Stockhorn

2017-01-25T11:45:48+00:00

These days there is a lot of fog hanging over the Swiss Midlands. However the sun is easily accessible. There are many peaks that stick out of the fog. One that is easily accessible with a great view is the Stockhorn. You make it to the top with a cable railway departing from Erlenbach, down below.

The Stockhorn reaches only 2190m. But it is the peak that stands high above the the Swiss Midlands. From the Stockhorn you can look across to the Niesen and further on to the famous three: Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Down below is lake Thun, the city of Thun and in the other direction Berne is clearly seen too. On the horizon when the view is clear the Jura and even the Schwarzwald in Germany can be seen.

The Stockhorn is a great outing in summer and winter. It is not an international famous tourist destination. The Jungfrau and the Schilthorn are much more famous. However the Stockhorn, the Niesen and the Niederhorn are all wonderful kind of 2nd class outings, that can easily become first class experiences too.

What I really like about the Stockhorn is the new platform that is accessible through a tunnel from station at the top. The platform hangs over the abyss and gives and incredible view into the Midlands.

At the middle station (Chrindi, at 1642m) it is worth to interrupt your journey and stroll down to the mountain lake in the valley just below. During warmer times you are a little more sporty hike up to the top station. There are numerous paths leading up, some of them quite thrilling and all of them really rewarding!

Right now that mountain lake is frozen. An activity that is offered is ice fishing. You can rent the needed equipment, drill a hole and try to catch the largest fish.

Stockhorn 2017-01-25T11:45:48+00:00

WEF – World Economic Forum

2017-08-03T12:14:27+00:00

The President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping has just arrived in Switzerland. The Swiss government treated him and his wife here in Berne with the highest honours.

Switzerland hopes for even better trade relations with China, which is our most important trading partner in Asia and the third most important partner after the EU and the US. The trade volume in 2015 was CHF 31 billion. An innovative strategic partnership was established during the visit by the President of the Swiss Confederation, Johann Schneider-Amman, in April 2016.

President Xi Jinping is actually attending the annual WEF (world economic forum). The WEF annual meeting is one of the most important economic and socio-political events in the world. It always takes place in Davos, in a mountain resort in the Southeast of Switzerland.

This year it takes place from January 17-20. Among the participants are not only the president of China, but also Theresa May of UK and other world leaders. Over 2’500 participants from more than 100 countries, 1200 economic leaders and quite a few stars meet in the lovely village of Davos. The official motto is „Responsive and Responsible Leadership“. The unofficial motto is rather „Brexit and Trump“.

WEF – World Economic Forum 2017-08-03T12:14:27+00:00

Zytglogge

2017-01-12T02:38:09+00:00

This is one of the famous landmarks of the city of Berne. Many visitors try to be there at the full hour to see how the old clock work is set into motion. The best time would be at 12 noon!

It’s beginning dates back to 1220 where it was the guard tower and entrance to the newly founded city. Since the city of Berne is surrounded by the Aare river on the North, East and South side the Zytglogge tower was a formidable guard house and entrance to the newly built city.

The city however kept expanding, and there was only one direction to go – to the West, past the Zytglogge. So the function of the tower was changed and before the big city fire in 1405 the tower was turned into a prison. Later the tower was turned into the clock work tower (in Swiss German: Zytglogge). At that stage it was rebuilt using the local sandstone, which was the main building material used for all the city houses. The clock audibly regularly rang the time for the whole city. The Zytglogge tower was the center from which distances were measured. For instance to walk from the Zytglogge across to Gümligen took one hour. At a specific spot in Gümligen an old stone is marked with the indicator: 1 hour.

In the 16th century the Zytglogge got is square shape and and new clock was installed. The tower clock work is one of the oldest in the country. 4 minutes before every hour a golden cock on top of the tower crows. At the full hour quite a complicated mechanism is set into gear and starts working different parts revealing information such as the present position of the moon.

Make sure to be there at least 5 minutes before the full hour so as not to miss the age old show. By modern standards it isn’t all that spectacular. However if you consider that the mechanism is 500 years old the Zytglogge is really quite amazing!

Zytglogge 2017-01-12T02:38:09+00:00

Frost

2017-01-03T18:06:35+00:00

When temperatures drop below 0 and stay often frost forms and turns nature into a beautiful canvas. This is not snow yet! It is just frozen humidity that causes this wonderful effect.

However the effect is often due to fog!

During the winter months along rivers and lakes fog settles sometimes for days or even weeks. Lucky are those who live higher up or away from waters. They see much more of the sun and often look down across a foggy sea.

This time winter is late. Temperatures have been untypically warm. Ski resorts haven’t been able to even produce artificial snow because of the warmth. So folks wanting to go skiing had to go higher up.

But now we are getting geared up for winter. The weather forecast finally predicts snow even for the lower areas!

Frost 2017-01-03T18:06:35+00:00