Skip to main content

Posts

10 Fun Things to Do Inside in Winter

It's winter. It's cold. Very cold. You don't feel like going outside or being outside for more than a few minutes. Picking up your mail if just about the max you can handle. You are glad you are working in a well heated office and that your home is warm and cozy as well. Although I can definitely understand you, I think there are plenty of fun things you can do outside even in winter - especially, if there is snow. However, I can also think of fun indoor activities for all those who prefer to stay warm. 10 Fun Things to Do Inside in Winter Have fun at an indoor ropes course  - like this one in Grindelwald . Visit a thermal bath or spa  - there are many natural hot springs in Switzerland. One of the more famous thermal baths is in Vals .  Visit a water park - the Alpamare or the Aquaparc offer a great variety of slides and pools  Organize a Fondue or Raclette evening Go place the laser tag game  in Laser City Go body flying in Rümlang - it's fun! Vis
Recent posts

How to Eat Cake in Switzerland

One thing about Switzerland that certainly plays in its favour is the tasty food - most famously Swiss cheese and Swiss chocolate. Personally, I also think in Switzerland you can find some of world's best breads and pastries. Think about the braided Sunday bread called Zopf and the large variety of Christmas cookies for example. And those are just the tip of the culinary iceberg so to speak. However, today I want to talk about cakes and especially a famous Swiss cake which just happens to be one of my favourites as well. I'll also touch on the unwritten rules you have to follow in order to politely eat cake in Switzerland. Something that is indeed very typical behaviour of Swiss persons . Swiss Carrot Cake - Michaela Schöllhorn  / pixelio.de The Origins of a Swiss Carrot Cake The cake I will talk about is named after the region of Switzerland I grew up in, the canton of Aargau  and is called the Argovian Carrot Cake (in Swiss German: 'Aargauer Rüeblitorte') . I

How to Choose a Seat on a Bus in Switzerland

Swiss Postautos - Sommaruga Fabio  / pixelio.de It's very common in Switzerland to take a bus to work. Since public transportation in Switzerland is quite convenient and punctual this is perfectly fine alternative to driving yourself to work. Of course, public transportation in Switzerland isn't cheap but putting gas into your car is definitely becoming expensive as well plus you get the traffic jams that are very hard to avoid and cost a lot of time and nerves. According to the Swiss Ministry of Statistics almost 30% of working people use public transportation to go to work .  So if you're part of that Swiss group, lets do the math: if you take the bus to and from work and work five days a week, we can safely assume that you ride a bus in Switzerland at least ten times a week . This was true for myself as well for many years as well but I have since completely switched to remote work. An interesting observation While riding the bus to work a few years ago, I observed

A Visit by Swiss Santa

If there is one ingredient of Christmas that has spread all around the globe by now, it's probably the person of Santa Claus, Papa Noël, Père Noël or Father Christmas which are all loosely based on the historic figure of Saint Nicholas . In Switzerland, this red-clothed and white-bearded figure is called ' Samichlaus ' and despite the obvious similarities to the other Santa Claus versions, the Swiss Christmas tradition involving his visit is quite different. Samichlaus & Schmutzli -  Alwin Gasser  / pixelio.de The Swiss Santa Claus Tradition Unlike in the United States or other places around the globe, Santa Claus visits Switzerland not on the 24th but on the 6th of December. He also does not bring gifts but instead carries a huge bag filled with chocolates, peanuts and mandarines for everyone to share. However, he doesn't simply share these sweet treasures with everyone because first, he evaluates every possible recipient. In Switzerland the Christmas gifts

How to Create Your Own Christmas Calendar

Another year is over and Christmas is just around the corner. The streets and stores are filled with lights and glittering decorations. It's the time of the year you  drink hot wine with spices  and eat home made cookies.  In Switzerland another Christmas tradition  will be starting soon, the tradition of  Christmas calendars . Advent is the season of waiting and preparation  before the actual Christmas on December 25th. As in many parts of Europe, people in Switzerland enjoy the tradition of counting the days until Christmas eve. This is usually done with an Advent Calendar, also called a  Christmas Calendar,  which counts the 24 days from December 1st o 24th or an Advent Wreath  that counts the last four Sundays before Christmas.  What are Swiss Christmas Calendars?  In Switzerland, Christmas calendars are used during the Christmas season starting from December 1st until December 24th. It's the children who enjoy them most although some grown ups can be just as excited about

How to Create a Paper Christmas Calendar

"O du fröhliche, o du selige Gnadenbringende Weihnachtszeit!  Welt ging verloren  Christ ist geboren  Freue, freue dich, o Christenheit!" As I'm listening to this famous German Christmas Carol  which talks of Christ's birth, I remember the Christmasses of my childhood. Beautifully decorated houses with advent wreaths and Christmas trees and the smell of Christmas cookies baking in the oven. If we were lucky - and many times we were! - it would snow on the days leading up to Christmas and we could build snowmen and use our sleds to slide down the local sledding hill.  Another thing that was a constant companion of those Christmas days were the different advent calendars that we had in our home. My mother hung up a beautiful nativity scene where the stars were put up one by one as the days went by. 23 stars and one special one in the form of a shooting star. We also had a classic calendar with 24 numbered small bags with treats inside. And, of course, we all had our o

How to Make Home Made Wrapping Paper

For most people the end of November marks the starting point of their Christmas shopping and December is when they finish buying their Christmas presents. These days gifts can be bought already wrapped or you can have them wrapped in the store for a little extra cash. If you're like me, you'll know that big part of the joy of giving comes with carefully wrapping the presents and writing just the right words in the little card attached to them.  Many stores here in Switzerland, too, have a gift wrapping service and while it may be very convenient to buy your gift ready and wrapped, so to speak, I think that is rather boring. I mean, if you found an amazing gift for your husband or best friend why would you want to waste it with average wrapping? Exactly! Especially, if your gift has vintage character or is home made I would advise you to give it the wrapping it deserves! However, it turns out I can't always find wrapping paper that is to my liking. I want to thank my f

How to Spot a Swiss Person

"You're not from here, right?!" These were the words the saleslady of a small clothes store on a busy Tel Aviv street directed at me a few years ago. I was surprised she had spotted my foreignness so easily. After having lived in Israel for a few years and mastered the local Hebrew, I thought I was able to blend in quite well by then. So, I asked her how she knew. She replied with a smile and said: "You nicely folded the clothes you tried on before bringing them back out!" Oh that! Something I assumed was 'normal' but, apparently, the locals didn't do that. My Swiss background gave me away.  A Stereotypical (Swiss) Person As an expat I can usually spot fellow expats right away even if at first they seem to fit right in. Be they Swiss people I encounter abroad or foreigners living in Switzerland. Mostly, I catch a word or a phrase in a foreign language or see clothes or other items that are clearly not local. Here in South America it's very easy t