Sunset

After work, a walk in the village to see the cold nice sunset…

I was hoping to find a lot of corncobs on the field, but they had already been harvested.

The number plate

A weird biker is waiting for the green light in Zurich.

His number plate could not probably fit in the right place and so he decided to use it as a belt, a very high waist belt!

Swiss fashion…

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…

Switzerland and COVID-19: is everything really right?

From the English version of the official website of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health FOPH

It is not fair to criticise government decisions during an emergency, but if these decisions directly contributed to spread the Coronavirus infections, causing a lot of deaths, then I think they should be denounced. Hopefully that everything can work as a lesson learned.

The Swiss government, the Swiss perfect application of the federal state which gives full powers to the Cantons regarding the public health, the slowness of the Swiss politicians, and the absence of humility to learn from other countries are dramatically and very quickly dragging Switzerland into a new severe COVID-19 emergency, putting this small Country very low in the ranking of the efficiency of the implemented measures to combat COVID-19!

Here some macroscopic evidences and unforgivable Swiss mistakes since the start of the pandemic.

1) During the “first wave” of the contagion, started also in Switzerland at the very end of February 2020, the main consultant of the federal government and communicator on COVID-19 matters was a certain Dr Daniel Koch, so-called “Mr Corona”, head of the department of infectious diseases of the Federal Office for Public Health. In some interviews, he started minimising the pandemic, “showing off” his very past experiences in Africa during the Ebola outbreak, and adopting the still disgusting comparison between COVID-19 and the “usual” flue. He never warned about the use of protective masks; on the contrary he always said that the social distancing would have been enough, even on the public transportation, to avoid any contagion! According to Dr Koch, masks would have given the people a fake feeling of safety. When Dr Koch was calmly spitting his “truths”, all the world, including (even if late) WHO, already recognised the importance of adopting protective masks to control the diffusion of possible infections.

Dr Koch retired in April and stopped brainwashing the Swiss population, who was never really taking into account the possibility of using masks indoor, only relying on hygiene and the 1.5 meter distance. Distance which, by the way, very few were really keeping, misunderstanding the “common” maximum 50 cm with the minimum 1.5 meter! However Dr Koch left no real successor as single point of communication and expertise, leaving the health minister quite alone.

2) Switzerland introduced the mask obligation, on the public transportation only, on the 6th July 2020, i.e. more than 4 months after the start of the emergency! A scandalous delay!

3) Even if some cantons obliged the use of masks indoor, some others never imposed this measure, despite the exponentially increasing number of infections. Unacceptable!

4) Finally, with a guilty and unforgivable delay, the Swiss federal government obliged the use of masks indoor (public places, stations, bus stops, airports, …) only on the 19th October 2020, 7 months after the start of the COVID-19 “hell”! Unbelievable!

5) After having reported increasing new infections every day for the last two weeks, last Friday, 23rd October, Switzerland hit 6’634 new infections in one day. Considering that Switzerland has a population of slightly more than 8’500’000 inhabitants, you can calculate what this number would mean in your own country…

6) Although the infection numbers are increasing exponentially in the last weeks, after obliging the use of protective masks, the health minister, Alain Berset, and the government are hesitating to define new more severe rules to try to contain and reduce the number of infections. The health minister promised new measures but not before next Wednesday, 28th October. Why? Because he has to agree these measures with the cantons (and probably with his government mates…).

When the emergency can put the health of the population at risk, the actions shall be severe and quick and not just politically aimed at not changing the daily routine of the population! Why not “motivating” the respect of the rules by introducing significant fines for not following them, to eventually finance the most penalised working categories in this emergency?

After work

After a long working day I was lucky yesterday to be able to relax while walking home.

In 35-40 minutes I could have such a nice way home…

Masked trams in Zurich



Photos taken from 20min.ch

The trams in Zurich wear protective masks, protective masks with the motto “with good example forward”!
This is a wonderful signal and a good message to restart after the lockdown due to the Covid-19.
Public transportation shall be used by the passengers using protective masks, which is the only way to reduce the danger of contageon, being impossible to keep the distances on a bus, a tram or a train!

Great example from Zurich city! Especially because surprisingly the Swiss ministers and the Federal Office of Public Health are continuing to sermonise on the importance of keeping distances and washing hands, neglecting the decisive importance of protective masks!

Maybe big cities like Zurich have more acquaintance with risk mitigation measures than the lovely federal countrysides?

Swiss… “market” in Singapore

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 “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!!

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…

Geography “on the road” in Zurich


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.