This WAS My Best Day Ever!


March something, 2005. I meet Rainer Hugener in front of St. Peter’s Church. He has a map of Zürich, not a new map, but a medieval map. We are going to “walk” through the Zürich I wrote in my novel, Martin’s Zürich (you can see it on this map: it’s the Zürich implicitly circled within the towers). Rainer is a Swiss Medievalist Historian, a grad student at the University of Zürich. I found him online and contacted him, hoping to find someone to corroborate my historical research on Martin of Gfenn. It was our first meeting. We walk across the bridge to the Salzmarkt and stop in front of a house about which I wrote in my novel. The coincidences are beyond explaining; had I lived there once? Did I remember something? Don’t know. Sternen for bratwurst mit bürli (und senf!) then a tram to the top of the Zürichberg, walk down the hill, past a ruined monastery, and down to Dubendorf. A bus to Gfenn. And there we are at setting sun in this beautiful place where the story happened. Walking back on the wanderweg to the train, back to Zürich to meet his girlfriend, eat fondue and cake, drink champagne. After copious amounts of champagne I ask, “Do you like being identified as Swiss Medievalist historians?”  Swiss society is a bit more stratified and labeled than ours. Rainer’s girlfriend laughs, “Of course, and what do you think you are?”

Bezirkshauptorte des Kantons ZŸrich in Ausschnitten der Murer-Karte
The Castle is on this map from the 1500s — Dubelstein. Our destination MIGHT be behind the big Zürich “happen” but it might be the little church to the left facing.

4 thoughts on “This WAS My Best Day Ever!

  1. Now that was a surprise, a very nice entry. Of course I know Zürich very well, I lived there for two years when I entered Switzerland 47 years ago. I now live towards the North at the foot of the Jura mountains near the town of Solothurn. Zürich is a town steeped in history. My 1/2 daughter lives there, has two boutiques in the town and we visit now and again. It is a little more than an hour away by train from where I live. Swiss society was a bit stiff, but that was before I moved in LOL

    • I’ve been in Solothurn! I think it’s a beautiful city. My Swiss saga is very strange and full of surprises. But all that might seep into my blogs… Unfortunately, I don’t speak any kind of German. I am trying to learn but it’s kind of paradoxical; it is so easy (to understand) in some ways that it’s difficult for me to learn to use.

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