Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

Posts tagged “Switzerland

Decluttering and moving on.

Thought for the day…”If you count all your assets you always show a profit.”

“We may pass violets looking for roses. We may pass contentment looking for victory.”

Over the years it is easy to accumulate more and more stuff.   It is very easy to end up with boxes and boxes of books, magazines, CDs, DVDs and a host of other possessions which were stored in the hope that they would be needed again in the future.    I am currently having a major decluttering session, so all the CDs and DVDs are being scanned, old photos sorted out and boxes of books thrown out.    It is surprising that so much of what was stored turns out to be just junk or things that are no longer important.   Whilst it might have been important years ago, now that I look back I find box loads of things that are not relevant or no longer mean anything.

There is a very easy solution to this….decluttering.    And declutter have I done….getting rid of so much stuff and am moving on.    A sort of mega Spring-cleaning exercise.

Here is a photo from the collection, originally a 35mm negative taken about 1990 in England.   The negative was scanned then destroyed, so now it is just a digital copy (but reduced here for the internet).   A British Rail HST125 at Penzance train station waiting to depart back to London Paddington.   A very unusual clear blue sky too !

and another photo from the archives – a steam train on the Brienz Rothorn Bahn BRB in Switzerland.

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Two from the photo collection

Thought for the day….”Life always offers you a second chance. It’s called tomorrow”

“It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go.”

Winter is a great time to sort out the photo collection, and also get rid of the duplicates and not-so-good photos.    Far too many photos in the collection, so some serious pruning is needed, although it is a lot of fun going back through the old photos and reliving the moments.    A couple of photos here taken not long back, trains around Brienz, Switzerland.   Brienz is a Swiss town very much in the shadow of its famous nearby neighbour Interlaken, which receives nearly all the tourists.   But Brienz has its own charms, such as the steam train up the Rothorn mountain.   Add to this a superb lakeside location, some great bakery cafes and it makes a great alternative to Interlaken.    Both photos were taken with the Fuji X-T20 camera.

and another photo from the archives….

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Road rage, air rage and now airport rage

Thought for the day…”The hardest thing is to take less when you can get more.”                                                                                                                                                                                                    “Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal.”

Road rage has now spread to airports as well.   The security checks, long queues and long waits and hassles over baggage mean that people are more stressed than ever.    Airlines have shot themselves in the foot by charging for baggage, as now you see people trying to drag on as much as they can…not uncommon to see them with 3 and sometimes 4 bags.    Airline policies may be wrong, and a lot of the things that airlines are now doing ARE unreasonable, but what is not fair is when you see people’s anger at airports directed at the wrong people – the people working on the check-in desks or at the gate.  These are not the people who have made the rules, they are the ones who are given the unfortunate task to enforce them though.   So it is sad to see passengers at airports getting angry with the wrong people, especially as many of them work for ground companies who are only contracted by the airlines.   By all means get angry with the airlines and the people who have made the mistakes, but make sure that the anger is directed at the correct people.   The person in front of you at the desk or gate may not be the right one.

Late afternoon low sunlight lights up the main street of Brienz, Switzerland for the photo today.  Many of the houses in this area date from the 1700s.

and another photo from the archives – a boat waits at Brienz, Switzerland for the return trip to Interlaken.

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I got scammed – Twice !

Thought for the day…”If you count all your assets you always show a profit.”

“We may pass violets looking for roses. We may pass contentment looking for victory.”

Now I am old enough to know better, but sometimes I get caught.   What makes it even worse is that I got caught twice because of a lack of research on the internet.   The warning signs were there IF I had looked before I bought….

I often used websites that compare prices to find the cheapest price.    I am learning more and more that cheapest is not always best.    I used a couple of websites (kayak.de  and also skyscanner.com    to find some good deals on air tickets.  These websites present you with a list of online travel agents (OTAs) who deal with the actual selling of the air tickets (kayak and Skyscanner just list the agents and do not sell tickets themselves).     If you look online at sites such as Tripadvisor you will find pages and pages of reports of people who have had problems with the online travel agents.    I also fell into the trap, and got caught twice, which makes me feel even more foolish.     Lost a lot of money through these OTAs and now that I have had my fingers burned twice, and avoiding them like the plague.   If you have time, then have a look at Tripadvisor and see what people are writing about the OTAs.

The message is very clear…..book direct, whether it is for hotels or for flights.   Although the prices may look cheaper at first, the OTAs will find a way to make their money from you.    And as a lot of people have found, it is very easy to get scammed by the online travel agents, with the final price often being different to the first advertised price.      So now that I have lost money twice by trying to book via an OTA, now I am just booking direct for both flights and hotels.  Save yourself the problems !!

Clear skies and clean air for this photo from the Swiss town of Grindewald.

and another photo from the archives.

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Houston – we have a problem

Thought for the day…”Happiness is good health and a bad memory.”

“Prosperity tries the fortunate, adversity the great.”   (Rose Kennedy).

You just have to feel sorry for the NASA astronaut who discovered recently whilst on a space walk that he had forgotten to put a memory card in his GoPro camera.    We have all done that, or have forgotten to recharge the camera batteries, but to be out in space on space walk and discover that you have no memory card in the camera must feel very bad, very bad.     And to make it even worse, the omission was even broadcast, the link for the video from NASA is here –

Back down on Earth, here is a photo from a religious even held in the Swiss town of Brig recently –

The Interlaken (Switzerland) to Lucern express train of the Zentralebahn arrives in Meiringen.

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Aviation variety…..aid flights in PNG and military flights in Switzerland

Thought for the day….”Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”

“It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”

Two aviation photos today, the first from the highlands of Papua New Guinea, where the missionary aviation companies fly into the most incredible (and near impossible) airstrips on the hillsides and ridges.  One photo from a typical landing…with the aircraft on one of the flatter parts of the runway.   If you check on Youtube, you will see some great videos of the flying in this part of the World, it is extreme to say the least !  Camera for this photo was the Fuji X-T10.   The second photo today is from Switzerland, and from the town of Meiringen, where the Swiss Air Force has an important air base.  Seen here is an F-18 Hornet aircraft and in the rear of the picture the nose of a Northrop Tiger fighter jet.  Camera for this photo was the Fuji X-T20 coupled with the 100-400mm lens.

and another photo…a F-18 Hornet of the Swiss Army, seen here in the Meiringen Air Base.

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The worm has turned (at least for today)

Thought for the day….”When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.”

“A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind.”

I recently flew with Lufthansa from Oslo via Frankfurt to Zurich.    Apart from the usual rush to get onboard and the usual problem to get space in the overhead luggage bins, the seats on the A320 seemed even closer than before.   But the real insult was the ‘meal’ that was served onboard.  This is what Lufthansa, one of the legacy airlines, served as the ‘meal’….

And not only that insult, but the coffee was served in micro size cups too (the watch is in the photos to give an idea of the small size) –

and the ‘dinner’ on the leg to Zurich was 20g, yes 20g of dry crackers.   Again, no refills of coffee offered, despite the small size.   I had paid an ADULT fare, yet was given these micro sized portions.   Can you believe 20g ??  Lufthansa have also been devaluing the air miles on flights too, so I wonder what is the point in paying extra to fly with the legacy carriers when the service has fallen this much???

BUT fast forward to my next trip to Zurich 3 weeks later.   I am lucky to be able to choose a lot of the time, so due to Lufthansa becoming less good, I chose the German Railways train instead.   What a breath of fresh air. No check in 1 hour before departure.   I could get onto the train carrying tubes of toothpaste, a Swiss army knife and liquids without anybody worrying.   The seats had lots of space.  I could take my own baggage (and be sure that it was going to travel with me on the same train).    The staff on the train were excellent, the coffee in the restaurant car good and in normal sized cups.    I had space to walk around, I had comfortable seats and there were films and TV programmes to watch on the DB entertainment channels.    Despite a much longer journey time, it seemed much faster than flying.  I arrived feeling good, relaxed and that I had enjoyed the journey.    We tend to forget that the train can be a great way to travel.    Just because air travel is fast does not mean that it is good, or that it is the only option.   The train down through Germany was so good that I am not considering using the train for many more future trips.    To quote a great British railwayman (Peter Parker) ..”this is the age of the train”.    Perhaps if airlines continue to pack people in and treat passengers as an inconvenience, then more and more people may discover the train.

No prizes for guessing where the photo below was taken…..yes, a souvenir shop !!   Typically Swiss.  Taken with the Fuji X-T20 camera together with the excellent 35mm F2 prime lens.

and another photo from the archives…..bright colours in Cape Verde Islands….

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Good Customer Service – Fujifilm

Thought for the day…”Prosperity tries the fortunate, adversity the great.”

“When one burns one’s bridges, what a very nice fire it makes.” (Dylan Thomas)

For the last 5 weeks, I have been without the camera, which suffered a cracked screen after being dropped onto the floor.    Sent it back to Fuji, but Norwegian Post (and there is a company who deserves to go out of business if ever there was one)  took 9 days to get it to an address near Oslo.   Then, after that delay, the camera got delayed for weeks due to the virus in the TNT Courier computer systems.   TNT seemed unable to get the camera delivered, and it just sat there for weeks, getting nowhere near the repair shop.   But here is the happy ending….Fuji (who are normally very good with customer service and backup) have offered to send me a new camera.  That was something that I did not expect, but it is good to know that there is good customer service around.   The feedback online is also good for Fuji, as other users have also written about similar good treatment.    So I am happy to continue using Fuji, just have to wait a little longer (now over 5 weeks) for the replacement to arrive.   Then back to photographing again.

Back in 2008, Singapore Airlines (one of the World’s great airlines) were still using 747s on the route from Zurich to Singapore.  The ‘Queen of the Skies’, weighing almost 400 tonnes,  is seen here taking off on 23rd May 2008 for the 10 294km journey back to its’ home base.  Flight time was around 12 hours and 10 minutes.

and another photo, an art gallery in Honningsvag, in the Artic north of Norway.

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Swiss mountain town bans photography

Thought for the day..”Public opinion is no more than this: what people think that other people think.”

“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.”  (George Patton)

What is the world coming to?    News on the internet is that the Swiss town of  Bergun in the Graubunden area has voted to ban photography in it’s area.    People taking photos will be fined CHF4 under the new bylaw.     Apparently, the local council has already taken down publicity photos from the internet.    So many places in the world are restricting photography, you have only to think of the USA where photographing public buildings is now likely to lead to trouble with the authorities,  and in many places in the world, taking photos near an airport is also likely to lead to problems.     It is amazing that the central government in Switzerland has allowed the town of Bergun to introduce the new photography ban.   It would certainly change my decision to visit any town if it had a photography ban.  What has happened to freedom?   And what is the town of Bergun so afraid of???    Surely any town should be please that people want to visit and take photographs.    And because Switzerland is usually a civilised country, then the photography ban is even more surprising.     Recently Sweden introduced a complete ban on filming from drones/quadcopters without special permission, and other countries are gradually introducing more restrictions as well.

Today’s photo is a scan of a slide taken many years ago, a local train from St. Ives passes the beach at Carbis Bay in Cornwall, England.

and another photo…..a scanned slide photo from the 1990s.   A Penzance to London train in the Glynn Valley near Bodmin Road in Cornwall, England.

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Queen of the Skies – the Boeing 747 400

Thought for the day….”Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”

A photo that is history now….a Singapore Airlines 747-400 taking off from Zurich airport in Switzerland.  Known as the Queen of the Skies, almost 400 tons lifting off for the 11 hour flight to Singapore.    Zurich (code ZRH) is a great place to take aircraft photos, as the authorities there actually encourage people to take photos, and even organize special photo tours.    Great that the managers there have seen the value of photographers, and make it easy to take photos, rather than trying to prevent it like so many airports do today.  Not only that, but Zurich is actually a good airport to fly into or transit, run with the usual Swiss efficiency.     The photo below was taken during one of the organized photo tours, although even from the normal viewing decks, it is easy to get some great photos.

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and some faces from the harbour market in Helsinki, Finland……

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Some red faces somewhere…..a big error.

Thought for the day….”What the mind can concieve, it can achieve”

“You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind”

No doubt that there were some red faces at the Nabors Demolition company in Texas, USA.   They recently demolished the WRONG house, and have blamed Google maps for the error.   The house that they demolished was one block from the house that they should have knocked down.   Needless to say, the owners of the now-demolished house were none too happy, although the Nabors Demolition company  described it as ‘no big deal’.    The demolition company’s motto is ” We Could Wreck The World” certainly had a good try.   Apparently, Google maps has now amended the map to show the correct location of the house that should have been knocked down.   Some red faces somwhere??

People photos are always fascinating, so here is another one…fisherman in the park…Fuji X-E1 camera together with the Fuji 55-230mm lens.

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and another photo from the archives…Kandersteg in Switzerland….

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Happiness – Smile please !!!

Thought for the day…”If you want something that you never had, then do something that you have never done”.

” If aircraft black boxes survive air crashes, why do they not make the whole aircraft out of the same material? “.

Those of you who are over about 30 years of age may remember a British singer called Ken DODD.  One of his hits (he was actually a comedian and initially not a singer) was called ‘Happiness’.     The first words in the song go “Happiness, happiness, the greatest gift that I possess’.     The results of the annual ‘World Happiness Report’ have just been published (by the United Nations), and once again DENMARK comes out as the World’s happiest country.  Switzerland was also near the top, whereas Burundi was at the bottom of the list (presumably this makes it the World’s most UNhappy country).   Burundi has been plagued by civil wars, poverty, disease and corruption, which might be why it is in bottom place on the list.   The survey looks at things like education, social security, life expectancy,  GDP, corruption, personal wellbeing etc.  One bit of good news is that happiness has increased in nearly all regions of the World, with Denmark and Switzerland still in the number 1 and number 2 positions.    Interestingly, Denmark has one of the highest tax rates in the World, yet the people there are the happiest.

The country Bhutan does not produce figures for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but it does publish the Gross National Happiness Index instead, which includes measures of physical happiness, mental health and social/cultural vitality.   20th March was the International Happiness Day.     Smile please !!

Today’s photo is of some happy people after Skydiving in New Zealand……..

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And another photo from the archives…..

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Peaceful Swiss Alps – Gstaad

Thought for the day…”Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it”

“We learn the ropes of life by untying the knots”.

Did you know that there are 4 official languages in Switzerland (Swiss German, French, Italian and Romansh)?  Swiss German is the main language, with about 64% of the population using it.   And did you know that the abbreviation for Switzerland, CH comes from Confoederatio Helvetica, which is latin, and was chosen as a neutral alternative to using one of the 4 official languages.  It has the second highest life expectancy in the world (Japan is first), and also a high divorce rate (around 43%).  The wrist watch was invented here in 1868 (Patek Philippe).  The photo today is of the Swiss town of Gstaad, in the southwest of the country.  About 9200 people live in this expensive resort, home to the famous such as Julie Andrews, Bernie Ecclestone and previously Roger Moore, Elisabeth Taylor and Roman Polanski.  It looks very quiet in the photo though……

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and another photo from the archives….fireworks over Bergen, NorwayWordpress-Bergen

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Where the mountains meet the sea – Kaikoura, New Zealand

Thought for the day…”  If at first you do not succeed, redefine success”

” Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without”

In a sign of the times, Reuters is reporting the first flight by a robot as a fare-paying passenger.  The robot, named Athena, flew with Lufthansa from Los Angeles to Germany.  The robot is part of research to design robots for work that is too dangerous for humans.   Apparently it was cheaper to fly it as a passenger than to send it as freight.  It flew economy class, but was turned off for the flight.

A view from the lookout overlooking Kaikoura, South Island New Zealand for the photo today, with the Seaward Kaikoura mountains visible behind. These mountains rise to 2610m,  and are part of the Southern Alps.  Although originally a fishing and whaling town, Kaikoura is now more famous for the (expensive) whale watching trips, and also for the trips swimming with dolphins.  New Zealand has 13 species of dolphins, with the Dusky, Bottlenose, Hector and Common dolphin being the most usual.    It is the Dusky Dolphin which are usual around Kaikoura, their acrobatics being very popular with tourists.

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And another photo from the archives….a chalet in Kandersteg, Switzerland..

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Battle of the Paddle – Stand up paddleboarding

Thought for the day…” Success depends on your backbone, not your wishbone.”

” The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

The Swiss have a wonderful system of democracy whereby if 100 000 people sign a petition, then a national referendum can be held on any subject.  There have been 9 during 2014, ranging from more funding for the railways to limits on immigration.  More will be held today, including one on gold reserves by the national bank and another on immigration.    But it is the story in the international news at the moment that is catching the attention…..that a group in Switzerland is trying to get enough signatures to hold a petition to ban the eating of dogs and cats.    Hard to believe that in Switzerland that dogs and cats are eaten in some areas, especially the Rhine Valley.     The cats and dogs are eaten as a form of ‘mostbröckli‘.  Dogs are more commonly eaten in Korea, Vietnam and China, but it is surprising to learn of the practice in Switzerland.

Florianapolis, Brazil was the host recently for the ‘Battle of the Paddle’ stand up paddleboard competition.    A couple of photos capturing the action during the final…….

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Swiss beauty – early autumn, blue skies

Thought for the day…” What the wise do in the beginning, fools do in the end”.

”  You never know who is swimming naked until the tide goes out”.

Off to Switzerland today and to the beautiful valley at Kandersteg.    Around 7.5 million people live in Switzerland, and interestingly, it is said that there are more banks than dentists there.  Also, it is said that the original Swiss army knives were red in colour so that they could be seen in the snow.    Switzerland is also home to the longest stairway in the world, where the Niesenbahn cable car-funicular has a stairway of 11 674 steps next to it.   Monte Rosa is the highest mountain, at 4634m, whilst Lake Maggiore at 195m is the lowest point.   Kandersteg, in the photo below, is on one of the main north-south routes through the Alps, but is a summer and also a winter resort.   Well worth a stop if you are in Switzerland…

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and another photo from the archives….life in the hills of Nepal…..

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Blue skies and green meadows – Switzerland at it’s best.

Thought for the day….” When you fish for love, bait with your heart”.     ” You cannot cross the sea by merely standing and gazing at the water”.

A classic photo from Switzerland for the photo today.  The photo was taken in the village of Kandersteg, near the centre of Switzerland.   Located at about 1200m altitude, it is surrounded by the Bernese Alps which rise to over 3600m.    Tourism is highly important here, and it is both a winter (skiing) and summer (hiking & climbing) destination.  It is also the home of the international Scout centre, with over 11 000 Scouts visiting each year.    Despite having 4 official languages, Swiss-German is the most prevalent, with around 65% of the 7.3 million residents speaking it.  One piece of trivia….there are now more Starbucks coffee houses in Switzerland than banks.   And Switzzerland has the highest consumption of chocolate per capita in the world…..11.6 kg/capita a year.    As the saying goes…9 out of 10 people like chocolate, the 10th person was lying.

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And a photo out of the archives….soldiers on parade in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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Deep thought in the market – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” A goal is a dream with a deadline”.

” Whether you think you can, or you think that you cannot, you are right”.

Another photo from the market in Apia, Samoa for the picture today, but this time from the taro section.  Taro is a starchy root vegetable, popular in South East Asia and the Pacific Islands.  It is one of the few crops which can be grown in flooded conditions, and thrives in damp or wet soils.  Interestingly, it is inedible when raw and has to be cooked or soaked in water overnight before being eaten.  The leaves are also used in cooking, as well as the main part of the plant.    Fantastic even light for this photo, and an easy shot for the camera.

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And one from the archives…..a Swiss chalet in Kandersteg….

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Ultimate Swiss army knife !!! – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement”.

”  Happiness is a road to travel, not a goal to reach”.

Did you know that the original Swiss army knife was grey, not red?  And in the beginning, when the knives were made for the Swiss army, they did not feature a corkscrew because soldiers were forbidden to drink whilst on duty.  Apparently, on modern Swiss army knives, the corkscrew is the one part that is not made in Switzerland (it is manufactured in Japan instead).  The Swiss army knife started life in 1897 after being developed by Carl Elsener.   His idea was to manufacture something to stop emigration due to unemployment.  The design has been so successful that it has even been used in the Space Shuttle.  It is now possible to buy a Swiss army knife WITHOUT the knife part, so that it can be carried on flights (a knife-less Swiss army knife!) .   Wenger, one of the two main companies producing the knives (the other is Victorinox)  produces a knife known as ‘The Giant’, with some 87 tools included on it.    And here is a photo of one…which was on offer in Switzerland for CHF 1200……

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One strange or odd fact about the Swiss army is that they accidentally invaded the neighboring country of Lichtenstein in 2007 after getting lost in a rainstorm !!

And a photo from the archives, this time from Cuba….4 modes of transport in this shot…..

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Queen of the Skies leaves Zurich – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” When opportunity knocks, please answer the door.  Don’t keep asking who it is”.

”  Your trust account is more important than your bank account”.

Another photo today of the ‘Queen of the Skies’, the Boeing 747.   The 747 series has now logged more than 77.8 BILLION kilometres, which is the equivalent of 101,500 trips to the moon and back.   An estimated 5.6 billion people (or 80% of the world’s population) are said to have flown in a 747.   The aircraft in the photo, the 747 400 series has around 274km of wiring in it, and can fly up to 13 500km non-stop.  It can carry 215,745 litres of fuel.  Interestingly, the Wright brothers’ first flight could have been performed within the length of the economy section of this aircraft (45m).   The photo shows a departure from Zurich, Switzerland bound for Singapore Changi, a distance of 10 318km.  This service has now been replaced by a daily Airbus A380.   Zurich airport, apart from being a pleasant airport to fly from, is also very photographer-friendly, even arranging special trips to the best photo spots around the airport.

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Swiss Bells – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” A wise man can see more from the bottom of a well than a fool can see from the top of a mountain”.

” A ship in a harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are for”.

I had forgotten just how good travel by train could be.  I recently travelled down through Europe on long-distance night train, and it was very interesting to compare this trip with the return trip, which was by air.   No early check in at an airport, no expensive airport ‘box’ hotel, and no long queues to endure.  No silly security checks, and nobody on the train was worried that I was carrying toothpaste or liquids which at an airport would be taboo.   No need to check in at all, just board the train and find the sleeping compartment.   Pleasant evening on the way down through Europe, good snacks in the cafe, and coffee that was far better than airline coffee.    And add to that a good nights sleep and it makes a very pleasant journey.   Then next morning breakfast in the train cafe and voila, it was time to arrive (and on time too).   Compare that to the hassle and frustration at airports and being squashed in economy class for the flight back.  Flight back was late, on an old aircraft and delayed even further due to passengers travelling with far too many carry on bags.  Perhaps one day the train will be THE way to travel again…….The recent trip was a very interesting comparison.

Today’s photo is from the central part of Switzerland, with a photo of Swiss cow bells on a woodland hotel.  Very Swiss !

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Typically Swiss – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” You are only young once, but you can be immature forever”.

” When it comes to thought, some people stop at nothing”.

Standards are very high in Switzerland, and things work as they should.    Had a trip to Kandersteg recently and was very lucky to stay in The Hayloft, which is a traditional Swiss chalet now operating as a B&B (www.thehayloft.ch).  The building is almost 500 years old, and has fantastic  views of the waterfalls and mountains nearby.   Not only that, but the hosts that run the chalet were excellent, so the hospitality was great too.   Just what you want when you are in Switzerland !!   Kandersteg (altitude 1200m)  is a great base for hiking, and with the network of cable cars and gondolas, it is very easy to reach the higher valleys.  About 7.3 million people live in Switzerland, with around 70% of the country being mountainous.    The famous Swiss army knives were originally all red so that they could be found easily in the snow.  The Swiss are also famous for having the highest chocolate consumption per capita in the world.

Web-version-hayloft

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Photo of the Day Thursday 20th June 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….”Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn’t be done.” Amelia Earhart.

“Beware of little expenses.  A small leak will sink a great ship.”

A nice photo of the lake at Iseltwald, Switzerland today on an early autumn day.  Switzerland has a wonderful system where citizens can (if they can raise 50 000 signatures) ask for a national vote on any law that they do not like.   There are 26 cantons in Switzerland, which function like small states.   One record that Switzerland holds is for the world’s longest staircase, which has 11 674 steps, alongside the Niesenbahn funicular.   Zurich often comes tops in the list of most liveable cities in the world, although Geneva also scores highly.   It also has the second highest life expectancy in the world (Japan is top).   The highest mountain is the Monte Rosa (Dufourspitze) at 4634m, although the Matterhorn is more famous.   It is said that Patek Philippe invented the world’s first wristwatch in 1868.   And Switzerland is also the home of the world’s best chocolate !!

WORDPRESS-CH-Iseltwald

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Photo of the Day Saturday 27th April 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice”

”  Happiness is not how much you have, but how you enjoy it”

“The mind is like a parachute, it only works when it is open”.

Helvetia is the latin name for Switzerland, and the Conferderation Helvetia is where the initials CH come from.  Switzerland borders 5 other countries, France, Austria, Italy, Germany and Liechtenstein.   Home to chocolate, the first chocolate bar was produced here by Francois Callier in 1819.   And the photo today is of a lake steamer on the Brienzersee, seen here at Iseltwald.

CH-Wordpress-steamer

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