Midnight in Zurich: Searching for the Beauty In Everything

I’d just come out of a long, tiring, frustrating and difficult week. In the middle of a long, tiring, frustrating and difficult month. Being tired makes everything so much worse for me; the Wednesday before my trip to Vienna I was absolutely knackered and consequently miserable.

However, I was really looking forward to my long weekend in Austria, so by the time I reached Friday things were looking up. I’d also managed to get in a good night’s sleep and played some happy music as per my method of dealing with problems. I was taking the overnight train from Zurich to Vienna that night, I hopped on the Basel to Zurich train straight after my German class and thus ended up with an hour or so to kill in the Zurich Hauptbahnhof. Amidst the smokers, vagrants, aimless packs of youths and other malicious loiterers.

Yeah right. I’m taking my camera and going for a walk.

I’m the owner of a nice camera…but not a Serious Photographers’ grade one. My Olympus shoots pretty pictures with 12 megapixels, has several functions for indoors/snow/candlelight/outdoors and fits into my coat or trouser pocket. But coaxing it into taking good pictures at night has proven to be a bitch. With an exposure time of several seconds, the slightest movement of your hands after pressing the ‘shoot’ button will render your night scene a blurry mess capable of inducing headaches.

Thing is, I really like night scenes. I think that cities really come alive after dark: I love how everything becomes just that little bit more magical and mysterious.

And Zurich…well, upon stepping out of the train station I became very determined indeed to capture Zurich after dark.

Photographic success was achieved with the help of walls, railings and parapets: through resting my camera on something solid and flat I was able to keep it steady for the requisite length of time to take a proper picture. I should probably think about buying a tripod or something. At some point. It isn’t perfect, but I think I managed to capture that elusive “sense of place”. At least to a degree that I’m happy with.

I wrote an article about my first trip to Zurich during the daytime: to me its almost a completely different place after-hours.

Perhaps the best thing about those 30 mins walking through the Old Town was that after aforementioned frustrating week I could start seeing the beauty and positives in my surroundings once more. I was able to react and feel emotions simply from admiring some buildings illuminated by light.

The frustrating month isn’t over yet, but thanks to a wait between train connections it has become tolerable once more.


20 thoughts on “Midnight in Zurich: Searching for the Beauty In Everything

  1. I managed to get hold of a mini-tripod for mine which really really helped. Folded, it was only about 8cm long and 2cm in diameter.

    I’ve also heard that these gorillapod tripod things they sell are really good.

    • Yes, I know people who have the gorilla ones and seem very pleased with them. They also look really light and flexible for putting in backpacks, etc.
      Now to see if I can get them at a vaguely reasonable price in Switzerland…

  2. Gorgeous! Just found your blog. Things that are SO awesome about it: International Chemist and Adventurer is a wicked title to have. Appreciating just being somewhere and observing it. Music for therapy.


  3. Oh, what beautiful photos! I love Zurich and got “stuck” there when the volcano erupted in 2010; these pictures reminded me of how lucky that little bump in my traveling road was. Thanks for sharing your adventures and take care!

  4. Ah! You have sparked my wanderlust! The closest I have been to Zurich was Gimmelwald in the mountains and I could have stayed there forever – well, with a trip or two to close cities. 😀 Lovely pics.

    • Ahh, the Swiss Alpine heartland. That’s something else altogether. I love the Alps (especially in winter), but the cities such as Zurich, Bern, Basel, Luzern & Lausanne also warrant a visit.

    • I was thinking of you when I posted this, Cecile! Especially given your recent post on your Switzerland withdrawal symptoms. 🙂
      I agree: the Zurchers definitely know the secret of atmospheric lighting.

  5. Heya are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m
    trying to get started and create my own. Do you need any coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

    • Hi Carmine,
      Yes, this is a WordPress blog. You don’t need any coding knowledge whatsoever to use this site – the platform is set up to be very user-friendly and there are lots of pre-made template designs to choose from.
      Happy blogging!

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