Saturday, 30 January 2016

Ski school in Brunni

Last week we were admiring the snow in Einsiedeln. But let's face it, snow is not a real fun in an abbey. But just ten kilometers from Ensiedeln lies the ski resort of Brunni, the hearth of the Mythen region.

You need to be careful when you drive to Brunni, the roads are winding and slippery. Of course, they have snowplows in Switzerland. It is just that the amount of snow they have in this country is beyond what you would normally expect. You can judge it by the orange sticks on the side of the road. You guessed it right, they are here to show to the snowplows where the road is. They are over 1.5 meter high.

It is snowing quite a lot today but already early in the morning the parking lot is filled with cars.

 In Brunni you can find slopes of different level of difficulty. The easier ones are accessible with lifts.

There is even one for sledges!

The higher ones can be reached with a cable car.

And the highest peaks, well, I guess they could only be reached with a helicopter. Still, I am not sure if trying to ski there would be a good idea.

Those of you who already know how to ski can join the others on the slopes.

The others follow me to the school.

They have classes for ski-lovers of all ages. They even have a snow garden (yes, a kind of ski- kindergarden).

I must say I was impressed by the enthousiasm of these small kids. They seem to have only recently learnt to walk and now they try to ski.

After the classes, the children can enjoy the winter playground.

Did you notice the snowy structure? Yes, it is the foundation of an igloo!

If you think that an igloo is too difficult then you can always try something easier.

Since they did not have ski boots my size, I will wait for you here, by the little river.

And well, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow ...

Saturday, 23 January 2016


Today I will show you the Ensiedeln Abbey, a benedictine monastery in the town of Einsiedeln in canton Schwyz.

As you may see, winter has finally arrived to Switzerland over the last few days. So be careful when you walk up the stairs.

Next to the stairs you will notice a figure of Virgin Mary. It is not the only one here.

There are two amazing things about the abbey. First - it is very bright and colourful. To be honest I do not remember ever visiting a church with that much of pink colour.

Just look at the ceiling ...

... and the chapels.

The second unusual thing is that, unlike in most churches that I have seen so far, there is no organ in the back.

Instead, there are two organs located in the aisles in the front part of the church. One on the left ...

... and another on the right hand side.

The main altar is separated by a type of fence. The doors are open but pilgrims are not allowed to enter inside.

Because Einsiedeln welcomes thousands of pilgrims every year. It is a major stop on the Camino de Santiago. But pilgrims come mainly to visit the little black chapel in the back of the church.

It is devoted to Our Lady of Einsiedeln and was built from black marble.

People pray there every day but the pilgrimage season at Einsiedeln runs mainly from Easter to Rosary Sunday (the first Sunday in October).

Inside the chapel you will see the Black Madonna. Her black skin is presumably due to the smoke of candles. She is dressed in magnificent golden robes.

Our Lady of Ensiedeln is said to have brought many miracles over the last thousand years. In fact, she is supposed to have belonged to the founder of the first hermitage that was created in this place in ninth century. The remains of Saint Meindrad can be found in one of the chapels.

Centuries ago, Abbots of Ensideln were princes of the Holy Roman Empire and ruled the land around the Abbey. Today they focus on religious service and the famous college they run. Still, the Abbey remains an important place on the Swiss map and a beautiful piece of architecture admired by all visitors, regardless of their beliefs.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Lindt on sale

We have been visiting recently Christmas markets but we did not buy anything. But now it is time for Christmas sales. But we will not buy there shoes or clothes. Oh, no, I will take you to a much more interesting place.

I guess most of you have heard of the Lindt chocolates. They are widely believed to be one of the best chocolates in Switzerland or maybe even in the world.

Lindt operates a big factory in Kilchberg, near Zurich.

Just think, these are the rails on which wagons full of chocolate leave their home and run to the entire world.

 The Kilchberg factory opens each year a special shop with Christmas chocolate.

Now that the New Year is passed all these goodies are on sale.

You can find here some standard Lindt products, both  those you can find in any supermarket ...

... and some higher end delicacies.

But the Christmas tree decorations are prompting for some special assortment as well.

Here you can see the rock Santas.

I just love this place. Why don't we play a little game of hide and seek. The golden chocolate bears see to be good company.

So are the angels and the small Santas.

Do you know the "Where is Wally" series? Let's play the "Where is Rick?" version. Those chocolate balls have always been my favourites.

So let's complete our shopping and go enjoy the balls until the chocolate starts running in our veins.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Allianz Arena

Last week we have enjoyed the Christmas period in Munich. Today I will take you to a very special place in Munich, a temple of the German-wide religion that is the dream of fans all over the world. (Ladies and) Gentlemen - welcome to Allianz Arena!

Allianz Arena is one of the most famous and most modern football stadiums in the world. I was built in 2005 in order to become the battlefield of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Today it is the witness of the matches of the German national team and of two local teams from Bavaria. The first one is called TSV 1860. The second one is a bit more famous. Alright, it is the most famous German club ever. High five to the wonderful team of Bayern Munich!

Let us get inside and discover this fantastic place.

The Arena is really huge and can accommodate almost seventy thousand viewers.

The seats are in three sections.

I am sure that you have notices the strange structures on the pitch. These are sunbeds for the grass which would otherwise not get enough sunlight to grow.

The seats are foldable but quite comfortable.

Those of you who prefer to have a bit more privacy can pay extra for seats in a separate sector.

It is located behind the press box. Yes, the press seats here. Looks quite modest in my view.

In front of the press seat the sponsors.

Their seats are also foldable but they are covered with leather. Pretty comfortable I must admit.

Those who cannot seat on the VIP seats can always see a closer view on the huge screens attached to the roof.

Let's go inside and discover what makes the red team so amazing. Well, they have a little gym ...

... they can get some massage ...

... and a shower that is far from being spectacular. No ladies, no sweaty men under the shower this time.

Look, here come the lockers. On top of which comes the picture of the player, a bit like in the kindergarden. I wonder if the players would otherwise have troubles to find their locker.

You may remember that the press box on the stadium was quite modest. Well, the press area inside is much more interesting. And apparently they serve free food and drinks during the matches.

This is where the press conferences after the matches are being held.

The coaches sit over there.

They said we are not allowed to sit on these chairs. Honestly - I am not sure if I would like to. They must be filled with so many dramatic emotions.

Would you like to go up to the pitch? Let me ask the guide. Yes! We can go there. Even more, we are allowed to use the same tunnel that the players use.

Can you feel this thrill? I almost hear the Champions League anthem.

And here we are. On the right, the seats where Bayern coaches and team is sitting during the match.

And in front of us the sunbeds.

I never thought that I could actually run on the same grass that Lewandowski and Ribery.

That was a great experience, I hope that you have enjoyed it as well. Those of you who are mega fans of Bayern can drop into their mega fan store.

The others can go with me outside to enjoy the facade that has in the meantime turned red to celebrate yet another victory of the German Masters.