Spring’s Rapeseed Fields


Rapeseed is a flowering member of the mustard or cabbage family. In spring it’s bright yellow flower is replicated manyfold in fields all over the country. Those beautiful bright rapeseed fields stand out against the lush green grassy hills and the mountains further off still covered with snow.

Today the farmers in Switzerland use rapeseed mainly for the production of animal feeds. From rapeseed a very healthy edible vegetable oil can be gained, that is often mixed into salads and used for cooking.

World production of rapeseed is growing rapidly. In Chinese it’s called oil vegetable or 油菜.

Spring’s Rapeseed Fields 2017-08-03T12:14:27+00:00

The City of Zürich


Zürich is the most dynamic city of Switzerland with quite an international feel. Which means besides the Swiss cuisine you get all sorts of great ethnic foods (Italian, French, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Lebanese etc).

Zürich is located in the north-central part of the country at the tip of the lake of Zürich. Including the metropolitan area the population  reaches almost 1.5 million people.

The city has a great public transport infrastructure and is well connected to the rest of the country. The airport is the busiest of Switzerland with countless international flights.

Zürich is a world leader in terms of finance. Many important financial institutions, banks and research institutions have their seat here. The university of Zürich and the ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) are top for academic pursuits. In terms of art Zürich also has heaps to offer.

The famous Bahnhofstrasse (see picture above, leading away from the main train station) is rather expensive and prestigious. There are many distinguished shops offering luxury products to well off customers. However anyone is welcome to just leisurely stroll along.

From the train station (Bahnhof) it is worthwhile walking across the Bahnhof bridge over the river Limmat and then walk along the Limmat Quai. On the left you will come across the Grossmünster where in the 16th century Zwingli launched the reformation of Zürich. 300m on you will come to the shore of the lake of Zürich. When there is a clear view the mountains form a tremendous backdrop.

In terms of quality of life Zürich ranks on a list of the top 25 cities of the world.

See my blog on the Canton of Zürich.

The City of Zürich 2017-08-03T12:14:27+00:00

Graffiti – Art or Vandalism?


In Switzerland you will often find walls along the train tracks or the highways sprayed with graffitis. Daily heaps of people pass by and will catch a glimpse of these acts of vandalism or in same cases truly a piece of art.

The police are on the lookout for illegal sprayers and when caught bring them to justice. Often the sprayers are teenagers and will have to pay dearly for their acts of vandalism.

Sprayers from the city of Berne often use 031 as a signature. This is the phone area code of the city of Berne.

Each year enormous sums are spent on removing graffiti from places where they don’t belong. Every owner of a house is obliged to have a house insurance. Depending on the location of the house one is wise to include coverage for removing graffitis.

The graffiti in the picture is definitely a piece of art. It is part of the Reitschule in Berne. In another blog I will tell you more of this interesting and politically hotly debated place.

Graffiti – Art or Vandalism? 2017-08-03T12:14:27+00:00

Efficient Public Transport


The public transport system in Switzerland (SBB/CFF/FFS – Swiss Federal Rail) is amazing in many ways. It includes trains, busses and even boats. All connections can be checked here and the ticket can also be purchased right away. Using it you can reach almost any destination in the country. And the system runs with a clock work precision – mostly on time and quite frequently. The trains are clean and fast. The only down side is the price!

A single ticket 2nd class for an adult from Bern to Zurich costs CHF 50.-. That is just one hour train ride albeit a fast one. Check this site for reasonable alternatives, such as  3,4,8 or 15 day passes and some other options.

The train system is very efficient when moving between the bigger cities in our country. No hassle with expensive parking lots and rather stress free traveling. So daily lot’s of people commute between Bern and Zurich or Bern and Fribourg etc.

The train stations in the bigger cities also function like shopping malls: lot’s of shopping and food opportunities.

The picture here shows the TP (Treffpunkt – meeting point) area of the main train station of Bern. Most people in Bern know the TP. This area in the train station is a convenient place to meet up with people coming from different directions and then from there together move on to any other location in or around the city or country.

If you are traveling in Switzerland don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a train ride through beautiful landscapes.

Efficient Public Transport 2017-08-03T12:14:27+00:00