Falling sky!

Time: 17:20
Place: office window
Day: Thursday

Suddenly a strong wind started blowing, the trees were fighting to remain attached to the ground, the sky became all dark, thick, black, scary!
Immediately the clouds vomited litres of dark grey water and ice onto the soil… 20 minutes of apocalypse… and then quietly the world started again.
The sky quickly turned blue, the sun started blinking again and the rainbow brought its comforting, soft, magic stripes and good mood for everyone!

The “ruin stone”

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!!

My little pony




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”!

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 Schaufelb├╝hl. 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…

Fashion outlet at Heidi’s home





Last Saturday the sun was shining really strong and we decided to drive down to Canton Graub├╝nden, very famous mainly for its ski resorts.

We actually aimed at the Fashion Outlet in Landquart. A nice place, just besides the mountains, where you can walk among various buildings with many shops.
Inside the outlet you feel like everywhere or nowhere… it’s like an international location: when you are here you might be in many other places which all look similar.
But still the landscape reminds you that you are in the nice Confederation.
We spent a good time, we spent some money and we took a warm sun (for free)!

By the way, very near this fashion resort, you can find the so-called “Heidi village” (Heididorf): Meienfeld!

Unfortunately we could not visit the place, but keep in mind: Meienfeld is the location which gave the inspiration to the writer Johanna Spyri for her Heidi “epic”!
Fortunately at that time there was no outlet in these surroundings, otherwise maybe “The Devil wears Prada” would have been created, instead of the cute story of the little girl who is friend with the sheep and the mountains!


“Surgically” sized garbage collectors – 2


The extremely organised and scientifically sized garbage collectors on the streets or at the bus stops have the main aim to prevent anyone from disposing big bags in these bins.
Good! Perfect! Smart!
But the practical life was not considered at all in these calculations!
For example, after the Saturdays’ nightlife and leisure, on a sleepy Sunday morning, I found the garbage collector at the bus stop under my house in this condition (see photos).
Pizza, plastic bottles, cans: what else? It would be nice if they could fit INTO the garbage bin, not just lying ON it…
These garbage objects probably look exactly the same as their last “owners” after a long night: snoring, burping and with a terrible headache!

See also my previous post on this matter: https://geoch1.wordpress.com/2018/02/05/surgically-sized-garbage-collectors/

The snow has arrived!

Switzerland is probably not a country which inspires poetry, romanticism or rhymes.
But when the real winter arrives and the snow is falling, even in the grey Confederation, some inspiration can come…

Steps on the white,
arms to the night,
going there,
hoping that,
everything silent,
light, dark, white, black.
Wait for the moon…
It’s already the sun!

OK, I know. It’s probably much better to look outside of the window and just keep quiet, enjoying the silent fall of the snow and the white landscape!

The spring in… autumn!

Today, while waiting for the usual bus to go home after work, I was expecting to see the usual landscape (nowhere-land basically…) as every working day.
Then suddenly I raised my head towards the sky and I found myself… outside Switzerland!

It seemed to be somewhere else on a nice countryside in spring, with a cotton sky surrounded by enchanted yellow trees!
I tried to keep my head up as much as possible… because, if not, it would have just been again a normal 12th of November in the city of Schneisingen, in the Canton of Argovia, in the Swiss Confederation!

Quality of life also for the cows


Picture from Youtube.

On the coming 25th November, the citizens of Switzerland shall vote on some referendum questions. In addition to some serious subjects, there is one which is really strange!
It relates to the so-called “Initiative for the cows with horns” and encourages the farmers to keep horns to their cows and sheep, instead of cutting them (as it happens nowadays on 3 cases out of 4).
Points in favour of “yes”: The animals would feel better with their horns, but, because of that, they would occupy more space; therefore the State should give some financial support to the farmers owning “horned” cows!
Point in favour of “no”: The animals with horns should be kept tied, and they would have a higher risk to injury themselves.
Switzerland holds the first places in all statistics dealing with quality of life… Maybe even the cows’ one is taken into account!

The “flowered” toilet


Photo: courtesy by our friend Alessandra.

Walking in the “smiling” village of Ehrendingen, Canton Aargau, you can find a private garden with such amenities…
But be careful, it is just a decoration!
In case you really have an urgency, try to find a… proper place!