Last Saturday the sun was shining really strong and we decided to drive down to Canton Graubünden, 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!
Photos: On the way to Livigno (IT) from Switzerland. Queue for the train with car loading (Vereina) plus queue before the tunnel (Munt La Schera) afterwards. Total waiting time: 7 hours! Unbelievable in a civil country!
What is Switzerland famous for?
Banks, chocolate, watches, mountains, rösti, heidi and…. RED TRAFFIC LIGHTS AND QUEUES!
Traffic regulation belongs to Switzerland as human life to Saturn! Absolute zero!
Picture from “thelocal.ch”
Today it’s my 18th anniversary in Switzerland.
A lot of things had happened since that cold and snowy 31st January 2001…
Time has passed so fast! Maybe because in Switzerland time is faster than anywhere else? Or perhaps I just really have a lot of fun…!
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,
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!
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!
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!
Today the day started in a very white way!
All the roads were full of snow and ice, the traffic totally congested.
That’s why I took a bus (not the usual one) up to a certain point and then I proceeded on foot to the office.
No window shopping, no city walk, no quick coffee to go on the way…
Just white: behind me, in front of me, on the right, on the left, above me.
So I went on walking, dreaming of a magic blue warm sky…
Last Friday we had the first snow here!
Some centimetres of course, no storm, no avalanches, no walls of ice…
The temperature outside was quite cold, as you can imagine.
Nevertheless, surprisingly and irritatingly, the usual bus to go to work arrived with a “planned” delay of 19 minutes! (See the red numbers on the photo)
19 minutes? Is this a delay or a new schedule?
When I did not see the bus arriving, I thought either that it might have been Sunday and I did not realise it, or that they cancelled the bus.
Then I checked the punctual App with the bus schedule and I discovered the 19 minutes!
Punctuality in Switzerland: mythology or reality?
Some days ago we had the first (and very short) snow in Switzerland.
Everything was (for a very short time) white…
What could you find in Switzerland as typical as the snow in winter?
They are normally eating grass and grass and grass all day long on almost every visible field in the Confederation.
Unfortunately the grass became “grass ice cream” and so probably they were enjoying such unusual ice cream on their usual fields.
It’s really a strange country, the Confederation!
Only here you can find poor cold animals strolling around without any coat eating ice cream in the completely wrong season.