35th Balloon Festival at Chateau-d’Oex

Chateau-d"Oex balloon festival


Chateau d’Oex is famous for it’s spectacular annual hot air balloon festival and this year it is celebrating its 35th birthday. It is definitely worth a trip out of town to go and visit. It’s on all week, finishing next Sunday 3rd February. As well as the usual colour and excitement of this famous “balloon week”, Saturday 2nd February will be particularly notable as they will be staging a unique show called “Night Glow”.
Chateau-d"Oex  balloon festival
The evening will start at 6.45pm and the theme very aptly, will be “Happy Birthday”. It promises to be an amazing evening with 300 performers and extras taking part, amongst them 20 complete balloon crews, the Swiss Ski School, skydivers, fireworks experts, sound engineers and many volunteers. The local atmospheric conditions play a crucial role in influencing the positioning of the balloons and the requirement for precision timing. The fireworks will be set to music, there will be a torch-lit ski descent and paragliders will take to the skies – all this against a backdrop of illuminated balloons.There’s a complete programme of entertainment organised for every day this week available to download from the website and even the opportunity to take a ride in a helicopter with Air Glaciers – simply book on the spot.  Rides cost CHF 60 for adults and CHF 40 for children.
Air Glaciers Helicopters
Entry to the Chateau-d’Oex Balloon Festival is free during the week. At the weekend it is  CHF 10 for adults and under 14’s are free. Included in the cost is the parking, a visit to the “Espace Ballon” museum and a visit to Etivaz’s cheese cellar at 10am or 3pm.

Enjoy the wonderful sights and sounds and do take your camera! For more information.

Chateau-d"Oex balloon festival
Photos: © Chateau-d’Oex Tourisme, Julie L and Fabrice Wagner
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New In Zurich – BringBee Home Delivery Service from Ikea

You’ve just moved to Zurich and your apartment is sorted with all your major requirements, your beds, wardrobes … but you still need to get your basic cooking utensils, blankets and clothes hangers etc.  So where do you go?  Probably Ikea. However, with the new service launched by BringBee, YOU don’t actually have to go and get the little items … BringBee will buy them for you and deliver them to you!
BringBee Shopping at Ikea
BringBee is a pickup service for your smaller Ikea requirements. BringBee finds other Ikea customers living close by and gets them to shop and deliver on your behalf, saving you the hassle of going to Ikea yourself. Simply write your shopping list online (in English or German) at www.bringbee.ch selecting from the 2500+ most popular smaller Ikea products (children toys, decorations, kitchenware etc) and they will be delivered to your doorstep!
BringBee Shopping Service in Zurich
So how much does it cost? The BringBee service costs you 9 CHF + 15% of the cost of the item, most of which goes directly to your shopper as a reward. BringBee ensures that the transactions are dealt with securely online as well as providing support and transport insurance for each transaction. BringBee’s mission is to use the unused capacity of existing shopping trips more efficiently. On average 70% of all road journey are inefficient. By using one shopping trip for a number of customers in one neighbourhood, BringBee is offering an eco-friendly way to shop and deliver. BringBee is a service provided by the young Zurich based startup PolyPort and is supported by the WWF Switzerland and Ikea Switzerland. The service will be launched in Zurich on 28th January. Why not try it now?

BringBee Home Delivery Ikea Service

St Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow and World Economic Forum Davos

This week is a busy one in the mountains outside Zurich. If you fancy heading out of town there are two big international events on this week.

St.Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow 24th – 27th January

Why not make the journey to St Moritz to experience the glamour and excitement of a world class polo tournament? From the 24th – 27th January there will be speed, excitement and colour on the frozen lake in St Moritz for the “St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow”. This event is the world’s most prestigious Winter polo tournament – so if you’ve not been to one before, this is a great one to experience.

St Moritz Polo World Class on Snow

Photo Credit: Polo St. Moritz Media
St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow

The highlight of the tournament is the final taking place on Sunday 27th January after four teams have battled it out for the coveted World Cup trophy. Since the Snow Polo Tournament in Klosters was cancelled this year you may like to take the scenic journey from Zurich to St Moritz for this spectacular event. Watching polo on a frozen lake, 1,800 metres above sea level, surrounded by snow capped mountains in a fabulous ski resort is a truly unique experience. For more information read here.

The World Econmic Forum Davos 2013 23rd – 27th January

The World Economic Forum is taking place this week in Davos / Klosters. This is a meeting of the foremost global business, political and intellectual communities and other leaders of society who are committed to improving the state of the world. Issues such as HIV/AIDS treatment, water supply and fostering dialoque between Islam and the West will all be on the agenda.

World Economic Forum Davos 2013

There is an impressive line up of speakers from all over the world coming to debate and discuss the most pressing global issues for a full list of speakers and for more information read here.

Photo credits: Polo St. Moritz Media, St.Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow and World Economic Forum

Atzmännig – Bijou Ski Resort just outside Zurich

Skiing in Atzmännig Ski resort

This weekend we visited Atzmännig ski resort for the first time. Having lived in Zurich some time now, and skied widely across the Graubunden resorts, as well as in Hoch Ybrig, Flumserberg and in the French part of Switzerland, I can’t believe it’s taken so long to discover this bijou little resort right on our doorstep!

 Atzmännig ski resort

And what a pleasant surprise. From the centre of Zurich, Atzmännig takes under an hour to get to and if you’re coming from Kuesnacht way you can be there in little more than 30 minutes. It’s ideal if you find you’re free for just a morning or afternoon, or if you fancy nothing too challenging, or if other slopes feel like just too long a drive. And it’s great for kids! It also offers free parking and over 1,000 car park spaces.

Atzmännig ski resort

This Saturday was a great day to go and the conditions were fantastic – fresh snow glinted in the sunshine against a backdrop of clear blue skies.  If you don’t fancy hurtling down the slopes at Atzmännig, there are some lovely restaurants you can visit or some great walks you can take around the resort either with or without snow shoes. There are two well marked out “snow shoe trails” and if you don’t have any, snow shoes can be rented on site. See the snow shoe trails here.

Atzmaennig Ski resort near Zurich

Atzmännig is a small resort but it is ideal for families and beginners. It clearly doesn’t offer the breadth and divertity of for example, a resort like Flims, but it has a charm all of it’s own. With various tickets available at a variety of prices including an inexpensive “Punkte Card” which would be ideal if you were only going to do a few runs, it is very accessible in more ways than one. It also has a ski school, a slalom course and offers night skiing and fondue parties – lots of Winter fun for the whole family.

Atzmännig ski resort

 To check out the runs take a look at the piste map here. For the website and full information see here.

Atzmännig Ski resort

All photos ©NewInZurich and taken this Saturday in Atzmännig

Skiing in Flumserberg

This time of year it’s often quite misty and foggy in Zurich, but up above the clouds in the mountains it’s lovely and sunny. Though it turned out to be a sunny day in Zurich eventually, it started off grey and cloudy. The phrase “unten grau, oben blau” translates roughly as grey down below and blue on top and is often quite apt for this time of year.

If you fancy escaping the “grau” why not head for the nearby slopes of Flumserberg.  Here are some photos of Flumserberg taken today to whet your appetite!

For more information on Flumserberg go to the website.

For more information on Flumserberg and other ski resorts close to Zurich as well as webcam information,  check out our Practical Info page.

If you don’t want to head to the mountains to enjoy the snow don’t worry, as according to the weather forecasts we should expect some more snow in Zurich this coming weekend – enjoy!

Sunrise and Sunset around Zurich

There’s always something magical about sunrise and sunset and today both the sunrise and the sunset over the mountains around Zurich were very beautiful. Well, I guess that since we have all survived the 21st December – apparently the next predication is for the world to go under on the 1st January 2017. Until then enjoy the sunrises and the sunsets. This is a phtoto of today’s sunrise:

Sunrise in Zumikon

And this is a picture of today’s sunset:

Sunset over Zumikon and Zurich

Fancy sleeping in an Igloo over the holidays?

Booked your accommodation for Christmas and New Year yet?  Ever thought of something a little different and close to the slopes? How about staying in an Igloo?  With all the snow falling outside at the moment it might feel that you’re already surrounded by snow – but there are some “igloo villages” in Switzerland located on a number of ski slopes.Igloos in Switzerland

I’m sure many of you are familiar with having a drink at one of the Igloo bars at some of the ski resorts, like the one pictured below in Davos, but did you know that you can sleep in them too?

Inside an Igloo in Switzerland

Certainly, for a unique and memorable experience in the mountains this is second to none. And don’t worry, you can even find some igloos that are heated too! The igloos are rebuilt every season from 3,000 tons of snow – but they are eco-friendly too – CO2 neutral and sustainable! The igloos themselves are beautifully designed, made up of glistening snow crystals and as well as a bar you can have a fondue dinner in some of them too!

Inside an Igloo in Switzerland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Igloo-Villages open up their snow-doors from 25th December and they are located in four areas in Switzerland – Davos/Klosters, Engelberg, Gstaad and Zermatt. The offer a variety of different type of accommodation and you can book overnights stays and even buy vouchers to give as presents. For more information.

Inside an Igloo in Switzerland

NewInZurich Guide to Christmas Markets Part II Over the border from Switzerland

Christmas Market, Stuttgart

Zurich is ideally placed to hop over the border either by train, car or even plane.  If you’re a dedicated “Christmas Market visitor”, chances are you’ve already been to some of the Swiss ones – so for a bit of diversity here’s a quick guide to some of the Christmas Markets over the border.

Germany:

Konstanz 29th November – 22nd December

Stuttgart 28th November – 23rd December

Nuremburg 30th November – 24th December

Freiburg 26th November – 23rd December

Frankfurt 26th November – 23rd December

Cologne 26th November – 23rd December

Hamburg 26th November – 31st December

Munich 30th November – 24th December

Berlin 26th November – 31st December

Bremen 29th November – 23rd December

Dusseldorf 22nd November – 23rd December

Heidelberg 21st November – 22nd December

France:

Colmar 23rd November – 31st December

Strasbourg 24th November – 31st December

Lille 21st November – 30th December

Mulhouse 24th November – 28th December

Avignon 24th November – 1st January

Austria:

Vienna  17th November – 24th December

Graz 23rd November – 23rd December

Innsbruck 15th November –  6th January

Salzburg 22nd November to 26th December

We believe that all information provided is correct at the time of publishing but please check the links in blue before setting off as dates may be subject to change.   

Photo courtesy of www.germany-christmas-market.org.uk

Swiss Gastro Award Restaurants 2012

plate of prawns, © newinzurich.com

Fancy going out to eat?  This week the Tages Anzeiger published the winners of the Swiss Gastro Awards for 2012.  Only restaurants which have been open for three years or less, or which have have undergone substantial alteration can enter. These are the Winners of the “Best of Swiss Gastro” Awards 2012:

 

Category: Activity

1. 67 Sixtyseven Sportsbar, Zug

2. Restaurant Golf Gonten, Gontenbad

3. Alpina Stuba, Parpan

 Category: Bar & Nightlife

1. Boilerroom, Winterthur

2. Club Seventy7, Ascona

3. Volkshaus, Basel

Category: Business

1. Noerd Kantine, Zürich

2. PUUR restaurant Balsberg, Kloten

3. Restaurant The Traders, Zürich

Category: Classic 


1. Rosaly’s Restaurant & Bar, Zürich

2. Restaurant Seegarten, Kreuzlingen

3. Commercio, Zürich

Category: Coffee 


1. Einstein Kaffee, Bern

2. Café Ccino, Aarau

3. Pane-Con-Carne, Basel

 Category: Gourmet 


1. Gourmet Schlössli Utenberg, Luzern

2. Restaurant Heimberg, Zermatt

3. Restaurant Essen’z, Brugg

Category: On The Move

1. Wurst & Moritz, Zürich

2. Marché Airport Zürich, Zürich-Flughafen

3. Sternen Grill Provisorium, Zürich

Category: Outdoor

1. Hotel Frutt Lodge & Spa, Melchsee-Frutt

2. Chez Vrony, Zermatt

3. Marina, Ascona

Category: Trend 


1. The Steakhouse, Lachen

2. El Mosquito, Sursee

3. Restaurant Kiosk, Zürich              List courtesy of Tages Anzeiger, Photo NewInZurich

Hidden Gems….

Where in the world is this?  This photo was taken yesterday, 20th November …. but where was it?  Spain, Egypt, the Caribbean?

Blausee, Switzerland, NewInZurich

In fact this was taken yesterday at Blausee, a beautiful, crystal clear aqua-coloured lake in the Bernese Oberland, not far from Interlaken.  A hidden gem lying in the Kander valley 900 m above sea level, it is has an enchanting fairy-grotto like appeal and is a great location from which to hike and explore this beautiful area. The statue of the girl was created in 1998 and the story is rather sad.

A plaque next to the staue states: “In memory of the legend of the Blausee the artist and sculptor Raphael Fuchs carved a statue of the beautiful young girl who was found dead in this lake many years ago. This was the place where she used to spend many romantic hours with her lover. After his sudden death, which she couldn’t come to terms with, she continued to return to the Blue Lake every night until she eventually died of grief herself. The blueness of the lake was apparently caused by her tears. She took sorrow and pain with her. But now it’s time to forget the past and to welcome a new day. It’s time to stand up!

The lake itself is filled with trout and the hotel at Blausee has a great restaurant featuring fabulous trout specialities and is also mentioned in the Gault Millaut, Guide Michellin and Gout Mieux. As well as great views over this lovely lake is also equipped with a spa. What better place to escape the hurly burly of city life and relax?  And as you can see from the following pictures, the restaurant is also quite a gem!

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For some more information (in German) on the lake and the surrounding area read here.