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Showing posts from December, 2011

It finally snowed

Yes, it finally snowed in Switzerland! After waiting for snow for so long, it finally arrived. The beautiful white powder transformed Switzerland into an even prettier place. Believe me, snow turns trees into fairy tale creatures and ordinary Swiss villages into romantic places. You don't believe me? Let me prove my point.
Two pictures of the same set of stairs: One in winter, the other in summer. Which one would you rather climb?







And which village would you rather visit, the one covered in snow or the one in green? Admittedly, both look nice to me but since it is winter and I'm a total snow lover, I'd go for the snowy version.


If you're looking for actual things to do in the snow in Switzerland - other than skiing in the alps - have a look at this list of 10 Fun Things to Do Outside on a Snowy Winter Day.



© 2011 IRENE WYRSCH "A HUMOROUS GUIDE TO SWITZERLAND" ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

How to Make Home Made Wrapping Paper

Firstly, I want to thank my fellow blogger Made in Suisse for her post about creative wrapping paper. It was the starting point of this venture! Secondly, I would like to add that you can wrap any kind of gift with this wrapping paper - not just Christmas gifts! 


For most people the end of December is the time of the year they finish buying their Christmas presents. Well, for some people it's only starting but that's another story.

Many stores here in Switzerland 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? Especially, if your gift has vintage character or is home made I would advise you to give it the wrapping it deserves!

This is exactly what I did today. I rummaged through the memories from my childhood and came up with this fun way to design your own wra…

A Visit to the Zoo in Zurich

Zurich is Switzerland's biggest city. Yet, compared to New York or London, Zurich seems small with it's half a million inhabitants. Nevertheless, it features a great number of interesting places and fun activities for people of all ages. One of the more interesting places of Switzerland is located in Zurich: the Zurich Zoo.

Although I'm personally a bit ambivalent towards the existence of zoos and the keeping of animals in compounds, a zoo can truly be a great place to visit. As a child, I was a frequent visitor to the Zurich Zoo and I remember loving the elephants and the peacocks. The polar bears were another favorite and the monkeys always good for a prank. Plus, there used to be a real long slide for kids which I totally loved.

Founded in 1929, the Zurich Zoo is located on one of the hills around Zurich. According to its website, the zoo has been constantly enlarged and modernized over the last years and, today, is the home for hundreds of animals from various species.

Waiting for Snow

It's the middle of December and it is WARM. I can't remember a year when December was as warm as this. Instead of being around 0 C it is between 5-10 degrees celsius during the day and a bit colder at night. The result of this warm weather: NO SNOW! At least where I live that's the case; up in the mountains the situation is a bit better.

I usually prefer summer and warm weather over winter but snow sure is an amazing thing. Every year I'm surprised how snow transforms familiar landscapes and allows me to enter winter wonderland. So, while waiting for the first snowfall of the year, I'll share some picture of last years snow. Hopefully, it won't be too long now.








© 2011 IRENE WYRSCH "A HUMOROUS GUIDE TO SWITZERLAND" ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Fear of Dentists

I should probably count myself lucky to be such a rare visitor at my dentists office. My teeth are usually healthy thanks to my excellent brushing technique. It must be one of the talents I was born with.

Yet, even I am not immune to a certain uneasiness before a visit at the dentists office. It's not so much the fear of pain but a strange suspicion that the state of my teeth somehow mysteriously deteriorated over the last year. And even more so, while laying on the dentists chair, I often find myself wanting to please my dentist.
An urge to be a good patient Maybe I'm a rare species. Maybe I am a people pleaser. I have no rational explanation for this urge to be a good patient. It might be a leftover from childhood when compliments from a doctor about how well I behaved or how brave I was could light up a day of sickness.

Wherever it may come from, this urge for pleasing is still quite strong. If the dentist tells me to open my mouth wide, I make a big effort to open it as m…

A Visit by Swiss Santa

If there is one ingredient of Christmas that has spread all around the globe by now, it's 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 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.
The Swiss Santa Claus Tradition Unlike in the United States or other places around the globe, Santa Claus visits Switzerland not on the 24th of December but on the 6th of December. He also does not bring gifts but a huge bag filled with chocolates, peanuts and mandarines for everyone to share. However, not everyone is allowed to dig in!

Let me explain, how the Santa tradition in Switzerland works. In the evening of December 6th the Samichlaus visits every family with his helper 'Schmutzli' which literally translates to 'dirty one'. This helper …