Blogs from Aargau, North-West, Switzerland, Europe


Europe » Switzerland » North-West » Aargau June 17th 2019

We get up early - we’ve run out of coins for the parking meter. Our room shares a half bathroom with 5 other rooms. It’s a half length bath with a shower head attachment. The old man showers cross legged holding the shower attachment above his head. He says it’s the worst shower he’s ever had. I wouldn’t know – I can’t actually get in and out of the half bath so have to make do with a rub down with a flannel. I can’t get my head round the expense of Switzerland. For our room with 1/6 share of a 1/2 bathroom we are paying £100 a night, plus an additional £2 an hour to park a mile away. We descend the 142 steps to the street, hike back to the van and drive to ... read more
Half a bath
Walk from apartment in Morcote
Morning in Morcote

Europe » Switzerland » North-West » Aargau June 12th 2019

This morning we complete our 600 drive to the Paul Scherrer Institut in Villigen. It’s a huge site spanning both sides of the river Aare. When we arrive, the fire brigade are in attendance. I ask daughter no 2 if they are likely to be required again. She is way too nervous to find this funny. Security is high. We need passes for ourselves and the van plus dossimeters. The issue of dossimeters requires passing a test. Daughter no 2 is concerned that the old man and I will fail. In fact, she has to take a test. We must first follow a safety course before we are allowed to attempt the test. It takes 2 hours to complete formalities and unload the equipment into the synchrotron. Then the old man and I retire to the ... read more
Arriving at Synchrotron
Synchrotron map
Getting around the PSI

Europe » Switzerland » North-West » Aargau June 11th 2019

Today is a normal day so we start with a second attempt at the supermarket. This time we don’t try to enter the car park. The van is allegedly 1.85m and the height limit allegedly 2.10m. One of these allegations is false as we discovered yesterday when we went clattering into the barrier. We purchase bread and cheese and set off for Switzerland accompanied by Six the Musical. Most of the day is spent driving; a total of 5 hours, with one brunch stop at a French service station. We arrive in Switzerland mid afternoon. Daughter no 2 is clutching her carnet. I have the passports. We are stopped at the border but they’re only interested that we cough up 40 Francs for a year’s Swiss road tax. We decide to go to the toilet while ... read more
Germany from Switzerland

Europe » Switzerland » North-West » Aargau » Muri February 5th 2015

Translated to English this title means, 'And there is also something going on in Switzerland'. It was many, many, many years ago that I heard this sentence uttered on our car radio as we were stuck in a traffic jam to end all traffic jams. We were on our way down to our ski-resort near the Italian border. The DJ had just reported on the chaos taking place on the German roads, as half of Europe was descending on the Alps, when he spoke those unforgettable words. The 'something' which was going on in Switzerland at that moment was a queue of non-moving vehicles from the Swiss-German border all the way down to Italy. My mum, I recall, was not amused. Especially not with three noisy kids in the back seat making her life even more ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » North-West » Aargau October 10th 2012

Noch 4 Tage bis zur Abreise.... Heute mit Medikamenten und genügend Pfeiffentabak eingedeckt. Man weiss ja nie, was die in Xinjang in die Pfeife stopfen.... Koffer Nummer 1 ist gepackt und im zweiten sind mal die ersten Wintersachen verstaut. Heute noch eine Polarmütze gekauft ;-) wegen der kalten Ohren..... Heute sind per Post die bei der Bank bestellten Yuan gekommen --> 100 Yuan bekommt man für Fr 16.80... So kann ich mal die ersten Ausgaben tätigen in China. Morgen geht's mit meiner Tochter noch auf die Axalp an das alljährliche Fliegerschiessen für ein wenig Fun. Man liest sich....... read more

Europe » Switzerland » North-West » Aargau September 15th 2012

Nachdem wir gestern den ersten Farewell Apero zusammen mit Freunden genossen haben, geht es nun noch vier Wochen bis zum ersten Trip nach Urumqi (Xinjang) im Nordwesten Chinas. Nächsten Montag habe ich ein Meeting bei Lonza in Basel. Mittels "briefing" erhalte ich dort die finalen Aufträge für meinen ersten Aufenthalt in China. Vom Nordwesten der Schweiz flige ich am 14. Oktober mit Turkish Airlines nach Instanbul und von dort mit China Southern per Direktflug nach Urumqi. Urumqi ist die Hauptstadt des Uigurischen Autonomen Gebietes Xinjiang in der Volksrepublik China. Die Stadt ist auch die wichtigste Stadt der Landschaft Dsungarei. Als bezirksfreie Stadt hat Ür... read more

Europe » Switzerland » North-West » Aargau August 29th 2012

Heute ging es raus aus Italien zurück in die Schweiz. Die Grenzkontrolle war abermals kein Problem und so konnten uns Michaela und Pierre heute Abend in Empfang nehmen. Nach einem äußerst deliziösem Abendmahl bestehend aus einem Nudel-Kartoffel-Gratin Schweizer Art (mit Apfelmus) ging es noch auf einen kleinen Städtetrip nach Zürich. Für einen kleinen Drink setzten wir uns in eine Bar, die, wie es sich später herausstellte, eine "Schwulenbar" war.... read more

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