Blue Flower

Roads and Houses



                I’m slowly adjusting to the roads here. I don’t mean the driving. That’s been easy to adjust to. I mean the way the roads are laid out.

                There is no such thing as a grid of roadways here. I didn’t realize I was so used to a north-south/east-west grid until I came here, and now I feel quite disoriented.

                Thank God for my GPS. If I didn’t have that, I think I would never actually make it anywhere.

                We are definitely in a land of small towns connected with wandering grapevines of roads. So many little towns! They are a mix of old and new. Take our own little town, for example.

                The house we are in has half-timbering above the bakery portion. Lots of other buildings have the same half-timbering. There are watering troughs scattered throughout the town that are the size of huge bathtubs. They are full of water. So far I haven’t seen animals drinking from them, but they seem to be well-maintained.

                There are also buildings made out of planks of wood. It’s wood that has been there for a long time, so it’s weathered and lichened.

                The newer buildings are not that attractive. I guess nothing went into the aesthetics part of the budget. They are basically unembellished square buildings with smooth stucco sides and tile or asphalt shingle roofs.

                We see new buildings like that standing next to old buildings, so it really is an assortment.

                There are no giant developments of the sort that we see all over southern California. No cookie-cutter houses here.

                I should probably amend what I’ve just said. I’m describing the hearts of the little towns, like where we live.

 I have seen more interesting new homes outside of the towns. I’ve seen some apartments, too, and these have looked somewhat more interesting. Still fairly minimal and sleek, but that seems to be kind of the European thing. Sleek and minimal in all areas, except in the area of wine and food!

I like the restaurants around. There aren’t a lot, and there are zero fast food places unless you go into a bigger town, like Schaffhausen, or Winterthur. There you will a few fast-food places, including maybe a McDonald’s. But most of the fast-food places aren’t American chains, naturally, so I’m still learning to recognize them.

The actual full-service restaurants are full of character. I like the old-world look that a lot of them have out here in the more rural area. We haven’t been in to Zurich since we arrived, so I couldn’t really tell you about restaurants there. Or about the buildings.

In Winterthur (not to be mistaken with the museum Winterrthur), in the commercial area, the buildings are definitely modern. You don’t see any half-timbered stuff there in the heart of the business district. But wander a street or two over, and then you’ll start seeing older buildings with character.

I really like the half-timbered buildings. They have a solid and cozy and interesting look about them. The half-timbering isn’t identical, so a row of half-timbered houses has quite a bit of variety.

I started talking about roads and ended up talking about half-timbered houses. Told you I’d take some rabbit trails!