Picture Tour – An Uncommon Family


Picture tour of An Uncommon Family

Pictures which served as an inspiration to the novel



The city of Zurich, Switzerland, where Anna, Jonas, and little Karla first meet. The river Limmat in the foreground and the two towers of the Grossmünster cathedral.

This is what Karla sees, as she sits in front of the art store, waiting for her aunt – the park on top of the wall, the river, and the different-colored houses on the other side of the river. Okay, here I cheated a little. In reality, there is no art store at this spot. There used to be one nearby a long time ago and there is one now – in my novel.

View of the old part of Zurich and of the river Limmat from the Lindenhof park. I decided Jonas needed to live in one of those beautiful old houses at the other side of the river.

I always wanted to live in a place like this back in Zurich. So I gave Jonas, the artist, an apartment on top of one of these houses with a roof patio and a view of the river and part of the lake. This is where Karla receives her drawing and painting instructions.

The pond near Karla’s and Anna’s home, where Karla and her friend, Maja, like to hang out. Anna and Karla live in a small town about 20 minutes away from Zurich. It was – and still is – one of my favorite places in the town of Wettswil I grew up in.


The train which takes Karla and Anna to Zurich for Karla’s art lessons. At the time she lived there, the trains were a little older. Now, they are really elegant.


 Anna’s wood stove – which I inherited. So cosy on a cold winter’s night!


 Winter has arrived in the village where Anna and Karla live.


 Christmas Eve, when Karla and Jonas build a snow man.


This could be the inside of the restaurant Anna and Jonas eat on their first date, before going to the opera.


And here is the Zurich opera house, where Anna and Jonas watch the opera Cavalleria Rusticana on their first date.

The Bahnhofstrasse, the shopping street in Zurich. Anna and Karla walk along this street and then cross the river to get to Jonas’s place.


The famous Grand Café Odeon Anna and Karla see on their way to Karla’s art lessons. It used to be the hang-out of famous artists and revolutionaries during the First and Second World Wars. It’s now a modern cafeteria. Only the photos inside remind us of James Joyce, Arturo Toscanini, Lenin, and the likes.


 (photo courtesy of Bigstock.com)

Switching to New York City: Here is the public library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in New York City, where Anna used to work as a young woman.


(photo courtesy of Bigstock.com)

Apartment in Greenwich Village, New York City, where Anna and Nicolas, her husband, could have lived.


 (photo courtesy of Bigstock.com)

 Guadalajara, Mexico, a city that plays a fateful role in Anna’s life.


 (photo courtesy of Bigstock)

Park in Guadalajara, Mexico. In one of the parks Anna discovers something unnerving.


Back in Switzerland. An art opening at a gallery near Zurich; could be one of Jonas’s openings.


The park at the bottom of the Bahnhofstrasse near the Zurich train station showing Pestalozzi, a Swiss educational reformer (18th to early 19th century). Anna and Karla walk by this statue on their way home from Jonas’s opening. Pestalozzi was known for his love of children, particularly of abandoned children and orphans. The sculpture is significant with regard to Karla’s life as well.


The town library in Wettswil, my home town in Switzerland, which became the inspiration for Anna’s library and bookstore


A look inside the library of Wettswil. This is a great community get-together and the wonderful ladies who run this place organize exciting events for adults and children. In my novel, this became Anna’s bookstore.


The children’s and young adult corner in the library of Wettswil am Albis. I imagine Karla and her friend Maja hanging out there once in a while.


The canola field next to the pond in Anna’s and Karla’s home town. Karla painted a picture of it.

 The End

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