The location is northern Italy’s Po Valley, on the high-speed railway line connecting Rome to Milan (Here a longer video).
During my recent brief trip to China, I had a chance to visit an old village. That told me much more about China, its culture and habits, than the big city where I used to stay most of the time.
You can find a lot of those typical villages, just by getting no more than a few miles into the countryside. A western driving license is usually not valid to drive on Chinese territory, but luckily enough, I knew some Chinese fellas willing to show me how their country looked like until not long ago.
Dating back 1974, it is for me a typical example of communist, cold war era, grey, eastern European style. But, while ugly, it is still a piece of history, actually a double piece of history, of both communist era and World War II period. It is there to remember some people who lost their lives fighting for freedom.
We were in Vienna, Austria. Since Vienna is near the border with Slovakia, we decided to sleep in Bratislava, Slovakia’s capital city.
Bratislava is in Slovakia, close to the border to both Austria and Hungary. That makes it only 50 miles away from downtown Vienna. You can travel from Vienna to Bratislava in a very short time. We thought it was a good chance to visit a new town, to see a piece of Slovakia, and to save on the hotel. In fact, prices in Slovakia are lower than in Austria. Therefore, we booked a hotel in Bratislava and left Vienna.
I already said that I love lakes of Switzerland, didn’t I?
I had the chance to see another one of them: the Greifensee.
It is a small lake surrounded by the trees, just east of Zurich.
Unlike other Swiss lakes, it has few to no buildings on its coast. In fact, Greifensee Lake is a nature conservancy area. Apart from the coast in front of the village with the same name, the rest of its shore is under environment protection and building of any kind is prohibited.
Therefore it is possible to just walk on a narrow, unpaved country road, enter a small forested area, and while walking amongst trees, suddendly find the lake in front of you, as it happened to us.
Do that on a quiet, wind-free day, and it will be a very peacefully feeling.
Water surface was completely flat, and we seated next to a tree that stretched its brances to the lake, while dipping our feet into the water.
The lake is narrow – its width being only a mile – and we could easily see the green hills on the other side. If you’d climb those hills, from the top you would see Lake Zurich on the other side.
Greifensee Lake hosts a variety of flora and fauna. Some species of migratory birds are present here.
A good place to come back again in the near future.