“Where are all the people?” I thought, as I walked across the lush green park.
It was the beginning of winter and there was a nip in the air, a light mist hovered benignly above me as I walked along a cobbled pathway that cut right through a huge park and connected two parallel roads. I felt a million sparks of exhilaration explode within my being as I basked in the peaceful and beautiful environs.
A family of swans glided serenely in the clear waters of a man made stream, at harmony with their surroundings.
I continued along the cobbled path till I came to a small and picturesque wooden arched bridge, I crossed the bridge, which forded a brook that meandered happily below, and reached the road.
I crossed the road which was empty and made my way along the banks of a lake which looked magical. Its waters blended with the mist and the surrounding green vegetation to create an image that was truly mesmerizing.
I then took a left turn and after walking for another couple of meters, I reached my destination.
“Where are all the people?” I thought again. Incredibly, I had not met a single person on the way from my Hotel to my office!
Yes! I was not on a hike or a blissful vacation in fairyland. I was in Uster, a small city in the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland, for work.
This was my first day in Uster and the place had me in its thrall, I was completely smitten and fell headlong in love.
I was in Uster for three weeks and every weekday, I looked forward to my daily morning pilgrimage to the office, for the walk was nothing less than a communion with God, such was the sheer beauty of the surroundings.
A Sunday Afternoon
I woke up to a gloomy and wet Sunday. I looked out of my hotel window and could see the rain pouring down and retreated to the comfortable confines of the warm Hotel Bed. By afternoon the weather improved and the clouds beat a retreat, the sun peeped out from behind the clouds. I was on the balcony of my hotel room and looked up at the castle in the distance which perched upon a hillock. I made up my mind and soon I was walking towards the castle on a road that shone on account of being recently rain washed. I made quick time and soon reached the base of the hill, a winding road led to the summit. I was soon besides the small castle which was closed, a flag fluttered at the top and I could only wonder on what stories of royal intrigues the walls of the castle had buried in their recesses.
Besides the Castle, there was a small restaurant on the hillock where one could sit and nurse a cup of hot beverage while enjoying the view. One could see the green meadows and the villages below and the looming snow clad mountains in the distance.
As I walked in a land which seemed to have jumped out of a fairy tale, I stumbled upon a small children’s play area with some swings, The sun seemed to have cast a spell of light and the swings and their vicinity was enveloped in an ethereal glow.
I wandered happily amongst the meadows as if I was ‘Heidi’ . I exchanged pleasantries with a couple of the famed swiss cows and I breathed in the fresh mountain air and was happy to be just alive!
And then the sun went down in a blaze of colors that left me humbled and thankful for a beautiful evening. I started my descent back to my hotel, looking forward to yet another morning in heaven called Uster!
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