Switzerland becomes “normal” with the snow

Photo from: blick.ch

This week Switzerland has been crossed by snow storms for days. Some mountain cantons have many villages isolated…

And even Zurich city is blocked: trams and public transportation are stopped.

The snow, with its silent white cover, makes everything the same. Even Switzerland, the organised country, where everything is planned, is shut down by the snow like every other “normal” country…

Toblerone… better buy it in Singapore!

Toblerone!

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?

Ghost lottery in Zermatt



Some weeks ago I spent a nice long weekend in the famous Zermatt and visited its pearls, the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa, with my family.
On the last day my wife bought a lottery ticket (“Magic Bingo”), one where you scratch a little and you might win. For a price of 5 CHF she won 35 CHF!
OK, it is not changing your life, but it is still a quite proud satisfaction.

Once at home, my wife went to one of the usual shops where you typically buy these lottery cards to cash her price.
Surprise! No one in our Canton knew about this “Magic Bingo”!
Yes, Zermatt is in Wallis, the small Canton between the French and the German speaking part of Switzerland where the people are perfectly bilingual.
But what does it mean? Do they have “federalistic” lottery cards in Switzerland, whose possible prices cannot be paid back all over the country?
What a pity! Then I give you this tip: Do not buy lottery cards in Zermatt. It is one of the most famous touristic locations of Switzerland, but for sure their lottery cards are very provincial!

Starway to heaven


Last weekend my wife and I went to the mountains to Stoos (Canton Schwyz) to bring our two small daughters to get ski lessons for the first time!
Nothing special, you would say, apart from a nice family reminder.
Actually we did establish a record, and even a world record!

We reached the top (Stoos village) by the steepest funicular railway of the world!
This amazing “vehicle” had been just inaugurated on the 16th December 2017.
It looks like a futuristic spaceship, like the strangest of the roller coasters. Nevertheless, thanks to the automatic level compensation of the four cabins, even if you drive almost vertically, your feet are always well in contact with the floor.

Here some figures of this terrific engineering masterpiece:
110% incline (World record!);
47° maximum slope;
1500 passengers per direction of travel per hour;
3-5 minutes’ travel time;
744 elevation gain;
1’740 m distance between the valley and the mountain stations;
34 passengers per cabin;
14 years needed to complete this work, from planning to realisation.

This is another surprising example of “Swiss made”, which makes the white crossed Confederates so proud!