Wettingen… Raven nest at the roundabout

Today I observed it again… it is always surprising!

In Wettingen, at the roundabout Landstrasse-Staffelstrasse, four ravens are watching the traffic from their nest in a curious and a little scared way.
This is an interesting wooden work made by the artist Alex Schaufelbühl. According to the newspaper Aargauer Zeitung (online article from 16.8.2012), the sculptor was inspired by the hundreds of ravens which are spending the night on the trees near the artificial lake of Wettingen.
The masterpiece is made of driftwood and the birds are not painted black, but their dark colour is the result of a flame-thrower. The sculpture was installed at the end of 2009.

This is one of the street with the highest traffic. The big wooden baby birds of the roundabout are probably reminding us that nature, even if dark, even if sometimes hidden on top of some trees, is always to be preserved and shall not be disturbed too much…

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The best Swiss specialty!

Photos: On the way to Livigno (IT) from Switzerland. Queue for the train with car loading (Vereina) plus queue before the tunnel (Munt La Schera) afterwards. Total waiting time: 7 hours! Unbelievable in a civil country!

What is Switzerland famous for?

Banks, chocolate, watches, mountains, rösti, heidi and…. RED TRAFFIC LIGHTS AND QUEUES!

Traffic regulation belongs to Switzerland as human life to Saturn! Absolute zero!

His majesty, the speed radar!

This morning, while accompanying my daughters to school, I noticed a new glorious temporary installation: his majesty, the speed radar!

“It” was proudly watching the internal street of our village, to check any possible car driving faster than 30 km/h! Right decision: no car will put small children in danger any longer.

Call “it” as you wish, but as a matter of fact, the horrendous radar / speed trap / camera / big red eye is a real institution in the Confederation! Exactly like chocolate, watch, bank, cheese fondue and mountain.

And “it” is also a great money collector for the public administration, whenever some car falls under its claws.

I was so impressed and frightened by this steel policeman, that I almost wanted to modestly introduce myself to “it” and, bowing, already leave “it” a small monetary contribution…

“Refreshing” roundabout


Wettingen is proudly the biggest “village” (as opposite to city or town) of Switzerland!
Basically a big village near the city of Baden, historical home of the multinationals ABB and General Electric (former Alstom).
Even if Wettingen is not a city, on its streets you can find something unique! A roundabout with some figures wearing swimsuits and taking… shower! And the showers are real, they have real water!
Of course the showers are working only in summer! We are in Switzerland, everything is planned!

Money, money, money



[Photo of ABBA’s “Money money money”: from hitparade.ch]

Even if the title is the same as the successful song by ABBA, this story is just a boring “black and white” matter of Swiss francs, bills and burocracy.
Due to the fact that Switzerland is the country of all welfare records, including the highest prices of the world, a lot of people living near the border prefer to buy stuff in Germany.
Some weeks ago we went to Germany to buy some tyres. Coming back, with the tyres proudly making themselves visible from the trunk, we were stopped by the severe customs officer.
Having bought these tyres in Amazon with delivery in Germany, we did not have any receipt. By the way, for some ununderstandable rules, the tyres shall always be declared and the relevant 7.7% Swiss VAT shall be paid! (Apparently, also tyres which are lying in the trunk shall be considered as a single piece with the car, and therefore their VAT shall be paid).
How did the custom officer calculate the VAT? Basing his figures just on my verbal declaration of the possible price of the tyres!
Strange, right?!
Price and rigorous VAT calculation starting from a verbal supposed price, but the relevant receipt given to me as bumptious bill with Swiss flag and four languages to say “Swiss Confederation”.

Very vague about the rules, but very precise when it goes to money!
Should the famous ABBA song eventually be proposed as new national anthem of the Confederation?

The power of Swiss nature


Last Wednesday I just arrived home when the fury of the sky fell on the Earth.
In Ehrendingen and surroundings a violent hailstorm started and went on for half an hour, followed by violent rain!
The main road crossing the village became an impetuous river with half metre water, and all the fields and streets became white as in winter!
The force of nature was impressive!
The buses and cars still on the road became like insects into the sea.
In some neighbouring villages they even remained without drinkable water for some days, because everything was contaminated with mud.
A lot of basements, houses, shops where flooded and invaded by water and mud.
A real scary scenery.
But thanks to the assiduous work of the fire brigade, in a couple of days all the main damages where fixed and the mud and water sent away and dried.

Unfortunately, as in this case, even the quiet Switzerland can sometimes become very… angry and upset!

Nussbaumen… Carnival at the roundabout

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Yesterday I was driving through Nussbaumen (Gemeinde – community of – Obersiggenthal) and I noticed again its main roundabout.
We can define it as a “seasonal” or “multi-purpose” roundabout.

Thanks to the various poles, depending on the season or on some particular event, the roundabout can be “made up” with suitable flags or decoration.
Now we are approaching the Carnival time… or, as they say here, “Fasnacht”.
And that’s why the area is now full of flags showing a funny character with fake nose, laughable hat and pretending to dance.

Welcome in Nussbaumen, a town with more than 30% foreigners, where you immediately see when it’s Carnival time!