Hello Switzerland Issue 3/2014

Page 1

issue 3 / 2014





e er on b m nu The owledge ource s ­kn tion d’s a r i p rlan ins and r Switze onal fo nati ity r e t in mun m o c

Languages • e-Learning • Management Training Intercultural Seminars • Kids & Teens Camps

BERLITZ SWITZERLAND The number of ways to learn a language at Berlitz is practically unlimited. Whether face-to-face lessons at a Berlitz Center, group courses at a company location or one of the innovative online options, the wide range of courses and delivery methods allows you the flexibility to choose the program that best suits your learning needs. The full scope of Berlitz programs and services can be tailored to meet your specific needs and develop the skills to help you succeed in the global marketplace. For more details please visit us at www.berlitz.ch

Basel | Bern | Biel | Genève | Lausanne | Luzern | Petit-Lancy | Zug | Zürich




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24 41


Front cover: © Michael Ireland/Fotolia.com Photos: Eat Me Restaurant, Sipho Mabona, Diccon Bewes, Lavaux Express/Pierre Grydbeck



LUCERNE REGION Origami elephant


A network of experts 31 Autociel 32 National Suisse 33 Packimpex 34 Credit Suisse 36 Sunrise 38 PwC 40

International School Rheinfelden 18 Rooftop bars 20

Swiss wine to savour Looking for love

Career advice


Our community 4 Letter from the Editor 5 The Hello Switzerland team 7 Contributors 8 World of Hello Switzerland 9 What's on 10


41 46


ZUG REGION Sound of Music & Zuger Messe


NEUCHATEL REGION Absinthe comes of age


Contact us



Kids in the countryside


Up close and personal with Diccon Bewes 24

Queen of Queens



Swiss International School 52

Restaurant review 'Eat Me' 63 Man behind the mascot 64 Coming up in the next issue 65

Connect in the capital 28 Expat breakfast 27 Aare adventures in entrepreneurism 30

Meet Mahima

ZURICH REGION Europe's top athletes Zurich's 10th Film Festival

53 54







Team Hello Switzerland at the Bern Grand Prix city run Congratulations to everyone who took part!

And......by pure chance reader and race participant Michael also won a prize from last issue's Discover Switzerland competition! What a performance! Do you check www.helloswitzerland.ch/competitions regularly?


Stepping out with our Hello Switzerland readers for a summer drink in Bern's Wartsaal Kaffee on 1 May. twitter.com/helloswitzmag


issue 3 / 2014

SETTLE IN FOR THE LAST DAYS OF SUMMER Dear readers, As the fading heat of each day ushers in chilled mornings and earlier nights, Hello Switzerland eases you through the season with news and events to help you make the best of Switzerland. We get up close and personal with Diccon Bewes, feted by critics across the world for his unique take on Switzerland. He tells us how he researched his latest book by following in the footsteps of the first British tourists to visit Switzerland. The Hello Switzerland team discovers the growing quality and popularity of Swiss wine in our main feature, The ways of wine. We give you some suggestions of where to go to taste the best of the bottles produced in the country and tips for tipples to round off summer. Taking to the regions, in Neuchâtel we visit the first woman to ever produce absinthe legally. Then there’s a trip to Basel’s rooftop bars, and places to meet in Bern. If you’re in Geneva and looking to head to the hills with the kids, we have some family walks to tempt you, plus we preview the Zurich Film Festival and venture to Lucerne to talk to a man about an elephant. If you are looking for key services in Switzerland and advice you can trust, our Featured Partners section of the magazine presents world-class Swiss businesses whose services are specifically tailored to the needs of the international community. Our magazine and website are packed full of articles and advice by people just like you. See page 65 of this magazine or hop online to find out which topics we’re covering next so you can share your own experiences with our readers. And don’t forget our handy Hello Switzerland app or all the special offers and competitions on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Enjoy the edition, Jennifer Davies Managing Editor-in-Chief jennifer.davies@helloswitzerland.ch

PASSIONATE ABOUT ENGLISH BOOKS SINCE 1999 The Bookshop, Orell Füssli Thalia AG, Bahnhofstrasse 70, CH-8001 Zürich Tel. +41 (0) 44 211 04 44, Fax. +41 (0) 44 215 72 05 www.books.ch | www.facebook.com/TheBookshopOrellFuessli

SIS Swiss International School

Bilingual Day School from Kindergarten through to College International Education / Local Insight English / German Swiss Matura / International Baccalaureate SIS Basel +41 61 683 71 40

SIS Schönenwerd +41 62 312 30 30

SIS Winterthur +41 52 202 82 11

SIS Männedorf +41 44 921 50 50

SIS Suhr +41 62 842 97 07

SIS Zürich-Wollishofen +41 43 399 88 44

SIS Rotkreuz-Zug +41 41 757 57 11

SIS Tamins-Chur +41 81 641 18 80

SIS Zürich +41 44 388 99 44


Hello Switzerland 1955x1345.indd 1

15.08.2013 13:19:09


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managing editor in chief

chief operating officer

production manager

QUERIDA LONG Bern editor and layout




Basel editor

Zurich and Zug/Lucerne editor

Romandie editor





commmunity and account manager

social media coordinator

project officer

sales manager


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Stay informed, get inspired

Meet people and have fun




Connect with the best of Switzerland. Whether you’re still abroad or you live here, find the right information and get inspired. Personalise Hello Switzerland, add photos and tips, share your views, ask questions and find answers.Subscribe to our free magazine by signing up for a free online profile. Welcome to Hello Switzerland.

Discover Switzerland





AUGUST Sports, street art and magic 10 Jul to 17 Aug

14 to 17

Ciné Transit Sit under the stars and enjoy free outdoor movies on the shore of Lake Geneva.

Open Air Gampel "iischi Party" (our party) is one of the biggest Swiss music festivals.



10 to 31

14 to 16

Murten Classics Classical music festival in the beautiful medieval market town of Murten/Morat.

Tenero Music Nights Festival From blues and jazz to boogie woogie, this music festival has loads on offer.




12 to 17



Spettacolo, Brunnen SZ


14 to 31

15 to 17

17 to 20

Brunnen SZ


Zürcher Theater Spektakel Zurich’s renowned international theatre and performing arts festival.

Spettacolo The international street performance festival takes place every two years.

Ornaris The trade fair for innovation and new trends visits Bern with treats for gourmets and techies.





13 to 23

14 to 27

15 to 17


Festival des Arts Vivants A wide range of art events in various establishments across the town of Nyon.

Circus Knie The Swiss National Circus performs its spectacular show on the Allmend.

International VW Vintage VW Beetle and Camper owners invite you to share their passion.

Basler Rheinschwimmen The 34th Basel Rhine Swim. Join thousands of swimmers for a dip in the river.





13 to 24

15 to 17

15 to 17

19 to 24

Musikfestwochen Winterthur says farewell to the summer with a street music festival.

Blues Now! Celebrating 5 years! The best in soul, blues and R&B perform in the Volkshaus.

Bümplizer-Chilbi Get close to the action! Join the fun at the Bümplizer Chilbi (fun fair).

Summer Film Festival Magical open-air cinema show surrounded by the historical city walls.






European Athletics Championship 2014 1400 athletes from 50 countries. See more in our feature on page 53.











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19 to 24


Recontres de Folklore Internationales International performers present global folk traditions.

Water Day 2014 With its focus on the topic of water the “Wassertag” is fun for all ages.



21 to 22


Jazz Night Zug Jazz festival in the Old Town of Zug with more than 9,000 jazz enthusiasts.

Damien Rice Winterthur welcomes the talented Irish singersongwriter to the main stage.



22 to 23

23 to 24

A tribute to Pink Floyd Swiss band Crazy Diamond honors Pink Floyd in the historical amphitheater.

Triathlon Lausanne Running, biking and swimming. Can you take the pace?



22 to 24


Festival des Artistes de rue Jugglers, acrobats, fire eaters and more from around the world.

Weissenstein Race The longest and most demanding running race of the Jura-Top-Tour.



22 to 31


Art Masters Gain an insight into India’s spirituality, traditions and cultural contrasts.

Zaubernacht 2014 Among others, a surprise star guest guarantees a worldclass magic show.





Augusta Raurica

Photos: Spettacolo Brunnen, St. Moritz Art Masters (Hubert Kiecol)


St. Moritz






Art Masters, St. Moritz


29 to 30

Weltklasse Zürich Annual track and field meeting which is part of the IAAF Diamond League.

FIBA 3x3 World Tour Lausanne hosts one of the world’s five most important basketball 3x3 events.



28 to 31

29 to 31

Zürich Openair This open-air music festival hosts big names such as Paolo Nutini and White Lies.

Altstadtchilbi In the Old Town over 150 shops and restaurants present their products and offerings.



28 to 31


Blues to Bop Festival Blues, jazz and gospel: A crossroad of genres from tradition to new trends.

Tri-Kids Triathlon Kids-oriented triathlon guaranteeing great fun for all ages and exciting prizes.












CIRCUS MONTI READER MEET-UP NIGHTS Join the Hello Switzerland team and other readers for a night at Circus Monti, Switzerland’s most innovative circus! 2 September in Zurich and 16 October in Bern. We will meet at 7pm for a drink, a chat and a behind-the-scenes tour in English before enjoying the evening show at 8:15pm. Registration at

In a relaxed, international atmosphere, we'll taste fabulous wines and enjoy great food. Our last wine and cheese tasting night in Basel saw 40 of us get together for a night to remember. We’ve got more events coming up this summer. Let us set the scene for you to meet people from all over the world. Wine & Barbecue Summer Chillout At our summer grill parties we’ll taste a wide and interesting range of wines and enjoy a deluxe barbecue buffet provided by a local gourmet BBQ pro!

www.helloswitzerland.ch/circusmonti Tickets are CHF 56 for ringside seats and CHF 50 for the podium.

HELLO SWITZERL AND FOX TRAILS Foxtrail – the most thrilling paper chase in Switzerland! Hello Switzerland organises special Foxtrail events for the Hello Switzerland community. Foxtrails consist of one wily task after another, and you need to solve each one of them along the way. Whether you come alone or in a group, you’re 8 or 80, you’re a tourist or you live here – Hello Switzerland Foxtrails are a fun way to meet people and discover Swiss cities from another perspective. Our readers will be welcomed personally by Foxtrail, and our group will be met at the end of the trail for a drink and a snack. Let’s fox the fox! Hello Switzerland Foxtrails start at 6pm at the main railway station: 28 August Thun 4 September Bern Participation is CHF 41 for adults and CHF 26 for children. Advance registration is required. Registration closes on the Monday before each Foxtrail.

For information and bookings simply visit www.helloswitzerland.ch/foxtrail

Dates Thursday 21 August in the Kloten Wine Cellar Thursday 28 August in the Basel Wine Cellar Friday 29 August in the Geneva Wine Cellar

For full information and registration, simply visit www.helloswitzerland.ch/moevenpick


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30 YEARS OF CIRCUS MONTI – BONJOUR LA VIE The prizewinning Swiss circus celebrates its 30 th season with a spellbinding show set in the enchanting world of bohemia. BY MIKE TOMSETT

Singing and drinking, celebration and mourning, philosophy and poetry. Graceful balance, virtuous music, impressive juggling, carefree dancing and feather-light flying: it must be bohemia. Rousing scenes and dreamy, melancholic moments take us to late-night boulevards, tiny attics, and lively cafés. Bonjour la vie! is a unique circus show where Circus Monti’s international troupe of artistes bring the world of today’s bohemia to life and tell us its story. For its 30th season in the ring the Swiss circus has taken inspiration from Henri Murger’s ‘Les scènes de la vie de bohème’. The 23 passionate, expressive and independent artistes bring the lifestyle, hopes, dreams, and fears of today’s bohemia to life in this outstanding Monti show, telling its story, touching the audience, and taking us on an emotional journey.

Photos: © Circus Monti

No animals are used at Circus Monti - the focus is on exceptional performance. The circus has twice won the Walo Prize, the highest award in Swiss showbusiness, and remains the only circus to have done so. In 2013 Circus Monti won the Swiss Theatre & Artist Association’s Innovation Award for Innovative Work, Originality and Quality. With bonjour la vie! Circus Monti has confirmed its ground-breaking position in the Swiss cultural scene. The programme is a mosaic of artistic spectacle, visual production, and indulgent music - a pleasure for all the senses.

Bonjour la vie! performances Basel, Rosentalanlage 13.08 – 24 .08.2014 Zürich, Sechseläutenplatz 27.08 – 21.09.2014 Cham, Hirsgarten 26.09 – 28.09.2014 Aarau, Schachen 30.09 – 05.10.2014 Bern, Allmend 08.10 – 19 .10.2014 CHF 10 discount for our readers! Just mention ‘Hello Switzerland’ when booking by telephone on +41 (0) 56 622 11 22, online at www.circus-monti.ch or buying direct at the circus ticket desk. Max. 2 discounted tickets per person. Cannot be combined with other offers. Not valid on bookings with Ticketcorner. The discount applies to evening shows for the categories Loge, Estrade and 1st place.

READER MEET-UP NIGHT Join the Hello Switzerland team for a special social night at Circus Monti including a drink beforehand and a behind-the-scenes tour. 2 September in Zurich or 16 October in Bern. See page 12 for more info!


SEPTEMBER Ted talks, golf greats and urban cows 15 Aug to 14 Sep

04 to 07


12 to 14

Lucerne Festival This year's theme is "Psyche", the power of music to stir our souls.

Montreux Grand Prix An adrenalin pumping weekend for car lovers and curious onlookers.

St Ursula’s Book & Food Sale English books and food offered by St Ursula, Church of the Anglican Communion.

Country Night Gstaad One of the top country music festivals with international stars in Europe!





29 Aug to 13 Sep

05 to 06


12 to 14

La Bâtie-Festival Concerts, art shows, theatre events, workshops, seminars and performances.

Bellinzona in festa 2014 The best of oenology, gastronomy, tradition and music on offer.

Expat-Expo An exhibition in Zurich by, for and about English-speaking Switzerland.

Bicentenaire 2014 The canton celebrates the 200th anniversary in the Swiss Confederation.





04 to 06

05 to 07



Avenches Tattoo Military and civilian musicians from all over Europe guarantee a great show.

Le livre sur le quais Book festival hosting around 300 French and English speaking writers.

TEDxBern "Ideas worth sharing": As a platform for discussion, TEDxBern connects people.

Jungfrau-Marathon This spectacular run is often called the world's most beautiful marathon.





04 to 07

05 to 07 Sep

11 to 20


Omega European Masters One of the most prestigious golf competitions played on European soil.

Festi'Brad Street party weekend with stalls, carousels, music and family activities.

Lozärner Oktoberfest Enjoy Bavarian hospitality with its food and drink specialties in Lucerne.

Rock Out 2014 Party hard in the capital of Switzerland, brought to you by the ISC music club.





12 to 13

13 to 15

ArtStadtBern ArtStadtBern turns Bern's Old Town into an exhibition space for all kinds of art.

Knabenschiessen Zurich's biggest folk festival. Teens compete to be the canton's best shot.
















European Masters, Crans-Montana







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Sichlete Farmers bring their cows for a bit of Swiss tradition right into the capital!

slowUp Basel-Dreiland A day where the roads belong to cyclists, roller skaters and walkers.

IWB Basel Marathon Feel the beat in your feet as you run in this music marathon!

slowUp Zürichsee Bike or inline skate along the Lake of Zurich between Meilen and Schmerikon .






21 to 23

Käseteilet Witness the Swiss tradition of dividing the cheese on the Spycherbärg.

Ausschiesset/Fulehung 2014 Traditional festival to mark the end of the shooting season with a twist.



19 to 22

19 to 21

CREATIVA Let the creativity flow! Fair for creative design and crafts in Lausanne.

Grand-prix SNG Top international sailors compete in the last race of the sailing season.



19 to 28

26 to 28

The Sound of Music Rodgers and Hammerstein’s famous musical by the English Theatre Group.

Fête des vendanges Taste test a range of exquisite wine varieties in a lovely setting.



20 to 21

27 to 28

Fête des vendanges de Russin Taste test a range of exquisite wine varieties in a stunning setting.

Freestyle.ch Snowboarders, freeskiers, mountain bikers and freestyle motocrossers compete.



20 to 28

27 to 28

World Band Festival Luzern Blow the cobwebs away by listening to big bands, brass bands and tattoos.

Fête de la Brocante Switzerland’s largest open-air antiques festival in the centre of this medieval town.






Photo: ©Omega European Masters / Hervé Deprez, Jungfrau Marathon: swiss-image.ch/Andy Mettler






Meilen, Rapperswil, Schmerikon





Le Landeron

Jungfrau Marathon


OCTOBER Wine and design 19 Sep to 26 Oct


Gastronomic Festival Restaurants and wine cellars offer special set meals and autumn specialties.

Swiss Classic British Car Meeting Hundreds of British classic cars and motorbikes on display along the lakeside.



25 Sep to 05 Oct


Zurich Film Festival See new films from all around the world. Read more on page 54.

Expat-Expo Exciting expat exhibition– all under one roof. Information for English speaking expats.



26 Sep to 05 Oct


08 to 12


Züspa 400 exhibitors show what's new in household products, sport, fashion and more.

Il Divo The English multinational operatic pop vocal group dazzles Geneva.

Shnit This festival captivates audiences year after year with a wide range of short films.

Chegeletag Children sell conkers to the zoo to help feed the animals throughout winter.





10 to 19

15 to 19







27 Sep to 01 Mar '15 07

Alvar Aalto, Vitra Design


Weil am Rhein


Alvar Aalto Vitra’s Design Museum shows work by the famous Finnish designer and architect.

Business luncheon Meet Baroness Ariane de Rothschild from the Edmond de Rothschild banking group.

Berner Weinmesse Let yourself be swept away to a festival of wine at the BERNEXPO.

Underground Film & Music Fest Promoting independent cinema and experimental films for all tastes.





01 to 05


11 to 12

16 to 19

Suisse Toy Grab the chance to try all the latest toys and games. Fun for all ages.

Full moon sauna Experience a special night time sauna ritual at the Tamina Therme spa.

MariNatal The biggest wedding fair in North-West Switzerland set in a romantic atmosphere.

Cirque du Soleil – Quidam Cirque du Soleil's 1996 show returns to Europe with Zurich as its only Swiss stop.






Bad Ragaz







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17 to 19

25 to 27

Art International Zurich A broad range of contemporary art including painting, media and sculpture.

Trüelete This unique wine festival celebrates the end of the harvest season.



17 to 25


The Love of the Nightingale The Caretakers present Timberlake Weretenbaker's "The Love of the Nightingale".

Käsefest Calling all cheese lovers! Head down to the Waisenhausplatz for a cheese delight.



18 to 19



17 Oct to 30 Nov

Fête de la Châtaigne Two day celebration of all things you can imagine related to the chestnut.

Irish Folk Festival The most popular traditional Celtic music artists come to the city’s Stadtcasino.

Swiss City Marathon Lucerne A fun and exciting event for participants as well as for spectators.

Rendez-vous am Bundesplatz The Bundesplatz light show is not to be missed! Daily at 19:00 and 20:30.





18 to 26



29 Oct to 26 Apr

Swiss Indoors Prestigious and popular tennis tournament played on hard indoor courts.

Monthly flea market Lots of stall holders selling a variety of goods to suit all tastes.

Lausanne Marathon Everyone is welcome at this spectacular run with thousands of participants.

Nirvana at MUDAC The city’s design museum hosts an exhibition on erotica in fashion and art.







Photos: © Rendez-vous am Bundesplatz, MariNatal: www.hochzeitsmessen.ch, Alvar Aalto lamps, Vitra Design Museum.







Rendez-vous Bundesplatz, Bern





nts More eve


h /events .c d n la r e oswitz www.hell our mobile app or in MariNatal Wedding Fair, Basel


THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL RHEINFELDEN Global and local – the best of both worlds The International School Rheinfelden (ISRH) is unique in the Basel region for offering International Baccalaureate curriculum whilst ensuring that Swiss educational benchmarks are met in core subjects. Hence primary age children have the chance to learn and grow within both the international school as well as the local community. In the past International Schools were geared towards expat families looking to relocate from one country to another. Yet increasingly, many international families consider themselves 'long-term residents' in Switzerland and want the benefits of an international education, which gives their child the option of a future in Switzerland as well as in other countries. At the same time, Swiss parents are beginning to see the benefits of opening up their children's education to a broader international outlook.

GLOBAL AND SWISS INTEGRATION IS KEY The International School Rheinfelden (ISRH) is owned by the Basler Bildungsgruppe, the second biggest group of privately owned schools in Switzerland and main shareholder of the SBW Haus des Lernens. SBW has been providing high quality innovative learning since 1980 and presently runs 17 schools, including five International Schools: ISKK in Konstanz-Kreuzlingen, ISSG in St. Gallen, and ISRH in Rheinfelden (Switzerland) and ISN in Neustadt and IS Ruhr in Essen (Germany). The ISRH is an English-medium day school in Rheinfelden, for kindergarten (3 to 6 year olds) and primary school (6 to 11 year olds). It is a candidate school for the IB Primary Years Programme, pursuing authorization as an IB World School. All sister schools of ISRH are already authorised to offer at least one of the three academic programmes of the IB International Baccalaureate Organisation.

One of the new classrooms

Some of the pupils

The IB is a non-profit making organisation which collaborates with schools, governments and international organisations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. At present more than one million students follow this educational system in 3,786 IB-schools within 147 countries. The IB aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better world through intercultural understanding and respect. English is the key language and German tuition takes place daily, increasing as the children get older. French is taught from grade three (age 8). As well as being used as a second teaching language in art and music, German is also spoken in history, geography, physics, biology and chemistry. “During French and German classes we use the same books as the local schools”, says the Head of School, Sabina Sümegi-Schärli. “This helps if the child, Swiss or international, is making the transition by coming from or going to a local school, and it means parents have the option to move their children to the public system later.” Children have opportunities to use and develop their Swiss German with children from neighbouring schools and clubs in their tri-national Regio Basiliensis (Switzerland, France and Germany) at organised sporting and cultural events and activities. At one such event, ISRH children, teachers and parents took part in the Kinderfasnacht parade through Rheinfelden and even won the first prize for their colourful costumes.


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A HEAD WITH A HEART The ISRH opened in January of this year, and has already established a reputation within the community as an international school with a strong focus on local engagement, thanks to the efforts of the dynamic Head of School, Fr. Sümegi-Schärli. A Swiss citizen with a lifetime's experience of expatriation, she has lived and worked in a total of six countries on the continents of Europe, Africa and America. As a mother of two daughters and holder of two master's degrees; one in Pedagogics and an MBA in International Human Resources, she can fully empathise with dual and single career parents living and schooling abroad. “Growing up as an expatriate child in Vienna, my parents instilled in me the traditional Swiss values of hard work, dedication and reliability – always balanced with enjoyment of the essence of life. I try to bring this ethos to the school where we embrace our motto 'Passion for learning and success.'” After a stint in South Africa, Sümegi-Schärli began her career in education as the Head of the first business school in Basel, owned by the Basler Bildungsgruppe, before moving to Montreal in 1995. There her passion for multi-lingual education and the international Baccalaureate’s inquiry-based learning developed, through her daughters' international schooling. Over the coming years the family moved six times and Sümegi-Schärli took active roles in each of her children's schools, often in the classrooms, gaining experience from educators, helping with fundraising events through parent-teacher organisations, and advising on school boards.


Photos provided by the International School Rheinfelden

Sümegi-Schärli is a staunch advocate of IB learning which gives children an international attitude and a global outlook. The Primary Years Programme inquires into learning units, each lasting around six weeks and incorporating a range of academic subjects in exploring who we are, where we are in place and time, how we express ourselves, how the world works, how we organise ourselves and sharing the planet. At ISRH, students benefit from the fact that the school is new, and classes are small, enabling more individual attention, learning, mentoring and coaching tailored to the individual abilities and needs of each child. The teaching staff consists of seven exceptionally skilled and enthusiastic members from around the world, providing a family atmosphere which underpins the

The old town of Rheinfelden and the River Rhein

learning environment. For the start of the new academic year, ISRH will have approximately 30 students in the primary years. Within the next 2 to 4 years ISRH will introduce the Middle School Programme and after that the IB Diploma Programme. Parents can opt to send their children part time as well as full time, (from 8 am until 6 pm,) which fits in with busy working schedules.

The team at ISRH

RHEINFELDEN: A FUTURE HUB The ISRH currently occupies the historical building of the former hotel “Drei Könige”. ISRH has bought land in prime location in Rheinfelden, upon which to build a large campus in the coming years. Sitting on the banks of the Rhine, the area provides a wealth of opportunities for learning amongst the medieval buildings and Roman settlements. The town is part of the new Fricktal economic hub, attracting international companies specialising in life sciences. It is well connected by road on the A3 between Zurich and Basel and by train (only 12 minutes to Basel SBB main train station). Newcomers can also benefit from more reasonably priced, and larger, property as well as lower taxes and health insurance. Sabina Sümegi-Schärli invites prospective parents and students to meet and share in the ISRH experience. “We are at such an exciting stage of our development and welcome children and parents for a visit to show all the benefits our school has to offer,” she says. For an appointment, please contact her direct:

Sabina Sümegi-Schärli Head of School ISRH International School Rheinfelden AG Zürcherstrasse 9 / Drei Könige CH-4310 Rheinfelden Tel +41 61 831 06 06 s.suemegi@isrh.ch



LIVING THE HIGH LIFE With Basel’s temperate climate there’s outdoor eating and drinking options aplenty, and the city’s rooftop haunts are the perfect place to see out the summer. Basel Editor Kate Orson gives us some local tips on how to make the most of the urban sunsets. Basel - like most Swiss cities - can be uncomfortably hot in the summer, which means the city’s rooftop bars are best visited later in the season or in early autumn. Baslers like Nick Ross, a 'drinking aficionado’(who is also a computer programmer) join other breezy barflies after a hard day at the office. ‘‘There’s no better way to end the day than escaping the computer screen, and heading out for an open air drink," says the 42-year-old, who’s been enjoying the ‘high life’ since he arrived in Basel four years ago. “Some of the best views in Basel can be seen from its bar terraces,’’ Nick claims. So I decided to take his advice and check some out.

NOOHN Henric Petri-Strasse 12 4051 Basel Roof Terrace open during the warmer months Monday from 17:00 to 23:00 Friday from 17:00 to 24:00 Saturday from 16:00 to 24:00 It might take you a while to reach the roof terrace of this sophisticated establishment popular with young professionals. At the entrance you can relax for a drink in the spacious lounge, then choose from a variety of eateries on different floors, with food based on a Euro-Asian concept. There’s an a la carte restaurant with a garden for summer, a sushi bar with rotating delicacies on a conveyer belt, a self service restaurant for those in a hurry, and even a take away if you decide just to head home. But don’t miss the sunset from the roof, where after a cocktail or two amidst the tropical atmosphere you might even forget you have work in the morning.



Photos: Noohn, Hinterhof, Bar Rouge. Background: Hinterho

issue 3 / 2014



Münchensteinerstrasse 81 4052 Basel

Messeplatz 10 4058 Basel

Terrace open during the warmer months Tuesday to Saturday, from 17:00 until late Sunday from 14:00

Rooftop bar open all year Open daily from 17:00 until late

For anyone who wants to party big time! A former fruit warehouse was transformed into this massive bar and club complex, where international DJs and other acts play each week. Regular contemporary exhibitions are also held in the art room. The crowd is as eclectic as the music, ‘‘from little children to grandmothers, expats, business people, hipsters, alternatives, etc...everyone is welcome,’’ says manager Philipe Hersberger. Except at night when it’s strictly over 18s only. From the roof terrace you can enjoy a view of Basel’s industrial landscape.

When the nights draw in and there’s an autumnal chill in the air, Bar Rouge provides an enclosed view of the city skyline. On the 31st floor of Basel’s trade fair building, it’s the highest drinking establishment in Switzerland. Open in the afternoons as a lounge bar, then from Thursday to Sunday after 10pm it’s a club. If you’re feeling peckish there’s everything from paninis and soup to American crispy chicken and buffalo wings. With its classy red interior this is a stylish place to strut your stuff till the early hours. Don’t miss the impressive floor to ceiling windows in the bathrooms!



Language Courses • Intensive Courses • Business Courses • Private Lessons • Daytime and Evening Courses • Children’s Courses

efficient – lively – certified


Dufourstrasse 49 / Aeschenplatz, CH-4052 Basel Tel: +41 61 284 96 86, info@benedict-basel.ch


issue 3 / 2014

FIT FOR THE MARKET Despite their qualifications, many expats find it difficult to navigate the Swiss job market. Mercuri Urval’s unique one-on-one professional coaching program gives newcomers a competitive edge to find a job. Peter Anderegg, the company’s Director & Business Coach, explains why.


Why is Mercuri Urval the leader in coaching expats?

What does the job market for expats look like right now?

Mercuri Urval coaches are experts on the Swiss labour market. Our program is uniquely tailored to the skillset, Swiss region and language abilities of our clients. Starting a job search with our program means open doors stay open.

It grew the last few years and I believe it will continue to grow. The recent vote on immigration created uncertainty which might impact international companies relocating here, but the Swiss economy is strong and will continue to be strong; it will always need people.

Where do you see the biggest differences between Swiss jobseekers and expat jobseekers? The most glaring difference is a lack of network for expats in Switzerland. Mercuri Urval coaches on how to network in Switzerland and how to identify worthwhile networking groups. We also coach on how to utilise and prioritise essential social media networks, such as Xing and LinkedIn. Candidates need to learn to sell themselves here.

What do you enjoy most about working with expats and their spouses? Working with foreigners enriches me, and these people also enrich Swiss society and the labour market. I spent three years in England and have been on many business trips to the USA. I love working across cultures and drawing out people’s best potential.

How is an expat better off after this training? We help expats portray their experience in a way that will be well received in Switzerland. Strategic adaptations, such as how to present your CV or when to negotiate salary, make a significant difference. Expats who complete our training are competitive applicants in their fields and have a clear advantage over other foreigners entering the job market.

Do you act as a job platform or offer expats and their spouses job-search services? No, we connect employers with candidates from our database. You can submit your CV to our database for free, so please do so. Candidates who have been coached by us have an added “Fit for the market” quality stamp on their file. That’s the advantage.

For professional coaching in Switzerland please contact: Peter Anderegg Mercuri Urval Switzerland +41 (0) 41 228 80 90 peter.anderegg@mercuriurval.com

www.mercuriurval.com/en/Countries/ Switzerland


DICCON BEWES The fast track to literary success In the nine years since Diccon Bewes landed in Switzerland, he has established a writing career now steeped in accolades, winning the Financial Times Book of the Year and garnering praise from Switzerland’s own top literary critics. On his return from touring his latest book, he spoke to writer Amanda Dooley about his life, success, and the nation that has become his muse.

“I’m always learning something new or observing something different about Switzerland.”

issue 3 / 2014

Diccon Bewes is already at the bookshop in Bern when I arrive. He’s chatting with some of the staff while stacks of copies of Slow Train to Switzerland, his newest work, stand before him. “Just signing before I go on two weeks' holiday,” he explains. In the morning he’s travelling to Spain for an “unplugged” vacation. He won’t be bringing his computer, and he won’t be using his iPhone either. Instead, he’s taking along six books that have “nothing at all to do with Switzerland,” he says with a wry smile. Bewes deserves the break. Lately, he’s been on a Swiss tour promoting the travelogue. It seems apt that the promotional circuit would take him around the country by rail. To write the book, he retraced the first conducted tour of Switzerland organized in 1863 by the famous English travel agent, Thomas Cook. Bewes used the diary of Miss Jemima Morrell, one of the travellers, as a guide and means for exploring the history of trains and tourism in this Alpine nation. Bewes scrawls his name in the last book and looks up. “Coffee?” he proffers. As we enter the cafe, he nods to the barista who returns the gesture with a smile. I realize everyone knows him here. After all, this is his old stomping ground. Before becoming an author, he managed Bern’s Stauffacher English Bookshop from 2006 to 2011. In the year before he started his job, he moved from London to Bern to be with his Swiss partner. It was a move that halted his career as a travel writer. On arrival in Switzerland, he had to learn German, and he had to get a day job. “Neither of which helped me get back to writing in the shortterm,” he says. But Bewes thinks both experiences were crucial to his eventual success. “Without them I could never have written Swiss Watching,” he says, referring to his first book. “The further away from writing I seemed to be, the closer I was to actually being able to write something that changed my life.” With the success of Swiss Watching, Bewes was able to quit the bookshop and return to writing full time. But rather than resuming his career as a travel writer, he instead became the local expert. “At first it was by accident, but now it’s more by design,” he says. As an established “outsider” expert on Switzerland, he continued to write about the


country in his blog with his second book, Swisscellany: facts & figures about Switzerland. But for his third and latest project, Bewes took a slightly different approach. “The one thing I didn't want it to be was Swiss Watching II, so although it is also about Switzerland, it had to be from a different angle,” he says.

“The further away from writing I For Slow Train to Switzerland, he utilized his experience as a seemed to be, the closer I was to travel writer and also the actually being able to write language skills he acquired as a new arrival. “I had to find out something that changed my life.” all the local history along the way, as well as try and paint a picture of what travelling was like back in 1863. So this book involved a lot more background research, which was often a challenge in itself, as reading economic history books in German isn’t that exciting, and it took a lot longer – almost two years’ work.” To complement his research, he enlisted his mother as travelling companion and recreated Miss Jemima’s historic journey. He points out that while modern trains move faster than nineteenth-century ones, the pair tried to keep to the slower rhythm of the Victorian trip. They followed Miss Jemima’s itinerary, saw the same sights, and stayed in the same places. “It was interesting for me to see how some things have changed and how some things have stayed the same. Although the landscape hasn’t changed in 150 years, some tourist attractions, like Mer de Glace, are still popular and others, like staying overnight on Mount Rigi to watch the sunrise, aren’t popular at all.”


No stranger to rail travel, Bewes has never owned a car, and he always opts to travel by train. It’s an inclination he attributes to cramped childhood car journeys across Europe. Every Easter, his parents would load up their three children and drive from England across France and Switzerland to holiday with his grandmother in Italy.

Miss Jemima Morrell from Yorkshire, the inspiration for Slow Train to Switzerland

For all the effort he has made to learn about Switzerland and to share its history and culture with his readers, Bewes says he isn’t sure if he will ever understand it completely. “I’m always learning something new or obser ving something different,” he says, admitting that he is even warming to the Swiss notion of the country walk, which “normally involves substantial height differences, and no pub at the end!” It’s no wonder he wrote a book about a rail tour. Although Bewes continues to learn about life in Switzerland, he now feels very much at home. And to his surprise, he has been embraced not only by the international community but also by locals. “I have received many positive emails from Swiss readers and been approached in the street, in Coop, in the tram, and even at the swimming pool! It is not typical behaviour for most Swiss, as it involves spontaneity and displaying emotion with strangers, but it is very welcome.”


For Bewes and the Swiss the attraction is mutual. Despite leaving everything behind in London, Bewes has written an insider’s guide to Switzerland, a book of facts and figures, and now a breezy travelogue about trains and tourism. “In Britain, I may have simply stayed a behind-the-scenes travel writer,” he says, modestly underplaying his very Swiss success story.

BIOGRAPHY 1967: Born in Hampshire on the south coast of England. 1986-1989: Studies International Relations at the London School of Economics. 1990-1991: Travels mostly solo around the world. He spends four months in North America, where he crosses the US by train and Canada by bus. He island hops across the Pacific to New Zealand and Australia. He spends a few months in Australia working as a housekeeper. He continues on to Indonesia, Japan, and China. He travels across Russia on the TransSiberian Railway just as the Soviet Union collapses. 1992-1995: Works in Waterstone’s bookshop in London where he is in charge of the travel books. 1995-1996: Works at Lonely Planet in London as the marketing manager where he does lots of writing but not a lot of travelling. 1997-2005: Works as a Senior Writer for Holiday Which? Magazine covering mostly mainstream destinations in the UK, Europe, and North America and also consumer issues, such as hotel safety, car hire, service standards, and money matters. 2005: Moves to Bern to live with his partner, who works for the city. 2006-2011: Manages the Stauffacher English Bookshop in Bern. 2010: Publishes Swiss Watching. 2012: Publishes Swisscellany: facts & figures about Switzerland. 2013: Publishes Slow Train to Switzerland.


BERN  27

issue 3 / 2014

BERN EXPAT BREAKFAST Network over croissants at Packimpex BY MIKE TOMSETT

On Friday 25 April 2014 Packimpex Ltd. hosted the spring edition of the Bern Economic Development Agency’s (BEDA) Expat Breakfast. Mr. Marcel Jörg presented his company Packimpex and its activities, including an update on recent trends around workforce mobility in international corporations. Mr. Michael Tomsett introduced the latest innovations at Hello Switzerland and Mr. Denis Grisel, Director of BEDA, expressed his thanks to the international community in Bern.

BEDA helps companies find both the ideal premises and highly qualified, multilingual staff. It provides information on legal and financial matters, and assistance with applications for foreign employees. BEDA works to positively influence the wellbeing of expats and foreign residents over the long term. The Bern Expat Breakfast aims to foster closer social and business contacts among expatriates, local businesses, embassies, international clubs and schools and other related organizations.

Visit BEDA’s website for more information on further upcoming networking events.



THE INSIDE VIEW WITH RIITTA BURRI If you’re new to Bern then finding new friends, local or international, can be pretty daunting. Here to help is Finnish/American events organizer Riita Burri, who gives us some expert local tips on connecting in the capital. START WITH ART


If, like me, you’re an art lover, go to gallery and exhibit openings alone. Standing in front of a piece of art with a glass of wine in your hand is a wonderful way to strike up a conversation. Chances are, the other people standing around on their own are also there hoping to talk to someone. Here are a few of my favorite galleries:

Volunteering is a great way to meet people of all walks of life and learn German or French. Inquire at your local library, retirement homes, museums and churches or head to the website www.benevolbern.ch, which gives a guide to local places in need.

Da Mihi Gallery Bubenbergplatz 15, Bern

www.damihi.com Krethlow Galerie und Kabinett Gerechtigkeitsgasse 72, Bern

www.krethlow.be Printshop/ Gallery Tom Blaess Uferweg 10b, Bern



Photos: Stefano Tondo_OriorH0, exposing at da Mihi Gallery, Z Salon by Riitta Burri. Background: © Bern Tourism

issue 3 / 2014

WINE AND DINE Picture burning candles, jazz in the background, and a group of six to ten curious and friendly people gathered to enjoy an intellectually stimulating evening. Z Salon Private Dinner Club’s guests are hand picked according to their backgrounds, hobbies and languages, bringing like-minded folks together around an informal dinner setting to exchange ideas and experiences while enjoying good food and wine. They depart with a pocketful of new acquaintances. It’s easy to get onto the guest list, but invitations are exclusive, so when one turns up, don’t turn it down. To add your name to the list, send an email introducing yourself to


a Could you be t? Hos y t i n u m m o C or

up l interest gro ia ec sp a in u Are yo in your city? community g for land is lookin Hello Switzer y hosts to share unit pics active comm rtainment to te en d n a n o ati news, inform om parenting to sports. fr g in g ran re at Find out mo nities d.ch/commu n la er z it sw www.hello

CLUBBING TOGETHER Finally there is the classic join-a-club approach. Bern has the International Club, the American Women’s Club, the Canada Club, the Swiss-British Society and many, many more. For a full listing, check out the Hello Switzerland website directory for expat clubs and associations.


No one said it’s easy to meet people in Bern. It takes perseverance, energy and a positive attitude. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. Good luck!


ADVENTURES IN ENTREPRENEURISM Salaries in Switzerland are some of the highest in the world and unemployment is low. Yet expats relocating to Switzerland are not always guaranteed a suitable job. Neil Parmenter, a British expat, discovered that sometimes the best way is to go it alone.

Neil believes that if you can spot an opportunity, then you will be able to do something exciting. “When I moved to Switzerland 10 years ago as a freshly graduated university student, I perhaps naively believed I would find a job with Tubing on the River Aare ease. It took seven months before I found a job in adventure tourism in the Bernese Oberland.”

The success of Neil’s first business opened the door to a much larger project. Origin Paddleboards has become a global brand of inflatable stand SUP on Lake Thun up paddleboards. “This project was a lot more complex but the Swiss system made it very easy to set up. The first step in starting a business in Switzerland is to start a company. startups.ch offer a great advisory service which is even available in English.” Financing a new business is the next challenge. Neil found finance to be readily available. Once he had a solid business plan, even smaller banks were receptive to his idea. Neil is convinced. “An expat with an open mind and the ability to be flexible will find Switzerland to be an open country that can offer more than an 8-5 daily grind. There are opportunities everywhere and the support to make them a reality is readily available. All it takes is an idea and the confidence to believe in it”.

from CHF 850.–

But that proved to be his first step towards entrepreneurship. Neil realised he could offer tourists the chance to experience the stretch of the River Aare between Thun and Bern on specially designed river tubes, and decided to go it alone. “The first year wasn’t easy. I expected to take hundreds of people on the river, so it came as a shock to only manage around fifty”.

Seven years on, Aaretubing now sees around 2000 customers every summer. Neil says the key is adaptability: “It was a new market and the initial idea wasn't perfect, so it needed to be changed.”



Photos: Neil Parmenter Aaretubing / Origin Paddleboards

Today Neil Parmenter runs two successful businesses. One is Aaretubing, based in Thun. Ever y summer it sends thousands of happy people down the River Aare towards Bern on a multitude of watercraft. Neil’s other business is Origin Paddleboards, an international stand up paddle (SUP) brand.


issue 3 / 2014

OUR FEATURED PARTNERS A network of experts Welcome to the Featured Partners section of the magazine. Hello Switzerland’s Featured Partners provide you with world-class advice and products covering all key relocation topics. Hello Switzerland has been simplifying relocation and settling into Switzerland since 2008. To help you cut through the mass of information surrounding relocation we have partnered with seven leading Swiss companies who offer our readers up-to-date, accurate advice on the topics at the heart of successful relocation. Hello Switzerland’s Featured Partners all provide services specifically tailored to the needs of expats and foreign residents. Their services are available in English, French, German, and in some cases further languages.

Whether you need to open a Swiss bank account or are looking for the right insurance policies, you’re preparing your papers for the immigration process or dealing with Swiss and home-country taxes, you’re moving your household goods or buying/importing a car, finding a place to live, furnishing and decorating your new home, getting TV, mobile or internet - you can count on expert support from Hello Switzerland’s Featured Partners. We thank all partners warmly for their dedication, involvement and commitment to the Hello Switzerland community, and wholeheartedly recommend our Featured Partners to our readers.

Our Featured Partners are trusted partners. We are convinced that their contribution adds true value to the Hello Switzerland community. Their know-how is your key to a smooth and efficient relocation and settling-in process.

Car import and sale

Mike Tomsett Chief Operating Officer Hello Switzerland


Banking services

Home & furnishing


Tax consulting


TV, internet & telephone


MEET THE EXPAT AUTO EXPERT When it comes to cars, you need to trust who you’re dealing with. The specialist for expats in Switzerland is Markus Häfeli, owner of Autociel: Car Services for Expats and Vice President of the Swiss Association of Independent Car Dealers. Hello Switzerland met Markus to find out more about why his dealership is the right address for expats and the international community. Hi Markus. Tell us about your background. I’m from eastern Switzerland but I’ve lived in Lausanne for 17 years. I studied business economics and used to work in Zurich transporting gold and money. Quite a Swiss job! (laughs) And I founded Autociel in 2002.

What is Autociel? Autociel means “Car Heaven”. We’re an independent car dealership specialised in the expat market. We sell cars of all brands throughout Switzerland and we advise people on importing their cars from all over the world.

How does Autociel differ from other Swiss car dealerships? Our business is helping expats find the best car at the best price. We can source many cars at prices lower than the Swiss norm thanks to our extensive European import network. So because we are independent and we have the best network, we can often find the best conditions.

What does being a car dealer for expats involve? It takes 5 to 6 times longer to sell a car to an expat than to a Swiss! It means customer service by phone and email, which saves people time and visits to the garage. They have lots of other things to take care of during their relocation, so that's important. We often work in English, including contracts and documentation. We’re experts in the complexities of international sourcing, importing, and tax-free deals (when the car is a moving good). During consultation we provide our clients with 4 to 6 suggestions of cars that fit their needs. We include unique information relevant to expats, such as the re-sale value or leasing options tailored for expats. While it's no problem for B-permit holders to obtain leasing, it’s normally difficult for newly-

arrived expats to obtain leasing. We can help Autociel can even make leasing possible for buyers only holding an L permit.

Why and when would someone import a car from the US to Switzerland? Some people simply enjoy the familiarity of having their own car in their new country. For others, it may work out to be financially beneficial. The earlier we begin working with a client the better. Recently, an American gentleman coming to work in Basel in September contacted us in January – perfect! In that case, we explained that if he bought and took receipt of a car in the US more than 6 months before the starting date on his Swiss work permit, the car would qualify as part of his moving goods and he wouldn’t pay the 8% VAT and 4% import duty. Despite the shipping costs he saved CHF 25,000! That’s the Autociel difference.

Find detailed tips and info on the above and much more on the Autociel microsite at www.helloswitzerland.ch/autociel


Markus Häfeli Autociel.ch 1093 La Conversion, Lausanne +41 (0) 21 796 37 39

markus.haefeli@autociel.ch www.autociel.ch


issue 3 / 2014

SET THE STAGE FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST BREAST CANCER The Pink Ribbon Charity Walk takes place in Zurich in September. By taking part in this walk, participants show their solidarity with women affected by breast cancer. The Nationale Suisse insurance group shares Pink Ribbon's concerns and will be supporting the event as a co-partner.

The seventh Pink Ribbon Charity Walk will take place on Sunday, 7 September 2014 in Zurich's Letzigrund stadium. The walk is not about winning – it’s about raising awareness of the importance of detecting breast cancer at an early stage. The Pink Ribbon organization is drawing attention to the issue of breast cancer around the world and providing support to those affected.


Photos: © Nationale Suisse

The pink ribbon is recognized throughout the world as the unmistakable symbol of the fight against breast cancer. The woman behind the ribbon, Evelyn H. Lauder, who died in 2012, devoted herself to supporting research and to raising and strengthening awareness of breast cancer for over 20 years. The first breast cancer campaign was launched on her initiative in 1992. Hundreds of thousands of pink ribbons were distributed in the USA along with flyers telling people about the importance of identifying breast cancer at an early stage. Pink Ribbon was introduced in Switzerland in 2007 with the aim of sensitizing the population and demonstrating solidarity for those with cancer. In Switzerland, various celebrities support Pink Ribbon and 3,700 participants from all over Switzerland took part in last year’s Charity Walk. The Nationale Suisse insurance group is proud to support the Pink Ribbon event in the Letzigrund stadium in Zurich. Nationale Suisse

doesn’t just provide sponsorship, it also provides its unique expertise. "We identify very strongly with Pink Ribbon's goals," says Eva Küssner, a specialist in life insurance at Nationale Suisse. Her experience gained from people close to her has made her very aware of how difficult it is both to be diagnosed with the illness and to deal with its effects. "The physical change which occurs as a result of cancer and the therapy associated with it are often considered a stigma, which is an additional psychological burden confronting women. We can give these women the courage they need by taking part in the Pink Ribbon Walk."

COMPREHENSIVE SUPPORT WITH MY CARE Nationale Suisse supports women faced with breast cancer through its long-term partnership with Pink Ribbon. It also gives women the opportunity to take personal precautions. The "my care" product provides insurees diagnosed with a type of cancer specific to women with personal support and financial assistance that take account of their difficult situation. "my care" is a partnership with Switzerland’s wellknown Hirslanden group of private clinics. In addition to "my care", women can find other tailored insurance and pension solutions at Nationale Suisse.



« The passion for innovation

at Packimpex never ceases to surprise me. » Séverine Piller

Packimpex Academy Integration Specialist

Packimpex tailors innovative and sustainable relocation solutions to the needs of international companies and their employees.

Packimpex Ltd. Switzerland: Bern (HQ), Basel, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano, Neuchâtel, Vevey, Zug and Zurich Germany: Freiburg i.Br. - Phone +41 (0)58 356 14 14, info@packimpex.ch


issue 3 / 2014

TAILORED TO YOUR NEEDS Packimpex’s Integration Support Programme Interview with François Enzler, Director of Training and Development, Packimpex Ltd.

tailored programme takes over where other support functions typically let go. We adapt to the size of the company, the budget, and the number of participants.

How is the programme delivered?

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One on one consultancy m 12 – 3

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What are the risks for companies? The cost is a few hundred francs per attendee per year. We are confident the total budget allocated to this programme, which benefits the entire expat population, will be less than the cost of one failed expat assignment.

For further information please contact: Packimpex Ltd. François Enzler Director Training and Development +41 (0) 58 356 15 11 francois.enzler@packimpex.ch

Can companies tailor the programme to their needs? Absolutely, it is a partnership between Packimpex and the HR managers of the company. Our







Topic and networking events

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It contains a three strand approach: Informational support, instrumental support and emotional support. By building a yearly cycle, we keep the participants in a safe and evolutionary environment where they can interact with our consultants and better still – their peers. By leveraging the group size and the cycle’s duration, the programme offers sustainable results and is far more cost effective than “one-to-one” cultural training.

Interactive secure community portal

on m

What makes this programme successful?

Survival and cultural sessions

Social events


The Integration Support Programme is designed to address the concrete challenges experienced by individuals and groups moving to Switzerland. Relocation is like putting a puzzle together. The key is to start by defining the edges and then the middle will fill in from there. Each family’s puzzle is unique. Packimpex’s programme offers an informed and supportive space for this to happen in.

Complete partner support programme

What is the purpose of this training programme?

Sessions range from two hours to a full day. A new transferee and partner would meet a consultant between 4-6 times over the first six months and benefit from the full communication portal. The aim is to equip participants with the tools and information they need to feel at home in their new environment.


Moving to a new country is both exciting and difficult. The first three months can be p a r t i c u l a r l y r o u g h fo r relocating families. Moving is one thing, culturally adapting and feeling at home in a new community is another. If transferee morale becomes too low, it may jeopardise the success of an assignment. François Enzler tells us more about Packimpex’s exciting new integration programme.

The complete package includes five components: the newcomer’s survival and cultural integration programme, one-on-one drop in sessions, on-going integration sessions, social events and a communication portal.




You know Switzerland for its muesli. But we have much more to offer: Credit Suisse is the bank that brings you excellent financial advice. credit-suisse.com/welcome


issue 3 / 2014

PEOPLE INVESTMENT Susan Mashibe's jet logistics business has taken off and been able to expand abroad as a result of mentoring provided by Credit Suisse. Here she talks about her exceptional journey as an entrepreneur in Africa. BY DOROTHEE ENSKOG, JOURNALIST

You trained as an aircraft maintenance engineer, have a license to pilot commercial aircraft and hold a degree in aviation management. Today, you are a successful businesswoman and the founder and chief executive of VIA Aviation Ltd, based in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Could you explain how you got there? Susan Mashibe: My initial goal was to be a pilot at Delta Air Lines in the US, but I was not able to secure a job following the terror attacks of 9/11. I instead returned to my native Tanzania where I decided to set up my own company, which provides centralized ground services to private jet operators. VIA Aviation is the single place of contact when a private jet uses our services. We offer services such as fueling, access to secure hangars, the process of obtaining landing and overflight permissions, immigration and customs clearances, or catering and additional security. These types of services are still rare in most of Africa.

How much financing was required? My start-up capital was only US $20,000.

How has the Credit Suisse mentoring scheme aimed at female entrepreneurs that you are part of helped you to improve VIA Aviation?

Source: Credit Suisse website

I studied aviation management, but only worked as an aircraft maintenance engineer and never worked in a management position prior to setting up VIA Aviation. This lack of management experience was slowing down the growth of the company. I for instance needed to secure additional funding from potential investors to scale up our expansion beyond Tanzania. To succeed, I had to be able to show them a proper business plan. Credit Suisse mentors helped me draw up a bulletproof plan with all the necessary information included.

Another difficulty was the calculation of the company's value. A critical factor, as potential investors typically want ownership in the company in return. My coaches told Susan Mashibe, founder and me about the existence of Chief Executive of VIA Aviation specialized local consultancies Ltd, Tanzania. that provide such services. I did not know that they offered services like this. The company also needed a good human resource structure and employee manuals. My mentors helped here as well.

How have you implemented the advice you received, and how has it impacted your business? Right now, we are looking at potential partnerships. My mentors have helped me to draw up a presentation, which was held to prospective partners last month. Thanks to this successful presentation, we are now looking into a feasibility study and exploring further options for the future.

VOLUNTEERING IN TANZANIA Credit Suisse's Corporate Citizenship unit enables its employees to use their expertise and skills to help with select volunteer programs. Tanzanian female entrepreneurs like Susan Mashibe act as mentors for young women in their country who have received microcredits allowing them to start their own enterprises. In this way, more than 250 microentrepreneurs will receive targeted assistance in building their own businesses. This is a project of the Swiss Capacity Building Facility in collaboration with Credit Suisse, the Trestle Group Foundation, Swisscontact, and Kenya's Equity Bank. The Swiss Capacity Building Facility is a public-private partnership between the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and key players from the Swiss private sector.


Legal Notice: The reader acknowledges that the information provided in this publication is only intended for distribution and use by persons who are residents of Switzerland. In particular, it is not directed at, or intended for distribution to or use by or for the offer or solicitation of any products or services directed to, any person or entity who is a citizen or resident of or located in any jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, availability, use, offer or solicitation would be contrary to applicable law or regulation or which would subject Credit Suisse to any registration or licensing requirement within such jurisdiction. Credit Suisse will not treat readers of this publication as its clients by virtue of them accessing it. Readers of this publication should seek the advice of their independent financial adviser prior to taking any investment decision on the basis of any information contained herein and no information herein constitutes general or specific investment, legal, tax or accounting advice of any kind.

VIA Aviation

African businesswoman takes off

ONLY WE RE Sunrise Home lets you choose your perfect combination of Internet, landline and TV. This includes language packages so you can get your favorite channels from back home. With four easy questions our configurator will help you select your customized package: sunrise.ch/mypack



SPECIAL PROFESSIONAL ­EXPENSES FOR EXPATRIATES Expatriates working temporarily in Switzerland may claim special professional expenses in their Swiss tax return. However, the applicable practice will likely be tightened. PwC advises.

SPECIAL EXPENSES As mentioned above, Expatriates may - in addition to the general deductions for professional expenses - also deduct additional expenses incurred due to their temporary employment in Switzerland and the maintaining of two domiciles. In this regard, it is planned to limit the deductions to the following:


GENERAL Employees sent to Switzerland temporarily by a foreign employer may be considered as so-called “Expatriates” for Swiss tax purposes. The tax law in force defines Expatriates as senior staff or specialists seconded to Switzerland for a period of not more than five years. Typically, Expatriates maintain their domicile and their center of vital interests abroad. Due to the temporary nature of assignment and the double domicile, Expatriates usually have to bear special expenses. Parts of these expenses are exempt from income tax (if borne by the employer) or are deductible for income tax purposes (if borne by the employee). However, there is an ongoing political debate about these special benefits, which are not available for long-term Swiss residents. It is under discussion whether the benefits should be abolished or at least cut off to a certain extent, and in spring 2014 the Swiss Federal Council suggested some amendments.

NARROWER DEFINITION OF EXPATRIATES One of the suggested amendments by the Swiss Federal Council is that the potential number of employees benefitting from the qualification as Expatriate should be reduced. Whereas the definition of senior staff or managerial employee is rather clear, the definition of “specialist” will be made more specific. In particular, specialists must hold special professional qualifications and must be seconded to Switzerland by their employer (i.e. no local hires or self-employed persons).

Relocation/Travel: Actual moving costs and travel expenses at the beginning and the end of the assignment, as well as costs for visiting family should they have remained at the foreign domicile. Housing: Reasonable housing costs in Switzerland if the foreign domicile is maintained and not let or sublet. Alternative - Lump-sum deduction: As it is the case now it will be possible to claim a lump-sum deduction for relocation, travel and housing costs of CHF 1,500 per month as long as the foreign accommodation is not let or sublet. School fees: Tuition fees for private schools for minor children with foreign native language, if the school instruction is in the foreign native language as well. Costs for travel to school, meals or childcare before and after lessons are not considered as special professional expenses. In conclusion, the system of deductions of special professional expenses for Expatriates is likely to be maintained. However, certain cuts are planned and there is a trend towards more restrictive treatment by the tax authorities. For more information, simply get in touch:

Nicole Bregy Manager, Tax & Legal Services +41 (0) 58 792 44 00 nicole.bregy@ch.pwc.com



issue 3 / 2014

THE WAYS OF WINE Swiss wine has come into its own in recent years with local growers and vineyards winning global accolades for their wares. The Hello Switzerland team reveals some top tips for you to discover Swiss wine and unbridle your inner Bacchus.

Photos: swiss-image.ch/Marcus Gyger, Lavaux Express

L AVAUX BY TRAIN Board this mini ‘train des caveaux’ for a scenic trip through Lavaux’s terraced vineyards. Monks in the 12th century planted the first vines on the sun drenched slopes above Lake Geneva. Now the terraces span 830 hectares, and are a UNESCO world heritage site. Locals say that what makes the wine so special is the ‘three way effect’ of the sun; shining on the vines, reflecting off the water and warming the stone terraces. The evening tour starts from the village of Lutry at 18:30 on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday evening. You stop in a village to visit a wine cellar and taste some of the local specialities. Wine in this region is

made from the Chasselas grape which produces a fruity and dry taste with subtle aromas, ideal with raclette or fondue. Be sure to book on the evening tour, as the daytime train trips include only the stunning views, not the wine tasting! From April to October CHF 25 per adult. CHF 6 per child.

www.lavauxexpress.ch KATE ORSON

BOOKS AND MAGAZINES Terrific Terroir Want to know about wine walks and events in the Geneva region? Terrific Terroir is a free annual magazine sponsored by the Geneva Wine Promotion office and lists events and wine itineraries in the region. The magazine comes out once a year in early May and stays relevant until the following Spring.


BACK TO SCHOOL For all you budding sommeliers out there Changins Wine School in Nyon offers courses to amateurs and professionals, and now also has a federally recognized diploma programme for sommeliers. Changins is also the only institution in Switzerland offering degree courses, the Bachelor of Science and now also the Master of Science, in viticulture and oenology. Since 1948, it has been teaching students the surprisingly diverse factors involved in creating wine, including the biology and chemistry of grapes, the study of soils and climate, operating machinery and business management.

Vineglorious! This is a recently published handy book, by Ellen Wallace, on Swiss wines for people who like wine but don't know much about it, combining richly illustrated photos of wine villages and of those who work the vines with information on the grapes and the wines. Also, check out the author’s wine blog, with regular postings in English of what’s happening in the wine world, from the rumblings in the industry about Chasselas, to a feature on the world’s best Sommelier (in 2013 it was Paolo Basso from Ticino).


ellenwine.com ALLISON TURNER


Photos: Changins School, Geneva Wine Promotion, Ellen Wallace, swiss-image.ch/Stephan Engler LAV725 vendange dans le D´zaley, vinea.ch, numberwines.ch, drinfoo.com, ignoble de Marc-Henri Leyvraz



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WINE FESTIVALS All year long we celebrate life’s moments with wine, but autumn is the time to celebrate wine itself. There are wine festivals and fairs throughout Switzerland. 20 to 21 Geneva Fête des Vendanges de Russin EVERY WEEKEND FROM Taste test a range of exquisite APRIL TO OCTOBER wine varieties in a stunning Maienfeeld setting. Wein Wii-kends Family wine producers from all www.fetedesvendangesrussin.ch over the region open their doors to the public. 26 to 28 September Neuchâtel www.wiikend.ch Fête des Vendanges Move on to more wine tasting AUGUST in an equally lovely location at 30 this traditional festival Zurich Steinfels Wine auction www.fete-des-vendanges.ch Bordeaux crus classés, top-quality champagne and 27 to 28 spirits, all come under the Vully hammer. Fête des Vendanges du Vully More wine and fine tastings in www.steinfelsweine.ch the countryside with food and dancing. SEPTEMBER 01 www.vin-vully.ch Lugano “Il Viso del Vino” 28 At the Palazzo dei Congressi, Spiez more than 70 vintners present Läset-Sunntig their “Barrique vine 2012” The only wine-grower’s fest in the Bernese Oberland kicks www.ticinowine.ch off with an ecumenical service. 05 to 06 Bellinzona www.thunersee.ch Bellinzona in festa 2014 Bellinzona showcases the best of oenology, gastronomy, tradition and music on offer.


OCTOBER 19 Sep to 26 Oct Tenero Gastronomic Festival Restaurants and wine cellars offer special set meals and autumn specialties.

Vinea This app was created to replace the book version of The Swiss Wine Guide, the go-to reference on Swiss wines. You can read a brief summary of each of the 500 featured wine producers or filter the list by prize, region and type of wine. An interactive map divides the country into six wine-making regions and, at a touch, provides information about the region, its vineyards and the best wines produced there. The app also keeps you up to date with the latest Swiss wine news.


www.tenero-tourism.ch 10 to 19 Bern Bern Wine Fair Let yourself be swept away to a festival of wine at the BERNEXPO.

NumberWines Use your smart phone to order Swiss wines directly from the producers’ cellars. Search the listings for your favorites or try wines you’ve never had before.


www.bernerweinmesse.ch 24 to 26 Twann Trüelete This unique wine festival celebrates the end of the harvest season.

www.truelete.ch 25 Oct to 02 Nov Basel Basler Weinmesse Wine tasting and degustation in the heart of the city at the Messe.

www.baslerweinmesse.ch For a full list of wine:


Drinfoo app If you need help with the basics of wine, this app is for you. There are ‘how to’s that cover everything from opening and pouring wine to tasting and storing it. Once that’s covered, the app pairs wine with your food. Choose your dish: For example fish > salmon > grilled > with herbs > side of rice, for a list of wines that complement the meal. Unfortunately Swiss wines aren’t included, but each pairing explains why it suits the particular meal and this information can help you choose a similar local wine.

www.drinfoo.com STEFANIE TANNER



A TASTE OF WINE Wine tips for late summer 2014 We know you love a tipple because Hello Switzerland wine events are always fully booked! So we asked the experts at Mövenpick Wine for some exclusive autumn tasting tips.



Cimicky, Shiraz Trumps 2011: An impressive, pure Shiraz red with much finesse. Pair it with lean barbeque meats such as lamb or grass-fed beef and finish with Mediterranean salad. CHF 21.50

Catena Malbec 2011: A great Malbec from Nicolás Catena, the pioneer of quality viticulture in Argentina. Perfectly produced and with loads of personality. Rounded off by its very appealing price. CHF 19.50

Sello del Rey Blanco 2012: Fresh and fruity with an aromatic lift. The ideal summer apéro wine. Compliment its crispness with a tasty cheese & fruit platter. CHF 16.50

Mormoreto Toscana IGT 2010, Frescobaldi: Top wine from the Castello di Nipozzano. A supple blend basing on Tuscan cabernet sauvignon, it has been winning prizes for years. CHF 68.–



Sello del Rey 2009: An elegant, opulent pure tempranillo from Castilla-La Mancha scoring 19/20. A wine to celebrate. CHF 17.50

Riesling W 2012, Molitor: A fine white from Germany’s Mosel region, Molitor’s Riesling is an ideal accompaniment to light food, fish, poultry and cheese. CHF 18.–

Ibizkus Rosado 2012: This bright rosé has a nose of red fruits and rose scents, perfectly balanced by a flamboyant body. CHF 24.80

Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Columbia Crest Winery: Seductive fruity scents in the nose, great tannin in the body and a long elegant finale. This is a benchmark for a fantastic cabernet! CHF 18.–

Our 60 years of wine your guarantee for

Mövenpick Wine is Switzerland‘s leading wine here and around the world. Order the wines you‘ll receive a set of multi-use wine pourers

issue 3 / 2014


STAATSKELLEREI ZURICH Tasting success at Zurich's Staatskellerei (State Cellars) BY JENNIFER DAVIES

Christoph Schwegler is the new face of Zurich's wine producers. He arrived at Rheinau's monastic, Mövenpick-owned Staatskellerei six years ago and has turned its fortunes around. “It's really incredible just how popular Swiss wine has become all over the country in the last decade” he says. “At the Staatskellerei we are now making wines to compete for a younger, trendier clientele.” Yet he believes the biggest hurdle is changing perceptions of Swiss wine. “Many people, especially from outside of Switzerland, still have the old impression that it's heavy, vinegary and undrinkable. That's simply not true anymore.” In fact wines from the Staatskellerei consistently win national popularity awards, reflecting a broader trend, as Schwegler explains: “Nowadays I think people want to know where their food and their wine come from, and perhaps even to see it being made. Visitors to our cellars can see our real passion shine through”.

DID YOU KNOW: DECANTING There are two reasons for decanting. In older wines, it removes grape-skin sediment, which impacts on flavour. Let the sediment settle by storing your wine at an angle for a few days. Slowly pour the wine into a decanter, retaining the sediment in the shoulder of the wine bottle. Decanting also aerates the wine. Pour quickly - bubbles give the wine more oxygen, promoting the development of flavour. Mature wines are delicate and can lose flavour through decanting, so only decant 10 minutes before enjoying. Decanting white wines from barriques, like white Bordeaux, sets an abundance of smells and flavours free.

TOP SWISS WINES Fancy tasting some top Swiss wines? Here are Mövenpick's top sellers:

1 2 3

expertise is moments of pleasure

supplier, offering an extensive selection from renowned winemakers featured on this page via www.helloswitzerland.ch/moevenpick and absolutely free!

Staatsschreiber Cuvée Blanc Prestige 2012 Zürich AOC, Staatskellerei Zürich CHF 14.50 ADANK Pinot Noir 2011 Fläscher Graubünden AOC CHF 25.– Malanser AOC 2011 Adolf Boner Completer Kellerei CHF 34.–



You're single and successful. You dress well and know what wine to order. You moved to Switzerland because you love the idea of taking on new challenges and adventures. You’ve got serious form, for goodness sakes! Then why doesn’t your love life follow suit? Jennifer Davies and Ana Maria Montero investigate.

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Charlotte* is a trainee lawyer from New York who has lived in Switzerland for five years and currently lives in Bern. She's 28, blond and tall and has come out of a long term relationship. She's been looking for love for nearly a year and says it has not been easy.

Photo: Michael Faes

“It's really different here compared to the US. Americans don't take themselves too seriously and have no problem flirting. There you are used to guys approaching you and you can easily strike up a conversation with anyone.”


Yet no matter which method you choose, many couples who have met here say you won't meet a significant other until you truly examine how you come across to a potential partner. Rebecca,* an American living in Uetikon am See, was looking for someone for a year and a half before she found her partner, also an American living here, through an online dating service. She says that his very straightforward approach won her over. “I think it is important to try to be clear about the things one is looking for. Perhaps I was too flexible on this point. My partner was very direct and I met his criteria and that’s why he wrote me a fantastic first email!”

Talking about her experience in Bern, Charlotte says she is The experts agree that working on yourself and how you are almost never approached, and some men have even reacted perceived comes first. and that the next step – becoming proactive negatively to being 'chatted up'. “People tend to stick to the – is the key to finding love. “A lot of men and women feel that group they go out with for the evening and don't come over to finding a partner has become a ‘mission impossible’. But they have you – ever!” she says. “You could be the last girl in the bar and to ask themselves what have they done to achieve their goal of finding a partner?” says Trea Tijmens from the it's unlikely that you would be approached. Zurich and Geneva-based Success Match. “If That means, as a woman you have to be more “You could be the last they keep telling themselves they can't find assertive and overt to talk to a guy as he's girl in the bar and it's anyone then they probably won't,” she usually with his friends.” unlikely that you would explains, “instead of waiting for love to happen, we have to be proactive and create According to Leslie Lawson Botez, a Genevabe approached. That opportunities. We have to engage with our based psychologist and author of Holding out for a hero, five steps to marriage over 40, ­means, as a woman you environment; to unplug from our iPhones, look around us, smile and make eye contact Charlotte is not alone. She believes that the have to be more with people.” attributes that make Charlotte such a 'catch' are typical of international singles in affluent assertive and overt to Tijmens, who also provides date coaching nations; yet more and more people in talk to a guy as he's services, believes that career women, like countries like Switzerland are finding it difficult to find love, often right up until later usually with his friends.” Charlotte’s example, find it especially challenging and must be more open minded. life. Lawson-Botez pinpoints two reasons: “International people work very hard. Here in Geneva, you spend “We are so used to making checklists at work, that we do the same a whole career assigned in an organisation before you realise ‘I've for our love lives and sometimes that makes us forgo perfectly got no-one to come home to!' The second challenge is that when suitable partners,” she explains. “Many women tend to look for a society has all it needs and more, its people are less outgoing someone who is a better version of themselves – they tend to want with each other”, she says. “We start to perceive independence to look up to their partner, but when you're at the top of your game through the acquisition of things, but don't seek to connect that means your pool could become very small.” And the traditionally masculine traits and driven demeanour that's made women so everyday with people.” successful at work, might work against them in the dating process. Yet despite the challenges on the ground, international singles in “Women often don't realise that men are not using the same criteria Switzerland will be glad to know that the statistics look optimistic. in their search for a partner. Sure, they appreciate women who are According to the Swiss government's figures last year in 2013, smart and successful, however they say she needs to look, feel and expatriate lovebirds are well represented. Some 35 percent of act feminine. Most importantly men want someone who makes marriages were between a Swiss and a foreigner and 13.8 percent them feel good. They are, in many respects, much more open.” were between foreigners. The rules of the dating game may have changed over the past Navigating the services and events on offer for love-seekers all over decade but if you're searching for love in Switzerland, then there the country is a certainly a task to be reckoned with. Aside from the is no shortage of places to look, just make sure you're willing, ubiquitous online dating sites, there are supper clubs, speed dating, prepared, and actively taking part in the journey. dating apps, and a myriad of singles events based on your interest or subculture in music, art, books or food. And then there are the * The names of interviewees have been changed at their request. stalwart favourites, which nowadays seem steeped in nostalgia. Newspaper 'lonely hearts' and now online personal ads on www.2relationshipsuccess.com newspaper sites have, perhaps surprisingly, remained as popular as www.successmatch.ch ever, with papers across the country reporting significant numbers www.datingsuccess.ch placed every week.


GO BIG IN THE COUNTRY If you’ve come from a larger country to Switzerland one of the surprises of this diminutive nation is that you can swap the city for the countryside in a matter of minutes – and Geneva is no exception. As the school holidays linger, Anita Lehman suggests five quick family walks to escape the city for a day. All these walks are part of the Swiss hiking and walking trail network and can be shortened and extended as you like. Get to any of them by jumping on a tram or bus right from the centre of Geneva. Suggested map: “Carte d’excursions Genève – Canton de Genève 270T « Suisse Rando » 1:50 000.

VINEYARD, VALLEY AND JURA VIEWS AT THE SIGNAL DE BERNEX Start: Bernex Eglise (bus 42, 47) End: Onex (tram 14; bus L and K) (Parking in Bernex and Onex) Time: 1.5 hours Pushchair friendly? Yes with some steep slopes – not recommended in wet conditions From the centre of the vineyard village Bernex head up to the “Signal de Bernex”, the Canton of Geneva’s second-highest viewpoint with all-round views over vineyards, valleys and the Jura. Follow the signposts steeply downhill to Lully (enjoy some wine/grape juice tasting!) and amble along the peaceful river Aire towards Onex, meeting frogs and herons on the way. Your kids will love visiting “La Gavotte” – an open farm with free-running animals such as goats and pigs. (The farm is on the opposite bank of the Aire, five minutes towards Plan-les-Ouates.) From there it’s a 15-minute walk up through fields and forest to Onex.

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Photos: ©swiss-image/Ivan Purcell, Genève Tourisme/David Clifford, Lázaro Antônio dos Santos, Hermance.ch, Background: ©Geneve Tourisme/Katharina Ochs, Alex De Lusignan

Start: Anières (bus E) End: Hermance (bus E) (Parking in Anières and Hermance) Time: 1 hour Pushchair friendly? Yes


WILD WOODL AND AND GURGLING WATER ALONG THE ALLONDON Start: Satigny (bus S) End: Satigny (Parking in Satigny or at Moulin Fabry) Time: 2.5 hours (can be extended to La Plaine) Pushchair friendly? Sadly not. Some narrow bits of path along steep declines

This easy one-hour stroll only ever leaves paved roads once. Starting off among fields just above Anières, the valley stretches out flat towards the French Alps. From the hamlet of Chevrens, you descend among autumn vineyards offering open views across Lake Geneva and the Jura beyond. Hermance boasts a medieval tower, ancient houses, fun little shops, and a wonderful beach/picnic and playground area to chill out on after the exercise…and to buy your little ones an ice cream as a reward!

A varied walk for families with older children in one of the wildest areas of the canton of Geneva – boars roam the forests here, and city life suddenly seems very far away! From the vineyard village of Satigny amble down the country road towards the French border at “Moulin Fabry”, a crumbling mill whose history dates back to the 14th century. From there, follow a sometimes tranquil, sometimes rushing Allondon winding its way down the woodland valley. You’ll find a great natural swimming, sun-bathing and rock-pool-exploring area by the riverbed along the way. Past the campsite, head back up to Satigny via Peissy.



Start: Aire-la-Ville (bus S) End: Aire-la-Ville (Parking next to the hydroelectric dam by the Rhone) Time: 45 minutes Pushchair friendly? Yes. Watch out for vipers, frogs, and planes! This walk takes you from the hydroelectric dam through woodland along a tranquil and deep-blue Rhone into the small Chanières Nature Reserve. Information panels will guide your discovery of the local fauna and flora, such as Ophrys Sphegodes, a rare type of orchid. In autumn, you might spot storks stopping over here on their way to the south. To children’s delight, low-flying planes are the order of the day, as the airport is very close. Picnic tables and fireplaces are available near the dam.

Start: Jonction (tram 14; bus 2, 4, 19, D) End: Jonction Time: 30 minutes Pushchair friendly? Yes up to and around the Bois de la Bâtie/across the railway bridge (but not along the Rhone path) Less than ten minutes uphill from the busy Jonction, the Bois de la Bâtie offers a variety of strolls across a quiet woodland park. At the small free zoo you can discover alpine creatures such as goats and alpine ibex. From the top of the railway bridge (accessible to pedestrians) you can marvel at the river Rhone and Arve melting into each other. Back at the Bois de la Bâtie, make use of the large playground and picnic area, or take the woodland path along the Rhone out of town. From here, you can ramble on to your heart’s content, for example to Onex (ca. 3km/1 hour from Jonction).

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13/05/2014 09:32









... and more

flyskywork.com Flights made in Switzerland

! E M O C L WE


issue 3 / 2014

QUEEN OF QUEENS In Martigny the Combats des Reines is a traditional cow fight held in the 5000-seat Roman amphitheatre in early October. It’s here that the supreme champion is crowned “Queen of Queens” (La Reine des Reines). BY ROGER BONNER, ILLUSTRATION BY EDI BARTH

This is Ueli Urstein reporting live from Martigny, Valais. It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon and the fans are flocking into the arena for the finals of the annual cow fighting championships for the grand title “Queen of Queens” (La Reine des Reines). There must be at least 40,000 spectators and the excitement is mounting by the minute. It’s no joke when I say that the crème de la crème of Swiss cows are hoofing here today. After weeks of local competitions, pitting the best of our Eringer gals against each other, the moment has come to see which of these bovine bashers will win. I see Marcel Wolf, President of the Cow Fighting Committee, has just taken a seat. There’s a lot of money at stake out there, not to mention the coveted prize – a grand bell which brings bigtime status in this region. It’s kudos galore for the winning breeder, who can easily fetch thousands of francs or more for his cow’s offspring. The judges enter the arena. An ambulance has just pulled up by the gate, in case things get out of horn. Don’t worry, ladies and gents, these jousts are usually bloodless, although we’re bound to see some aggressive moves. I see that the cantonal veterinarian is in the far end, examining one of the cows to make sure there’s no doping. (A couple of hours later, after several matches) And now the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the final bout between the last two contenders. To the left, Blanca, weighing in at 602 kilos and 5 grams. To her right is Almfee, weighing in at a

stupendous 605 kilos and 3 grams. That’s a lot of beef, folks. Blanca, number 189 on her mighty left flank, is pawing the ground. Almfee, with number 133, tosses her head, snorting. The bell rings and they’re moving into the centre of the arena. They’re circling each other. Blanca makes the first move, coming in for a frontal horn attack. Now they’re locking horns! The crowd’s going wild, cheering and stamping in the bleachers. Blanca’s fans are yelling, “Go, Blanca, go!” “Stomp her...stomp her!” Almfee’s fans scream and wave Swiss flags. The lasses are still in that headlock. Almfee’s twisting her opponent’s neck. This technique is called ‘meshing’ and she’s notorious for it. If she can knock Blanca off balance, it’s over. Blanca lets out an ear-splitting bellow that could curdle milk. She’s up again and shoving like a bulldozer! The referee drops to his knees: goring and kicking udders is strictly forbidden. Blanca’s still shoving, rippling her muscles. Almfee slips on the turf, but she hasn’t given up yet. She’s meshing again. Blanca briefly loses footing and comes up with a left horn to Almfee’s right. Almfee is stunned and backs away! I can’t believe it, Almfee is clearly backing away. Folks, this is one of the most dramatic moments I’ve seen in over thirty years of reporting cow fights. Blanca throws her head down and pounds towards Almfee. Almfee turns, she’s turning and, good heavens, she’s actually running out of the arena! What a c-o-w-ard... It’s all over, folks. Blanca is the clear winner. Let’s raise our glasses of milk for a toast to the new Queen of Queens!


BILINGUAL EDUCATION Expanding minds and horizons Languages are often referred to as the key to a culture, which raises the question of how international schools can cater for the needs of an increasingly mobile, multinational and interconnected society without depriving their students of the opportunity to develop into autonomous individuals with a strong sense of their origins and local environment. There is no denying the fact that English has become the lingua franca of the twenty-first century, and many independent schools in Switzerland thus focus on providing their international clientele with a holistic education in English. At SIS Swiss International School, we also take on the responsibility of preparing the children and adolescents entrusted to our care for the tasks and responsibilities awaiting them in a globalised world. However, we firmly believe that a progressive, global outlook need not come at the cost of the local language and culture. When relocating to a new country, families are faced with a great number of challenges and changes, one of the most significant being the absence of a familiar language in everyday life. It seems natural, therefore, that parents should try and make the transition as smooth as possible for their children by placing them in a school or day care where they are surrounded by children who speak the same language or, at least, share a similar background. Initially, this may indeed be the easiest solution. In the long run, however, it means missing out on a great opportunity: by placing their children in a school which offers bilingual classroom instruction in both German and English and where the student population consists of children from both local and internationally mobile families, parents enable them to build a local network as well as to acquire a new language in a natural, lively, yet structured environment. Since they are immersed daily in both German and English, children not only learn to express themselves naturally and confidently in both languages, but they also gain thorough access to the local life and culture around them and, as a consequence, to a whole new world.

At SIS Swiss International School, we can look back on fifteen years of experience in offering such an environment to our local and international students. “International education – local insight” is not just a slogan, but it is what we practice at each of our nine locations across Switzerland. The coming together of an equal number of children with local and international backgrounds provides a platform for our students to encounter other languages, cultures and people with openness and respect, and thus helps them to develop into committed, honest and independent adults. They can choose themselves whether they want to finish high school with an International Baccalaureate (IB) or the Swiss Matura and, consequently, whether they want to follow in their parents’ footsteps and venture to foreign countries or continue their studies in Switzerland. Bilingual education is a gift and its benefits on both a personal and a professional level are scientifically proven and cannot be overestimated. When you are moving to a different country, you leave a lot of things behind, but by giving your children access to a bilingual education, you enable them to grow new roots without cutting off the old ones. After all, who said you had to give up one world to discover the next?

SIS Schools in Switzerland • Basel • Männedorf-Zürich • Rotkreuz-Zug • Schönenwerd • Suhr • Tamins-Chur • Winterthur • Zürich-Wollishofen • Zürich Ambros Hollenstein CEO info@swissinternatinonalschool.ch



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ZURICH HOSTS EUROPE'S TOP ATHLETES With an estimated 25,000 spectators per day, the European Athletics Championships Zurich 2014 will be the biggest meet in Switzerland this year. This is the country’s second time as a host. The last was way back in 1954. Allison Turner finds out more. Excitement is heating up for an event where nearly one and a half thousand athletes will compete in 47 different events. Around 40 competitors are from the host nation. One of them is the fastest man in Switzerland, the 100m record holder Alex Wilson, who’s based in Basel. I asked Alex how he feels about competing so close to home, and he said he couldn’t wait, adding “I think because it’s at home I will perform much better”.

Photo: © Zuerich 2014

The Letzigrund stadium is also home to the annual Weltklasse Zürich, the one-day athletics event, and as such is primed for the six-day championship. Each day will include a variety of men’s and women’s running, jumping and throwing events. There are men’s and women’s running races from 100m to 10,000m; the 4x100 and 4x400 relays; hurdles and steeple events; high jump, pole vault, long jump and triple jump; and the four throwing events: shot, discus, hammer, and javelin. Only men compete in the decathlon; the corresponding event for women is the heptathlon.

The other event for men only is the 50k walk , on Friday morning, which goes back and forth along the Limmat. The 20k walk follows the same route, covering it fewer times: Wednesday morning for women and Thursday morning for men. The marathons will loop through the city four times: From Bürkliplatz along the lake to Mythenquai, up to the ETH (almost 50 metres higher), back down to Zürihorn, returning to Bürkliplatz. The women’s event is Saturday morning and the men’s Sunday morning. You can watch Swiss marathon great Viktor Röthlin and the others from your favourite vantage point along the routes: it’s free and the entire route is open to the public. The organizers are stressing that this year’s event is more than a sporting event. The House of Switzerland that was built for the Sochi Olympics was designed to be reusable, and it will be rebuilt on Sechseläutenplatz for the City Festival accompanying the championship. Meet friends and some of the top athletes there, and after dark watch video installations on the façade of the Opera House. Zürich 2014 takes place from 12 to 17 August.

Letzigrund Stadium, Zurich


Swiss marathon gold medalist Viktor Röthlin



Now reaching its first decade, this star-studded cinema event takes place every September when the whole city takes on a festival spirit. Over ten days more than a hundred films will be screened at cinemas along the River Limmat, known as Zurich's 'Film Mile', and others across the city. Nicola Hodges brings us a preview for film buffs and families alike. Between Thursday 25 September and Sunday 5 October, films from all over the world will be screened and top actors and movie industry leaders will attend workshops across the festival. But despite the stars and glamour, it’s being billed as festival for anyone to watch, guaranteed to inspire and excite you, whatever your tastes, with a many top quality side events. In fact co-directors Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri point out that almost all of the screenings and award ceremonies are open to the public. “We call this 'Ein Fest Fürs Kino': a party for the cinema, which is for everybody,” says Schildknecht.

ZFF FOR KIDS One relatively new and welcome addition to the programme (since 2013) is the ZFF Kids section. The movies cater for a range of ages and feature productions from places as diverse as the Balkan region of Europe to South America and South East Asia. Children's films are generally shown in their original language, usually with subtitles in English. Your kids can even vote for the best film this year. Given the excitement over this year’s World Cup, one of the highlights is Believe by David Scheinmann (2013), a British football movie set in the 1960s about a young boy who meets his heroes.


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WHERE TO BUY TICKETS From 15 Sept: Zurich Film Festival website: www.zff.com and www.starticket.ch and at all Starticket points of sale; the ticket booth at Paradeplatz, and cinema Corso. From 22 Sept: Ticket booths at Sihlcity. From 25 Sept: Festival Center at Sechseläutenplatz in front of the Zürich Opera House, Arthouse Le Paris, cinema Corso and Filmpodium. You can also buy any returned tickets for sold out screenings 15 minutes before the film begins.

TICKET OPTIONS The ZFF-Card at CHF 29 Works like the SBB half tax card, giving a reduction on a set number of tickets at a lower price of CHF 14 for regular film screenings instead of the usual CHF 16 or 21 CHF. The 10 Competition Films Card at CHF 120 Will give you a reduction on buying 10 cinema tickets for any of the films screened in the competition. The Festival pass at CHF 149 (Non-transferable) Gives you one ticket per regular film screening, excluding the Gala Premieres. Holders can obtain tickets daily for films screened on the same day or following day only.

Photos: All © Zurich Film Festival.

NEW WORLD VIEW Each year a different country is represented in the 'New World View' film section, which showcases new filmmaking talent from around the globe. This edition’s guest country is India, with ten films by independent Indian filmmakers show-casing an emerging scene that has grown out of the country’s mainstream Bollywood industry (an industry which, for years, looked to Switzerland as its film representation of paradise). “New projects have been realised over the past few years that undermine common stereotypes,” say the festival directors.

INTERNATIONAL FILM MUSIC COMPETITION The International Film Music Competition, a collaboration with the Tonhalle-Orchestra of Zurich and Forum Filmmusik, is open to amateur composers or those who are new to composing,

The Senior Pass at CHF 45 (Non-transferable) is for the over 60s, who can buy one ticket for all regular afternoon screenings.

the only rules are that entrants should not have scored more than three feature films ever. This year Axel Tillement’s six-minute computer animated film “Maximall” was set to music by the composers, and the best five will be performed at the Tonhalle on 1 October in a concert also featuring the film music of Oscar winner Hans Zimmer, who created the scores for Lion King, Inception and Gladiator among others. The complete programme is due to be announced on 11 September and you can check out the ZFF website for regular updates. See you there!



AN ELEPHANTINE TASK “A lot of people often ask if I'm the origami world champion. That's a bit like asking if you’re the best artist in the world. It's about the way you interpret the art form.”

Sipho Mabona, an origami artist from Lucerne, has captured the imagination of people around the world by folding a life-sized elephant from a single giant sheet of paper. Now on display in the KKLB museum, the crowd-funded White Elephant project has been making waves through the blogosphere. INTERVIEW BY JENNIFER DAVIES


issue 3 / 2014

It took Sipho Mabona and his team of a dozen four weeks on site to create the 3-metre-high paper elephant, in the process merging the ancient Japanese art form with digital culture: He not only financed his White Elephant through an internet crowd-funding site (raising over $26,000 from 631 funders across the world), but also made sure it was fully accessible online where it was streamed live daily and finally edited into a snappy stop motion video. So how did it all begin for Sipho?

My love of origami started when my mum taught me how to fold paper aeroplanes at about five or six years old. You know when you're a kid and you break a toy and have to buy a new one? I loved that I could just take a paper sheet and build a new plane. I was a real enthusiast by the age of 19. By then I was training to be a teacher but I was bored, so the paper plane folding became pretty intense and I wanted to make other things, so I thought, “I guess I can take up origami”. After my teaching course, I was about to finish a psychology masters when, out of the blue, I got an email from the art director of the Onitsuka Tigers/ Asics advertising campaign. He said “I saw your origami octopus on your website. We like it. Could we use it in our TV advert?” I was like “Sure!” A day or two later he asked if I could I fold a tiger. I was pretty inexperienced and ended up folding non-stop for more than 24 hours, but sent through the photos and he said, “That's great! Now, can you do a Japanese pagoda?” I gave it a try, it worked, and they gave me the whole commission.

Photos: Elephant, ©Philipp Schmidli, Koi courtesy Sipho Mabona.

That campaign was to be my first big commercial break. I never went back to my studies. That's also where I learned to use stop motion video. I immediately loved the way it shows the process of folding origami – because when you're an artist, of any kind, you often don't get the chance to show people what's involved. The Asics/ Onitsuka Tiger advertising campaign won a lot of awards, and, after that, the commissions from other big companies like Toshiba kept coming in. On the artistic side of my work, I'm different from most origami artists, who tend to fold representations of things. I like to create conceptually. About five years ago I started to work on exhibition pieces like my iceberg packed with polar bears falling into the ocean, or my work showing locusts folded from US dollar bills, referring to way banks were described at the time of the financial crash. And now the White Elephant, which is of course a representation, but also a conceptual piece, recognising that there are no limits to what you can make from a single piece of paper. It's about seeing the scale of a life-sized elephant which shows that you should never be restricted by what you think or believe is your potential – you can always exceed your expectations. The fact that White Elephant even exists is an example of that for me... I had hoped to finish it in two weeks but it took four. The sheer size of the paper (15 metres x 15 metres) made it difficult lift and

fold. When we went from two dimensions to three we actually had up to 10 helpers at a time and even had to build a structure to lift the heavy sheet onto the elephant's support frame. People often wonder where the money goes on a crowd-funded project like this, but everyone who pledges money gets an origami piece by me of varying complexity. Then there's the cost of the paper which had to be specially made in Minnesota USA from long flax fibres and then freighted over. Then there was the cost of the the assistants, the video equipment and the commission taken by the crowd-funding site. It all builds up. But I'm thrilled that so many people believed in me from all over the world. Not only did it push my origami skills but also my personal resources in organising the fundraising, sourcing the paper, logistics, dealing with people, social media and press; so staying on top of it all by myself was a great challenge for me. I'm often asked if White Elephant is the biggest origami elephant in the world. Frankly, I don't care because I didn't create White Elephant to break records. In the same vein, a lot of people often ask if I'm an origami world champion – actually it's a bit like asking if you’re the best painter or artist in the world. It's not about being the best but about the way you interpret the art form itself. For me, I love the simplicity of origami – being able to start with a single sheet and to do almost anything with it and that means there are no limits to where it can take me.

See the videos and conceptual work at:

www.mabonaorigami.com See the White Elephant at the KKLB museum in Beromünster Open 14:00 every Sunday KKLB, Landessender 1-3, 6215 Beromünster


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ZUG  59

issue 3 / 2014


Photos: . © Timothy Socha, Zuger Messe

Looking for entertainment in and around Zug this autumn? Allison Turner has two suggestions for you: The Sound of Music presented by the English Theatre Group of Zug, known for its high-quality amateur productions in English, and the Zuger Messe, the biggest autumn fair in Central Switzerland.



Rehearsals are well under way for ETGZ’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical The Sound of Music, which opened in 1959 and was made into a film in 1965. The young postulant nun, Maria, with her music, joy and laughter, charms the seven motherless von Trapp children, their prickly naval captain father, and audiences worldwide. Assistant director Sheena Socha explains, “Very few people can say that they have seen the film only once! Many of the songs are old favourites (think of “Edelweiss”, “Do-Re-Mi”, "My Favorite Things", “Climb Ev'ry Mountain”; the hum-along list is endless). The warmth and immediacy of the theatre version and the magic of the live music cannot be duplicated. For all who love this show, and for those who haven’t seen it yet, it is a must.”

Although its roots date back five hundred years, the Zuger Messe (Zug Fair) has plenty to offer its 21st century visitors. Guests numbering 80,000 are expected, and they’ll have almost 500 exhibition stands to check out, presenting goods and services ranging from wine and leather goods to mobile phones and hotel stays. Whether you need to furnish your home, accessorize your outfit, or entertain your puppy, you’re sure to find a solution to any problem you may have. Of course there’ll be plenty of food and drink choices as well, from simple take-aways to elegant dining, bars and cafés. Rounding out the festivities is the entertainment programme, with choirs and rock bands, dance shows, pageants, fashion shows and informational presentations. The Zuger Messe runs from 25 October to 2 November.

The performances are on 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28 September at the Dorfmattsaal in Rotkreuz. Find out more on the English Theatre Group of Zug website.




ABSINTHE COMES OF AGE The Val-de-Travers in Neuchâtel is home to more than a dozen absinthe distilleries which have witnessed their cottage industries take off since the spirit was legalised in 2005. But how has the lifting of the ban changed the work and lives of the distillers? Gaudentia Persoz, the first woman to make absinthe legally in Switzerland, talks to writer P.K. Read about her own experience at her family’s distillery. If you’re going to keep secrets, the Val-de-Travers is a good place to do it. A narrow valley that winds its way through – ‘traverses’ – the Jura mountain range, connecting western Switzerland with eastern France, its deep forests and craggy rock faces offer plenty of places to get up to business that is not necessarily legal. And that’s just what people did here, in the birthplace of absinthe, during the long decades when the drink was declared illegal. From the time Switzerland banned the wormwood specialty in 1910 until it was declared legal again in 2005, absinthe – called the Green Fairy – never stopped being clandestinely produced and consumed in the Val-de-Travers. Gaudentia Persoz remembers. When she first came here as a teenager from eastern Switzerland, hoping to improve her French, she noticed that patrons at the restaurant where she worked were being served from secret bottles that were passed behind backs, under tables, kept beneath the counter. No one ever explained. Customers simply ordered a ‘P’tite’, a ‘small one’. What they got was absinthe. Little did Persoz know that she would one day be brewing absinthe herself, and married into a family that had been making it for generations – and who kept distilling it in spite of the ban.

Persoz is the first woman to have distilled absinthe legally in Switzerland. She and her husband Jean-Michel inherited his grandmother’s nineteenth-century recipe and have been carrying on the family tradition ever since. First in secret, and now to increasing popularity under the label La P’tite. La P’tite has kept on top of new and changing tastes with different recipes. The Traditionelle is a mild style favoured in western Switzerland with no bitterness and a minty warmth; then there’s Valdetra Verte, complex and deeply herbal, an old-fashioned recipe more akin to nineteenthcentury absinthe; and then there are some developed for younger drinkers such as the Douce (very mild), and the Absinth’Love created for the German market (69 proof, strong, and rumored to be an aphrodisiac). Green Velvet, a new line of absinthe tailored for international markets, is set to be distributed around the world. Of course, all the recipes are secret. All versions can be sampled in the distillery tasting room, served with chilled spring water dispensed from glass absinthe fountains. One thing all the different brews share is a high alcohol content – from 53 to 69 proof. “I want to teach people that absinthe is for pleasure, but prevention is a big part of my job. Drinking responsibly has to be learned,” Persoz explains. What’s different between making absinthe now and making it back when it was on the wrong side of the law? “The quality,” says Persoz. “Before, I


Photos: Creux de Van © Roland Gerth, Schmaelterphoto-fotolia

issue 3 / 2014

could hardly grow a garden full of wormwood plants – the authorities would have noticed. We had to order from anywhere we could get it. Now, we can source our ingredients locally. Many of our ingredients are hand-picked here in the valley.”

making the herbal mix, distilling, filling the bottles. Everything except for the office work!”

Other advantages to legality include being able to leave the handcrafted copper stills to cool properly instead of packing them away still warm. The water used to cool the absinthe batches is now recycled in-house, and the rich green lees of the distilling process can be composted in the garden rather than removed and clandestinely scattered in the surrounding forests.

That might just be the secret to their success.

Persoz and her husband have been adding copper alembic stills to their collection to keep up with demand. As their popularity grows, it's important to Persoz that the process remain artisanal. When asked which part of the process she likes best, Persoz laughs and says, “All of it –

She hopes to pass the business on to her two children. “It’s part of the family. Keeping it in our hands helps it to keep its identity.”

La P’tite is located in Couvet, where absinthe was first bottled in 1797.

www.absinthelaptite.ch The Absinthe Trail runs from Pontarlier in France to Noiraigue, Switzerland. Group visits during the April – October main season, which includes several festivals, can be arranged via train.

www.routedelabsinthe.com www.rail.ch


INE Z A G A M E FRE ION SUBS CRIPT o to lease g unched! P la re e 'v e W and.ch to oswitzerl ll e .h w w w e your or chang e b ri c s b u s s. on detail subscripti




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GLOBAL TASTES IN LAUSANNE Feeling adventurous? Hungry for life? Fancy a taste of Africa or have a craving for the Americas? Rashida Rahim books a trip to Lausanne’s hottest restaurant and cocktail lounge, Eat Me, to discover a world served on small plates. Situated in the heart of the city just off Saint Francois square, this very popular hangout is a must for those who appreciate a plethora of fine cocktails served with a seriousness befitting a New York lounge, and for foodies with a passion for fusion food spanning four continents. By creating a menu reminiscent of Spanish tapas or Middle Eastern and Greek mezes, Serena Shamash, founder of Eat Me, aimed to “…capture and share food souvenirs from around the world, offering people a venue to sample and explore the best of international cuisine in their own backyard”.

Photos: Eat Me restaurant

The dishes themselves are perfectly sized to share with a friend, presentation complements the type of food served and, for the curious, the open kitchen is a live show of chefs headed by Romain Maurel. Our waiter brought out the dishes as they were ready and was able to recommend a glass of dr y white Tokaji from Hungary followed by a mild A rg e n t i n i a n M a l be c to accompany the dishes. We started local, with a dish named after Deep Purple’s

famous tune written in Montreux, “Smoke on the Water”, consisting of smoked filet of fera, fresh potato salad and locally sourced Vaudois sausage. We then moved on to what is easily the most unusual dish on the menu, the Electric Sashimiviche – a tuna sashimi with a cevichestyle sauce of lime and grapefruit, served with smoked peppers topped with a Szechwan button flower. We were advised to start munching on the flower first for about 20 seconds followed by the rest and the result was as surprising as it was delicious. The Tikka`Nada was a dish after my own heart, with an infusion of Indian chicken tikka wrapped in a crumbly comforting Latin style empanada pastry served with a moreish tamarind sauce. And vying for the top spot was the KampotPepper Duck: pan-fried duck breasts with a flavourful pepper glaze and roasted mango that flattered the meat faultlessly or Begging for Foie-Gras, seared and served with sweet pear, dried fruits and nuts, which was so delicious it rivalled the dessert menu. With amiable and food-savvy staff, Eat Me is a grown up, dog-friendly venue offering the finest global bite-sized dishes to gastronomes everywhere and with a delectable menu with so much to offer, I’ll be sure to book a table again soon.

Eat Me – Restaurant & Cocktail bar Rue Pépinet 3, 1003 Lausanne Tel: 021 311 76 59



THE MYSTERY OF THE MASCOT As the Swiss ice hockey season begins, Lausanne’s club, one of the country’s oldest, brings its fans the all the thrills of the game. Leading the charge is the larger than life Leo the Lion – but who is the man behind the mascot? Rashida Rahim finds out... Visit Lausanne when one of the oldest Swiss teams is playing a home game, and you’re guaranteed to experience some of the best ice hockey atmosphere in the country. The crowds chant and drum non-stop, showing a passion and colour to rival any football fans. You’ll also get the chance to meet the team’s mascot: Leo the Lion. Leo – bigger than a full-grown man, with the softness of a cuddly bear – accompanies the teams with pride when they come out onto the rink. He can be approached (with caution) during one of the breaks to have snaps taken.

But you can never underestimate the power of the mascot, or the power of the fans for that matter. Mr Manero recalls a time when the owner of the hockey club decided to jazz it up a bit and brought in a new lion costume – with a flaming coloured mane – all glitzy and new "à la Las Vegas”. For the man behind the costume it was lighter, more breathable and less sweaty but it didn’t go down too well with the fans. After several seasons more than 80 percent of fans

called for the return of the old Leo, so out came the fur and there’s been no going back. Nowadays, it’s common courtesy for mascots of all teams to remain in their own lair, sustaining the morale of the team at home games only – a job that is nonetheless not to be taken lightly. When the league games start in September, Mrs Manero knows that she may not see her husband or son (who plays in the junior team) properly until April, when the ice hockey season is over. As an ardent fan of the club since 1974, Mr Manero regards his work for the club not just as a passion, but also as an honour and privilege. The players and coach know him well, and some of the younger fans and players of the piccolo club even believe he’s really a lion. So if you’re searching for a thoroughly Swiss spectator sport with a touch of magic, come see Leo the Lion in action at Malley ice stadium – it’s bound to be a roaring experience!


Photos: Rashida Rahim

No one really knows why the LHC players are called the Lions or just when Leo first appeared. 57-year-old Daniel Manero, a Spanish naturalized Swiss and the current man behind the mascot, believes it started out about 17 years ago as a joke. One of the club’s members donned the fancy dress before a game and somehow it just stuck. The, then unofficial, mascot started accompanying them to all games, and even stepped out at the end when prizes were given out.


issue 3 / 2014

COMING UP Brrr. There’s a chill in the air.

Festivefo Switzerl od in and – famili

ar favou Warm up with the next issue of Hello Switzerland new conte rites to nders. magazine which arrives in your mailbox at the start of November. Put the kettle on and hunker down with the latest exciting copy of the magazine where we’ll be be giving you the best ideas from Shows and our editors and you, our contributors, for all you musicals – Switzerland takes the need to prepare for the holiday season. stage in the festive season.

Holiday gifts and customs fees – gifting without the gripes.

Online g shoppinH – from aCsure...

the ple itfalls! and the p

WRITE FOR OUR FUTURE ISSUES! Hello Switzerland is an international community magazine focused on stories gathered from our countrywide readership and our regional editors. Since we began in 1998 your contributions have reflected all aspects of life as an expatriate here in Switzerland h zerland.c it w s o ll and we’re more keen than ever info@he to share your tips, anecdotes and experiences with our longterm readers, as well as those who are just at the start of their Swiss adventure. We’ll be looking at what keeps people busy, whether it’s internationals working hard to build their own business, how newcomers can build a network in their new home, or how to cope with down days. Share your stories or advice with our community. For example you can help other readers by telling them how you: •  Chose a doctor, school or nursery. •  Built a personal/professional network in Switzerland. •  Found a bargain. (Really?) •  Fit into your local community. (We know it’s not always so easy!)

Photos: ©swiss-image.ch/Christof Schuerpf, Die Post


NEW BUSINESS PORTRAITS We have started a new regular feature on expatriate entrepreneurs around the country, so if you happen to be one, then get in touch – we’d love to hear from you and feature your business. Just email info@helloswitzerland.ch (editorial guidelines apply). We look forward to hearing from you! Or would you simply like to tell our readers about what your organisation is up to, or share your event news? Then get in contact with us at the aforementioned email address or create a business/ organisation profile on the Hello Switzerland website, where you can update it effortlessly with your events. Just head to www.helloswitzerland.ch to set up a free profile.



MAHIMA Meditation/life coach and author

How did you come to be here in Switzerland? I’m originally from Harare in Zimbabwe where I lived until I was 23. My sister lives in Switzerland and I have Swiss nationality from my first marriage, so after my husband Kai and I left Hamburg, moving here just made sense. I fell in love with the lakes, the grassy hills and the incredible mountains. I’ve lived here since 2005, now in Baar, canton Zug. A rebel who loves peace

What did you find most challenging at first? www.lovesilence.com Read the full interview with Mahima Klinge on the Hello Switzerland website www.helloswitzerland.ch/features

I’ve lived in Germany, Bali, Thailand, India, Australia, America and Africa and travelled extensively. I consider myself a nomad, and staying too long in one place has not always been the best set-up for my spirit. It also took me a while to get used to the more reserved attitude, even among the expats. Africans are some of the friendliest, most open people you can meet, so the social culture shock did take some time to get used to. Another challenge has been the winters, but this last winter was the best one yet.

How have you coped with your new surroundings?


if you'd li Get in touch this page. featured on itzerland.ch info@hellosw

As a personal development coach, meditation teacher, motivational speaker and now author, my work has always given me great flexibility. However with weak German, I adapted my sessions to be more energy- and less dialoguebased. But I soon discovered that most Swiss people speak English far better than I could ever speak German! I also become tougher skinned to deal with the sometimes unfriendly service in restaurants and shops. I was not surprised at all to hear what happened to Oprah Winfrey, as I

have often had similar experiences. Having said that I have also very often encountered helpful and friendly people and the warmer I become, the easier living here becomes.

What do you miss most from other places you have lived? Apart from the sunshine? There is so much that always needs to be done here. In all the other countries I lived in I could afford to hire almost full time help around the house. Cooking, shopping, cleaning, ironing and other errands being fully taken care of by someone else: I miss that the most.

How has being in Switzerland influenced your work and writing? Before I lived in Germany and Switzerland I did not fully understand how people in such great conditions could be anything other than happy. Yet we don't realize how repressive wealthier cultures can be beneath the material abundance. The need to fit in is strong and you have to be ballsy to break out of the box and walk to the beat of your own drum. I have had a lot of eye opening experiences here that have given me great material for my book.

FURTHER READING Mahima Klinge's book, A Rebel's Guide to Inner Peace, is available in English and Spanish (soon in French) on Amazon.com/author/mahimaklinge. The German version, Love Silence is in Orell Füssli bookshops and other stores.

Photo: by Manuel Fischer, Freshpixel Fotostudio, Zurich. www.freshpixel.ch


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