Thursday, April 24, 2014

What to do when it rains in Switzerland

As some yodelers may or may not have realized by now, Zurich gets more rain than London. So what should you do in Switzerland when it rains and pours? Don’t be like The Frau and get stuck at a Swiss museum the size of a closet with an admission price as big as an American mall. Instead, go to the following places that suck less than rain. Ten free tickets to one of them will encourage you to get out, so keep reading for how to win.

Designer Outlet in Landquart

Feel like shopping for deals in a country that doesn’t usually have any? Then you should head straight to the Designer Outlet in Landquart for bargains on designers from Desigual to Tommy Hilfiger. Warning: This designer outlet mall almost feels American. Key word, almost.

Tinguely Museum in Basel

Can sculptures talk to you? Visit the Tinguely Museum in Basel and find out. Because the machine sculptures of Jean Tinguely aren’t just something to look at—they are something to interact with. Walk in front of one and let it surprise you.

Bad Zurzach Spa

Since the Thermalbad in Baden has been closed for the last few years, The Frau has been forced to bathe in the healing waters elsewhere. But that’s ok because Bad Zurzach has four outdoor pools of various temperatures–one with a lazy river­–plus a great indoor area for babies and small children. To get the best deal via public transport to Bad Zurzach, take advantage of the SBB RailAway offer, which gives you 10% off the spa entry and 20% off the train ride there. (And if you’re cheap like The Frau and pay in REKA, you’ll save another 20%).

Zurich Opera House
The Transport Museum is home to the
largest movie screen in Switzerland.

270 performances at the Zurich Opera House. 209 rainy days per year in Switzerland. Coincidence?

Transport Museum in Lucerne

In a beautiful location on Lake Lucerne, the Swiss Museum of Transport makes a great day trip rain or shine. One of Switzerland’s largest museums, it’s perfect for any age and will transport you from steam engines to modern jets with a scooter ride in between. If that isn’t enough, the museum is also home to the largest movie screen in Switzerland and they have kindly given The Frau ten free tickets to give to her readers for the Penguin Migration movie. To win, just leave a comment within this post and include how many tickets you would like (maximum three per winner). Enter by Tuesday, April 29. Make sure The Frau can find you via your link or other winners will be chosen.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Frau’s Swiss Love Affair

The longer The Frau lives in Switzerland, the more she realizes how disappointing the rest of the world is going to be if she ever leaves.

Toddler-friendly (and boat-friendly) playground in Twann.
She came to this realization when stepping off the train in Twann on Sunday, only to view the most picturesque playground she has ever seen. It was literally right on Lake Biel. It had picnic tables and sand and a slide that was actually toddler-sized. Trains cut through the vineyards above the park. Bikes rode by next to the park. Ducks quacked. If that weren’t enough, as Toddler M was swinging, a classic Swiss boat pulled up, right next to the playground.

A pristine white boat with a Swiss flag pulled up to the playground. Yes. Even Toddler M had to turn in her swing to take in such a sight.

The day continued all perfect and Switzerland-like from there. A stroller-friendly hike up into the vineyards from Twann to Ligerz and back along the lake. Ice cream. More fun at the park in Twann.
Ligerz, Switzerland
It was such a perfect day that Toddler M sang almost the entire train ride back to Baden. American nursery songs. Swiss songs from Krippe. A Swiss woman even hummed along with Toddler M as she sang one of the Swiss songs. Interaction. Yes. It is possible.

Oh yodelers, The Frau sometimes feels like she’s been on an eight-year date with someone that’s too good for her. Someone that her mere American mortal-ness with her messy apartment and geraniums that fail to cascade properly doesn’t deserve.

But it's only a matter of time, yodelers, before something goes wrong that you'll also hear about in this very space. Because like most expats, The Frau has a love-hate affair with her adopted country. It’s only normal, isn’t it? But the love affair days are what make being a foreigner here all worth it. Oder?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

You Know You're in Switzerland When…

an ass is beautiful.

everything is just a bit more expensive.

plain m&m's are a new phenomenon.

How do you know you're in Switzerland?

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Free Swiss chocolate from Max Chocolatier, anyone?

The Frau doesn’t make it a habit to do so-called sponsored posts. But every once and awhile, somebody comes along with an offer so sweet she can’t turn it down. Especially since it is Easter time and she has no willpower. Every store she goes into has been taunting her with chocolate bunnies and eggs since February. So please forgive her, but she accepted some free chocolate in exchange for writing about it–but only because one of you will also get some free chocolate too.

Now don’t worry. While you’re considering whether or not you might enjoy a little free handmade Swiss chocolate, The Frau has done her best to make sure you will not be disappointed in this prize.

That’s why Max Chocolatier, in Lucerne, sent The Frau a box of Schoggiplättli so she could test their chocolate before offering some to you.

Schoggiplättli are thin chocolate squares. But The Frau prefers to give them another name: heaven. Inside her beautifully designed box from Max Chocolatier were four different kinds of handmade chocolate—all with unique flavors you just don’t find at the Migros.

Passion fruit. Hazelnut. Rose petal. Coconut. The Frau has difficultly deciding on her favorite after eating them all, let alone thinking straight. She’s kind of on Cloud Nine, yodelers, which makes sense, considering each square tasted like a little piece of heaven.

Your prize
The Frau will stop taunting you now and showing you the chocolate bunny instead. One yodeler—that’s you!—can win a beautiful Max Chocolatier wild chocolate bunny, just in time for Easter. What’s more–you can even choose if you prefer a dark Madagascar 68% chocolate or a milk chocolate Rio Huimbi 42%? There’s no small print in this big chocolate give-away, except to say you must have a Swiss mailing address to win.

To enter for your free Swiss chocolate bunny, please leave a comment by April 7 in the comments for this post. Include whether you prefer dark or milk chocolate. Make sure The Frau can find you via your link or another winner will be chosen. The winner will be chosen at random and The Frau is guessing your odds will be good. Viel Glück!


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