As some of you know my RL work occasionally has me visiting Switzerland. I usually stay in a charming little village called Rapperswil near Zurich during these trips. Well on a recent trip there I found myself with some free time and so I packed up my trusty camera and went for a walking tour of the environs.
It didn't take long for me to notice an eerie familiarity to the place. I got to thinking; what do we really know about this Richard Bartle fellow? Is that British accent real? Did anyone actually see him at Essex University?
I leave the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. I for one am a suspicious sort, maybe there's nothing to it. Maybe not.
I started off in the western part of town, on the shores of Lake Zurich or Zurich Zee in the native German.
Well nothing terribly unusual that there would be a jetty here, after all people need to tie up their boats somewhere. I admired the view for a while then set off towards the south till I came across a road, more of a track really. Heading eastwards I happened to glance to the north.
Well it wasnt misty, probably didnt mean a thing. To the south I spied a little cottage and thought Id take a look inside.
I didnt much care for the place, the cellar was dank and murky so I headed back outdoors then eastwards hoping things might get a little cheerier.
I passed an inn along the way but I had no appetite for the fare offered there.
After fording a river I headed up through some pleasant olive groves. I thought it a bit odd that olives would grow this far north but carried on nonetheless.
Soon I found myself stood outside the entrance to a monastery.
The huge door was open so I went in, to the east. Sure enough having traversed a pleasant enough avenue I encountered the entrance to the abbatial church.
Even up till this point I was ready to dismiss my suspicions, that is until exploring around a great deal (even getting lost a couple of times) I finally stumbled across a crypt.
This was all getting too creepy so I exited the monastery and headed more or less north through some more olive groves and along a lane.
Here an imposing structure greeted me. The door was locked shut so all I could do was examine the keep from its base.
I think I caught a glimpse of a young lady in the window of the top floor but all in all the place didnt look too hospitable.
Proceeding north I soon came across some lovely formal gardens and paused for a moment to admire particularly nice fountain.
Northeast I could make out a tree lined avenue, beeches I think.
But I decided to head west as I was getting a little fatigued and thought Id start heading back to my hotel.
As I came to a ghostwalk sure enough further to the west I noticed a deerpark complete with a few deer, no stags however.
As tired as I was my curiosity got the better of me as I could just make out, to the north, what appeared to be a vast expanse of water.
As I approached the lake edge from the north an elegant white swan glided towards me.
Out of film and nearly exhausted I trudged back to my hotel, my head full of questions. If in fact The Land was inspired by a quaint little Swiss village why has this been kept from us?
Of course it could all be coincidence. Yes thats it, a simple coincidence; you shouldnt read anything into it all.
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