Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Border Shopping Discussion on WRS

Hi Yodelers,

On Thursday, September 30th, from 18:30 to 19:00, the Frau, a.k.a., moi, will be a guest on The Connectors, a radio show put on by World Radio Switzerland. This week's show will discuss border shopping, which, as you know based on my last post, I quite enjoy.

The station is 101.7 in Geneva or DAB+, Cable & Satellite Across Switzerland. Or you can listen live online. Hope to meet you on the airwaves.

The Frau

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Price of Trust

On Saturday I was surrounded by more aisles and products than I knew what to do with. I found cloves. I found bags of tortilla chips for 1 Euro. I found Moevenpick ice cream for the equivalent of SFr 3,50. I was in heaven otherwise known as the border German grocery store.

As I was unloading the groceries from my cart at the check-out, the cashier said something to me that I couldn't quite hear above the din of hundreds of other Swiss and German shoppers around me.

"Wie bitte?" I asked.

The cashier repeated her statement. I realized that she wanted me to remove my wet umbrella from my grocery cart so she could check that I wasn't stealing anything.

As I picked up the umbrella, all I could think was, wow. I had almost forgotten what it was like to not be trusted.

Switzerland may be high on cost, but unlike its more affordable German neighbor, it is also high on trust. I had forgotten how nice a society of trust is.

I still enjoyed my German-priced Swiss ice cream, though.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Weekend in Switzerland: Flims

Hi Yodelers,

As part of a hopefully-sort-of-regular column on this blog, The Frau will share some weekend ideas in order to prove that really, Switzerland isn’t boring!

This week we’re in Flims. Together with Laax, this famous ski resort is fun year-round. Turquoise lakes. Mountain rivers. And the “oh my God look at that” Rhine Canyon.

Day 1: Train to Chur. Postbus to the Caumasee bus stop where it’s a short hike down to the Cauma Lake (about 15 minutes). Chill out here for a while, take a swim, rent a paddleboat (CHF 15/hour), or just treat yourself to lunch or a snack at the lovely lakeside restaurant. Then it’s about a 45-minute to hike to Conn, where you will find a viewing platform for the Rhine Canyon. Say your exclamations, click your camera, and return to Waldhaus/Flims and have dinner at the Surselva Breau, a small local brewery with a great restaurant and even better beer.

Day 2:
Take the cable car from Flims up to Naraus (21 CHF one-way or 27 CHF round trip) and hike to the Segneshütte. This is a panoroma hike so you’ll enjoy spectacular landscapes, a beautiful waterfall, and a mountain river before heading back down, either via cable car from Naraus, or if you’re there from July-October, you can take the bus back from Alp Nagens.

Other ideas:

Raft down the river

Hike the round-trip Rhine Canyon route

The Alpabzug (cow parade) takes place on the 18th in Flims. Watch the cows come home.

Rent a bike and take it up the ski lift in Flims and bike down.

Where to stay:

Hotel des Alpes in Waldhaus/Flims (right near the Caumasee bus stop and minutes from the torquoise Cauma Lake.) CHF 182/night for a double, including breakfast. It was a nice place, large rooms that included soap. Yes, free soap! Trust me, I celebrated. (Note: this was the cheapest hotel I could find in the area. I'll apologize for Switzerland and their prices now.)

Where to eat:

Surselva Breau. A fun brewery. They let me order both beer and from the kid’s menu. What’s not to like?


To save money on these trips, why not use REKA checks? Hotel des Alpes will let you pay for half your room with these checks and the cable car people in Flims take them too.

Have you been to the Flims/Laax area? If so, please leave a tip. Happy yodeling!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Party Until the Cows Come Home

Hi Yodelers,

Want to experience one of the classic Swiss events of the fall? Yes you do. September is Cow Party Month in Switzerland. So why not join the livestock parade? September is prime Cow Wearing Flowers And Man Wearing Yellow Knickers month. In German, these festivals, where the cows literally come home, are called Alpabzüge.

To make things easier to figure out, I've put together a list of most of these events over at ACC. Most cow parades are on Saturdays, starting from September 11th. The one you see pictured above is a photo I took of the parade in Urnaesch last year. This is the classic Appenzell event and will take place this year on September 18th. Happy yodeling.

What's your favorite cow parade in Switzerland?


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