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Showing posts from August, 2011

7 Reasons Switzerland is not Sweden

Have you been to Switzerland? And have you ever visited Sweden? If you've been to both you probably know that Sweden is very different from Switzerland. To an English speaker the names of these countries and their inhabitants might sound a bit similar - Swedes and Swiss - but they are culturally, geographically and on many other levels quite different.

7 Differences between Switzerland and SwedenSwitzerlanddoes not border the sea. In Switzerland the only big waters are lakes and rivers. Sweden has an extremely long coast line and a lot of sea islands. The highest Swedish mountain is 2'111m high and called Kebnekaise. Switzerlands highest mountain is the Dufourspitze which is 4'634m high. That is more than twice as high!The Swedish people speak Swedish and the Swiss people speak either Swiss German, French, Italian or Rumantsch. Yes, Switzerland has four official languages!Sweden is about 10 times bigger than Switzerland. Sweden has over 10 million inhabitants. Switzerland…

Why You Should Shop at Migros Supermarkets in Switzerland

Migros is for Switzerland like Walmart is for the US. It's big retail and supermarket chain that has branches in almost every city and town. If you want to buy groceries or other basic necessities then Migros is usually the right place. But it hasn't always been like that...
History of Migros Supermarket Migros was founded by Gottlieb Duttweiler. His idea was to sell his products directly to the consumer, avoiding any intermediary trade. This way he was able to sell basic goods like rice, sugar and coffee over 40% cheaper than the competition. Duttweiler was also involved in politics where he pursued social justice and a 'human capitalism'.

In 1925 Duttweiler started selling groceries in five Ford trucks. One year later he opened the first store in Zurich. During the next few years Migros branches open all over Switzerland: St. Gallen (1929), Bern, Lucerne and Basel (1930). During the same years, Duttweiler starts producing the first Migros products: apple cider, laun…

How to Bake a Swiss Zopf

It is a beautiful Sunday morning and there is no better way to start a Sunday than with an extended Swiss breakfast. In Switzerland, there is one ingredient that cannot be missing from a Sunday morning meal: fresh plaited bread, called 'Zopf'. This bread is absolutely delicious with honey or strawberry jam or just about any other topping! Since there is quite a bit of butter in the bread we sometimes refer to it as 'Butterzopf' as well.

Zopf is a bread made from slightly sweetened yeast dough. It actually is quite similar in shape and taste to the Challah bread that Jewish people eat on Shabbat. Most people buy their Zopf at the local supermarket but some still bake their own plaited bread. My mom used to bake a big Zopf every Saturday afternoon so it would be ready for breakfast on Sunday. If you're not living in Switzerland you have no choice but to make your own Zopf if you fancy one for your breakfast.
Simple Recipe for Zopf If you would like to try baking your…

Why Everyone Likes Roger Federer

Just a few days ago, Roger Federer turned 30. He might just be the best known Swiss person ever. Everyone knows that he is one of the worlds best tennis players and some might say he is the GOAT.

I must admit that I am not much of a tennis expert and have never been very much into watching tennis on television but if Roger is playing I make sure to at least have a look. More often then not I'm rewarded with an interesting match.

Despite stardom and the enormous amounts of money Roger earns every year through tennis, add campaigns and more, it seems like he remains a very likable and Swiss person. I've thought about it and figured the following could be some of the reasons why.
5 Reasons everybody likes Roger FedererHe speaks Swiss German with a Basle accent and English with a Swiss German accent. He keeps his private life private and if he decides to publish some private moments he does it through his Facebook site. So far, I haven't seen him sell the pictures for good mon…

A Visit to the Rhine Falls

Its been a bit of a cloudy and rainy weekend. Not exactly the weather to go outside and take a trip somewhere. Instead, I went on a trip through my collection of pictures and discovered this beautiful photo of the Rheinfall (the Rhine Falls).


The biggest waterfall in Europe is very impressive and definitely worth a visit if you are in the area! It is part of the Rhine river and is located between the Swiss cantons of Zurich and Schaffhausen. They are 150m wide and 23 high but the size isn't the most impressive part of it all. What gives the Rhine Falls an aura of grandeur is the sheer amount of water falling down over the rocks: about 250 m3/s in winter and more than 600m3/s in the summer months with peaks almost double that.

In the middle of the falls there is the now iconic rock of the Rhine Falls. It seems to withstand the masses of water rushing by its side without a problem. You can get there by boat and climb up the steep stairs to the top. It's a climb well worth it! Vi…

A Triangular Chocolate Bar Called Toblerone

I recently booked a flight for my next vacation and as I thought of traveling through airports again, I remembered the heaps of Swiss chocolate that are being sold in duty free shops all around the world. The most famous of these chocolates is Toblerone. In my opinion it is by far not the tastiest of the Swiss chocolates available but it certainly has become the best known one.

This triangular shaped chocolate bar that has conquered the airports and supermarkets of the world has recently celebrated its 100 year anniversary. Reason enough to look back through the history of Toblerone.
A Short History of Toblerone1900: Theodor Tobler takes over his father Jean Tobler's chocolate business near Berne, the "Fabrique de Chocolat Berne, Tobler & Cie"1908: Toblerone is invented. The name Toblerone is a combination of the name Tobler (the chocolatier) and Torrone, the Italian word for honey almond nougat. 1969: Toblerone is now available also as dark chocolate in a green pac…

How the Swiss Celebrate 1st of August

Yesterday, on the 1st of August 2011, Switzerland celebrated its 720th anniversary! The celebrations included many fireworks and even more cook outs and they inspired me to look into the history of Switzerland and it's 1st of August celebrations. Here are some of my findings. 10 Facts about Swiss 1st of August CelebrationsTraditionally, it is assumed that Switzerland was founded on August 1st in 1291 but the true birth date of Switzerland is unknown. Think about it for a moment. Switzerland is so much older than the US or France that both gained independence in the end of the 18th century.The first 'version' of Switzerland included only three of todays 26 cantons: Uri, Schwyz and Nidwalden. They took an oath to cooperate and assist each other in the quest for political autonomy from the Austrio-German Habsburgian rulers. This oath allegedly took place on the Rütliwiese, a grassy hill on the shores of Lake of Lucerne.  Friedrich Schiller, the famous German writer, portraye…