I was quite surprised as I found more than one “Marché Mövenpick” in some shopping malls even in Singapore!
Every shopping mall in Singapore is hosting a great variety of restaurants with different styles and food from various regions and countries of the world.
Switzerland seems to be represented by Marché! In Singapore they probably consider it as the pure Swissness, the “non-plus-ultra” of the Confederate cuisine! But they do not know that Marché, in its home country, is actually nothing more than a normal self-service / buffet diner, you can typically find in service areas on many Swiss highways!
The famous bar of Swiss chocolate, resembling its mountains with its unique triangular shape, is an institution in Switzerland.
It is for sure one of the most famous brands of the Confederation!
Very good! Then I should be able to buy it at the best possible conditions in a Swiss supermarket or specialised shop.
Wrong! Coop, one of the three most common Swiss supermarkets, sells a 100 g Toblerone bar for 2.20 CHF.
While wandering around in Vivo City, one of the most futuristic shopping malls in Singapore (Singapore! One of the most expensive countries in the world… and not just around the corner of the Alps!), I found a great deal!
Basically, in the nice Southeast-Asian country, 100 g of Toblerone were offered at a price of 2 Singaporean dollars, which corresponds to 1.45 CHF! One third cheaper than in the Chocolate Confederation!!
What is it? Is Toblerone a fading commodity nowadays, or do their producers prefer that it is bought far away from the Alps being confused as a souvenir and a specialty from another country?
As Swiss, the national airline of the Confederation, promises, you should enjoy Switzerland not within its nice landscapes, but by boarding the red crossed air carriers.
They meant to emphasize the quality of the Swiss airline, but I like to… misunderstand this ad.
Enjoy Switzerland… by escaping it! By flying somewhere else in the world! You will find: flexible thinking, lively cities even after the sunset, nice food and friendly people…
The “Ruine Stein” is the remaining of an old medieval castle (probably from the 11th century), which dominates the famous thermal town of Baden.
It was a castle… now it is just some stones on the top of the urban settlement.
As everything important in Switzerland, also this stone is proudly having its own flag: the white, red and black ensign of Baden.
The best way to reach this “monument” is by climbing a long stairway, starting, quite hidden, from the city centre.
I faced the long starway last Saturday… sweating and gasping, I succeeded in conquering the top (dramatically overtaken by my two daughters, who where going up light like two Capricorns, while I was trudging slowly behind like an elephant!).
The view from the top or even during the ascension is quite spectacular!
And the nature around offers nice flowers not so easy to see in this part of the Confederation.
The adventurous walk to reach the top of the “stone” is nice and worthy… but do not expect to find the fairy tales’s castle, because you would be disappointed.
Just think that you climb a stair to go higher and higher, to reach a stone, which is not just “a stone”, but the “ruin stone” of Baden!
And do not imagine to reach the clouds or the stars at the top of the stairs, because the ascension just take the not so epic time of 10-15 minutes, in a very calm pace!
Quite epic, instead, is the famous “Mr Pickwick” pub (facing the “entrance” to the stairway): for sure not a ruin stone, but rather a milestone in the late afternoons and nights of Baden town!!
Picture “My little pony: friendship is magic” from: Variety.com
This post will not speak of the famous series “My little pony” invented by the American Hasbro and very popular among all young girls (including mine!).
You will not hear me speaking of pony characters such as Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash or Pinkie Pie (Having two girls, I am a master of the “Little Pony” nomenclature…).
Instead, I am telling you a unique experience I got today.
While going to the supermarket of a neighbouring village to buy some water, I had this “prime”: in a small piece of land just next to the supermarket I saw a “baby” (almost just born) pony, a real little pony!
I never had the opportunity to see such small animal before!
It was very cute: first, sleeping next to the mother under the sun, and then starting to walk around in an unstable way.
The pony mother was very protective: when the pony father tried to get close, although busy with her “herbal” meal, she gave him a two leg kick, which made him immediately go back to his corner! This is harsh, this is actual reality, this is true maternal protection instinct: well different from the coloured, carefree, timeless, imaginary stories of… “my little pony”!
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…
When in Switzerland, you should know how many cantons constitute the Confederation (26!) and which are their flags (Because flags are very important in Switzerland!)
You can check, study and try to memorise these details on books or in Internet.
Or, in a better way, just walk around in Zurich on a warm sunny Saturday, precisely in Rennweg, a nice street next to the famous Bahnhofstrasse.
You will find a great “exhibition” of the flags of the Swiss cantons, which are permanently and proudly flying in the wind there…
On these photos, some anticipations.
On the 1st: Solothurn, Graubünden, Ticino, Neuchatel, Schwyz, Schaffhausen, Zug.
On the 2nd: Geneva, Thurgau, Basel-Stadt.