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issue 4/2018

THE TOBOGGAN BUILDERS HIDDEN CHRISTMAS MARKETS ber one The num ge and knowled source ion inspirat erland’s z for Swit tional a n r e t in unity m m co


The adventure of a lifetime THIS IS HELLO SWITZERLAND



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Dear readers, One of the first things you discover about Swiss people is how passionate they are about craftsmanship and tradition. Our story on the toboggan builders is a lovely example. Rejoice as fondue season is here! Our tip: find a great spot in nature to enjoy it, there’s nothing quite like having a steaming hot smelly fondue on an icy cold afternoon. Bon ap’! Irina Ghita, Editor



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Cover image: The toboggan craftsmen at work © Switzerland Tourism/ Lorenz Richard

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Provided by: Switzerland Tourism Photo credits: © Switzerland Tourism/Lorenz Richard

A story of passionate craftsmanship and great winter fun Tobogganing is a serious thing in Switzerland, and it can sometimes be more extreme than skiing. With long paths, hair pin bends and high altitude descents tobogganing is definitely not for the faint hearted. Especially during the night. But it is so much fun! The action takes place in Col de la Croix, which connects Les Diablerets with Villars. Four- and twowheelers are left in the garage in November, where they have to remain for the duration of the winter. This is when the tobogganers take over, which has been the case for years. The Morerods’ farm has been on this mountain pass road for generations. The Morerods earn their living doing carpentry and joinery work on chalets. However, the 10 to 15 exquisite toboggans that they build each year are the icing on the cake. “Our toboggans last a lifetime,” adds Joël enthusiastically. The low centre of gravity and flexible runners enable the toboggan to navigate extremely narrow bends. You have to look under the toboggan to see its actual highlight. Unlike traditional toboggans, the runners are not only made of metal but feature an additional ski coating. This ensures a top-speed tobogganing experience. The faster the runners, the more agile the toboggan. You ride these handmade rockets like you would a go-cart. 4


are the “ These Rolls-Royces of toboggans

says father Bruno Morerod proudly, while his son Joël tenderly touches their latest creation made of ash – a fast toboggan of the brand Morerod.

‘The employees of the Morerod company are excited as they gather for their regular round of night-time tobogganing. It goes without saying that they all have their own toboggans. The run from Les Mazots down to Les Diablerets involves quite a bit of technique, and it’s recommended that tobogganers take a look at the 180-degree bends in advance in daylight. This doesn’t apply to the Morerods, of course, who know the entire seven-kilometre run like the back of their hand. Anyone who has ever been on one of their toboggans very soon realises why they thunder down the run again and again – it’s incredibly exhilarating.

How would you like to go on a tobogganing adventure?

5 night-time tobogganing adventures Feel like trying out other fast downhill tobogganing runs? Here are our suggestions: 1



Les Diablerets, Lake Geneva: follow the footsteps of the toboggan makers as they test their creations each winter.

Saas-Grund, Valais: a tremendous tobogganing adventure with a head torch.

Preda–Bergün, Graubünden: the longest night-lit tobogganing run in Europe.



Nods/Chasseral, Jura & Three-Lakes: in top gear along a romantic forest trail.

Engelberg, Lucerne-Lake Lucerne Region: torchlight descent and fondue enjoyment.

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1 2

Find more exciting rides suggestions on Use this website in English to plan your perfect winter outing: For more travel info and tips throughout Switzerland, please get in touch with or phone 0800 100 200 TRAVEL INSPIRATION



Here are some important tips on fondue etiquette that will make you a connoisseur in no time. One of the reasons we look forward for winter is so we can enjoy a steaming hot pot of stinky fondue in the crisp fresh air. There’s nothing quite like having fondue outdoors and there’s no shortage of places where you can do this in Switzerland. Grab a fork and start stirring! The cheese Most Swiss fondues are made with Gruyère and another cheese such as Emmental and/or creamy Vacherin fribourgeois. Fondue moitié-moitié (half-and-half) is a popular version containing half Gruyère, half Vacherin fribourgeois. Fondue fribourgeoise, made with only Vacherin fribourgeois and with water instead of the traditional white wine, is particularly delicate in flavor and creamy in texture.

The beverages The Swiss tend to have non-negotiable opinions about what you should drink with fondue. A dry, acidic white wine is the standard accompaniment, most often one made from the chasselas grape. The traditional belief is that alcohol (wine or kirsch) is a must.

Utensils, etiquette and technique The long fondue fork is, traditionally, only for dipping pieces of bread in the fondue. In theory you should place the dipped bread on your plate and proceed to eat it with a regular knife and fork; in practice, however, almost no one does this. But fondue etiquette does require that you avoid partaking of fondue if you’re ill, never double-dip your bread, and avoid dipping while someone else’s fork is still immersed.

The bread (and how not to lose it) The bread, often mi-blanc (a white, oval bread with a relatively thin yet sturdy crust) is supposed to be day-old to enhance its sturdiness, but this isn’t absolutely necessary. It is most often served cut into thick slices rather than cubes. If a piece of bread should escape from your fork, traditionally there can be penalties for this, for example paying for the wine, kissing the person next to you, or completing a dare.

Le coup du milieu Also known as “shot (or hit) at the halfway point”, le coup du milieu is a small glass of spirits, usually kirsch, that is drunk about halfway through the meal.

La religieuse At the end of the meal, if you’ve been stirring away as you eat and the fondue has been kept at a very low bubble, you should find a crusty, golden, unburnt layer of cheese forming at the bottom of the pot, known as la religieuse (the nun). When all of the cheese has solidified into this cracker-like crust, extinguish the flame of the burner, use a knife to pry off the crust, lift it out and share it with your dining companions.

If you want to find out more tips on fondue etiquette, read the full article here:



Switzerland loves Christmas markets! They pop out all over the country starting with the beginning of December. You might already know the larger Christmas markets in all major cities in Switzerland. But the smaller off-the-beaten path markets are often more charming and you can use them as an excuse to do some sightseeing. Ask the locals for some recommendations, you are sure to find an enchanting Christmas market in your region. If not, here are our top picks so far. 27 November – 23 December

Rheingasse, Basel

Definitely not your traditional Christmas market, and definitely worth a visit. Their manifesto is ‘more than kitsch and trade’. Here is more of the organizers’ promise: ‘we do not imitate traditions but create our own. The best example is our Sorell hotel fondue party: on this evening we serve you cheese at long tables in the middle of the street. You only have to bring your Caquelon and a fork, everything else is taken care of’. You had us at ‘no kitsch’, the fondue just makes things perfect.

Photo credits: © Switzerland Tourism/ Christof Sondereggerl

Hidden Christmas markets

Christmas market in front of the Benedictine monastery in Einsiedeln, Schwyz

1 – 9 December

8 – 23 December

Einsiedeln is known as the charming “Monastery Town” of Switzerland. Just in front of the imposing Benedictine monastery, this festive market is worth a visit, with beautifully decorated market stalls, and a huge Christmas tree. If you like nativity scenes, plan a visit to the world’s largest Christmas crib at the Diorama Bethlehem.

Sion is a charming historic town at the heart of the Valais wine country. You can expect beautiful views, historic buildings (the first mention of a settlement in Sion is from 1179!), numerous local artisans and Christmas attractions.

Einsiedeln, Schwyz

1 December – 14 January

28 November – 2 December

The medieval city of Gruyères will be illuminated with a thousand lights for Christmas and provide activities for the whole family. Don’t miss the gift hunting for children aged between 2 and 12, on 22 December.

Huttwil, Bern

Nestled in the beautiful Emmental hills, Huttwil is a delightful village with a charming Christmas market. You can expect only handmade products, art, Christmas-specific goods, and culinary specialties.

Gruyères, Fribourg

1 – 16 December (weekends only)

1 – 2 December The market takes place on one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland. You can expect a Mini Zoo, see a woodcarver at work, crafts demonstrations, a Christmas train, musical performances, carousel, ice carving.

Only on advent weekends, this is a special medieval market and festival. You can expect medieval food, music, arts, workshops ranging from calligraphy to cooking, games, dancing, all to give you a better picture of how Christmas was celebrated in the olden days.

Brienz, Bern

Chateau Chillon, Vaud

Sion, Valais 13 December

Bellinzona, Ticino Christmas decorations will take over Castelgrande, this spectacular UNESCO heritage site. 14 – 30 December

Lenzerheide, Arosa, Graubünden

The ‘Magic Forest’ in Lenzerheide is a festival under the open sky which combines light art, music and a Christmas market. The light installations in the forest make this a unique experience.



Fasten your seat belt, next stop: SIS Holidays Provided by: Andrea Furgler, CEO of SIS Swiss International Schools Schweiz AG

At SIS, students can attend an exciting week-long holiday club packed with sports, fun and games. Holiday clubs offer students a valuable complement to their family life and create unforgettable memories. Discovering Swiss Culture SIS kindergarten and primary school students can sign up for holiday clubs during the school holidays in autumn, winter, spring and summer. The children enjoy taking part in a varied programme – including trips – under the supervision of an experienced SIS team. Each SIS school organises its own holiday clubs, with interesting topics, such as the Olympic Games, farming or gardening. This summer for instance, students from SIS Rotkreuz-Zug travelled to the Transport Museum in Lucerne, visited the local swimming pool and went on an excursion to the Children’s Zoo in Rapperswil. There

was also time for school based art activities. Students from SIS Winterthur on the other hand, visited a local Bio farm where they witnessed the birth of three lambs. They also travelled to the famous chocolate factory Frey. There, the children learnt how Swiss chocolate is made – delicious samples included. The older students even got a chance to create their own chocolate – from white to dark, with or without sprinkles. By organising activities and trips to places of interest in the local surroundings, students are encouraged to discover Swiss culture, which fosters a relationship to their immediate environment. At the same time, students get a chance to deepen their friendships in an international school community – all while practising their German and English language skills in a natural way.

clubs, we also offer lunchtime meals, homework supervision and flexible drop-off and pick-up times. It is important to us that students of all age groups feel happy and comfortable at SIS, which is why we offer a range of services that cater to our students’ various needs. Students, staff and parents alike profit from the diverse extracurricular activities offered at SIS. SIS’ extracurricular programme not only encourages students to develop and nurture their social skills but also strengthens SIS’ school spirit and provides valuable support for working parents. Start packing and explore the benefits of bilingual education for your child today!

ABOUT ANDREA FURGLER Andrea Furgler is the CEO of Swiss International Schools Schweiz AG. SIS operates 16 bilingual, private day schools in Switzerland, Germany and Brazil with more than 3,600 students attending classes from kindergarten through to college.

Strong School Community As a bilingual day school, SIS is committed to supporting children as they are growing up. Apart from the holiday

Let us search for your perfect international school Swiss Relocation Helpline +41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) online chat: CHILDREN & FAMILY



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HELLO SWITZERLAND VIP CONNECTIVITY SERVICE BENEFITS: For newcomers, the major benefit is that by contacting Hello Switzerland you can start the telecoms connection process even before you relocate to Switzerland. For residents, it’s simply the easiest way to upgrade to Swisscom. For those leaving Switzerland, especially earlier than planned, Hello Switzerland can help you terminate your contract earlier than the official exit date without having to pay a penalty fee.

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Events November - December 30 November – 2 December

St. Nicholas Parade Fribourg

A must-see parade, this is probably the largest event in the stunning town of Fribourg. Use this massive event to discover the rich Catholic heritage of the town and its unique architecture. 15 – 16 December

FIS Ski Jumping World cup Engelberg, Obwalden

See Switzerland’s only Ski Jumping World cup event on this natural ski jump. 20 December until February 2018

Contemporary Snow Art Pontresina, Graubünden The popular festival of St-Nicolas, held every year in early December, Fribourg Photo credits: © Fribourg Tourism/ Emmanuel Gavillet

8 – 10 November

Metropop Lausanne

Stunning visual displays, pop artists, DJs and an overall cool atmosphere. This event is a hipster’s delight and a cool way to experience pop culture. (Dates might change, so please check before).

17 – 25 November

Piano Festival Lucerne

A festival with top pianists in the KKL perfect acoustics hall. Unmissable for classical music lovers!

St Martin’s Fair Chevenez & Porrentruy, Jura

A traditional festival in a charming part of Switzerland. Taste regional Jura specialties. 10 November

Turnip Lantern Parade /Räbechilbi Richterswil, Zürich 31 December 24 November

9 - 12 November

This 5th Winter Triennale is being advertised as an International Contest for Contemporary Snow Art and is aimed at professional teams from around the world. There will be a kids workshop, you can watch the 9 teams at work between 15 – 20 December. Our tip: be there when the sculptures are lit, starting at 5pm in the evening.

Oysters & Wine Aran, Vaud

In the heart of the Vaud wine country, Lavaux, taste a refined pairing of oysters and wine from Caveau de Villette. 26 November

Onion Market/ Zibelemärit

Ringing down/Achetringele Laupen, Bern

A custom similar to the carnivals meant to chase away winter. The Achetringele means ‘ring down’ and involves chasing spirits and demons with the help of bells. What you can expect: a lot of noise, scary masks and great fun in this very charming town.


For the annual Räbechilbi in Richterswil, around 30 tons of turnips (Räben) are transformed into countless artistically carved lanterns and displayed in the form of themed floats on a spectacular procession through the village.

An absolute riot and an unmissable event. The quiet Bern is completely transformed on this day, full of confetti, loud noises, music, smell of mulled wine and, of course, onions and garlic. People come as early as 5am and start the festivities with a glass of wine.

Discover more exciting events at:

Photo credits: © Jungfrau Region/ Jost von Allmen

Events January - February 12 – 19 January

26 January

Belalp, Valais


Legend has it that a witch once got up to her tricks at Belalp. In her honour, one of the biggest and most unusual downhill races in Switzerland is staged on the panoramic sun terrace each January: the skiers are dressed up as witches wearing scary masks. Guaranteed fun!

A symbolic procession dating back to the 16th century. Late in the morning, a raft with a very strange crew floats down the Rhine. On it there are two drummers, two men carrying big flags, and two cannoneers, who fire gun salutes. But the most important figure on the raft is a masked savage carrying an uprooted pine tree. Join the procession and find out what the Savage, the Lion and the Griffin stand for.

Witches’ Race 18 -20 January

FIS Ski World Cup Lauberhorn Wengen, Bern

The biggest annual winter sporting event in Switzerland takes place in mid-January every year against the most beautiful mountain backdrop of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. The absolute highlight of the ski season. 23 – 26 January

Inferno Race Mürren, Bern Skier in the Lauberhorn race, Wengen

31 December and 13 January

The inferno race will be held for the 75th time in 2018. What began in 1928 with a handful of British ski enthusiasts is today a major event with 1,850 racers.

New Year’s Mummer/ Silvesterkläuse

Urnäsch, Appenzell

25 January – 2 February

Saint Sylvester, or New Year’s Eve is commemorated twice: 31 December (cf. the Gregorian calendar) and 13 January (cf. the Julian calendar). The Silvesterkläuse put on their strange costumes and, ringing huge bells and singing a very slow yodel, walk in small groups from house to house, wishing people a happy new year.äuse 1 January

Touch the Mountains Interlaken

The best way to greet the New Year, with spectacular fireworks and a good mix of bands. Free entry.

Sommets musicaux Gstaad, Bern

One of the top classical music events of the winter season. Concerts are held in three exceptional locations: the Gstaad Chappel and the churches of Rougemont and Saanen.

The Griffin/ Vogel Gryff 31 January

Baker‘s meal/ Bäckermöhli Zug

A charming custom, which involves quite a lot of sweets and is meant to honor the bakers’ guild, created in the 17th century. ‘Bäckermöhli’ means ‘baker’s meal’. It is what children shout before they get thrown sweets and pastries by the guild members. 2 February

Straw man/Hom Strom Scuol, Graubünden

Another kind of Burning Man: In the morning of the first Saturday in February, the older schoolchildren meet at the village square in Scuol to build the Hom Strom (straw man). They twist together an enormous straw man and set it on fire. 26 January – 3 February

Hot air balloon festival Chateau d’Oex, Vaud

The Swiss hot air balloon capital, Château-d’Oex, is host to hundreds of hot air balloons in January of each year. This colourful 9-day festival includes a nighttime show, rides and activities for kids.

Hot Air Balloon Festival


NEW EU DATA PROTECTION REGULATION (GDPR) Implementation insights and impressions. Written by: Klaus Krohmann, Attorney-at-law specialized in IT law and data protection of individuals and notifications of data breaches.

Outlook Beyond the aspects discussed above, new data protection regulations whether in Switzerland, the EU or elsewhere - are likely to have lasting effects in all areas of business.

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entered into force as of 25 May 2018. BDO offers first impressions and insights from a Swiss perspective. Newsletters requesting opt-in consent have been flooding Swiss inboxes over the last few months. The reason? The recent entry into force of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Despite being an EU initiative, GDPR is relevant for Switzerland in two key ways. Firstly, GDPR applies directly to certain companies based in Switzerland if they, for example, sell goods and services in the EU market or track aspects of surfing behavior on their website. Secondly, the revision of the Swiss Data Protection Act is currently under way,

with amendments expected to be in line with GDPR.

Get aligned online Swiss companies that trade in Europe should already have prepared for GDPR. But any company with a website that does not exclusively and explicitly target Swiss customers should now consider providing the additional information to users as required under the GDPR.

Prepare and protect As the information duties under the GDPR do not materially deviate from the forthcoming revised Swiss data protection law, it makes sense for most companies to ready themselves for future data protection topics. Recommended steps include gaining an overview of all processes involved in processing data of individuals, and establishing processes for the extended information and access rights

All your tax and legal questions answered Quality support with personal compliance in Switzerland Swiss Relocation Helpline +41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) online chat: 14


A trusted legal partner like BDO can help organisations navigate new territory and safeguard their compliance and reputation.

YOUR CONTACT: GORDANA MUGGLER Gordana Muggler is the Head of Global Mobility and HR Services at BDO Switzerland. BDO’s experienced specialists are here to advise and support you and your family members on all aspects of international assignments, be it concerning the arrival to Switzerland or the deployment abroad, from the beginning of the preparations through to the return home.

T +41 44 444 35 55



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Hello Switzerland offers support and guidance at every step. Our Swiss Relocation Helpline is a complimentary service, and our Helpline advisers provide expert advice for all your questions.

All Hello Switzerland readers can now take advantage of the chance to get 1 year of road side assistance membership for free! This includes 24 hour breakdown coverage, whenever or wherever you need it. TCS offers breakdown coverage on the spot. With our experienced teams providing support across Switzerland, you can be sure that help is less than 35 minutes away.

Available by contacting the Relocation Helpline

Available by contacting the Relocation Helpline

Available by contacting the Relocation Helpline

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Ultra-fast internet, TV 2.0, and great mobile coverage

Volvo Cars - amazing discounts for expats

Ready to look and feel great? Yoga is a lifestyle, not just a workout. Come and join the global phenomenon in Basel. Bikram Yoga is the only place in Basel to offer Bikram Hot Yoga. We also teach other yoga classes, such as Hot Vinyasa, Yoga Flow, meditation and Pilates. Try our special deal for CHF 55, with unlimited access to all classes, 7 days in a row.

Get connected with Swisscom quickly and easily simply by contacting the Swiss Relocation Helpline. You’ll enjoy quality service from our specialist advisers, from product advice to how to switch from your existing provider. Plus, you’ll always find the latest Swisscom special offer on the Hello Switzerland website.

Looking for a new car? Look no further! Discover discounts of up to CHF 45,000 off a new Volvo thanks to Volvo’s unique Expatriate Sales Program. This deal is only available via Volvo Expat Switzerland.

Available by contacting the Relocation Helpline

Available by contacting the Relocation Helpline


We advise on moving home, the Swiss rental market, essential daily services and more. We’ll help you get the best value for money, and to plan everything properly.


Banking services free for two years*

Free tax & social security briefing

Discover Bern - 50% off Clock Tower (Zytglogge) Tour

Bonviva Banking Packages from Credit Suisse give you an immediate advantage. You receive all major banking services from a single source — at an attractive fixed price. As a Hello Switzerland customer you will get the Bonviva Silver Package for free for two years, worth CHF 360.

Your free one-hour briefing meeting with a BDO expert includes a general overview of the tax and social security system in Switzerland, and focuses on the tax & social security implications of your relocation. After the briefing, you will receive a brochure explaining the Swiss tax and social security system.

Together we’ll view the clockwork and follow the performance of the clockwork figures step by step. From inside the Clock Tower, you can follow the clock’s movements step by step, from its mechanical figures to the rooster’s famous third crow.

Available by contacting the Relocation Helpline

Available by contacting the Relocation Helpline

Simply present this voucher at the Clock Tower. Valid 7 September 2018 – 31 December 2018, tour starts at 2.30pm

*For detailed information regarding this offer, please see the legal disclaimer on p.22

Free advice The right partners The best deals Affordable storage options starting at just CHF 25 per month Are you relocating, fixing water damage, renovating your home or looking to gain valuable living space? Packimpex offers secure rental storage options in Zurich, Winterthur, Bern and Fribourg, starting at CHF 25 per month when you book a minimum of 3 months!

Available by contacting the Relocation Helpline

Afterwork @ GATSBY Special “Can’t repeat the past?…Of course you can!” The GATSBY bar at Swiss Casinos Schaffhausen takes you back 100 years ago to the Great Gatsby’s era. Every first Thursday of the month you can leave the hectic everyday life behind you, enjoy two cocktails of your choice and an anti-pasti plate for 33CHF. Make yourself comfortable in the lavish surroundings and enjoy!


Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals

Call: +41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) Skype: helloswitzerland.helpline (free) Mail: Web: Chat with us online!

The most significant carnivals in Switzerland Carnival customs are a mixture of various pagan spring rites, Christian rituals and secular folk traditions. They involve the summoning of the sun and the chasing away of winter. Although there may be carnivals in many cities across Switzerland, the most prominent in the country is probably Basel, followed by Lucerne. Put on a costume, any costume, and join the festivities! Photo credits: © Basel Tourism/ Peter Ziegler

6 January – 5 March


Evolène, Valais

In the beautiful, authentic Val d’Hérens, steeped in tradition, the carnival of Evolène begins as early as 6 January. Strange figures such as the “Peluches” and the “Empaillés”, who come from Pagan rites, go around the villages of Evolène to frighten the evil spirits of winter.

A taste of the lively Basel carnival

3 February – 5 March

28 February – 7 March

21 – 24 March



Lötschental, Valais


Moudon, Vaud

During carnival time, when everything is «upside down», the town of Solothurn is invaded by creative, wonderful floats. A spectacular sight!

A very fun carnival with a twist: this year they celebrate 10 years of twinning with the Rabadan in Bellinzona. Expect loud music and risotto.

Expect very scary masks and authentic traditions. Tschäggättä is only one of the mythical scary figures you will encounter during the carnival.


28 February – 5 March

10 – 17 March

29 – 31 March


Chienbäse Fire Parade


Liestal, Basel

The origins of the Lucerne Carnival are marked by the figure of Fritschi, an elderly man with his wife known as the Fritschene, and the Fritschikind, or Fritschi’s child.

An amazing fiery carnival parade. Expect fire, flames and a whole lot of firemen. This is Switzerland after all!. 28 February – 5 March


Orbe, Vaud

This year’s float theme is ‘From the times of the Romans’, so this should be interesting!

11 – 13 March

Fasnacht Basel

Bellinzona is a carnival stronghold. This carnival is known as the “Rabadan”, which means “noise” in the Piedmontese dialect.

The “drey scheenschte Dääg” (three best days), as the locals call them, are also an incredible experience for visitors to the city. Around 20,000 active participants celebrate for three days, accompanied by music and beautiful carnival lanterns.



Discover more exciting events at:




VISIONAPARTMENTS FLAGSHIP HOUSE IN ZURICH 306 furnished apartments with spa, fitness center and VIP lounge in the building Provided by: Stefanie Zumkehr of VISIONAPARTMENTS

VISIONAPARTMENTS rents out furnished apartments with service. You can find the stylish flats in Berlin, Frankfurt, Lausanne, Warsaw, Vienna, Zug and Zurich. In Zurich, VISIONAPARTMENTS offers a special living experience in its flagship house at Wolframplatz. Residents of the premium appointed flats do not only enjoy a variety of services (including weekly cleaning, free internet and digital TV, with all ancillary expenses covered), but also have their choice of five different designs and an array of dimensions and layouts. These range from duplexes and multi-room entry codes for the house and their apartment.

apartments to penthouse suites (17 to 70 m2), all at attractive prices starting at CHF 2,250 per month. In addition, those who opt for one of the house’s upper floors will have their own breath-taking view of Zürich. The property’s further amenities include an exclusive VIP lounge on its top floor, a fitness/wellness area, several shared laundry rooms, and an underground car park with 35 spaces. Meanwhile, all residents receive access to their own personal post box, along with individual 20


The building’s location speaks for itself: The SZU railway station Giesshübel is practically right outside its doors (making it possible to reach Zurich’s main train station in four minutes), and guests with their own vehicles will be able to easily access major nearby motorways. The centre of Zurich – along with the Sihlcity and HürlimannAreal shopping centres – is also just minutes away, while the river Sihl and the Allmend Brunau offer recreational opportunities in the immediate vicinity.

STEFANIE ZUMKEHR Stefanie works as a Local Office Manager for Zurich and Zug. She will be happy to assist you and help you find an apartment that suits your needs.

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MORTGAGE AMORTIZATION Credit Suisse explains the pros and cons of direct and indirect mortgage amortization. When buying a property, you need to put forward equity capital of at least 20 percent of the market value. The rest can be financed with mortgages. The first mortgage covers up to 66 percent. If you need more debt capital, you will have to take out a second mortgage. Unlike the first mortgage, the second must be paid back. This kind of repayment is called amortization.

Direct amortization: Paying in instalments The second mortgage must be repaid within 15 years, at the latest by the age of 65. If you choose direct amortization, you will pay the mortgage back in regular installments. By doing this, you reduce mortgage debt and decrease interest payments. The disadvantage is that the tax burden increases. You can deduct the mortgage debt from taxable assets and the mortgage interest from taxable income.

Indirect amortization: Saving via your pension With indirect amortization, the mortgage amount remains stable. You save in a 3rd pillar pension account or pension securities account. The Credit Suisse Privilegia Pillar 3 pension foundation offers interesting securities solutions that enable you to benefit from higher potential returns. By the age of 65 at the latest, you withdraw the saved capital and use it to pay back the agreed mortgage sum. Thereby the mortgage debt does not decrease over the years and you benefit from higher tax deductions. In addition, the contributions to Pillar 3a can be deducted from your taxable income.

Which amortization model is the right one for you depends on your personal situation. To find out more and book a comprehensive consultation with a Credit Suisse expert, please visit:

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 advisor 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, it is solely for marketing purposes. Copyright Š Credit Suisse AG and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.




Expat Pension Workshop Be wealthy on your retirement Adriano Signorello and Sanela Junuzovic, Insurance Experts

Hosted by Hello Switzerland and experts from Helvetia and BDO, you will learn important information on the third pillar private pension system. A short presentation by Helvetia and BDO’s experts will be followed by a convivial networking apero where you can ask questions. 8 November 2018 - 18:30 (please arrive at 18:15) - Henric Petri-Strasse 9, 4051 Basel Register now at:



SECURE RETIREMENT PROVISION FOR EXPATS IN SWITZERLAND Start planning early for retirement. in-depth analysis for expats in particular is very important as they may have a pension shortfall owing to fewer years of contributions.

Robert, aged 64, has lived with his wife and son in Switzerland for many years and will be retiring soon. Which benefits can he expect? Answering this question is very complex for expats in particular. Planning well and in good time helps to ensure a secure retirement provision. Switzerland is admired worldwide for its three-pillar retirement provision. The system has proven to be very robust, even in turbulent times. Pension recipients receive a secure income after a long working life and can thus enjoy a comfortable retirement. Expats like Robert, who moved from Austria to Switzerland with his wife many years ago, benefit from this. However, an

Advisor Michael Metry was able to show Robert and his wife which benefits come from which employee benefit institution at retirement and what needs to be done. Ideally, people should begin to plan as early as possible, preferably at age 50, says Michael Metry, Pensions Specialist for Expats at Helvetia. This allows key questions to be addressed, such as:

Professional advice can show expats which benefits they and their family members can receive in old age. It also helps them to request pension entitlements in their former countries correctly or to register OASI/ AHV/ AVS pensions in good time in Switzerland.

CONNECT WITH SPECIALISED ADVISORS Michael Metry works as an insurance and pension advisor at Helvetia’s Rapperswil general agency and specializes in advising newcomers.

• Which benefits are Robert and

his wife entitled to at retirement from OASI/AHV/AVS and the pension fund?

• In what form and as of what time can benefits be drawn?

• What will the son receive if his parents die?

This type of analysis makes it possible to calculate any shortfalls and to close these gaps in good time with appropriate pension solutions, so that people can enjoy their customary standard of living also in retirement. Shortly before and around the time of retirement there are many other questions to answer, as well as deadlines and formalities that need to be met and dealt with.

Find out more here:

MICHAEL METRY +41 (0)58 280 60 46

Helvetia Insurance: a comprehensive range Helvetia Insurance has been one of Switzerland’s leading insurance companies for 160 years. Helvetia offers customized solutions for a wide variety of insurance needs including private pensions and occupational benefits, indemnity insurance and mortgages.

Get Swiss insurance right Expert advice - the right partners - the best deals Swiss Relocation Helpline +41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) online chat: INSURANCE ADVICE


FREE 1 YEAR ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE A HELLO SWITZERLAND SPECIAL OFFER 8 reasons to join TCS As a Touring Club of Switzerland (TCS) member, you can rely on 24/7 breakdown assistance and roadside recovery 365 days a year, rain, snow or shine. With over 620 roadside patrols and partner garages, you can be sure that you’re covered in the case of a roadside emergency. Your membership protects you in any vehicle you drive, both cars and motorbikes, and comes with many advantages:

1. 2. 3. 4.

Quick response & 24hr breakdown assistance TCS patrols are there for you 24/7, all year round, with an average waiting time of 35 minutes.

Technical expertise No matter the make, engine or type of vehicle, our experts know how to get you back on the road.

Experienced patrol services 220 patrol members handle around 280,000 assignments every year. They know what they’re doing!


Special member offers Members enjoy special discounts: • Discount of up to 25% on cable cars and mountain railways • 2.5 cent savings per liter of fuel at BP • 2% fuel discount at Tamoil • Save up to CHF 100 at Adam Touring and Premio when purchasing four tires


Protection for the whole family With TCS, you don’t need to worry about your family members driving your vehicle. Family members in your household can get coverage for driving a vehicle registered to the policyholder.

Services Before you leave on a road trip, or at the onset of winter, your vehicle will be checked by experts at one of the 19 TCS technical centers at a favorable membership price.

7. 8.

Peace of mind Did you lock your key in the car? Have you run out of petrol? There’s no need to worry about these little problems — the TCS patrol will come to your rescue (even if you might be at fault).

Safe travels guaranteed In 8 out of 10 breakdowns your vehicle will be repaired on the spot. If your vehicle cannot be repaired straight away, we will arrange for a comfortable onward journey.

Free 1 year breakdown recovery service for Hello Switzerland readers Swiss Relocation Helpline +41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) online chat: 26


Photo: © TCS

With over 1.5 million members, you can trust Switzerland’s #1 breakdown assistance.


INSIDER TIPS FOR A PERFECT WINTER DAY After years of living in Switzerland, we continue to be amazed at its beauty and decided to share some of our best kept secrets with our readers. Any tips of your own you would like to share? Get in touch with us at Skiing and fondue. What I really like to do in winter is skiing. I’m so looking forward for the World Ski Cup in Wengen. My perfect winter day would be spent skiing in Grindelwald with a fondue at the end. The scenery is amazing (Tonje) A rewarding hike and spa. My tip is a winter walk in Vals, you get to see an amazing water dam, then rent a sledge and go down. I’m a big fan of tobogganing because I don’t ski. That sledge ride is really awesome, it goes down through tunnels, so amazing! Then book a spa hotel for the night and just soak up in the sauna, have a massage, a hammam, it will be great after a day in the snow. (Martijn) A spectacular ski run and mulled wine. I would head straight to Zermatt, then go up the mountain towards Furi, Schweigmatten and Schwarzsee for some spectacular skiing. The view is incredible, you are surrounded by glaciers and the Matterhorn is so very close! There is a lovely restaurant by the gondelbahn with sun chairs, so this is where I see myself, mulled wine in hand (Irina)


A mountain hike to find the sunshine. Head to Beatenberg (Interlaken). Get a ticket for the gondelbahn up to Vorsass (halfway towards Niederhorn). Then get off and hike uphill to Niederhorn, around 2h. Once your reach Vorsass, you will be above the clouds, in the sunshine. (Lina) Ice sculptures and fondue. My perfect winter day would start with some light skiing, then I would take my daughter on a horse driven sledge ride. In the evening – definitely see the incredible ice sculptures made by Karl Neuhaus in Schwarzsee. And after that, I would fly all the way to Grindelwald for a night time toboggan ride and a well-deserved fondue (Daniela)

FROM OUR CONTRIBUTORS Here is a brain teaser from our very own contributor/ word puzzle aficionado Rashmi Rai-Rawat. Test your knowledge on Swiss Nobel prize laureates. Looking forward for more contributions from all our readers! Rashmi Rai-Rawat is a Lecturer, Researcher and Writer. She originates from India and has been living in Switzerland since many years. Her background is in Economics and Management Studies. She has gained work experience in several leading universities and she contributes regularly in English and Hindi language publications.

Find the family names of the Swiss Nobel Laureates (Horizontal, Vertical or Diagonal) ARBER BLOCH BOVET DUBOCHET DUNANT



The solution can be found on page 31 WORD PUZZLE


Top 10 spa getaways in Switzerland Winter time is the best time to head to a spa and pamper yourself. Wherever you live in Switzerland, you won’t be far from a spa or a thermal bath, given Switzerland’s ancient tradition – numerous thermal springs were discovered as early as the Roman times. Here are Hello Switzerland’s top picks for a perfect spa getaway. 1. Aquabasilea

5. Les Bains de Lavey

8. Thermalp Ovronnaz

A large and beautiful spa and wellness center which has everything under one roof. Attractions include water slides, a wave-pool for children and whirlpools. Pratteln, Basel region

A truly magical place, close to Lausanne, Les Bains de Lavey claim to have the warmest thermal waters in the country. There is something quite special about being able to swim under the stars surrounded by the outline of the Alps. Valais, Romandie region

For a longer “wellness break”, look no further than Thermalp Ovronnaz. The road to the village is quite spectacular, as it zigzags through steeply terraced vineyards. Fed by naturally warm springs, the centre has two outdoor pools (34C), an indoor pool with a separate baby pool and a Jacuzzi only for adults (38C). Martigny, Valais

Located on the top of the Rigi mountain, with breathtaking views of the Alps. You can enjoy the facilities and unwind year around. Lucerne, central Switzerland

3. Hammam & Spa Oktogon Bern Once you step inside you’ll feel you’ve left Switzerland and traveled to the land of the Arabian Nights. Warm, spicy colors, dim lighting and flickering candlelight give it the Middle-Eastern ambience befitting a hammam. City of Berne

4. Victoria Jungfrau Spa With a gorgeous location, you can enjoy the spectacular view while you relax in the luxurious spa facilities. There’s an outdoor salt pool, if you don’t mind the cold. Interlaken, Bern region



6. Ovaverva Thermal bathing, massages, water therapy, wellness… These baths are situated in a stylish building in the stunning Engadin landscape. St. Moritz, Engadin

7. Splash e Spa Tamaro A short train ride from Lugano, this waterpark and spa has something for the whole family to enjoy. Children and fun loving adults, can splash in any of the five slides and wave pool. For those seeking relaxation, the spa has four different saunas and an outdoor salt pool. Monte Tamaro, Ticino region

9. Vals Thermalbad Vals might be among the bestknown, and beloved, thermal baths in Switzerland. With its stunning architecture and landscapes, the waters of the facilities have been well visited for the past hundreds of years. Trubschachen, Berne

10. Tamina Therme A place ‘steaming’ with tradition: the Tamina spring, which feeds the center, was discovered in the 13th century. Also, in 1872, the site became home to Europe’s first thermal water indoor pool. The center boasts two large indoor pools, one large outdoor pool and has a very good sauna area. Bad Ragaz, St. Gallen Copyright by: ENGADIN St. Moritz: Martinek

2. Mineralbad & Spa Rigi Kaltbad


Here is the solution to the brain teaser from our very own contributor/ word puzzle aficionado Rashmi Rai-Rawat.








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Hello Switzerland issue 4/2018  

A top notch selection of events from November to early March, a story about passionate craftsmanship (The Toboggan Builders), an homage to f...

Hello Switzerland issue 4/2018  

A top notch selection of events from November to early March, a story about passionate craftsmanship (The Toboggan Builders), an homage to f...