East Switzerland – 5. Zurich, the more liberal Switzerland

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I kind of think that Switzerland, as being a rich, famously neutral and cast iron political stability, is very fair and conservative.

But I think all countries might have one city that’s a bit different, just like Tel Aviv is very different from Jerusalem or other parts of Israel.   This might be Zurich.

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A specialist condom shop?

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I heard rumours that Switzerland was to legalise Cannabis, but this came close but was overthrown.   I did catch a whiff of it in one street like any other city, but there is a 100 CHF fine if you are caught with a joint, but bizarrely, Switzerland’s police fine you several day’s salary if with more than a handful of soft drugs. Wikipedia.

I don’t do any type of drugs, mostly because I’ve seen weed produce mental health issues on friends I care about.

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This boat which was an Asian restaurant was pretty cool to see.    Like the rest of Switzerland, eating out is outrageously expensive here.

Zurich has licenced prostitution I’ve been told, on the outskirts of the city with official DSCF0849 1024bus shelter type places.   No, I didn’t venture to find out.

The Swiss Jesus impersonator can be booked for your function according to this random poster.

I’ve seen plenty of crazies and cult groups in both London and Israel, but didn’t expect to see it here.

Zurich needs a simple genuine message of the gospel to the public like every other place.

DSCF0931 1024I think this must be the only place in the western world today that still allows a limited amount of indoor smoking, with this specialist lounge.   This lounge in Zurich airport does this.   Could it because Philip Morris European headquarters is in Zurich, no surely not….

When I was in Basel in 2012, my Swiss friend told me there isn’t much crime, but folks don’t like the police as are overly strict, don’t have any sense of humour, and don’t do much PR work to make them approachable like in other countries.

GERMANY 1. Dachau concentration camp – 2. BMW museum – 3. BMW World futuristic showroom – 4. Neuschwanstein Castle – 5. 1972 Munich Olympics village – 6. Tourism and going out in Munich – 7. Deutsches Museum – 8. Business in the UK, Germany and Israel – 9. Friedrichshafen, a pleasant German town on a lake

SWITZERLAND 1. Trying to do ‘cheap’ Switzerland – 2. The town of Grusch – 3. Clever Swiss made things – 4. Train from Grusch to Zurich – 5. Zurich, the more liberal Switzerland – 6. Swiss dinosaurs

LIECHTENSTEIN 1. Plans – 2. Getting into this tiny nation – 3. Motorbikes, cars and kebab shops in Vaduz, Liechtenstein – 4. Small country topography – 5. Road up to the castle – 6. The Prince’s castle and vineyard – 7. bars, shops, Olympics – 8. Tiny country, big output – 9. Vaduz church – 10. Government buildings and museums

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East Switzerland – 4. Train from Grusch to Zurich

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The Swiss trains and railways system is undoubtedly the best in the world.

You would be hard pressed to find something this neat and efficient that covers all the country, with amazing scenery on every journey.

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DSCF0809 1024AS you can see, the pretty town of Grusch I think is quite typical of many of the idyllic looking villages in Switzerland.

There several characteristics of trains here.    There are several classes of trains with different stock and track like the funicular trains that go up impossibly steep hills.

The platforms are not high.  Often you can walk across flatter parts of the track.   The trains don’t actually go very fast, and the barriers, lights and sirens come on well in advance.   Some of the modern trains have a small motorised platform that appears to help you get up.

SBB is the Swiss railway operator, and it is also easy to buy your ticket using your smart phone and therefore know exactly where you are going and where to change and the right platform.   I didn’t get any pictures of Zurich’s station, but it is huge and has 45 platforms.

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There is a lot of freight I see going past.

GERMANY 1. Dachau concentration camp – 2. BMW museum – 3. BMW World futuristic showroom – 4. Neuschwanstein Castle – 5. 1972 Munich Olympics village – 6. Tourism and going out in Munich – 7. Deutsches Museum – 8. Business in the UK, Germany and Israel – 9. Friedrichshafen, a pleasant German town on a lake

SWITZERLAND 1. Trying to do ‘cheap’ Switzerland – 2. The town of Grusch – 3. Clever Swiss made things – 4. Train from Grusch to Zurich – 5. Zurich, the more liberal Switzerland – 6. Swiss dinosaurs

LIECHTENSTEIN 1. Plans – 2. Getting into this tiny nation – 3. Motorbikes, cars and kebab shops in Vaduz, Liechtenstein – 4. Small country topography – 5. Road up to the castle – 6. The Prince’s castle and vineyard – 7. bars, shops, Olympics – 8. Tiny country, big output – 9. Vaduz church – 10. Government buildings and museums

East Switzerland – 3. Clever Swiss made things

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DSCF0850 1024It’s not just Swiss army knives that show you an example of efficient Swiss design.

There are a few clever things I saw I think are worth sharing.

A street bicycle pump.   This one is large, heavy duty and fixed to the ground and free for public use.

Now the UK 13 amp type sockets are different from the rest of Europe, feel chunky and robust.

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This is a Swiss electrical wall socket, these are close-ish to the rest of Europe also, but only slightly different.   The two pins for live and neutral are the same so a phone charger I bought in a hurry in Hungary will work as it doesn’t have a grounding pin. Devices with three pins will have the middle pin closer to the middle ones.

DSCF0861 1024Also, there are three sockets on a wall plate normally where you would find only one.   Like a Swiss army knife, combine several things in a small package.  These sockets were also seen in Liechtenstein.

Meat slicer.  These are stylish and different as a probably intended for commercial catering.  They are painted with this high gloss paint, which I think means cleaning easy.

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This Swiss horn is an interesting instrument, I am not sure of this is taken apart in pieces or if it collapses like a telescope.

All these things I saw on the streets of Zurich.

 

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Its not hard to find more familiar Swiss craft like watches and chocolate in Zurich as well.

GERMANY 1. Dachau concentration camp – 2. BMW museum – 3. BMW World futuristic showroom – 4. Neuschwanstein Castle – 5. 1972 Munich Olympics village – 6. Tourism and going out in Munich – 7. Deutsches Museum – 8. Business in the UK, Germany and Israel – 9. Friedrichshafen, a pleasant German town on a lake

SWITZERLAND 1. Trying to do ‘cheap’ Switzerland – 2. The town of Grusch – 3. Clever Swiss made things – 4. Train from Grusch to Zurich – 5. Zurich, the more liberal Switzerland – 6. Swiss dinosaurs

LIECHTENSTEIN 1. Plans – 2. Getting into this tiny nation – 3. Motorbikes, cars and kebab shops in Vaduz, Liechtenstein – 4. Small country topography – 5. Road up to the castle – 6. The Prince’s castle and vineyard – 7. bars, shops, Olympics – 8. Tiny country, big output – 9. Vaduz church – 10. Government buildings and museums