Russia 2018 – The Swiss team is there!

The football World Cup 2018 in Russia is just entering the hot phase with the best 16 teams playing to run after the most wanted cup.
Switzerland is still in and the football fever here between the Alps and the Rhine is still extremely high!
Also football, as almost everything in the Confederation, has its… three-lingual words:

Hopp Schwizz!
Allez la Suisse!
Forza Svizzera!

or, simply: Go Switzerland!

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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!

The duck is too fast!


Photo from blick.ch

Last week something happened which deserved the pages of many newspapers in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and even on the British Daily Mail!

In Switzerland the speed limit is a serious matter! And the maximum speed shall be always complied with.
In a lot of places, to be sure that no one can drive too fast, there is a generous installation of fixed or moving speed traps and cameras.
In this case, the location is a small city not so far from Bern, Köniz. In particular a street, with related speed trap, where the maximum speed is 30 km/h.

One of the fastest at the speed trap, with 52 km/h, was not a sporty car but just… a duck!!
A flying duck which was not “captured” on the lake or shot by a hunter, but by a very diligent speed trap!

World record restaurant

Last Saturday, as often when we go to Zurich, we had lunch in our favourite place in town: the famous vegetarian restaurant “Haus Hiltl”, just couple of steps from the central Bahnhofstrasse.
This time I just realised that they are a Guinness World Record holder! Haus Hiltl is the oldest vegetarian restaurant of the world!
And in 2018 they celebrate their 120th anniversary!

The vegetarian food is very unique, with many exotic influences, fresh and good! You typically choose the specialties and quantities you prefer from a buffet, paying for the relevant weight.

Congratulations Haus Hiltl!
And congratulations small Switzerland, another world record!

The inelegant line…

In Switzerland, at the restaurant, you can order a bottle of wine, an open wine or a glass of wine.
When choosing a glass of wine you would expect that the host pours the wine, so that the glass looks filled in a proper and decent way.
But what about the precision? That’s why all the Swiss glasses for red, white, rose’, champagne, Prosecco are “cut” by a white horizontal line with the mathematical indication of 10 cl!
Precise and perfect, but for sure the wine tastes less good and magical in a “lined” glass!

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!

Open air bookcase!

Last weekend I noticed this “pearl” in Baden.
An open bookcase! Just next to the nice Casino park in the city centre!
A sign on it explains everything: very simple “rules”!

The open bookcase in Baden: a gratis offer for your leisure time.
– Bring books, which you find good.
– The books shall be in good shape and clean.
– The bookcase will not accept: pornography, racism, promotion of violence, advertisement, newspapers.
– Undesired: magazines, specialised literature.
– Put books in the bookcase, only if there is space.
– Pick up a book (or two).
– Gratis, without registration or additional controls.
– You can keep the book, bring it back or exchange it with another one.

After some “research” I found out that the bookcase was even inaugurated on the 19th October 2016!
Good that I discovered it, at last!

I think it’s a great initiative! Always open, no need to rush to find a bookshop open in the late afternoon!
One of the best example of open culture… open innovation!