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Showing posts from September, 2011

Gotthard is not only a Swiss Mountain

While I was thinking about what Swiss thing to write about next, I was contemplating famous Swiss musicians. I already wrote about Swiss troubadour Mani Matter but now I was looking for a Swiss musician who was or is well known outside of Switzerland as well.

I didn't find any. There is 'DJ Bobo' who has earned some recognition in a few European countries but is far from famous abroad. There is also Celine Dion who won the European Song Contest for Switzerland in 1988 but she isn't really Swiss.

So, instead of writing about a musician who is already famous abroad, I decided to take a chance and write about a great Swiss band that is very well known and loved in Switzerland but barely heard of outside of it..


A Swiss Band called 'Gotthard' Gotthard, named after a famous Swiss mountain, is a Swiss hard rock band from the canton of Ticino, which is the Italian speaking southern part of the country. They recorded and produced several hit albums in Switzerland in th…

A Swiss Beer Called Feldschlösschen

If you ask anyone to name a European country that is known for its beer drinking culture, then most people would probably name Germany, Ireland or Denmark. It is true that compared to those countries, Swiss beer culture is small and Swiss beers are almost entirely unknown outside of Switzerland.

It's a pity because there are many good Swiss beers. Especially the small breweries are making a comeback in the Swiss beer market with their quality brews. Despite the recent success of the micro breweries, the most popular and most sold beer in Switzerland remains the Feldschlösschen beer.


Since 1876 the Feldschlösschen brewery has been brewing beer in Rheinfelden in the canton of Aargau in northern Switzerland. 'Feldschlösschen' literally means 'field castle', a name that matches the architecture of the main brewery building that looks much like a castle or fortress.

What kind of beer does Feldschlösschen produce? These beers are some of the Swiss population's favorit…

6 Fun Things to do in Konstanz

Usually, this is a blog about Swiss life, Swiss food, places and people in Switzerland. I will make an exception to the rule for the wonderful German city Konstanz. It that lays right on the border to Switzerland and is so close to Switzerland one could almost call it a Swiss city. In fact, there are probably more Swiss people visiting Konstanz every weekend than Germans themselves.

Konstanz is located on the shores of beautiful Lake Constance, one of the biggest in Europe. By now, the German city has pretty much merged with its Swiss neighbor Kreuzlingen. If it weren't for the signs, you almost wouldn't notice when you actually cross the border. It has a beautifully maintained medieval center with lots of old houses right at the lake front.

There are many fun things to do in Konstanz all year round, with shopping probably being the most popular for Swiss visitors. During the holiday season and in the summer months there are special events that draw even more people to the cit…

A Swiss Macaron called Luxemburgerli

Most of you probably know the sensation when it seems you need to eat something sweet. For some people this is just a hunch, for others a definite craving. What sweets we eventually reach out to in this state of sugar craving depends largely on what is available in your country, region and - at the very moment - in your home.

In my experience, people have favorite sweets just like they have favorite savory dishes. These treats are many times what we phantasize about in our hypoglycemic state. For many it is chocolate in its different forms: classic chocolate bars, special chocolate bars like Toblerone or pralines. For others its wine gums or licorice and still others prefer a piece of carrot cake or a good brownie.

Almost everyone reaches out to a familiar candy or sweet food when they get the sugar craving. Here in Switzerland, chocolate is the most likely solution. Yet, there are also other very Swiss candies and pastries that work just as well for a sugar rush. One of them is the …

Schwingen: Swiss Style Wrestling

The Swiss form of wrestling called 'Schwingen' has been part of Swiss culture for centuries. Competitions in Schwingen were first described in the 13th century and are still held throughout the year these days. Many Swiss practice this interesting sport and the national competitions are sure to draw a big crowd every year.

The important competitions of this sport are called 'Schwingfeste' or 'Schwinget' in Swiss German. This basically translates to 'Swiss wrestling festivals'. These can be regional, cantonal and national competitions with higher honors and prestige given to winners of the national events.

The most important Swiss wrestling competition is the Eidgenössische Schwing- und Älplerfest ('Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Festival') which takes place once every three years in changing locations. The champion of this festival receives a young bull and is crowned 'Schwingerkönig' ('Swiss wrestling king').

Other important compet…