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issue N°04/04 winter 2013/14

er one The numb e ­knowledg urce ation so and inspir erland’s for Switz nal internatio y it commun

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Letter from the Editor  2 Readers wall 3 The Hello Switzerland team 5 Contributors6 Social media 7 Photo competition 8 What's on 10



Our Featured Partners 29 Credit Suisse 30 PwC31 Packimpex32 Autociel.ch34 National Suisse 35 Kuoni36

Niederdorf gift guide Restaurant Buergli

Gillian's Cakes Hidden Lucerne Filling a void

54 55 56

Roger Federer's outfits

Following Sherlock Stories from the Rhine Pure nostalgia Contact us High on Heida Meet Emma

57 58 61 62 63 64

50 52



Step into the Christmas spirit Crossing the border

12 15

Blunt rocks Verbier Winter getaways Up close and personal

17 18 20

Geneva, city of contrasts 40 St-Cergue42 Winter blues getting you down 43 Wooed by food 44

Mountains of fun right in Bern 22 Bellbird Vintage 24 Bielersee25

Slope style  46 Snowshoe walking in the Jura 49



Apps: Survival in your pocket



WELCOME TO THE NEW ISSUE! Your Hello Switzerland Dear valued Hello Switzerland reader What an exciting time it’s been here at Hello Switzerland! The magazine has been completely redesigned, and we launched the new website and our mobile app this autumn. We know you’re going to love our new look. Brand new features include our regional showcase. We capture the vibe of the Swiss cities and share the hip eateries, chic shopping and fun activities we love. Our new Featured Partners concept introduces a network of world-class partners who provide Hello Switzerland readers with trustworthy information and personalised service. Join us for a ramble through the vineyards, husky-dog-sledding, fine dining in Zurich and a cross-border shopping trip. Meet the inspirational woman behind ‘Mumpreneurs’, ski into James Blunt’s high-altitude restaurant in Verbier and keep up with slope style on our new Lifestyle pages. Sit back, relax and enjoy Hello Switzerland – in print, online and on your mobile! Caroline Thonger Editor-in-Chief #helloswitzerland

Check out the interactive features on the Hello Switzerland website


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Call +41 44 277 41 00, visit one of our stores or book online at

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DIGITAL NEWS All the features (A)

Our new community website is full of inspirational and useful features. Sign up for free to Discover, Experience and Share!


OUR CONTENT AREAS (A) Navigate through Hello Switzerland – check out Guides & Assistance, Features, Directories, Events, Showroom and Communities.


REGION SELECTOR (B) In a country with so many distinct regions, we help you find content relevant to you. We cover the 12 regions most popular with the international community.


WELCOME (C) Hello! Read about Hello Switzerland and the benefits of signing up for a free profile.



Relocation is not a static process. Choosing from Deciding, Planning, Arriving, Living and Departing lets Hello Switzerland provide you with content relevant to you.

(F) (G)

TOP DIRECTORIES (E) See what the Hello Switzerland community is rating (and add new Directory entries yourself for free).

SOCIAL MEDIA (F) Find us on Facebook (and Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn and more)!


EVENTS (G) What’s coming up in the Hello Switzerland events network, plus our free event listings board as published by the Hello Switzerland community.

HOT STUFF (H) The most popular content.

BECOME AN AMBASSADOR (I) Share your WOWs and expert knowledge to collect points and become a Hello Switzerland Ambassador. Benefit from invitations to Ambassador events and exciting VIP opportunities.



Photo Competition Winter Competition: With the recent launch of Hello Switzerland’s community website, we invite you to continue sharing your photos that capture Swiss magic moments. The best photos will be featured in the magazine and on the new website and will be attributed to the photographer.

All submitted photos will be entered into a competition for a CHF 100 voucher towards an activity of your choice. Deadline: please submit photos by 30 November

Swiss Magic Moments We are looking for fun and inspiring wintertime snapshots taken by you; magic moments spent with friends, family and your community. Scene Example Family activities in… – Weekend getaways in the snow My kids going to Fasnacht in Basel – Midnight ice skating with my fiancé Enjoying…

– A memorable meal with friends, partner, family – An early morning walk with my partner and our dog – Sitting around the fire strumming some old favourites on the guitar

Getting around…

– Breezing your way through Bern on a rickshaw – The drama of crossing the Alps by road with my partner

Shopping in… – Sports in… – –

Sampling warm chestnuts and mulled wine at the local market The twinkly atmosphere of late night Christmas shopping in the city My daughter's first ski lesson Keeping warm under the blankets

at the local football match

How to s

Terms and conditions: Submitting your photos to this competition grants Hello Switzerland permission to use your images both on the website and in the magazine.

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LUCIE SKAVKSA Magic Moments Autumn Winner


My friends and I come from the Czech Republic. By coincidence we all now live and work in Switzerland. Before this day we hadn’t seen each other in years so we had loads to catch up on over a nice lunch on the boat. It was a beautiful day in Geneva. WHAT WE LOVED ABOUT LUCIE'S IMAGE: Congratulations to Lucie Skavska for her winning entry in last issue's photo competition. Lucie's image of old friends enjoying a day out together really evoked the sentiment of a Swiss magic moment for us here at Hello Switzerland. Thank you to Lucie and all of our readers who shared their photos with us.


NOVEMBER Events 01 Basel Basler Herbstmesse. 09 Biel-Bienne Vinifera, an Until 10 Nov

01 Zurich Jazznojazz Festival. Until 2 Nov


Geneva Théâtre du Leman: Sleeping Beauty performed by the Théâtre Municipal Académique de Kiev


Lausanne Léman Expat Fair, Beaulieu exhibition centre - Free entry Lots of businesses and services serving the English speaking community, all under one roof. Speak to expat experts, get advice on job-hunting in Switzerland and more

05 Zurich 30 Seconds to Mars. An alternative rock event at the Hallenstadion


Lausanne Village Players - 2 or 3 one-act plays and/or dramatised play-reading. Until 10 Nov

08 Geneva The Library in English Book Sale. Huge three-day book sale, an ideal opportunity to pick up some book bargains and collectors’ items too. Until 10 Nov

international wine exhibition. Until 17 Nov

09 Solothurn The Dublin Legends – Irish folk legends, and featuring the oldest boy band alive

11 Bern Join the fun as the Bernese put the Fasnacht bear down for his winter nap at 11:11 in the Käfigturm

12 Geneva Théâtre du Léman: Johnny Clegg in concert

15 Basel Alan Broadbent at The Birds Eye Jazz Club. Until16 Nov


Montreux Browse their big Christmas market by the lake. Warm up with a vin chaud, browse the decorated mini chalets selling artisanal goods and traditional food, and stock up with Christmas gifts. Until 24 Dec


Bern The Onion Market (Zibelemärit) is the best Monday of the year! You’re encouraged to drink mulled wine, throw confetti and, of course, partake in onions in every form imaginable


St Gallen 9th Old Timer Fair. For all fans of veteran or historic cars

28 Locarno Locarno on Ice – a huge skating rink becomes a permanent feature of the town. Until 6 Jan


Basel Basler Stadtlauf (Basel City Run)

30 Geneva Goldilocks and the Three Bears pantomime performed in English in Geneva by GAOS. Various dates and times Nov/Dec (9 performances in all)

30 Samnaun (GR) Santa Claus World Championship. Until 30 Dec


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Geneva Fete de L’Escalade. See our feature on pages 40-41

15 Zurich Zürcher Silverster-

Basel Christmas Party at Paddy Reilly’s bar, with a live performance from the Kilkennys



Lausanne Christmas Midnight Run. Run through the streets of Lausanne with thousands of other participants including 100s of them dressed up as Father Christmas

14 Adelboden The “Winterylute” rings in the winter season with a parade of people sounding heavy shoulder-mounted bells.


Bern Rock Circus combines the energy of a rock concert and the excitement of a circus. Until 16 Dec

lauf (Zurich New Year Run)


20 Basel The Harlem Gospel Singers Show – featuring Queen Esther Marrow. Also in Zurich on 18 Dec

26 Davos Spengler Icehockey Cup. Until 1 Dec



Interlaken Touch the Mountains. The best way to greet the New Year, with spectactular fireworks and a whole mix of bands

31 Laupen Achetringele

04 Lausanne “Come in, It’s

(ringing down) is a centuries old New Year’s Eve tradition involving scary masks, brooms and cow bells.

Free”. Many of Lausanne’s museums are free to visit the first Saturday of the month. Good to know about for those wet or wintry days

10 Basel Chinese National Circus at the Musical Theater

HANDYMAN Basel and Surrounding Areas


Adelboden The most difficult racecourse in the world – AUDI FIS Ski World Cup 2014. Until 12 Jan


Basel Phantom of the Opera at the Musical Theater. Also 21 Jan

24 Geneva “Holiday Sports and Leisure” fair, Palexpo – inspiration for your next holiday. 100s of exhibitors with travel ideas. Until 26 Jan


Bern Russian National Ballet at Theater National

31 Gstaad Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad classic music festival. Until 8 Feb

17 Wengen Ski World Cup. Until 19 Jan



Grindelwald World Snow Festival. Until 25 Jan ©swiss-image



©Johann Wan

ner ©Klaus Brod

SHOP If the yearly rush to buy gifts has turned you into Scrooge then the Basel Christmas market will help you recover your Christmas cheer. From 28 November to 13 December, Basel transforms itself into a winter wonderland. Little wooden huts decorated with sparkling lights, sell unique handcrafted gifts, and traditional tree decorations. Be sure to fuel your shopping trip with some of the traditional food and drink on offer. Here are five tasty morsels not to be missed! Glühwein: This warm spicy mulled wine is guaranteed to take the chill out of an evening’s browsing.


Raclette: Follow your nose to discover this stinky but delicious cheese, perfect melted over a piece of crusty bread. Kartoffeltätschli: Deep-fried potato ‘cakes’ with a choice of either garlic or apple sauce, simple but remarkably tasty. Heisse Maroni: a bag of comforting chestnuts roasted to perfection. Basel Läckerli This traditional spiced biscuit made with cinnamon, hazelnuts and kirsch makes an ideal gift to give to friends and family back home, if you aren’t tempted to eat it all yourself!


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©Johann Wanner



Basel is the home of Johann Wanner, the world’s largest manufacturer of home-made Christmas decorations. Famous customers include the White House, and HM the Queen of England. Visit his Christmas house (Spalenberg 14) and dress your tree in style.

Theater Basel is staging a production of the musical Fame. A multicultural group of aspiring dancers, actors and musicians are sent to New York to become stars. Egos collide in this powerful story of love and desire for fame.


Be sure to take a wander down the Freiestrasse, Europe’s longest illuminated Christmas street. Enjoy the sounds of the talented buskers coming to earn a franc or two.

DON’T MISS The annual Museumsnacht, when Basel’s finest museums leave their doors open long after the sun has set. As well as art, there’ll be music, DJs and an after party until dawn. 17 January Text by Kate Orson Background: photo by swiss-image / Andreas Gerth

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CROSSING THE BORDER Shopping opportunities in France and Germany BY TONI DAVIDSON

A recent survey suggests that 1 in 4 people living in Switzerland frequently cross the borders to stock up on food, household items and clothes. Added to generally lower prices, there is also the opportunity to claim tax refunds depending on what you buy. Information about allowances and customs regulations can be found on the useful website created by the Swiss Confederation. People living in the Basel region are truly spoilt for choice, and where you decide to go will depend on what you’re looking for and what kind of shopping experience you prefer. Here we focus on shops and locations easily accessible by public transport, offering a multitude of possibilities while you’re there.

A personal favourite is the trip to Lorrach. At 20 minutes on the S6 from Basel SBB, this charming border town has a pedestrian-friendly centre. Here you’ll find chain chemists and household stores like DM and Mueller, and a short walk away is another Hieber’s Frische Center. It can get busy, especially on Saturdays. There’s an excellent open-air market, with good quality seasonal fruit and veg, a large organic stall, and a range of local producers selling speciality breads, cheeses, and freshly made tarts and pies. Cross-border shopping is of course about saving money and a more diverse shopping experience. It’s also one of the advantages of living in Basel, being able to step so easily into another country. Just make sure you take your ID!

A favourite destination has long been the Rhein-Center in Weil am Rhein. This one-stop shopping centre has a huge Marktkauf supermarket, as well as a range of chain stores and specialty stores. These include H&M, and the German drugstore DM. On busy days it’s perhaps not for the faint-hearted, but there are some good restaurants to take a break in. For cross-border shopping at a more relaxed pace – which could include some sightseeing opportunities – it’s worth taking a trip on the S1 from Basel SBB to Rheinfelden. Stroll through this Swiss town, home to Feldschlösschen – the country’s most popular beer. Take time to enjoy the historic old town, designated a national heritage site. Cross the bridge overlooking the Inseli, a 150m island – and now you’re in Rheinfelden in Baden Württemberg in Germany. From here, it’s just a short walk to Hieber's Frische Center, an award-winning supermarket chain renowned for its quality and ambience. For those wishing to cross into France for their shopping needs, Saint-Louis is the obvious starting point. A bus route beginning at Schifflände serves a number of supermarkets and retail outlets, with Géant and E. Leclerc among those vying for your freshly-exchanged Swiss francs. A little further afield in Sierentz (perhaps best visited by car) is a large health food store, Les Halles Nature, with an extensive range of health-related products.

© Stadt Lörrach

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BLUNT ROCKS VERBIER British popstar James Blunt has launched a high-altitude ski restaurant in Verbier.

py of Win a co t's un James Bl ! m new albu


La Vache (“the cow“) is situated at the top of the James Blunt chairlift. Despite having just one season under its belt, it’s already the most popular restaurant on the mountain. James Blunt wants to be Swiss. Thoroughly British, he was born into a military family and trained as an officer. He fell in love with the Swiss-French ski region of Verbier during his captainship of the British Army’s Household Cavalry ski team. Not one for doing things by half, Blunt became the ski champion of the entire Royal Armoured Corps, before leaving the Army in 2002 to work on his music career. He went on to sell 18 million records – including the smash hit You’re Beautiful. A full-time resident of Verbier since 2007, he says he feels so at home there that every New Year’s Eve he dresses up as a cow and runs around the village square. Whether that’s enough to convince the Swiss to give him the red passport is another story. What’s certain is that his entry into the local snow economy is melting the Swiss competition.

peroni, spicy beef, red onions and red chili peppers and costs 24 francs. James won’t make it himself, though. “I’m a terrible cook. I’m banned from the kitchen in my own restaurant.” Spending the long, cold months of last winter in his chalet seems to have paid off. James’ new album Moon Landing was released in Switzerland on 18 October. “It's a really beautiful sounding record, full of loneliness and longing. There's been a lot of love put into making it, and I couldn't be happier with how it sounds.” We’ve got five copies to give away to the first five readers who request a copy in the comments on this article on our website. It’s a good album. Be quick!

2730m is high for a restaurant, even in the Swiss Alps – and the view across the Croix de Couer is spectacular. The white caps of Mont Gelé tower above the restaurant, and all around pristine slopes of fine powder snow wait for worldwide fans of steep downhill skiing to carve it up. Each resort has its own identity – Verbier is the home of adrenaline-seekers. No wonder the British singer was able to join forces with international rugby star Lawrence Dallaglio, superbike racer Carl Fogarty and star chef Heston Blumenthal in opening a feel-good, look-good fuelling station. La Vache has been a success. Decorated warmly in a modern Alpine dairy style with a healthy portion of lounge vibe, it’s a cool place to stop for lunch. The menu isn’t very Swiss. Soup, salad, pizza, pasta and burgers at fair prices sounds exactly like what to expect from a bunch of British golden boys living it up on the slopes. “When you’ve got your own ski lift, it’s great to have your own restaurant to go with it, plus your own pizza on the menu,” jokes James Blunt. The Blunt comes with tomato, mozzarella, pep-



WINTER GETAWAYS: PANORAMIC ALPINE SPA The perfect complement – or antidote – to winter sports BY CAROLINE THONGER

If you’re looking for an alternative to winter sports, or else a change from the relentless cold of winter, how about spending a day in one of Switzerland’s Alpine wellness centres? The Valais boasts no less than four thermal centres, each fed by natural geo-thermal springs. It’s an exhilarating feeling to be swathed in warm bubbles in an outdoor illuminated pool, surrounded by heaps of snow – with the water a constant 34C while the air temperature can be as low as -10C!

THE BATHS The village of Ovronnaz lies at 1350m on the south-facing slopes above the Rhone Valley, between Martigny and Sion. Benefitting from a micro-climate that guarantees excellent sun and snow conditions throughout the winter months, the thermal spa of Thermalp offers a family-friendly environment especially for those less keen on winter sports. Children up to the age of 7 are welcomed into the thermal baths free of charge, underlining the resort’s emphasis on inclusivity. Fed by the naturally warm springs piped up from under the ground below Leytron (a village famous for its wines), the centre has two outdoor pools kept at a constant 34C; an indoor pool with


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a separate baby pool; a Jacuzzi for adults only (38C); and all the facilities associated with ‘Alpine Wellness’. If you’re there for a weekend break, guests are conducted – by a clever system of interconnected and covered walkways and colour-coded lifts or stairs – to the main reception area without needing to walk outside. The welcoming, high quality restaurant seats up to 240 people, and the bar around 80, both areas offering magnificent panoramic views across the Rhone valley.

THE HAMMAM In July this year, Thermalp Ovronnaz was delighted to announce the opening of their recently expanded facility, comprising 1000 square metres of new spa installations. The 10-million-franc


building, situated behind the existing indoor pool, now houses two saunas, two steam-rooms, one hammam, a Jacuzzi large enough for 15 people, a quiet room and a subtly lit relaxation room. There’s also a new fitness and exercise space. The facility, designed for adults only, caters both for ‘naturists’ and those who prefer to keep their bathing costumes on.

THE NEW FACILITIES World of Senses: Unique in Switzerland, this is a steam room with a difference. Capable of holding 20 people, and heated to 45C with 100% humidity, the special hammam uses colour therapy, aromatherapy and music therapy. Clients can experience four cycles, each with their own distinctive colour, music and scents. These include: blue for a nocturnal journey through Scandinavian forests; green for a dawn escapade somewhere on the southern Med; yellow for a mid-afternoon escape into the mysterious and enchanting Orient; and red for an encounter in East Africa at sunset.

BY TRAIN/BUS: There are regular trains to Martigny or Sion from all the major Swiss cities. Visitors can take advantage of the ‘all-in-one’ tickets offered by CarPostal for the bus ride from Sion/Martigny, plus a day’s entry to the thermal baths.

There’s a traditionally built Turkish hammam, furnished with Carrera marble and hints of the East, and a Finnish sauna clad in pale wood and with a wall constructed in natural stone.

BY ROAD: At less than 2 hours’ driving time from the centre of Geneva, Ovronnaz lies just off the A9 eastbound autoroute between Martigny and Sion. The A9 connects with the northbound Fribourg-Bern autoroute at Vevey, and from there to other major Swiss cities.

Check out the Hello Switzerland website too for other wellness and thermal centres near to where you live!

Prices at Thermalp Ovronnaz vary throughout the year, depending on high or low season, but check out their website for special offers and ‘weekend breaks’.



LISA CHUMA One inspirational woman’s secrets for success Lisa MundembeChuma moved to Switzerland less than two years ago, but she’s already been busy.


She hosted the country’s first Women’s Expo this year, and continues to inspire and support women as chief editor of Inspirational Woman magazine. We met up with her to discover why she’s the woman every ‘mumpreneur’ should know, and to hear the very personal story behind everything she does.

What inspired you to found the Women’s Expo and Inspirational Woman Magazine? I grew up in Zimbabwe. My desire to help other women came from my childhood. I was raised by a single mother, who was able to go out and achieve her dream: to pursue her career as a nurse. Her friends were always there to offer support or take care of me so she could work. These women were more than just babysitters – they treated me as one of their own. Even though I was young, I understood how significant that was. Now I look back and know that if we hadn't had that support, we wouldn't be where we are now. I grew up thinking that’s what I want to do. I want to help other women to reach for their dreams.

"Do you know someone who does this?" Once I know who people are and what they do, I can connect them with other people who might be able to help them in their careers. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know a lot of people and I've been able to generate business for many women. For me, being able to provide a platform where women can connect is priceless.

So how was the first Women’s Expo? We had a great turnout. There were 85 exhibitors and over a thousand visitors came through the door. There were all types of women, some with children, but a good number of men as well. Everybody seemed to feel something significant was happening.

How does this differ from other events such as the Expat Expo? Though I’m an expat myself, the Women’s Expo isn’t exclusive to expats. Exhibitors at the Women’s Expo were 50% expat, 50% Swiss. It’s really a way to bring the two communities together and give exhibitors a chance to reach a client base they might not otherwise have access to.

Do women have a different way of doing business? What do you enjoy most about your work? Being able to connect with a lot of people. I have become a ‘go-to’ person, the one who is asked,

They tend to take fewer risks – which can be good, although some risks are necessary in business. They usually pay far more attention to the


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ethical side of business. Women will set different priorities – especially if they have a family at home to take care of as well. They also have a different way of communicating, and are often good at managing more than one thing at a time. These are mostly positive things.

Are you busy preparing for the next expo? Yes. Registration is already open for May 2014. There is a lot to do while we manage registration and then later start to market the expo to the public.

Do you have any tips for a mumpreneur just starting out? First: convince yourself you can do it. Second: try it and see if it works. Third: when you’re starting out, be careful who you share your ideas with. Don't listen to people trying to talk you out of it. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people. It’s important to believe in yourself and have strong moral support.

It’s amazing what you’ve achieved here in such a short time A lot of people are shocked at what I managed to do so quickly. But I’m a bit of a crazy person! I think you just have to try things and see if they work. Not let fear get in your way. Just go for it. I didn't have any expectations before I came to Switzerland, so it wasn't possible to be disappointed. I thought, "I’ll just go and see what it’s like." I was very open-minded, and took Switzerland for what it was.

Do you have any big dreams for the future? My biggest dream is for the Women’s Expo to become the world's largest expo for women in business. It will be amazing when women from all over the world come to Switzerland to find business partners and sell their products. I also hope that what I’m doing will be an inspiration for other women and girls – including my own daughter!

"People are shocked at what I've managed to do so quickly" Read the interview in full online!

LISA CHUMA Lisa Chuma was born in Zimbabwe where she spent her childhood until moving to the UK when she was 16. She currently resides in Switzerland. The young founder of The Women's Expo Switzerland, she is keen to make a positive impact in the world by providing a platform that allows women entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses, discover opportunities for collaboration and build support systems with each other. Her goal is to play an active role in helping female-owned businesses thrive as well as to see businesswomen taking the role of mentor to girls around the world. Lisa is passionate about being a positive influence and making a lasting impact on women's lives. She has made it her responsibility to create an opportunity for women to be successful in business by supporting each other, standing together and encouraging them to complete each other while their own individual businesses succeed.






CHRISTMAS MARKETS Bern hosts two Christmas markets each year: one on the Waisenhausplatz and one on the Münsterplatz. The Waisenhausplatz one is the larger of the two and offers typical Christmas market fare, whereas the one on the Münsterplatz specializes in hand-made items. Between the two you’re sure to find lots of great gifts for everyone on your shopping list. Either of the Christmas markets is also a great place to meet friends and catch up over a cup of mulled wine during the holiday season.

BERN  23

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TIME FUN RIGHT IN BERN THE GURTEN The view of the Bern from the Gurten is always spectacular. But once the snow falls, a whole new array of activities is possible on the city’s “House Mountain”. Sledding down the mountain is fun for all ages. Bring your own sled or rent one at the Gurtenbahn station and get a day ticket, so you can take the funicular up the mountain as many times as you like.



in ger



Bernese children often learn to ski on the Gurten before heading to the big mountains. Children aged 3-8 can take skiing lessons and rent all the necessary equipment on site. The Gurten is also an ideal place to celebrate New Year’s Eve. You can enjoy a fine meal in the Bel Etage restaurant and dance the night away in the trendy UPTown. Plus, you’ll have the best view in town for the fireworks at midnight.

ICE SKATING A fun way to stay fit in winter is to strap on your skates and hit the ice. There are three large public ice rinks in the city: Ka-We-De, PostFinance Arena and Weyermannshaus—open from October to March. Full information, including cost of admission, skate rental fees and hours of operation: From 24 December to 16 February, 11:00-22:00 daily, there will also be an ice rink on the Bundesplatz. This is a great location for an after-work meeting with friends, and can be followed up with a bubbling hot fondue in the restaurant. It often gets cold enough to skate on ponds, such as the Egelsee in Bern. Check your neighborhood newspaper for information.






Text by Querida Long Background: photo by swiss-image / Christof Sonderegger


BELLBIRD VINTAGE A touch of British quirkiness After meeting his wife Anita while packpacking in Asia, Richard Preece was persuaded to leave his native Wales and come to Switzerland. He didn't speak a word of German, let alone Swiss German … Bellbird Vintage was hatched following years of scouring vintage shops, flea markets and cool stores around the globe. Richard’s vision is to bring a bit of British eccentricity to Switzerland. The shop features a hand-picked selection of new and vintage items – although at Bellbird, they prefer to call their vintage gear “pre-loved”.

 A visit to the shop will usually turn up a few surprises – something for everyone and to suit every pocket. There’s an ever-changing range of “pre-loved” designer furniture and selection of funky clothing. Throw in a few cool bicycles and accessories from top British makers for good measure … along with a selection of beautiful traditional and contemporary Welsh tapestries, blankets, throws, bags and purses made from the highest quality Welsh wool. One thing’s for certain, according to Richard. “We’re at our happiest

when someone walks out of the shop, having found that little something which puts a smile on their faces and a bounce in their step.”
 Richard and Anita believe in living. If there happens to be a 'closed' sign on the door, it's probably because they’re away scouting for new things and having fun somewhere in the world. They hope you’ll find your little bit of inspiration! Bellbird Vintage Sickingerstrasse 6 3014 Bern 078 838 59 94

©Felix Peter

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BIELERSEE A ramble through the vineyards



After the swift one-hour train ride from Basel, bus number 11 waits just outside the station to take walkers on a short ride to the end of the line, Rebenweg. Here the picturesque vineyard hike starts almost immediately. The trail meanders for a short period through the forest, where a host of well-marked trails are available. One of these leads to a modest playground with barbecues. This is the perfect location to stretch your legs, allow the children in your group time to play and make a quick lunch before continuing on your way. Once out of the forest, the well-paved stroller-friendly trail taks you into the scenic vineyards. The trail also appears to be bike-friendly. It’s the commanding views throughout most of the trail that make this walk so enjoyable. The refreshing sight of the Bielersee shimmering just below, St. Peter’s Island in the distance and on a clear day, the stunning panorama of the snow–covered Alps. This is the perfect hike to take visitors on, looking to absorb the beauty of Switzerland without venturing far from Basel. The hike ends in La Neuveville and is roughly 4 hours or 12.9km. If you grow weary towards the end, the villages of Twann and Ligerz both offer direct connections via train or boat back to the Biel/Bienne train station. Simply follow the yellow Wanderwege to your destination of choice.

The hike is ideal in fall when the temperatures are still mild, once the intense heat of summer has faded. Its true beauty lies in the vibrant hues at this time of year. The leaves on the vines are all starting to change, the grapes are being harvested, and the views are intensified by the glorious fall colors. If the ramble through the vineyards invites you to stay a little longer, consider the boat ride to St. Peter’s Island to either dine or stay at Klosterhotel St. Petersinsel. The hotel is unique in its secluded and spectacular setting, offering solitude and peace. There are 13 rooms, all exceptional in their décor. We enjoyed a soaking tub, a lovely view and very comfortable beds that provided a good night’s rest for our entire family. The cuisine though delicious is not what makes this hotel memorable; rather it is the sights and sounds of being immersed in nature, the ability to stroll freely and dip your feet in the invigorating lake. There is something truly magical about this setting. Whether you’re looking for a city escape or a picturesque stroll on a weekend, the Biel vineyard walk offers spectacular views, and the opportunity to do a little wine tasting. For those that want to hone in on the uniqueness of the location, consider an overnight stay on the very serene St. Peter's Island. For those interested in wine tasting while on the trail, check out the options available in the town of Twann.



TRANSPORT An excellent app for staying on top of Swiss and international news in English. MeteoSwiss The official Swiss Meteorological Office app, this excellent app boasts plenty of detail but presented in a simple and easy-to-understand interface. 20minutes: (not English) The online version of the popular free newspaper, although only available in French (20 minutes) or German (20 Minuten), is still very readable for anyone with even a basic knowledge of the language. It gives an interesting insight into the Swiss way of life and the important issues of the day. In addition to individual news sections, it is also possible to download a PDF version of the newspaper for when you are not connected to the Internet.

SBB Mobile (Swiss Federal Railways) Up-to-the-minute and door-todoor train, bus and tram connections throughout Switzerland. In-app ticket shop. GVAapp As you would expect from an airport app, all of the incoming and outgoing flights are easily accessed. But the app also provides a real-time status of the number of available parking spaces in each of the garages, a valuable tool. TPG (Geneva Public Transport): The excellent TPG website is complemented by this equally impressive app. Next departures from any bus or tram stop and route planning get you where you need to be as quickly as possible, while the “Nearby” function tells you where to catch a ride even when you aren’t sure exactly where you are.

HELLO SWITZ Discover, experience Available on iPhone and Android, the Hello Switzerland app brings our powerful content to your mobile device. Guides & Assistance Access our library of over 300 Guides & Assistance articles to make relocating to Switzerland and settling in a piece of cake. Directories Wherever you are in Switzerland, use our detailed and extensive Directories to find out what’s nearby. Rate a place in our Directory, or add a new address if you’ve discovered somewhere you want to share with the Hello Switzerland community. Leave comments for other Hello Switzerland users and add your own photos. Events Find out what’s on – as recommended by the Hello Switzerland community.

ZVV (Zurich Public Lets you plan a trip from any bus or tram stop in Transport) the ZVV network, or any train station in Switzerland. It can tell you if the tram, bus or train is running late and offer alternatives if necessary. You can save your favourite routes and buy tickets and passes, including the night supplement through the SBB app (which must be downloaded as well; both are free). The app includes maps of


winter 2013/14

ET: SMARTPHONE APPS ERLAND APP and share Switzerland Relocation Checklist Our expert relocation partner Packimpex has helped us to build a virtual relocation assistant to guide you through the complex timeline and tasklist of relocating to Switzerland. Coming soon in the winter release of the app. Step- By-Step Our expert relocation partner Packimpex has helped us to build a virtual assistant to help you unravel the intricate timelines of your relocation into a step-by-step process. Our smart lists of important to-do tasks, featuring automated reminders and task recommendations, are the key to keeping a firm grip on your relocation to Switzerland. Coming soon in the winter release of the app!

the tariff zones and of the wheelchair-accessible stations and routes. MEZI (Bern Public Transport), BVB (Basel Public Transport), TL Live (Lausanne Public Transport)

Similar to the Geneva and Zurich public transport apps, MEZI, BVB and TL Live show real-time data for public transport on their respective regional networks, and offer a door-to-door journey planner.

Swiss The Swiss national air carrier. Sleek and sexy.

LEISURE Aare Ideal for Bern’s favourite summer sport - swimming in the River Aare – this app shows the river temperature in real-time

Bed and Breakfast Switzerland This app tracks your location and gives detailed information about B&Bs in your area.

Cineman Find out what movies are showing, when, and at which cinema. You can personalize it by choosing your language and area of choice.

iSki Swiss Shows the real-time ski conditions and temperatures at resorts around the country Leman Tourism Focused on the Canton of Vaud from Nyon to Yverdon and around to Gryon, this app has a great selection of images and videos of key attractions within the region. For offline use there are a large number of guides that can be downloaded to your device. Interestingly it also has an “Augmented Reality” section: download the map and point your device’s camera at it, and additional information and animations are displayed, plus links to more details about the destinations. Museen Bern Loaded with useful information such as opening hours, admission prices and current exhibitions as well as interesting tidbits such as the history of each museum. Some museums also offer media guides through this app.


Radio Switzerland Choose from many different Swiss radio stations to listen to, grouped by location and also musical style. Swiss Hike Pick a route and get your hiking boots on the ground. This app provides information about the location, distance, level changes and overall difficulty level of each hike. Also links to the SBB app to get you home again once you’ve finished hiking. VeloPass Up-to-theminute information on cycling in Switzerland. Usgang (‘going out’) in Swiss German is a guide to Swiss nightlife. Find out about upcoming club nights and see photos from recent parties. leans towards the Swiss German regions but covers the Romandie and Ticino sufficiently that it’s worthwhile wherever you are.

Switzerland by memento This memento (aka pairs and memory) app couples the simplicity of finding matching cards from a board of 20 hidden cards with a cool Swiss design that will make you smile. Good fun.

it a must-have for those moments in life when you really don’t feel like cooking or going out!

SHOPPING & SERVICES Buy and sell online. Considerably more popular than Ebay in Switzerland.

FOOD & DRINK Zurich Bar Guide Not only does it help you find close to every bar in Zurich, it also tells you what’s on there in the coming week, whether it’s a pub quiz at Oliver Twist or a hip new band at the Hive. Each bar has a brief description, including the music they play and the crowd they attract, and there’s a link to the establishment’s own website. Gluten-free Switzerland This app tracks your location and lets you know about restaurants nearby with gluten-free options (only in the German speaking region).

Smartshoppper Switzerland: The savvy consumer’s secret to finding out the week’s top bargains at the major supermarket chains in Switzerland, including shop-at-home providers and a few electronics stores. Travel and Goods The official Swiss Customs app is easy to use and features clear information on importing food, souvenirs, and consumer products, and explains issues around online shopping. Opening hours for border crossings are useful if you need a Customs stamp for tax-free shopping imports. Access a long list of delivery restaurants near you (or around any Swiss ZIP-code) with a surprising amount of info on each restaurant. Full menu and ordering direct in the app make

Starticket Find out what’s on in the world of concerts and shows, order your tickets and have then scanned right from your phone at the show. When’s Eddie Izzard coming back?!

SET TLING IN Eurotalk Swiss German, some basic Swiss German words and phrases with audio, and visuals, quite simple, but fun. Leo A great German translation app that translates between German and eight other languages. Echo 112 Dials the emergency services and transmits your location to them.

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OUR FEATURED PARTNERS A network of experts


With this issue we’re delighted to introduce Hello Switzerland’s new Featured Partners concept – a network of experts to reduce complexity and make life easier when relocating.

Our Featured Partners offer their

Are you currently relocating? Did you recently move to Switzerland? If so, you’ll already be familiar with the complexity of relocating to Switzerland. At Hello Switzerland we’ve being doing our utmost to simplify relocation and settling in for our readers since our launch in 2008.

Stronger together services in English. They are committed to providing Hello Switzerland and our community with tailored and personalised service. We have chosen to work with these partners because we are convinced that their commitment adds true value to the Hello

It can be hard to know where to start when moving to a new country. We’re faced with masses of information, hundreds of tasks to complete, loads of important decisions to take in a short space of time and all of this often without any real knowledge of Switzerland or the local market. Hello Switzerland decided to tackle the problem.

Switzerland community.

We’ve worked closely with our relocation partner Packimpex and with focus groups of Hello Switzerland readers to identify which topics are of critical importance for a successful relocation. We identified a range of issues - opening a Swiss bank account, taking out the right insurance policies, dealing with Swiss and homecountry taxes, immigration, moving, finding a place to live, buying or importing a car, and furnishing and decorating your new home - as being the critical success factors when moving to Switzerland.

covers all mission-critical aspects of

Together, their dedicated, long-term committment to Hello Switzerland relocation to Switzerland. Their know-how is your key to a smooth and efficient relocation and settling-in process in Switzerland.

EXPERT ADVICE To address these issues, Hello Switzerland has chosen to partner with leading Swiss companies in their fields. Our Featured Partners will provide Hello Switzerland magazine readers and online community members with relevant, accurate, and up-to-date expert advice. Featured Partners advise our teams, write feature articles, provide practical information to our readers, and organise events of interest and benefit to the Hello Switzerland community.

We stand by and fully recommend the services of our Featured Partners. We are proud and excited to bring the Featured Partners concept to our readers, and thank all partners warmly for their dedication, involvement and commitment to the Hello Switzerland community. Mike Tomsett Chief Operating Officer Hello Switzerland

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


winter 2013/14


An insight for expats BY NICOLE BREGY

PL ACE OF RESIDENCE Switzerland has a federal structure and is divided into three political levels: federal, cantonal, and municipal. There are 26 independent cantons, whose sovereignty is not limited by the federal constitution. This influences the individual tax situation. Income tax is also levied at these three levels. Whereas taxation at federal level is the same throughout Switzerland, taxation at cantonal level differs significantly between cantons. Although harmonized, the cantons still have their own tax codes and are entitled to determine the applicable tax rates independently. Taxation at municipal level follows cantonal tax law, but municipal tax rates may also differ significantly within cantons. Up to a certain income level, tax rates are progressive at federal level and in most of the cantons.

With other reportable income or wealth, they are required to file a supplementary tax return. Depending on specific circumstances, additional tax may be payable or a refund of tax paid due. Non-resident individuals subject to wage withholding taxes are not usually required to file a tax return for their employment income. Where they own Swiss real estate, however, a special tax return must be filed in the canton where the property is located.

SPECIAL DEDUCTIONS The choice of place to live can therefore materially impact the tax burden. For example, a married couple with two children and a taxable income of CHF 150,000 may pay income taxes of CHF 14,800 –40,900 depending on their place of residence.

Generally, all income has to be declared in one tax return, where all earnings are added together with applicable deductions subtracted from the result. Based on the taxable income thus calculated, the tax rate is determined and subsequently applied to the taxable income.

RESIDENTS AND NON-RESIDENTS An individual is deemed to be a tax resident if they: 1. plan to have their centre of vital interest permanently in Switzerland or 2. exercise gainful activities for a consecutive period of at least 30 days or 3. stay in Switzerland for a consecutive period of more than 90 days.

EXPATS CONSIDERED AS SWISS TAX RESIDENTS All tax residents are taxed on their worldwide income and wealth, whereas non-residents are only taxed on Swiss source income and wealth (eg employment income, real estate etc).

FILING OBLIGATIONS All permanent tax residents must file an annual tax return in the canton of residence. Married couples usually file a joint tax return and are assessed together. As an exception to this, resident foreign nationals (holding a so called B-permit) who are taxed through the wage withholding system have to file a tax return only if their gross employment income exceeds 120'000 per year.

For expats, supplemental deductions apply. The law defines an expatriate as a managerial employee temporarily seconded to Switzerland for a period of up to five years, or a specialist working in Switzerland for less than five years. These supplemental deductions are related to the temporary nature of the assignment, and include relocation costs, housing, school fees and travelling costs. These costs are only deductible if the employer neither pays expenses directly nor reimburses the amounts to the expat. Foreign local hires are not usually considered expats and cannot claim these special deductions. Nicole Bregy PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Tax & Legal Services Private Clients 058 792 40 24

Nicole is Swiss and was an expat in the UK. She is now an expert on individual wealth and taxation solutions at PwC.

« We chose Packimpex as our

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

preferred relocation partner because we share the same sustainability concepts. With Packimpex, we can move people around the world without negatively impacting our carbon footprint. » Tomas Gawlowski Coca-Cola HBC Schweiz AG CEO

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

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PACKIMPEX An international success story with the personal touch BY EMMA BAUMHOFER

Interview with Ernst Joerg Chairman of the Board What was your initial vision for Packimpex 36 years ago? I was originally in the freight forwarding industry, shipping commodities around the world, and I saw an opportunity in shipping household goods. Instead of the unemotional world of shipping managers and commodities, you’re dealing with the sentimental values of the private individual. I realised that in moving someone’s belongings, we weren’t really moving household goods but moving people. I had one driving wish and it was to be the best.

How does this compare to the company’s direction today? The company has gone from being a moving company to a relocation company. Our vision was to be THE quality leader in the market. This idea of quality and of being the best is an ongoing objective in the company – and probably part of its success. We’ve ensured that we never take anything for granted. We pride ourselves on listening to the changing needs of the market – and respond by making changes to our organisation, in our product portfolio, and in the delivery of services. Movers traditionally invest in warehouses and trucks; our focus has always been to invest in people. Most of all we’ve learnt to embrace change.

Why are people so drawn to working at Packimpex? Through our activity in the relocation industry we are connected to the world. The diversity of the people and cultures you meet here makes it never boring and our business is very dynamic. The company itself is changing, creating a constant challenge for the employees and keeping them on their toes. We also invest deeply in each of our employees and pride ourselves in offering multiple opportunities for them to grow and develop as individuals. The Academy is one place for skill training. We also try to keep a family feeling at Packimpex, with team building events that bring people together, and an open door policy for previous employees to return to the company.

What challenges do people relocating to Switzerland face? Switzerland is a county made up of some interesting dualities. It is a small country, yet is has 4 national languages and therefore 4 distinct cultures. It is landlocked and mountainous, yet it integrates 25% of foreign workforce. In many ways it is still very traditional, but it is also a country of unparalleled innovation, with the most patents per capita in the world. Therefore, I think newcomers will need to make an effort to get close to the Swiss people. They’re friendly, but they won’t necessarily take the first step. The biggest challenge is understanding that it’s not us integrating you, but you who are doing the integrating. Go and talk to the Swiss people, they will be more than happy to help you!

What’s in store for Packimpex in the future? Packimpex has a great future. We’re always conscious of the different and varying needs of each customer. In today’s fast-moving world, I think the combination of feeling the market and feeling the people is surely a recipe for continued success. It is also essential to keep up with the challenge of communicating in the digital age. Our strategic partnership with Hello Switzerland is one of the solutions we believe is right for where we’re going.


CAR-LEASING MADE EASY WITH AUTOCIEL.CH How does leasing work in Switzerland? You can lease a car for a period of 12 to 60 months. But remember if you breach the lease you’ll pay a penalty varying from contract to contract (usually CHF 3,000-5,000). If you’re unsure whether you’re staying for 2 or 3 years, take out a 2-year lease as you can extend it for another 12 months. If you lease a car as an individual, the only option is financial leasing. Allinclusive leasing (with insurance, road tax, service and repairs, winter- and summer-tyres) is only available for companies. Can you get leasing before the B-permit? makes it possible! All you need is a working contract and we can provide you with a leasing. Send us a copy of your residential permit as soon it’s issued, but we can deliver the car before we receive evidence of your B-permit. In the table are some of the cars available within 3 weeks as nearly new or new. All the examples show the monthly amount payable for a 3-year leasing at 20,000km / year and without any down payment. What are the options at the end of leasing? Either drop the car back when you leave the country, or extend the lease, or buy the car out of the lease if you wish to do so.

Contact us at: for a quote. As we source our cars from all over Europe, we can offer you the best price! Small cars (ideal for commuting) Volkswagen Polo 1.2TSI 105hp, automatic 4-door Mazda 2 1.5i 102hp, automatic 4-door Family cars BMW 3 series Touring 320i 184hp, automatic Audi A6 Avant 2.0 TDI, 177hp, automatic Family cars 7 seats VW Touran 1.4 TSI 140hp, automatic, 7 seats Nissan Qashqai 2.0dCi 4x4 150hp, automatic, 7 seats VW Sharan, 2.0 TDI 140hp, automatic, 7 seats SUVs XC90 D5 4x4, 200hp, automatic, 7 seats Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 4x4, 245hp, automatic, 7 seats Car for 2 or a small family, 4x4 Audi A5 Coupé 4x4, 211hp, automatic Mini Countryman S 184hp 4x4, automatic 4-door

CHF 391 CHF 354 CHF 897 CHF 1042 CHF 667 CHF 688 CHF 875 CHF 1174 CHF 1667 CHF 1217 CHF 790

The additional cost for insurance, road tax, repairs, services and tyres vary, but on average amount to CHF 200-350 per month.

Be it a new or a second-hand car, available in Switzerland or imported, adapts to your criteria to find your dream car and at the best price. Experience real turnkey service! Rte de la Conversion 261- 1093 La Conversion +41 21 796 37 37 -


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SECURITY FOR EMPLOYEES IN SWITZERLAND Switzerland is an attractive place to work. Anyone taking up employment or moving to Switzerland is making an important career move. Thanks to the partnership between Hello Switzerland and Nationale Suisse, expats will find all the doors open to a safe and secure stay in Switzerland – online or with personal advice.

The high demand for specialized employees in Switzerland attracts many people from foreign countries. People who decide to work as expats in Switzerland will of course want to ensure that they and their families are well provided for and enjoy the requisite level of security: during and after the move to Switzerland, for household contents, personal liability and legal protection. Nationale Suisse has worked with expats for a number of years and offers them a tailored range of services. Since summer 2013 expats benefit from the cooperation between Hello Switzerland and, a Nationale Suisse company. As an innovative, leading Swiss online insurer with a high level of customer satisfaction, is a perfect fit for Hello Switzerland.

ADVICE IN ENGLISH The cooperation between Hello Switzerland and Nationale Suisse offers insurance solutions for all needs. People looking for quick online insurance should go to For comprehensive personal advice, on subjects such as retirement planning and taxes, you can take advantage of the expertise and experience of Nationale Suisse's specialists – in English too.

You benefit from customized protection and support in the event of a claim – for a carefree start and a safe, secure stay in Switzerland. Plus, the "Tips for Expats" guide is available free of charge and contains plenty of useful information about living in Switzerland. Contact:

Family Holidays

t p s o t bve alu e b eac h

f o r m o n ey

lo catio ns!


winter 2013/14

ROGER FEDERER'S OUTFITS ALWAYS ATTRACT ATTENTION Roger Federer's drive for perfection has made him one of the greatest tennis players of all time. But this drive doesn't stop at perfecting his forehand or backhand; it extends to every aspect of his life, including his clothes. BY DANIEL HUBER, CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS CREDIT SUISSE

Whether they're red, blue, bright yellow, pink, gleaming white, or black, the constantly changing outfits worn by Roger Federer at the 20 or so tournaments that he plays every year are always a topic of conversation. "Normally I have around 12 different collections every year," he explains, but it's the four Grand Slam tournaments, which are played on different surfaces, that set the tone. "Usually I prefer solid colors for the majors – like deep red, blue, or classic white," he continues. "And I like the shirts to have differently colored details that really stand out." Every now and again he surprises fans at the less high-profile tournaments by wearing extremely vibrant neon colors or, as in the fall of 2010, a knockout pink. Roger thinks back: "As far as the design goes, it was the same outfit that I wore at Wimbledon, just pink instead of white. Initially people laughed, but then many of them thought it was a cool variation on the theme. In any case the shirt quickly became a bestseller in the shops."

"I like it when the Roger Federer talks

shirts include small,

with his wife Mirka


about the latest

details that create an

colors and materials

interesting contrast."

of his outfit © Credit Suisse / Martin Stollenwerk

© Credit Suisse / Martin Stollenwerk

HE LIKES TO TRY OUT THE PROTOT YPES But for Roger Federer as a tennis player, there's a more important factor than color or design, namely how the clothes feel when he's

on court. That's why new materials and patterns are examined at regular meetings with the Nike design team, long before they go into production. At the meeting in Basel last fall, for example, the participants discussed the material and waistband of the new shorts, which will not appear in the shops until 2014 at the earliest. The idea is that the shorts will use a new ultra-light


hi-tech material and, like surfer shorts, won't have any elastic in the waistband. Roger is skeptical and insists on trying out a prototype. After all, he doesn't want to be distracted during a match by the prospect of his shorts slipping down.

THE CLOTHES HAVE TO FEEL GOOD In principle, Nike wants to move in the future toward the idea of a "modern uniform of sports." In other words, they want functional sports clothing to emphasize athleticism and movement. Of course, Roger appreciates the advantages of the new breathable fabrics, but not at any price. "For me, a shirt has to feel comfortable to wear. In that case I don't mind sweating a little more than otherwise. After all, as a tennis player I'm allowed to change my shirt as often as I like during a match." He also prefers to wear natural fabrics when he's off the court. And, unlike the functional polo shirts from the RF collection that he wears when he's playing, the RF T-shirts are made from pure cotton. The colors of the jackets are also a hot topic at the meeting with the design team. After all the dark grays and blues, Roger would like to see something in a high-impact red. He points out that the jackets receive a lot of media attention at tournaments because he often wears them at press conferences. And that should be better exploited.

BL ACK SOCKS WITH A WHITE BORDER The example of the US Open in 2007 shows just how much attention is paid to Roger Federer's outfits during a Grand Slam tournament. It was here that the Swiss tennis star appeared for the first time dressed in black from headband to socks, an extreme contrast to his otherwise typical tennis whites. At some time in the dim and distant past, Roger Federer started wearing two pairs of socks, one over the other. "I don't know why I started doing it," he says today. In one of the first matches the outer pair of black socks didn't quite cover the white socks that were under them, which made it look as if the black socks had a white border. Soon Nike shops were experiencing brisk demand for new black RF socks with a white border, but they didn't actually become available until the 2011 US Open.

INTERVIEW WITH ROGER FEDERER Daniel Huber: Does the International Tennis Federation have any particular rules on what players can wear on court? Roger Federer: Not as far as the type of clothing or the colors are concerned. The only thing that's clearly regulated is the size of the sponsors' logos. And at the Olympics or the Davis Cup the name or flag of the country should appear somewhere. Do you have a favorite color? I prefer solid, classic colors, like a nice red or blue. Every now and then I like to have something more extravagant, like a neon yellow or orange. I wear about 12 different outfits in the course of a year, so I can take more of a risk with my colors on two or three occasions. Otherwise the motto is: classic, simple styles in solid colors with eye-catching details. What about materials? Wherever possible, I prefer natural fabrics for T-shirts and jackets. On court, however, the full range of my sponsor's hi-tech expertise comes into play. Here it's important that the shirts be as light as possible and stay dry, but not at any price. I've also got to feel comfortable wearing them. And after all, I'm allowed to change my shirt as often as I like during a match. Is the shirt that I can buy in the shops exactly the same as the one you wear on court? Absolutely, it's exactly the same. "These days I am as comfortable in

Apparently you wear two pairs of socks when you're playing. How did that come about? To be honest, I don't really know any more why I started doing that 10 years ago. Of course, two pairs of socks are softer on the feet. So, if I'm playing a close match and it goes to four or five sets, I have the feeling that the impact of my feet on the surface is cushioned to some extent. In any case, it's just become part of my routine. a suit and tie as I

am in a track suit."

Š Credit Suisse / Paul Zimmer


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But would it upset you somehow mentally if you were only able to wear one pair of socks for an important match? Not at all. From time to time I train with just one pair of socks on. It's fair to say that the strain on the feet is pretty severe when you play tennis, so you have to take enormous care in choosing and looking after your socks and tennis shoes. Presumably in your everyday life you normally wear sports clothing from your sponsor. How important are your other clothes to you? I really enjoy shopping for clothes. I'm interested in what's fashionable at any given time. At the start of my career I was still pretty clueless about that kind of thing. But at some point I thought I just can't keep wearing the same suit to gala events, and that I should get used to wearing formal clothes as a matter of course. So for a while I wore elegant clothes all the time when we went out for dinner. And after a while I found that I really enjoyed buying and wearing beautiful clothing. Nowadays I'm as happy in a formal suit as a tracksuit.

Do you have a tennis outfit that you're particularly fond of? There’s a whole string of them. I'll never forget the first black outfit that I wore at the US Open in 2007 when we relaunched the RF collection. We wanted something really special for this event, and it was the first time that I appeared on a tennis court dressed in black from head to toe. I also really liked the special jackets and cardigans for Wimbledon. Do you keep the outfits that you were wearing when you had major successes? Of course. I have a huge collection, but it's not really about me and my nostalgic feelings. It's more about the fact that I may be able to auction them sometime for a good cause .

"I'll never forget the first black outfit that I wore at the US Open in 2007 when we launched the RF collection."

© Credit Suisse / Paul Zimmer

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.


GENEVA, CITY OF CONTRASTS Population change in Geneva is so constant that this town-size city sometimes resembles a giant transit camp. But there’s a history here too. Geneva has always punched above its weight in international affairs and to see how they do it, get yourself on a tour of the Palais de Nations, the UN HQ. Across the road is the museum of the International Committee of the Red Cross, offering an unparalleled narrative about the history of human rights.

CHOCOL ATE CAULDRONS From November onwards, the shops become packed with cauldron-shaped chocolates (or marmites) some of which are the size of a child. That’s because in December, the Old Town hosts the Fête d’Escalade, commemorating the Genevan victory over the French Savoie in 1602. Legend has it that a feisty old dear called Mère Royaume saw off the French by pouring hot soup over them from an upstairs window. Hence the cauldron. Check out the utterly convincing historical costumes. And the horse muck.

OLD TOWN CIVILIT Y With its cathedral, cobbled streets and high walls, the Old Town perfectly captures the mood of the mediaeval and the Reformation. Just don’t have too good a time, or the giant statues of the Protestant elders in neighbouring Parc des Bastions might just splutter back to life in outraged fury. And just in case you have any romantic notions about life back then, check out the Tavel House Museum, which brilliantly illuminates the history of Geneva through the life of one family. Watch out for the guillotines.


e r C oc k


BigGe lub/My




u rd a n


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COOL GENEVA “For a really cool guide to modern Geneva (and to annoy those Protestant elders even more), check out My Big Geneva. There are lots of tips on here on the city’s night life, restaurants, shops and secret places to go – written by those in the know.”

© Plou




WATCH OUT If you’ve ever wondered how rich people used to spend their money before the invention of fast cars, yachts and private jets, then head to the Patek Philippe museum in Plainpalais. It offers a comprehensive, bizarre and at times frankly preposterous display of watches produced over several centuries. Just don’t expect to be able to buy one. Text by Robert Bartram Background: photo by swiss-image / Christof Sonderegger


ST-CERGUE Head off to the sun for skiing, snowshoeing and sledging! HUG A HUSKY DOG


In the depths of winter – when low cloud can sometimes hang over the lakeside town of Nyon and surrounding villages – locals can be found heading off up to the village of St-Cergue in search of some sunshine and to marvel at the view from above. This village, situated at a height of over 1000m in the Jura mountains, not only offers far-reaching views over to the Alps and Mont Blanc, but it’s also part of the St- Cergue / La Dôle / La Givrine winter sports area.

The area offers a wide range of winter activities for the visitor: downhill skiing (including at night!), cross-country skiing, snowshoe walking and more. There’s even the opportunity to take a husky dog sled ride, or to watch the dog sled races held during the winter season. There are plenty of footpaths and trails in the deep snow for snowshoeing and Nordic skiing. All winter equipment can be rented from various outlets in the area – see under “Gear Rental” on the St-Cergue website. The downhill skiing at St-Cergue and La Givrine provides ideal runs for beginners and young children, and La Dôle has slopes for the intermediate and more experienced skier. After a day hitting the slopes, a warming fondue or rösti is always welcome. There’s a selection of restaurants in the village of St-Cergue, and for those snowshoeing or Nordic skiing there are buvettes in the forests to complete the winter experience. Especially popular on full moon nights are hikes from La Givrine to the buvette for a fondue. This is a popular place, so do book ahead. Check out some of these special winter packages offered by St-Cergue Tourist Board:

THE “FONDUE NIGHT SKI” PACKAGE CHF 99 for one person, CHF 169 for two Includes three hours of night skiing, fondue, plus B&B at the Hotel Post.

THE “DISCOVER HUSKY DOGS” PACKAGE CHF 160 for one person, CHF 299 for two Includes an overnight stay in a B&B/ guesthouse. Get to know all about huskies, go on a sleigh ride, go snowshoeing (pulled by dogs!) or learn how to hitch them up to ride.

GET TING TO ST-CERGUE There are parking spots in St-Cergue and at La Givrine. However, these can be very busy at the weekend. If you want the train to take the strain, the village of St-Cergue is on the route of the NStCM train (nicknamed “the little red train”). This line leaves from Nyon railway station, and winds its way up past some pretty villages and through lovely scenery, passing by St-Cergue and La Givrine, finishing up over in La Cure in France. ©Teamnature


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Take flight at the International Hot Air Balloon Festival BY RASHIDA RAHIM

Winter in Switzerland is not a place of hibernation, but a hive of activity. From skiing to snowshoeing, tobogganing to ice-skating on frozen lakes, high altitude music festivals (like Crans Montana’s Caprices) … the options are endless. However, if there’s one event not to be missed for families, amateur photographers, mountain lovers and adventurers – it’s the Parmigiani Fleurier International Hot Air Balloon Festival at Château d’Oex. It all began back in the1970s when Hans Bücker and Charles-André Ramseier, a former director of the Château d’Oex tourist office, offered visitors winter balloon flights to take in the grandeur of the snow-covered peaks of the Pays d'Enhaut. From there the attraction grew into an event – the first international meeting being held in 1979. Nowadays over 20 pilots participate – brightening the skies with their colourful and shapely balloons— and compete in a variety of competitions. Some of these are skill-based, focusing around targets. In the Don Quichotte Race, each team has a spear attached to the basket. The aim is to fly as close as possible to several helium-filled balloons, in order to burst them. Others are about distance. The David Niven Cup was named after the famous British actor, who starred as Phileas Fogg in the original 1956 film Around the World in 80 Days, and who helped inaugurate the festival in its first year. Here the winners are the team that “achieves the longest distance after having flown a maximum of 4 hours without any intermediate landings”.

Asked why they return to the festival every year, Loïc from Ballon du Leman in Rolle (a long-time participant of the event) replies: “It’s a unique venue, and one of the few international events taking place in winter in the mountains. It’s technically challenging, as you have to understand the thermals linked to the ranges.” It’s also an opportunity for him and his fellow aerostiers to meet others from around the world who share the same passion. And it’s not just a spectator sport either. If you have children, a whole afternoon is dedicated to the discovery of the wondrous world of ballooning, with shows and activities. They can even take a tethered flight to whet their appetites for the sport. Meanwhile the grown-up adrenaline-seekers can sign up for an actual balloon or helicopter flight. But if your taste is to watch hypnotic contraptions rise up and defy gravity – like graceful aeronautic elephants of the sky – there’s a compelling air show. This includes aerobatic flying, airships, paragliders, air chariots and wing-suits. Or you can watch the spectacular Night-Glow Show. This magical presentation (weather permitting) has hundreds of performers, dozens of balloon crews, skiers, skydivers, pyrotechnic experts and sound engineers. They all come together to offer a breathtaking musical show, surrounded by the omnipresent mountains at dusk. Date for your diary: 25 January -2 February 2014


WOOED BY FOOD Lausanne’s Swiss restaurants cater for visitors and residents alike

LE CHALET SUISSE The essence of Swissness condensed into a restaurant that will impress friends or business partners from abroad. Located in the forest of Sauvabelin, a short metro stop from the city centre and situated nextdoor to the prestigious Hermitage Foundation Museum. Route du Signal 40 1018 Lausanne 021 312 23 12

POSH NOSH L A BAVARIA A brasserie offering good decent food that will leave you pleasantly satisfied. It claims to be the oldest bar in the city, has an amazing selection of beers to choose from and its own beer cocktail with syrup. Always packed. Book ahead. Rue Petit-Chêne 10 1003 Lausanne

Le Pur attracts the cool crowd to their terrace – for a drink or a Mediterranean-inspired meal. Known for their reasonably priced ‘eat-as-much-as-you-like’ Sunday brunches, it’s worth checking out. Rue du Port-Franc 17 1003 Lausanne 021 311 99 33


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A hipster wine bar/restaurant serving up beautifully presented dishes, with a dedicated section on the menu for vegetarians. Reservations recommended.

A busy, old-fashioned brasserie in St-Francois. Specialities include croute – essentially an alcoholic cheese on toast with an assortment of accompaniments, varieties of rösti, and sausisson vaudois, a typical dish from the area. Busy during lunches – best book in advance.

For the ultimate decadent gourmand, this 3 Michelin star restaurant is an experience of the senses.

Place de l'Europe 9 1003 Lausanne 021 320 13 13

Place Saint-François 2 1003 Lausanne 021 312 63 75

Set on the terrace of the exclusive Beau-Rivage Palace hotel with a direct view to the lake, the taster menu will delight your taste buds and keep you gasping in awe plate after plate. Booking ahead is a must. Beau-Rivage Palace Place du Port 17-19 1000 Lausanne 6 021 613 33 39

Text by Rashida Rahim Background: photo by swiss-image / Stephan Engler



PUT TING GRAND IDEAS INTO REALIT Y Lezerheide and Arosa – familiar for their family-friendly pistes and charm – have been working quietly over the summer to build the Hörnli-Urdenfürggli tramway. This is a 1694m connecting route up and over the top of majestic Alpine peaks of the Graubünden.


Residents and visitors alike have an unprecedented opportunity to ski between the two resorts this winter. GirlfriendGuide not only has the scoop on what to expect from the new lifts, but we also have your guide to the best accommodation, dining and après-ski …a ll while wearing this season’s fashion trends.

THE BIG NEWS The idea to connect these two ski destinations was initiated over 40 years ago. After many years of planning, voting, restructuring and approvals from both communities, they broke ground on 15 April this year. The complex 20-million-franc project now boasts access to 225 km of ski pistes, making it the largest ski destination in the Graubünden region, and one of the 10 largest in all of Switzerland. The range of ski offerings to choose from is astonishing: Lenzerheide boasts 155km of pistes: 19 black, 62 red and 74 blue with a total of 28 lifts: 2 cablecars, 13 chairlifts and 13 ski lifts. While Arosa has 70km of pistes: 5 black, 10 red and 11 blue with a total of 14 lifts: 5 cablecars, 5 chairlifts and 4 ski lifts. Day passes are reasonably priced at CHF 69 (adults) for one-day, and CHF 332 for the 6-day pass.

STAY: In Lenzerheide, we love the Hotel Schweizerhof for their understated elegance and familiar environment that caters well to both families and couples in their stylish Alpine-chic, romantic nostalgic or simple budget rooms. The Priva Alpine Lodge is also opening this year. In Arosa, the Tschuggen Grand Hotel built by Swiss star architect Mario Botta offers an exceptional lodging and wellness experience, and is featured in the Leading Hotels of the World. For a more budget friendly option, the Hotel Altein is a lovely family friendly hotel.



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EAT: When in Naples we eat pizza and when in the Graubünden, we enjoy typical Grison specialties such as Capuns, Gertensuppe, Maluns or Pizockel. In Lenzerheide, the Capuns served in Allegra (Hotel Schweizerhof) are a must. If indeed the regional specialties were so delicious you decided to have them three days in a row, we recommend the Tapas lounge at the Hotel Kurhaus for their beautiful wine list and Spanish delights. In Arosa, enjoy the Seehof for simple, honest food in a casual atmosphere, or try the Pizzeria Grottino on Poststrasse for a family friendly meal after you’ve had your fill of tasty regional cuisine.

APRÈS-SKI & NIGHTLIFE: In Lenzerheide, order yourself a famous Wanner-Kafi at the Wanner Bar, or check out the scene at the Goldgräberbar at the Mittelstation Scharmoin, due to be newly renovated for the 2013/14 season. Also, the Obertor in Parpan, and of course the Iglu Bar. For a late-night scene, the Cinema Music Club at the Hotel Kurhaus has great beats and a lively dance floor. In Arosa, the best après-ski scene is at the Tschuggen Hütte’s Kuhbar, where one must order the Tschuggen-Kafi, complete with caramel schnapps and cream, then make your way right next door to the Raclette Stübli for a filling meal before heading back to the hotel. For nightlife in Arosa, the Kitchen Club at Hotel Eden is a staple, and the newer Nuts Club has a great line-up of DJs and dancing until the wee small hours of the morning.

POST SLOPE REVIVAL: The wellness centers in Switzerland are of exceptional quality and those found in the Graubünden are no exception. In Lenzerheide, enjoy immersing yourself into the relaxation zones found at the Hallenbad H2Lai or the Hammam (Hotel Schweizerhof) – the largest Hammam in the country. In Arosa, enjoy the luxurious wellness offerings of the Tschuggen Grand Hotel, or the skin-hydrating benefits of the saltwater spa at the Hotel Altein, complete with muscle-relaxing underwater massage jets and cascading waterfalls.

SNOW BUNNY FASHION It would be amiss if we didn’t share with you this seasons hottest fashion trends for the slopes. All our favorite snow-savvy designers have similar trend stories:

©Dolores Rupa

For the ladies, look for jewel tones. Beautiful emerald green and amethyst purple are prevalent colors that complement all skintones. These are available from affordable brands such as North Face and Mammut, to the designer offerings of Bogner and Moncler. For the guys, camouflage is hot-hot-hot this season. We suggest adding a splash of camo trend with gloves or woolen cap. Even luxury designers such as Moncler are offering partial and full camo-print winter jackets. Wishing you a fabulous winter season and many picture-perfect memories!

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SNOWSHOE WALKING IN THE JURA When I was persuaded to buy snowshoes by a couple of crazy mountain-climbing friends, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. BY ANITRA GREEN

“It’s just like walking,” they said encouragingly. Well, not quite: there’s a technique, which involves keeping your feet well apart and waddling like a duck so you don’t tread on your own shoes and trip yourself up. Today’s hi-tech snowshoes consist of a plastic and metal skeleton, with two fearsome-looking serrated blades underneath and a nifty system of straps to hold them on. My first outing was in the Jura. We parked at Gänsbrunnen and walked up the Hasenmatt, a climb of 800m. Patches of sun soon appeared in the mist, and I stopped a couple of times just to admire the sight of bare branches covered with snow, like intricate pieces of lace soaring into a brilliant blue sky. I learned how to walk like a duck, using my poles, and cursing my new gloves, which proved to be inadequate – I’ll get mittens next time. But I was pleased I’d had the forethought to invest in water-resistant trousers and thermal underwear. Everyone falls over in the snow from time to time, and you don’t want to get wet when the temperature’s below zero. I learned to appreciate the advantages of snowshoes: given enough snow, you can make as many shortcuts as you like, as long as you don’t get lost. At the top the wind felt as if it had come directly from Siberia. But there was the most beautiful view of the Alps from Mont Blanc to Säntis, and a clear view along the main ridge of the Jura (Weissenstein to one side and the Chasseral to the other). It was too cold to hang around, so we moved quickly down to the comparative shelter of the forest for a snack. Going down was an adventure in itself: learning how to stride down through virgin snow, sliding as you go – tremendous fun. But I have to admit, I was glad to get my snowshoes off at the bottom, after a trek of 4 ¼ hours. Altogether I was well pleased with my first excursion on snowshoes. Yes, it’s more strenuous than hiking, and it’s good if you have strong legs, because there isn’t much chance of sitting down to take a rest. But it’s a lot less strenuous than trying to walk through the snow in ordinary boots – you’d never get up the mountain at all without snowshoes. And it’s well worth the effort, just for the experience of a magical winter wonderland, away from the greyness of ordinary life.


NIEDERDORF GIFT GUIDE Find great local gifts in the boutiques of Zurich’s hipster neighbourhood Niederdorf Cabaret Voltaire, Spiegelgasse 1: Probably the most famous non-church in the Niederdorf, the Cabaret Voltaire is currently hosting an exhibition looking back on the Dada movement that was founded there in 1916. Pick up a set of coasters or a piece of jewelry for your friends in less avant-garde cities.

Sternföifi at Brunngasse 2 has three levels of tops for newborns to adults, with their writing in Swiss-German. (Tip: your teenage nephews will think it’s rude, even if it isn’t.) The staff are pretty good about explaining the meanings in English, even if they can’t quite be explained. Galerie Helvetia at Münstergasse 10 has a wonderful collection of antique prints of the Zurich area as well as works by modern artists from and/or living in Zurich.


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Rossis atTorgasse 1: Local designer Fransesco Rossi’s handbags are a lot like Zurich itself: beautiful but amazingly well organised, with compartments and zippers so your girlfriend will always have her passport safe and her mobile phone accessible.


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Mauerblümchen at Froschaugasse 8 has lovely Murano glass lamps and other household accessories, but for a really special gift, check out the pop-art collages of Zurich and other Swiss and international cities by local artist Marion Duschletta. ©ww


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If none of these suit you, there’s always Schweizer Heimatwerk just across the river in Uraniastrasse. There’s no excuse for not finding something there among the Swiss clothing, accessories, toys and home décor items.


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Background: photo by swiss-image / Christof Schuerpf


RESTAURANT BUERGLI Discovering a quiet treasure BY LESLIE BANNON

Nestled in a beautiful old Wollishofen home with stunning views over Lake Zurich, the Buergli unquestionably redefines the Swiss dining experience. From a kitchen openly expressing its creativity through a rounded menu of traditional Swiss fare, a fresh culinary inventiveness worthy of any fine European restaurant quite confidently springs forth. The site of a restaurant for over 100 years, the Buergli was reborn in 2002 and is now the muse of Regula Gloor Belide and Catherine Joss. With elegant details and bold splashes of color and texture, the restaurant truly does create an atmosphere as special as its menu. The result – a Buergli that surprises with touches such as quirkily hand-drawn menus, planned live music, and a rotating gallery of local art. Light and versatile, the restaurant is both romantic enough for an intimate meal, comfortable for a family gathering or a friends' night out, and most importantly, pulls out far more than enough magic for a celebratory occasion. Committed to responsible sourcing, the restaurant always boasts vegetarian offerings alongside a fresh fish menu. Indeed, the

Buergli's menu goes from strength to strength, with our experience leaving us at a loss for anything much to criticize. The meal began with an amuse-bouche from the kitchen, followed by a fresh and wonderful tender salad with excellent house dressing. Next, an exceptionally delicious traditional Nuesslisalat: the chef's hand was apparent in the dressing, the treatment of the eggs, and the overall elegance of the presentation. Entrées were well-portioned if perhaps a bit generous, and beautifully presented. We sampled the house specialty, Entrecôte Café de Paris with frites, and a side of vegetables – perfection in every sense. We also enjoyed a tender and delicate halibut entrée, perfectly cooked and complemented with a selection of fresh baby vegetables. We found it difficult to choose only two desserts from the day's menu, but initially opted for the tradition of Broennti crème reinterpreted through passionfruit. Our second selection was perhaps the high point of the meal: “heavenly” walnut ice cream parfait garnished with a marinated orange-date salad and tropical fruit. The ambitious bar is active all evening, serving anything from prosecco to creative cocktails on either side of the meal, as well as providing an excellent selection of wine throughout. The servers are knowledgeable and ready to recommend the right accompaniment to any meal. One of the unique strengths of the Buergli is that its atmosphere changes with the seasons: the winter months boast sparkling white lights and an emphasis on coziness; in the summertime, the dining experience spills out onto the terrace, where a huge grill becomes the canvas for the chef's warm-weather creativity. Sundays are busy at the Buergli, with brunch offered from 10am and accompanied by live music (call ahead for dates). Impressed in every sense, we look forward to returning to the Buergli for a summer grill experience under the stars. Restaurant Buergli Kilchbergstrasse 15 8035 Zurich 044 482 8100

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54 ZUG


While completing an advanced degree program in Spa Management in 2011, Gillian Buholzer had a “light bulb moment”. She realized a dramatic career change was in order and it was time to seriously pursue her true, lifelong passion – baking. What Gillian creates however, are far more than cakes, they are whimsical, artistic masterpieces. Fun Facts: • Each of Gillian’s cakes is bespoke, tailored to the vision of her client and their event. • A 4 tier cake can take between 22 and 25 hours to complete. • Gillian graduated with honours from the prestigious French Pastry School of Chicago. • An expat herself, Gillian’s clients include local Swiss, as well as expats from the surrounding area. • This year Gillian will attend a course at the Squires School in England with Eddie Spencer MBE, cake baker by appointment to HM the Queen. Gillian looks forward to opening a new, dedicated kitchen and workspace in Zug in November. For your bespoke cakes or cupcakes in the areas of Zug, Zürich and Lucerne, contact: Gillian Buholzer-Naylor Zugerstrasse 16 6312 Steinhausen +41 79 222 64 92

Text by Emma Baumhofer Photos courtesy of Gillian's Cakes


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HIDDEN LUCERNE If you find Lucerne’s shopping crowds beginning to overwhelm and Old Town’s painted buildings ceasing to impress, pop down a laneway and take a breath. Hidden in plain sight, some of the best bars, cafes and attractions in Lucerne are located just off of the main thoroughfares.

DON’T WALK PAST MAGDALENA’S Magdalena’s is a small, colourful bar, tucked down a laneway of Lucerne’s Old Town. If it’s nice out, snag one of the few outdoor tables and belly up with a cold one to observe Lucerne’s international throng of Christmas shoppers. Don’t be intimidated by the row of regulars, sure to be planted at the bar, nor the serious (but friendly) bartender – this is a warm and welcoming place. If you’re in need of more sustenance than beer, try their signature paella before venturing back out onto the streets. Tip: Show up on Monday evenings for dinner and Spanish film screenings.

LUCERNE MEETS BEIJING AT THE GALERIE URS MEILE The Galerie Urs Meile is a small but impactful space. The gallery’s sister organization, a larger, Ai Weiwei designed artist complex, is located in Beijing, but the Swiss location also exhibits the work of featured artists from China, Europe and America. Staff at the gallery are friendly and informative, and open to conversation on art and culture. Next exhibition: Cheng Ran 22 November - 18 January Opening: Friday 22 November, 18:00-20 :00 Galerie Urs Meile Lucerne Rosenberghöhe 4 6004 Lucerne Text and photos by Emma Baumhofer



The story behind the Lucerne World Theater Company


When I moved to Lucerne in 2011, I realised that there was little being offered in terms of international theatre locally. I founded the Lucerne World Theater Company in order to fill that void. The launch was met with enthusiasm, and the group now counts around 30 committed members from 12 different nationalities. The theatre group has weekly meetings, where amateurs and professional actors alike improve their acting skills in a safe and friendly environment. Anyone walking by the International Church of Lucerne on a Tuesday evening finds it hard to not stop and stare through the windows at the actors, busy fencing against imaginary enemies or improvising a bus stop drama. Later in the evening things quieten down as a play-reading or a rehearsal takes place. In the space of two years the theatre group has already put on five shows. The first, in December 2011, was an evening of seasonal readings. The second was The Human Circus. First performed by the company at a theatre festival in Antwerp and then in Horw, this show depicts the evolution of love through a series of one-act plays. This was followed by another evening of readings, this time exploring the theme of love and loss as seen by different cultures. The theatre company’s biggest success to date was Bollywood Brides in March 2013. Bollywood Brides is a mixture of classical and improvisational theatre. In it, the audience is invited to take part in an Indian wedding complete with an Indian buffet. With the story taking place all around them, the audience feel completely

involved. By the end of the show the entire audience are usually on their feet, dancing the night away to Bollywood songs. The show was such a success that extra dates were added, each one selling out in record time. In September, the theatre collaborated with the town and performed The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson as part of Lucerne’s Forestry Day (Waldfesttag). The play took place in the forest with the audience encountering the different creatures, including the Gruffalo, whilst walking through the woods. This free event was a success with both the locals and the expat crowd. This show also included the children’s section of the company. Aged between five and ten, they meet on Thursday afternoons and have lots of fun exploring their natural sense of imagination and creativity. The theatre has also launched play-reading evenings open to the audience, which take place every two months in cafés, shops or museums around town. There is an evening of full-on comedy planned for the end of this year, with a series of one-act plays celebrating humour. The group is open to anyone with a love of the theatre. The best way to get involved is to come along on a Tuesday evening and join in!


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FOLLOWING SHERLOCK What links a famous detective and meringues? BY MARINA MOELLER

The answer is a small town in the Bernese Alps, just two hours by train from Zurich. But you don’t have to be a Sherlock fan or have a sweet tooth to enjoy Meiringen. The beautiful town offers something for everyone, whether you come for a day or a week. Here are a few examples: Aare gorge: This must-see wonder of nature is a short walk from the train station. The consistent limestone blocks had remained compact and unbroken during formation of the Alps 15 million years back. Then 15,000 years ago melting water from multiple glaciers carved several gorges, the best preserved of which is Aare. The mind-blowing stroll along the 1400m-long, 50m-high gorge takes about an hour. Your visit feels almost surreal, as you step into a mystic fairytale of bygone cliffs, rocky arcades and burbling streams. The gorge has been open to the public for 125 years, thanks to wooden walkways and narrow tunnels meticulously built by the visionaries of the time. The Reichenbach Falls: the historic funicular climbs 250m up spectacular waterfalls, with a viewing platform and a cut-out figure of Sherlock Holmes you can step into for a photo. The waterfalls mark the end of Sherlock Holmes, but the beginning of multiple scenic hiking trails with stunning airborne views of Meiringen and nearby area. Contact Meiringen tourist information office at the town train station for maps and suggested itineraries. Hiking and skiing: With its 13 lifts and cable cars open year-round, Meiringen is a practical destination for families and intermediate skiers in winter and hiking enthusiasts all year long. The Alpine tower station at 2250m offers a 360° viewing platform, and a restaurant with a breathtaking panorama. It’s also a tandem paragliding flights base for the adrenaline-seekers among you. Sign up at

Meringues – baking and tasting: You can take a tour of the meringue bakery and watch the world famous meringues being made. Children can create and bake these specialties all by themselves. Tours for adults and meringue-baking for children is offered every Wednesday. The freshly-made meringues can be picked up the following afternoon in the Frutiger tearoom at Banhofstr 18. This tearoom and bakery is also a great place to stop by for a cup of coffee, freshly made snacks and a variety of meringues. There are so many places and things to explore and enjoy in Meiringen. After a magical week in the area I can’t wait to go back for more nature adventures, conquered peaks, waterfall splashes, melting meringues, and friendly locals.



City of oriels BY KATE ORSON

Schaffhausen, the capital of Canton Schaffhausen, is a few miles upstream from the Rhine Falls. The city came into being because ships travelling from Lake Constance to Basel could not pass over the falls and needed a place to stop to unload their goods. Travellers required more hotels and restaurants, and so Schaffhausen expanded as a wonderfully hospitable place. I receive a warm, friendly welcome and realise the hospitality exists to this day. My guide is Hans Peter Rohr, who has now retired from his 17year stint of showing visitors around his city, but is making an exception for me today. After 80 years of living here, Mr Rohr has a special relationship with the history of the city and collects old postcards of Schaffhausen. His collection has been published in a book, Schaffhausen im Bild Alter Karten. As we take a leisurely stroll along the cobblestone streets, almost everyone he passes says hello. This is officially a Stadt (city), but it is tiny really. All the locals know each other, and wherever you find yourself, it is only a five-minute walk back to the train station.


Mr Rohr and I walk towards Hotel Kronenhof, along streets full of bay windows. He is a vital spark in this community; his oral history of the place is delivered with such passion. He tells me that before the arrival of television, the street used to be the only form of entertainment. Side windows allowed the locals to look up and down the street without being seen. Added to that, was a desire to compete with neighbours over the beautiful oriels on the windows. The result is a city known as the Elkstadt, the city of oriels, with a total of 171 masterpieces. Along the window frames are stone carved pillars decorated in red and gold. House names are etched in ornate fonts, and complementing them there are symbols for each house’s name, such as two angels curved towards each other to make a heart shape, and a majestic golden ox. Until recently, houses did not have numbers in Schaffhausen, only names. In a town where everyone knows each other, a quantitative method of mapping out the houses was not necessary. Instead houses were differentiated by colour and symbol, such as rote Rose (red rose), and weisse Rose (white rose). The city grew and society changed so the town finally conceded to having numbers in 1987.



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We pass by Haus zum Ritter (House of the Knights). It has an elaborate fresco painted on the wall that dates from 1570. In the many panels of red and gold there are scenes of battle, a knight on a white horse about to charge, as if to leap out of the fresco, and in the centre, a naked woman, her hands reaching up into the leaves of a tree. Hans has a gift for translating the pictures into stories, of how when Odysseus was in the land of the lotus-eaters, he was tempted by a woman, but managed to resist. Above this scene, a Roman knight sacrifices his life for his country.

town. It was built by the residents under forced labour from 1564 89, though the rich could afford to send peasants in their place. It is now used for more peaceful purposes such as balls, open-air music and film screenings At 9pm man, who lives in the tower on the castle wall just beyond, will ring the bell; it is a bell that once tolled the shutting of the city walls for the night. Waiters, dressed smartly in contemporary suits, glide past me in the lounge, and I have a sense of the past merging with modern society.

Back at the hotel, we drink coffee sitting in a window seat, and gaze out at the Munot fort, which sits on a hill on the edge of the

Editor's note: A previous version of this article was published in Swiss News in 2012

Getting there Schaffhausen and the surrounding area is situated in North East Switzerland, 36 km from Zurich. Trains run to Schaffhausen, and Neuhausen (for the Rhine Falls), and Stein am Rhein, There is also a train station at Schloss Laufen. Schaffhauserland Tourismus Rhine Falls Schaffhausen Stein am Rhein ©swiss-image

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winter 2013/14

PURE NOSTALGIA Just imagine: stepping back to a bygone era when the Orient Express was the last word in luxury travel.

BY ANITRA GREEN Champagne, live piano music, gourmet dinner in beautiful surroundings, impeccable VIP service … and the utmost elegance and style. All this is still possible, courtesy of Prestige Continental Express and the Pullman Club. Prestige Continental Express is no ordinary railway company. Instead of simply taking passengers from A to B, it aims to give them a taste of the Golden Age of railways in the 1920s, when people liked to travel in comfort and style in elegant surroundings, and be thoroughly spoiled by attentive waiters, gourmet food and first class wines. Over the last few years it’s acquired three wagons, now converted to the required standard with loving care and a keen eye for detail. These carriages are real gems: the inlay work adorning the wall panels and the beautiful brocade of the seats were modelled on originals in the Musée de Chemin de Fer (railway museum) in Mulhouse. The Salon Bleu and the Rubis Noir, the two restaurant cars, have 48 seats each in two compartments with tables for two and four. All the food is freshly prepared on board and impeccably served. The third carriage is the Diamant bar, which even has a grand piano tucked in the corner – only a baby grand, true, but I really wondered how on earth they got it on the train.

Up to now these carriages could only be chartered for private parties, but now it has a programme of trips where it’s possible to book single places. The first is a trip to the “Golden City of Prague” just in time for the pre-Christmas season of Advent, with a sightseeing programme and the chance of going to the opera, ballet or a classical music evening: dates are 29 November to 2 December. And next autumn, they’ll be following in the tracks of the legendary Arlberg Orient Express from Basel/Zurich to Istanbul (13-24 September 2014). Prestige is organizing these trips in collaboration with the exclusive Zurich-based Pullman Club, whose motto is “Travelling in Style”. The idea is that the experience of travelling is the important thing, rather than arriving at the destination (though of course that is important too), so they aim to make the entire journey as comfortable, enjoyable and downright luxurious as they can. The Pullman Club organizes not only trains trips but also cruises, with overnight stops at four or five-star hotels and rich cultural programmes covering art, history and politics.




Hello Switzerland AG Mike Tomsett Chief Operating Officer Neugasse 10, 8001 Zurich +41 (0) 58 356 17 60

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Lukas Hayoz Community & Account Manager Neugasse 10, 8001 Zurich +41 (0) 58 356 17 60

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© The articles in Hello Switzerland may not be ­copied or reproduced in any form without the prior permission of Hello Switzerland AG or the author. Hello Switzerland accepts no responsibility for the views of opinions expressed by its writers.

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winter 2013/14


One day, when Janet and I were spending a few days at our little chalet in Kandersteg, we took the Postbus to Visperterminen. The mountain village happens to be in the region where Heida, one of my favourite Swiss white wines, is produced. Heida is billed as the ‘pearl of Alpine wines’, because the locally grown Savagnin blanc grapes stem from one of the highest vineyards in Europe. Even Celtic and Roman vintners over 2,000 years ago appreciated what the region had to offer. We could well believe the vineyards were among the highest, as our Postbus sped dizzyingly past the neat, steep terraces toward Visperterminen. The shops in the village were closed on that Ascension weekend and we couldn’t buy any wine, so we spent almost an hour wandering through its narrow streets, taking in its ancient wooden houses and granaries blackened by the sun. On our way back to the station in Brig, we noticed an underpass with a sign “Naters: 3 Minuten”. On the spur of the moment we turned in that direction. Naters is a town on the other side of the Rhone from Brig, and we recalled that it was home to one of the best-preserved ossuaries (bone houses) in Europe. Situated next to a lovely Baroque church, it was built in 1514 to serve as a repository for bones from older graves. Unfortunately the bone house was closed, but we could still peer inside through a very large iron grille along one side. What we saw was a broad, high wall of neatly stacked skulls staring right back at us. Apparently, the bone house contains about 30,000 of them! Directly in the centre of the wall of skulls were polychrome sculptures depicting holy figures. Above these and the skulls was a wooden crossbeam inscribed with the rather ghoulish words: Was ihr seid, das waren wir – Was wir sind, das werdet ihr (What you are we once were – What we are you will be). The day’s reminder of our impending mortality made us acutely aware of the need to enjoy life while we could. Off we trekked across the bridge for a good meal and a glass or two of Heida in Brig. As we approached its splendid Stockalper Palace, we could hear the hubbub of boisterous voices. Hundreds of young men in and women clad in eveningwear were chatting and drinking inside in the courtyard. A matronly woman confided to us: “They’re celebrating their graduation – and there’s a gala ball tonight.”

Later we enjoyed a delicious but reasonably priced repast with, of course, a bottle of Heida – especially when a gust of wind lifted the short skirt of one of the passing beauties, to the great delight of all the male observers! After our meal, we headed back to Brig station and hopped onto a train to take us back through the Loetschberg tunnel to Kandersteg. In the spectacular setting of the Valais Alps, we had encountered unexpected versions of Life and Death. Let’s raise a glass of Heida to both!




What brought you to Switzerland?

What are you doing to get to know Switzerland and My job. I finished graduate school in London last the Swiss? year and, as luck would have it, new immigration regulations went into effect just a couple months before that suddenly made it very difficult for me to get a job in Britain. So I widened my nets, including applying for the position Social Media Coordinator at Hello Switzerland. And here I am!

Part of what I want to do while I’m here is to discover the new, modern side of the country — the Switzerland beyond the clichés. Right now I’m traveling through the country, experiencing the different regions and gathering ideas for Hello Switzerland. I’m trying to find out of the way places that you won’t see on a guided tour.

How is Switzerland different from places you’ve lived before?

What are some of the challenges you’re facing?

social media coordinator

I’ve lived in major international cities for the past several years — Los Angeles, London, New York City, Melbourne — and I worked for a while in the Silicon Valley. Despite its slower pace of life, that same international feeling is evident here. All around me in cafes, on the trains and at work people are chatting away in German, French and other languages. It seems everyone is multilingual! And when I walk through the cities I see people from all over the world; it’s clear that I’m not the only expat. A noticeable difference is that the urban/rural divide is blurred in a way I’ve never experienced before. For the first time in my life I’m living in the suburbs and I’m surprised at just how close country living is to the city. On my ten-minute drive to work I go through a little village and past cow pastures and even a flock of sheep grazing just around the corner from the Hello Switzerland office.

Aside from the language, which is certainly the biggest challenge, it’s the small things that come with suburban life. Learning to drive a stick shift — especially with all the pedestrians and bicycles on the roads! Figuring out where to take my recycling: back to the store, in the bin down the street, or to be picked up. And adjusting to how early the day starts here — people get up early, go to work early, and the shops close early.

What resources have helped the most? What I found to be the most useful were individual blogs written by other expats or Swiss locals. These have helped me discover some awesome neighborhoods and hidden spots outside of the tourist areas. The blog on Newly Swissed has some great articles, but there are tons out there for different cities. Hello Switzerland is also a really good source of information and its new, expanded format will fill a necessary hole in online resources available for new and established expats. I can’t wait for the app!


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Hello Switzerland Winter 2013/14  
Hello Switzerland Winter 2013/14  

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