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Showing posts from September, 2012

Freestyle Zurich

Beware! Snowboarders, free style skiers, motocross riders, skate boarders and many other cool people are gonna flood Zurich this weekend during the annual free style event: On Zurich's Landiwiese right next to the Lake, a huge jump was built and will be covered with snow for the snowboarders and free skiers who participate in the big air competition.

Actually, some of worlds best athletes are gonna participate in this great mix between show, spectacle and competition. In the snowboarding competition, for example, there will be Iouri Podlatchikov (Suisse) and Sage Kotsenburg (USA) amongst others. Starting on Friday with the preliminaries, the athletes compete for the title of the best (and coolest) freestyler in their respective category. There is also a category called "crossover" where athletes from the different sports compete against each other and the audience chooses the best athletes.

However cool and spectacular the jumps and stunts performed by the…

Swiss German Tongue Twisters

Swiss German can be a funny language. The most famous Swiss word 'Chuchichäschtli'  (phonetic: [ˈχʊχːiˌχæʃːtli] ) is a good example for a uniquely Swiss word. It even has its very own Wikipedia article! Thousands of foreigners have tried themselves at saying 'little kitchen cupboard' in Swiss German and many have failed to say it correctly.

Also the famous diminutive suffix '-li' is a well known character of Swiss German: Guetzli, Blüemli, Zügli and Chätzli are just a few examples. In fact, the '-li' is so famous that it made it into a German Rivella commercial a few years ago. I imagine some of these Swiss German words must sound quite funny to foreign ears.
Funny sounding Swiss German tongue twisters There are also quite a few funny Swiss German phrases in various Swiss dialects. The more advanced speakers of Swiss German or those who are not afraid of a linguistic challenge can test their Swiss German skills with the following Swiss German tongue twi…

How to Cycle Around Lake Zurich

If you think about it, it is a bit strange that Switzerland is considered a nation of cyclists. Think about the topography of Switzerland: there aren't really any larger flat areas and what we Swiss call flat would be considered quite steep hills in other countries.

Despite the obvious difficulties this causes for cyclists, almost every Swiss owns a bicycle and many people use it quite frequently, e.g. to go to work or to do their shopping. Personally, I am somewhat in between the frequent users and the 'sometimes users'. If it's sunny I'll ride my bike to work but if it rains I prefer to sit in a dry bus in the morning. Wouldn't you as well?!

A Bike Ride Around Lake Zurich Today, I took my bicycle on a somewhat longer journey. Since it was warm and sunny outside I decided to use this chance and finally make a bicycle tour around Lake Zurich. Yes, I rode around all of the Untersee (the lower part of Lake Zurich between Rapperswil and Zurich) in about 4 hours. I…


It's time again for another of Zurich's very unique holidays this weekend. Next to the traditional Sächseleuten (an annual festival that marks the beginning of spring) there is the Zürcher Knabenschiessen that always takes place on the second weekend of September.

Literally the name Knabenschiessen means "young boys shooting competition" and this is where the origins of this holiday lay. In 1889 the first Knabenschiessen took place in Zurich. About 500 boys aged 13 through 17 took part in the competition. The winner received a necklace of coins and after the competition all participants marched through the city with flags and drums. Some drinks were offered to them but I honestly do not know if they were alcoholic or not. :)

In its early years the Knabenschiessen took place in the Sihlhölzli but was moved in recent years to the Albisgüetli. Also the prize has obviously changed. Who would want a necklace of silver coins these days?! Another change in the event was the…