A Town Called Zug

We are staying in an apartment building smack dab in the middle of the nerve center of Zug. I could throw a ball from the 4th floor terrace and hit the train station. You can hear the trains come and go, but it’s a fast whooshing sound, not too terrible.

I love to stand at the window and watch the different trains going who knows where – Zurich (15 min), Luzerne (20 min), Milan (2 hrs.), Paris (4.5 hrs). You get the picture.

Switzerland touches so many countries, it’s amazing.  Italian, French, German, and Romanesh are all national languages. But Zug is very German, and I’d say the majority do not speak English.

I can actually see my husband’s office building from the kitchen, the building nestled in between Siemens and some other corporations I don’t know. This is the first time he has been able to walk to work. In our building the tenants are mixed – dentists, lawyers, therapist, etc. with only a couple other residents like us.

It feels pretty tight, a little industrial. Right next door is a bike store – a “lounge” they say – bustling with networking bike enthusiasts and bikes being repaired outside.

But, if you walk a few blocks you can see why people think Zug’s so picturesque. The town sits on Lake Zug, a large pristine body of water.  We are in the foothills of the great mountains, and you can see the snow capped beauties in the distance.

When my son came to visit, we took the first walk down to town. It was a lovely foray where we had no idea what was what. Everything’s in German, and man, there are no root words I recognize there. I am such a literal processor, so I can’t stop myself from trying to make sense where there is no apparent correlation. It’s a tough retraining to keep my eyes off the words all around me.

My mantra is follow my son, he’s been all over the world, he know’s what’s up. He’s my sherpa.

First, we come to a small shopping district and then another 1/2 mile to the Old Town. The architecture is, well, gingerbready/chalet/German style, very old. It’s mainly a walking street down here, with shops, restaurants, a bird aviary and a gorgeous little harbor with small boats. Delightful.

All adventures with him culminate with some sort of meal, so after having scoped out over a dozen bakeries (more on that later), we grab our lunch. Big sandwiches, with unusual grains (dinkel?) and buttery local cheese.

We sit on a bench on the waterfront and tilt our faces to the sun. His hasn’t seen real sun since who knows when, Ithaca has been deep in winter. I just love the way looking at water instantly calms my nerves. I imagine this beach in summertime, teeming with people.

I just focus on this moment, in this strange, yet charming locale. In time, I will know it much better, and this walkabout with my son has really helped. And as I look around at all the Swiss people on their lunch breaks with us, I feel so incredibly lucky.

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