A bus ticket charged with memories...

The other day I put my hand into my coat pocket and my fingertips touched upon a scrap of something: an old wrapper, crumpled paper. I pulled it out and unfolded it. I was an old bus ticket. I examined it, expecting it to be a recent one - only to see the year 2007 on it. It was a ticket from Innsbruck, bought during my Erasmus year. I smiled. That says two things. The first, I don't empty my coat pockets often enough (well, it was a coat I wore often on Erasmus and haven't much since). The second, one surprise find can bring back so many happy memories. There I was in a dirty train station near Basel, holding a bus ticket and envisioning all the spectacular places I had the good fortune of spending so much time. I remembered all the beautiful places that city bus took me to.

One of my first memories of Innsbruck was taking the Nordkettenbahn to the top of the Nordkette and being completely gobsmacked at the sheer nature of the view (a view that never stopped taking my breath away): those never-ending rocky peaks, pricking the sky then gracefully gliding down towards green valleys and the sprawl of the capital of the Alps below. I remembered many a fond hike to the little mountain restaurants dotted across the Nordkette, on snowy days when the crystal air nipped my nose; on autumn days, when the leaves rustled around my feet; and on sunny days, when there was no escape from the warm rays.

And those alpine pastures, full of colour, and fields drifting away dreamlike to the sharply rising and dipping horizon. I found myself asking Tim why we ever left. But life had called us. We lived a surreal existence, one in which we could escape from the fumes of the city to the wilderness of the Alps within half an hour. After three years of fond memories, it was time to move on. Now, in Zurich, we have a different life, new challenges. It is freezing cold.. but very beautiful. We have just been for a walk in the rolling countryside in which our flat is situated. The fields stretch out lazily under a white blanket, and many a field is filled with horses wrapped warm in blankets and steam rising from their nostrils. It is beauty of a different kind. It reminds me of the Cotswolds, or those pretty villages in the rolling hills of southern England...
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