postcardsfromswitzerland

Switzerland through a bunch of pics

Swinging under the sky of Zurich — agosto 25, 2014

Swinging under the sky of Zurich

Kosovar Albanian New York based artist Sislej Xhafa installed a gigantic Y in 2011 at Hardaupark, Zurich, as part of a public art project. The work, that evoke’s King David’s biblical sling, is also a real swing, that can be used by the residents of Hardaupark and visitors, children included.

It is really impressive, especially if you are not expecting it: I didn’t dare to try but they say it is perfectly safe…When I was a kid I used to love swings: my school had many and it was our favourite hobby at the lunch break.

Anyway I think it’s king of 25 years that I don’t sit on one of those things so it feels kind of strange to me thinking of using this gigantic Y swing. But I think the fact that is an artwork makes it much much more interesting and fun.

WP_20140819_001

The other day the weather unfortunately was not that good (well this is not something exceptional for this summer!) and I was a bit in a hurry so I think I will get back to it soon and try and take some better pictures for you guys!

Annunci
Traces of Switzerland in Mulhouse — agosto 16, 2014

Traces of Switzerland in Mulhouse

Since I moved to Switzerland, I started noticing Swiss products, Swiss typical architectures and traces of Swiss history every time I travel in other countries. During my last travel to France I kept looking for Swiss products in the shops and Swiss brands at malls.

This Saturday I was in Mulhouse, France, not far from the Swiss border, to spend some nice relaxing day with my husband. A sort of post holidays decompression.

We paid the usual visit to Fnac and to the local store from Canal BD, and had lunch in a fancy creperie (the amount of cholesterol in my galette au 4 fromages probably exceeded the recommended annual amount but who cares?).
Later we visited the City Museum, hosted in what used to be once the Town Hall, which retraces the history of the Republic of Mulhouse (free entrance!).

WP_20140816_15_12_04_Pro

The most interesting part was for sure the decorated main hall that is today used for wedding ceremonies. From the walls we immediately recognized the stems of Swiss Cantons (Mulhouse was a republic allied to the Swiss federation) ! Can you recognize all of them?

WP_20140816_15_01_13_Pro

WP_20140816_001WP_20140816_15_01_27_Pro

I am still working to it but my husband is an expert. Maybe one day I will be too. In the meantime I enjoy some guided tours from him….

A pretzel for your thoughts! — agosto 7, 2014

A pretzel for your thoughts!

One of the most common bread snack in Switzerland is definitely pretzel (in German Bretzel). You can find it everywhere and at every flavor (raclette is definitely my favorite!).

So I was surprise to learn from some locals that is kind of a new thing here in Switzerland, as it was imported some years ago from Germany.

Differently from Germany, I don’t know why you can’t find so much pretzels in Swiss pubs. My question is: aren’t they supposed to accompany a pint of beer or a panache? Anyway they seem to be simply perfect for any afternoon snack or at lunch filled with cheeses or hams.

Sometimes I simply make them at home following Laura Vitale’s super simple recipe (believe me any of you could do it with one hand!). It’s definitely cheaper, you can use them for a brunch and you can also make a sweet cinnamon typology.
Since I moved here, I tried pretzels from most of the companies and I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing better than a salzbrezel (salty pretzel) at 2 CHF from Bretzelkoenig (probably THE cheapest warm snack you can buy in Switzerland, and in Zurich in particular). Just from the oven, it’s fresh and still warm. Not too big, not too small. With the right amount of salt. Simply perfect. A real treat in this cold summer.

WP_20140807_005 WP_20140807_004

 

Happy Birthday Switzerland! — agosto 2, 2014

Happy Birthday Switzerland!

Yesterday, as planned, I finally had my first Swiss National Day barbecue.

On Thursday (a bit late but still with plenty of time) I had sent a bunch of emails to invite some  friends and colleagues but I was a bit afraid that not  many people would have still been around: many had already left for a long weekend on the mountains or in Ticino.

Lucky me some had stayed and we manage to organize a early evening barbecue. But then another issue came along: where? In fact, the choice of the spot in these cases is crucial: having picnics and barbecuing is a national sport for Swiss people and they are experts on where to find the best spots with facilities such as public grill, toilets and drinkable water. Some people arrive early in the day to occupy the best places and sometimes there is so much people you can’t even stand let alone to sit and eat!

One of my friends – very wisely I must admit – suggested to avoid renown places (our first choice was the coast of Lake Zurich in front of the Chinese Garden), and another one mentioned “Enge Wiese”, a nice lawn that is on the other side of the Lake.

We didn’t know much about it but we trusted some cool pics found on internet …and we were right.

The place was awesome, full of young people having fun and listening to music. Unfortunately no public barbecue available, but we brought ours! We had forgotten (like most of the people there as we learnt) some form of accelerator to start the fire but some good Samaritans lent us their. Before 8 everything was set and barbecued as the true Swiss do (bratwurst, cervelat and stuff like these!).

Enge wiese enge wiese 2 barbecue 2 barbecue

We were a bit disappointed as we learnt from the internet there was not going to be an official fireworks program from the City of Zurich but close to 9 o’ clock people started making their own fireworks. And people went crazy lighting up all sort of fountains, fireworks and lights (the red ones were the coolest!). And a group of people started to sing “happy birthday to you”. At first we didn’t understand: we thought it was one of them’s birthday and then we got it. They were singing it for Switzerland, to celebrate its foundation with the Federal Charter in the early days of August of 1291! So I must admit: it was a very cool birthday party for such an oldie!

 

firworks red lights fountains fireworks 2