Monday, July 27, 2009

Heidi Weber Haus from Le Corbusier in Zurich

The silhouetted figure above is Alan. Below is a sculpture.

The house has a whole separate roof above the main structure. Light reflects off the water in the half moat onto the bottom of the roof.

16 Selnaustrasse, Zurich

This building houses BNP Paribas and SIA, the Swiss Engineers and Architects association. The enormous concrete planters and building design are very cool.

Quirky Scenes from Zurich

After a hard day watching construction activity, street mode (below) and acres of skin along the lake (even further below), Alan enjoys a "bretzel".

There is a little metal plaque on the Quaibrucke bridge, below, that says in French "Nothing in Gold". The bars of the bridge are painted gold to frame the scene of the river and Fraumunster. The sign says it is put there by "The Masters of Nothing." (in french) Les Maitres de Rien.

Zurich Botanic Garden and Hermann Haller Atelier

The Botanic Garden of the University of Zurich has beautiful water gardens and alpine plants, among other things.

Hermann Haller was a Swiss sculptor who lived from 1880 to 1950. His workshop has been preserved, along with some of his working models. Heidi, below, kindly showed us around.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Feeling Exposed

People Met at the Gspaltenhornhuette

The family above was all hiking together. They were very helpful to other hikers, below, with advice and maps. We were grateful to meet such nice people at our first stay at an alpine hut.
Alan was happy to get to the hut.

We were very impressed with our new German friends, Marye and Marcus, below.
They are from Germany, do triathalons, and had strenuous hikes to get to and from this hut.
They were also very nice to us and encouraged us after a long and scary day.

Gspaltenhornhuette, Kien valley, Berner Oberland

The Gspaltenhornhuette/Gspaltenhornhut is part of the SAC system - the Swiss Alpine Club. It is visible in the photo below, perched on the ledge above the Gamchiglacier. This staffed hut offers bed, meals, and a refuge to hikers and mountain climbers. It is located in the Kiental Valley just to the west of Jungfrau in Berner Oberland.

Nice views...

Wonderful staff work hard to keep it welcoming in the summer, but it is a long hike in, see below.

Wilde Frau Peak of Bluemlisalp, Berner Oberland

Please excuse the multiple views of this peak.
I found it hypnotic and beautiful and wanted to portray it in different lights.
Note the huge sedimentary folds visible in the mountain, above the glacier that wraps its feet.

Glaciers, Snow, Rock, and Mountains

Snow forms into fields of snow. If they persist and flow, then they are glaciers.
Note the pile of rock along the side of the Gamchiglacier, below, a lateral moraine.

The glacier is also covered with rock and debris, so it is hard to tell the difference between the glacier, talus/loose rock, and the mountain.
The Gamchiglacier looks like a dying ice field. In fact, it has receded a lot and is much smaller than shown on maps 50 or even 20 years ago.

Around Buetlasse of Gspaltenhorn

Alan Climbs Up and Over

On our hike in Berner Oberland, Alan and Cyane were frightened by the high winds and steep drop offs at the Sefinenfurke saddle. In the sequence of these pictures, you can see Alan become more comfortable negotiating the steep slopes - even as his body position becomes more vertical. Note also the periglacial landscape, very beautiful.