure was good to see that Dave was back in pretty good shape after a medical emergency last June. I was so glad to be able to visit him, and wonderful Regula, as a fine end to my days in Europe.