donderdag 18 april 2013

Switzerland, a few vistas...

Zürich is a city whose reputation precedes it - and does it a complete disservice, trashes its name, gives it a good kicking. A boring banking capital? 'Zu Reich' (too rich), business-minded and uptight? The spotless Singapore of Europe? If Switzerland's largest metropolis once lived down to those dull descriptions, it certainly no longer does.

Contemporary Zürich might still be home to the world's fourth-biggest stock exchange and remain Switzerland's financial engine, but it's also (whisper it softly) surprisingly vibrant and trendy. Located on a picturesque river and lake whose water you can drink, easy to get around and a stranger to the hassled lifestyle that defines bigger cities, this affluent, fashion-conscious place enjoys the finest things in life.

Hundreds of new bars, restaurants and clubs have opened since the late 1990s and, since its Street Parade overtook London's Notting Hill Carnival, Zürich now hosts Europe's largest annual street party. Its former industrial quarter brims with nightlife venues catering to a youngish crowd, and this happening 'Züri-West' district has the same buzz as Berlin's Prenzlauerberg or Mitte. The infamous 'gnomes', as the British like to call Zürich's bankers, are still here, but sometimes they can astonish you by whizzing by on a Segway scooter.

Fortunately, the city's Protestant modesty saves it from ever becoming too schmicki-micki (chi-chi). With church steeples rising against a backdrop of hills and mountains, the medieval old town will also appeal to traditionalists.
[source: lonelyplanet]

Schaffhausen’s best excursion is the short trip westwards to the Rhine falls, Europe’s largest waterfall. They are truly magnificent, not so much for their height (a mere 23m) as for their impressive breadth (150m) and the sheer drama of the place, with the spray rising in a cloud of rainbows above the forested banks. The turreted castle Schloss Laufen on a cliff directly above the falls to the south completes the spectacle. August 1 – the Swiss National Day – is particularly impressive, with a huge fireworks display mounted on the riverside. [source:]

Bern Airport (IATA: BRN, ICAO: LSZB) is an airport serving Bern in Switzerland. The airport is within the town limits of Belp, and it is also known as Bern-Belp Airport.

The Biderhangar, one of the airport's hangars built by Swiss aviation pioneer Oskar Bider, is listed as a heritage site of national significance in the November 2008 review draft of the Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National and Regional Significance. The airport also houses the head office of Heliswiss. Previously the North Terminal housed the head office of Sky Work Airlines. The airport has multiple touchdown areas, a paved runway (14/32 of 1,730 metres (5,676 ft)), a grass runway (32L/12R of 650 metres (2,133 ft)), a heli-square, and a glider area. Runway 14 has an ILS approach and an NDB approach.

The airport handled 184,831 passengers in 2011, a 82% increase over 2010. In the first half of 2012 the airport announced a new record of 105,773 passengers handled, 53% more than in the first half of 2011. The future development includes new taxiways, but also a new parking area. According to the "Masterplan 2009-2020", a brand new area should be built for private aviation on the southern side of the airfield. The existing terminal was expanded to better accommodate flights to the Non-Schengen area in 2011.
[source: Wikipedia]

You won't spend long in Bern without hearing or reading the name Unesco. (Indeed, you just have.) Switzerland's capital is so proud of its medieval town centre it wants everybody to know that the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has declared this a World Heritage Site.

No-one would argue with that 1983 protection order. On the city's long, curving and cobbled streets, lined with tall, 15th-century terraced buildings and arcades, you often feel as if you're in some kind of dizzying architectural canyon. From the surrounding hills, you're presented with an equally captivating picture of parallel rows of red roofs, all crammed on a spit of land within a bend of the Aare River.

Be warned, though: like Canberra in Australia and several other world capitals, Bern (Berne in French and sometimes in English) only got the gig by being the compromise candidate. It was simply the easiest choice for French and German speakers to agree on when the new Swiss Confederation came to life in 1848. So even today this remains an essentially provincial town - with a parliament and bunch of bureaucrats attached.

Thank you very much Sara!

1 opmerking:

  1. schmicki-micki? xD i only spent half a day in zurich but it was delightful :))