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!!

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!

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!

Foreigners… do it better

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Photo from: www.news18.com

Euro 2016. Football (soccer for the American friends) European championship.
Last match of group A: France-Switzerland 0-0. Switzerland??

8 of the 11 players (plus the coach) were not really Swiss, apart from the fact that all of them have the red passport with the white cross!
This is strange. Especially considering the ironies, “comments”, critics which are the daily bread of the Swiss when speaking of foreigners.
So, dear Confederates, please thank your Gods that the rules allow you to play with such “multicultural” national team.

At least it is clear: foreigners play better than real Swiss!