The power of Swiss nature


Last Wednesday I just arrived home when the fury of the sky fell on the Earth.
In Ehrendingen and surroundings a violent hailstorm started and went on for half an hour, followed by violent rain!
The main road crossing the village became an impetuous river with half metre water, and all the fields and streets became white as in winter!
The force of nature was impressive!
The buses and cars still on the road became like insects into the sea.
In some neighbouring villages they even remained without drinkable water for some days, because everything was contaminated with mud.
A lot of basements, houses, shops where flooded and invaded by water and mud.
A real scary scenery.
But thanks to the assiduous work of the fire brigade, in a couple of days all the main damages where fixed and the mud and water sent away and dried.

Unfortunately, as in this case, even the quiet Switzerland can sometimes become very… angry and upset!

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, K├Âniz. 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!

Swiss crow

Could you see that small black spot on the pedestrian crossing?
When I was in Baden this morning around 09:30 (quite early for a Sunday!), I could not believe my eyes when I saw it!
A crow! He was smartly walking on the street, crossing it using the prescribed crosswalk!
Swiss crow… Swiss discipline!

Did you know that other Swiss animals can also be very good on the street?
See my old post: https://geoch1.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/swiss-cat/

Snowy day… snowy way

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…

Punctuality? Welcome to Switzerland


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?

Nussbaumen… Carnival at the roundabout

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Yesterday I was driving through Nussbaumen (Gemeinde – community of – Obersiggenthal) and I noticed again its main roundabout.
We can define it as a “seasonal” or “multi-purpose” roundabout.

Thanks to the various poles, depending on the season or on some particular event, the roundabout can be “made up” with suitable flags or decoration.
Now we are approaching the Carnival time… or, as they say here, “Fasnacht”.
And that’s why the area is now full of flags showing a funny character with fake nose, laughable hat and pretending to dance.

Welcome in Nussbaumen, a town with more than 30% foreigners, where you immediately see when it’s Carnival time!

One of the Swiss “tops”: the highway sticker!

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Switzerland has a great system to pay highways. You just buy a 40 CHF sticker every year and that’s it!
Great, isn’t it? No toll on the highways, just one “standard” payment by the end of January every year.

That’s it?

Not at all!
There are two details which make this sticker (the so-called “Vignette”) a prime example of Swissinity!
1) You have to use absolutely one sticker per car. Therefore, of course, you cannot transfer your sticker from one car to another, in case you own two cars.
To be sure that no one could ever think of cheating, the sticker is made of various parts with very weak connections to each other. In this way, once attached, the sticker is unremovable without completely tearing it apart!
2) As a consequence of 1) above, at the beginning of the year, when you have to remove the old sticker and “install” the new one, you would be glad to have a terminator to take out the used “Vignette”.
Otherwise you would need, at least, the following set of tools: a small razor blade or a knife, eventually your sharpest nails, possibly some chemical spray to remove the hardest glue of the world. And, last but not least: a lot of patience and self-control!

Easy, but complicate, or… complicate, but easy?
You can judge by yourself. But remember: this is Switzerland! Things which might be simple and normal in any other country sometimes become “Swissinities” here!

Where the hell is my bus going?

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Last Tuesday, as usual, I took the bus 354 to go to work: just 7 minutes and 4 stops from home to the office.
So, why this post? Just to tell you about my morning bus ride to the office? It is not necessarily so amazing, isn’t it?

OK, let’s make it a little more exciting.
After the third stop, in Tiefenwaag, the bus should turn right and drive a 80 km/h road up to my office stop: Murzlen.

Guess what! The woman driver, after Tiefenwaag, turned left instead! And she was driving towards another totally unexpected direction.
I immediately thought: am I in some kind of movie like “Speed” or “The taking of Pelham 1 2 3”?
Of course in Switzerland not! I stood up and on the unstable catwalk of the bus floor, I run to the driver and asked her what was going on.
She just candidly replied: “Sorry, I was used to take this way, because normally I drive this route with another bus line! I will U-turn at the next roundabout and go back”.

Then I could just astonishingly go back to my seat, waiting for the driver’s blow of fate to go back to my…office bus stop.
This Confederation is very strange: the only country where the bus schedules are precise like chemical formulas, but the drivers are sometimes reliable like… you choose what!

Schneisingen… Bucher in the roundabout

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The newly redesigned roundabout in Schneisingen is modelled on the main big Company located in this area (actually in the neighbouring community of Niederweningen)… just next to this roundabout.
The metal “rusted” plates represent the three companies of the Bucher Industries Group which have their headquartes in Niederweningen:
– Bucher Unipektin (the press visible in the picture): Company producing machines and plants for the fabrication of fruit juice and instant food products;
– Bucher Municipal: Company producing street sweepers;
– Bucher Landtechnik: Company selling tractors of leading brands in Switzerland.

If you are interested in these companies (but here the matter becomes really technical), the relevant websites are listed below:
www.bucherunipektin.com
www.buchermunicipal.com
www.bucherlandtechnik.ch

It is nice to have a big Company “forged” (as the metal plates of the roundabout) in the local landscape…