高速公路

2018-06-25T18:57:02+08:00

瑞士的高速公路系统由政府管理,而非私人所有。因此,车主必须为每辆车支付每年40瑞士法郎的费用,然后将付款后获得的标签贴在前窗上。

如果只是为了驾车穿过瑞士,这笔费用不算便宜。但如果全年都要使用道路系统,这也并不算昂贵。

国家负责维护道路基础设施,让它们处于良好的状态,同时还致力于扩大现有的道路系统。由于瑞士是多山脉国家,因此也有穿越山脉的隧道。

在瑞士,公路标志都是绿色的。公路的每一部分都有自己的号码。在使用GPS系统时,这些数字能够和目的地名称一起标识出方向的改变。

大部分高速公路每边只有两条车道。只有在人口密集区,每边才会有三条甚至四条车道。

瑞士高速公路限速为120公里/小时。

在高峰时段,特别是在大苏黎世地区,会有一些交通拥堵现象。但与世界上的巨型城市相比,苏黎世、伯尔尼或瑞士的其他许多城市的交通拥堵根本算不上什么!

高速公路 2018-06-25T18:57:02+08:00

Waste

2017-11-08T01:11:06+08:00

瑞士被认为是世界上最干净整洁的国家之一。 瑞士特别关心国家的环境,一直以来的传统是每一件事情都需要整洁和妥当。
家庭垃圾都必须一丝不苟的被分类,最后在前门被统一收走。在绝大部分地方,一周统一收两次家庭垃圾。在伯尔尼的居民被要求使用一种特别的垃圾袋,垃圾处理的费用已经包含在垃圾袋的价格里。 其他地方使用一种特别的标签贴在垃圾袋上,然后支付垃圾清运处理的费用。
当然也有一些常规的收集方式,夏天的时候,生物或者绿色的垃圾(如叶子,被割下来的草)会被要求放进绿色垃圾桶,一周收集一次。这个也使用贴上标签的方式支付。一周会有其它时间免费收集废纸,废铁或者锡罐。
废旧的电池和塑料瓶在各个超市被统一回收。玻璃制品一般被分为三个种类:棕褐色,白色和绿色。 回收这一类物品也是免费的。大一些的超市会有专门收集这类物品的地方。
每一个城市都有专卖回收更大件物品的地方。你可以把你想丢弃的东西带到这里。同样的所有的物品都会被分类收集:普通废品,玻璃制品,废铁,电池,有机制品等。
有专门的书面规定显示废物如何被处理。在伯尔尼,有各种语言的提醒:阿尔巴尼亚语,阿拉伯语,德语,英语,法语,意大利语,葡萄牙语,塞尔维亚语,西班牙语,泰米尔语,和土耳其语。所有在伯尔尼街头经常说的语言几乎都有显示。
普通垃圾统一回收后再被有效的焚烧。

Waste 2017-11-08T01:11:06+08:00

8月1日:瑞士国庆日

2017-06-04T17:17:19+08:00

725年前(1291年)三个州 Uri、施维茨、下瓦尔登发誓联邦宣言。这是瑞士的开端。现在有26个州隶属于瑞士邦联。

瑞士的国庆日是其中一个公共假日,这一天大家都会休假。

我参加了在图恩湖边Oberhofen小镇的庆祝。早晨九点庆祝仪式在瑞士阿尔卑斯长号的奏鸣和旗帜的舞动中正式拉开帷幕。庆祝活动的高潮部分是一个已经退休的高军衔陆军军官的演讲。Faustus Furrer先生提到在过去以及现在的各种冲突矛盾的迷雾中,瑞士的和平显得如此珍贵。他也鼓励听众坚持那些我们赖以立国的价值观。最后奏国歌,把荣耀归与祝福这个国度的神。

晚上,许多瑞士人通常会与家人和朋友一起享用BBQ         大餐。很多地方会有烟花表演。图恩湖的烟花表演是很有名的。晚上10点五个大的游船会经过大一些的村庄,停靠下来,在夜空里燃放璀璨的烟花。

 

8月1日:瑞士国庆日 2017-06-04T17:17:19+08:00

纳沙泰尔州

2017-06-15T20:41:56+08:00

在瑞士的号码牌上,瑞士的国旗在左边,右边的则是这个州的标识。

纳沙泰尔是我最喜欢的州之一。它是一个小的法语区新教信仰的州,仅有18万左右人口。纳沙泰尔市位于同样名称的纳沙泰尔湖边。沿着湖边的许多葡萄园让这里的乡村展现出格外迷人的景象。湖泊后面耸立着侏罗峰以及一些美丽的山谷如the Val de Travers 和the Val de Ruz。有两个大一些的城市“拉绍德封和勒洛克勒”位于纳沙泰尔的侏罗峰下。法国的边界非常靠近这两个城市。雄伟壮观的最高山峰沙瑟拉尔(1600m)和山下的三个湖泊以及地平线远处的阿尔卑斯山一起像一幅天然画卷。其中最著名的景点是瑞士大峡谷或也被称作le Creux-du-Van.

在中世纪的时候,纳沙泰尔曾是勃艮第王国的一部分。公元1000年左右,德国皇帝鲁道夫二世继承了这个州。1308年,纳沙泰尔和伯尔尼签署了第一次公约。公元1530年,在改革家Guillaume Farel (伯尔尼派遣) 的影响下纳沙泰尔变成新教。在宗教改革的混乱中,许多胡格诺教徒找到了这个隐藏在侏罗山谷里人烟稀少的地方作为避难所。

19世纪初期,拿破仑占领了弗里堡和伯尔尼,却留下当时的纳沙泰尔。这个州一直到1815才加入瑞士联邦。

纳沙泰尔到伯尔尼开车的时间也不过45分钟左右。这个城市有着优雅的气质和随和开放的讲法语的文化。湖泊、城景和美丽的侏罗峰一起组成了一幅自然天成独一无二的美丽画卷。

 

纳沙泰尔州 2017-06-15T20:41:56+08:00

瑞士家庭里的武器

2017-06-20T16:46:06+08:00

SG550是标准的瑞士军队配备的攻击步枪。它也是许多瑞士成年男人家里存放的武器。官员和一些特定的部队会配备手枪(SIG苏拉P220)。

在瑞士,凡18岁以上的身体健康的男性应征入伍后通常会有一个18到21周的陆军基础训练(也称之为新兵训练)。在那之后,每个士兵每年还会有三周重复练习的课程。

现在有一些人因为个人原因不想服兵役的可以选择参加时间长一些的社会服务(通常是帮助老人或者在医院服务)。我记得我们被征召入伍的时期,拒绝服兵役的是会进监狱的。

女性也可以自由参加服兵役。他们的比例不算大,但是通常和男生在同一个部队里服役。

军队的武器每年至少要在正规射击场练习一次。

士兵们在军队服役了一定的天数,到了一定年龄后就可以结束服役生涯。许多人会选择保留他们曾使用的武器。

人们通常把枪支放在家里。弹夹必须分开存放,并且锁好。

瑞士有自由持枪的法令。买枪也比较容易。全国大约有230万到450万枪支属于私人所有。在这方面,瑞士可能远远落后于美国。然而,令人震惊的是,这些枪支相对很少用于犯罪。不幸的是,它确是自杀中最常使用的武器。1996至2005年间,40%的自杀者使用军队枪支。

 

瑞士家庭里的武器 2017-06-20T16:46:06+08:00

The Canton of Zürich

2017-02-28T02:12:28+08:00

On the car registration plates as always the flag of the Canton is on the right (blue and white) and the Swiss flag on the left.

This canton is not one of the biggest but the most populated. It covers basically the city of Zürich with agglomeration. It’s population reaches 1.4 Mio.

It is located in the eastern part of Switzerland. Folks from that Canton are probably the most sophisticated in terms of fashion and trends. The people from Zürich speak Swiss German with their particular Zürich dialect. The standing joke is, that they are fast moving and rapid speakers, especially in comparison with the slow folks from the canton of Berne. In the canton of Berne people think that those from Zürich are somewhat big mouthed.

The canton is seat to many international companies of Swiss origin (ABB, Credit Suisse, Helsana, Migros, Sulzer, Swiss Life, UBS etc) or foreign origin (Bayer, BMW, Esso, GE, GM, Microsoft, Sony etc). This canton is the economic power house of Switzerland.

The university of Zürich and the ETH rank among the world’s top places of education.

The lake of Zürich and a few smaller lakes are part of the Canton, adding to its beauty.

The Canton of Zürich 2017-02-28T02:12:28+08:00

Voting on Referendums / Initiatives

2017-08-02T22:57:40+08:00

On the last weekend of February the Swiss are called to cast their ballots on four different issues. The most controversial one pictures the peaceful Swiss (the white sheep) kicking out all foreigners who are criminal offenders (the black sheep).

For many decades Switzerland has experienced a steady influx of foreigners. In the 60ies a wave of Italians arrived who came for construction labour. Later refugees from Vietnam, Tibet, Sri Lanka, the Balkan countries, Africa and other countries applied for asylum. However there are also many Europeans (Germans, French, Italians etc) working in Switzerland (about 2/3 of all foreigners). According to the official statistics the foreign population is around 15% (others even claim 25%).

Foreign tourists are most welcome.

However, nowadays many Swiss are quite sensitive about the growing number of foreigners residing in Switzerland. And now, to make matters worse, scores of refugees are pouring into Europe. Many Swiss are really alarmed. They feel that our small country can’t cope with this huge influx. There are fears that the many Muslims arriving here will not integrate easily and cause trouble. Indeed, 73% of the prison population consists of foreigners. The billboard above reads: “Finally let’s achieve security!” (German: Endlich Sicherheit schaffen).

At the same time many Swiss are genuinely touched by the suffering and misery of the many new refugees seeking shelter in Switzerland.

The major political parties as well as the government are against this initiative. They say that there are enough laws in place to deal with delinquent foreigners and that such a new constitutional law would violate international law.

The Swiss democratic system is very direct! Any citizen can try to bring about a change in the constitutional law with a referendum or bring in a new one through a federal popular initiative. All that is needed are at least 100’000 valid signatures within 1 ½ years for an initiative or 55’000 valid signatures within a hundred days for a referendum. When that target is reached it takes a little while. But then the Swiss are called to cast their ballots on the issue.

For years the Swiss government wanted the country to join the EU. The Swiss have resisted these moves. That is certainly one area where the direct democracy has made a difference. However in reality the Swiss reject most initiatives or referendums.

This democratic process is one of the main reasons for the political stability of Switzerland.

Addendum: The initiative above was rejected by 58.9%.

Voting on Referendums / Initiatives 2017-08-02T22:57:40+08:00

The Canton of Berne

2017-02-28T02:20:54+08:00

All cars that are registered in Switzerland have to display the typical Swiss license plates. The license plate shows that the car is Swiss (watch out for the Swiss flag on the left hand side) and the flag of the canton (on the right). This car here is from the canton of Berne (BE).

The canton of Berne is the second largest of the 26 cantons in terms of population with just a little over 1 mio inhabitants. It is also the second largest in terms of surface (just barely 6’000m2). Car license numbers go up to just under 1 Mio. Lower number plates (under 100’000) are perceived as more prestigious. Low numbers can be especially purchased. The lower and ‘nicer’ the number the more expensive it tends to be.

The Canton of Berne is bilingual. About 85% speak Swiss German (a more melodious Swiss German dialect) and about 15% are French speaking Swiss. However around 15% of the population of the canton consists of residential foreigners without a Swiss passport, speaking many different languages. The canton is rather a protestant area.

A bear is the in the flag of the canton. The story goes that at the beginning days of the city of Berne, by 1191 the founder Berthold von Zähringen killed a bear on his first hunt in the area.

The canton of Berne joined the Swiss Federation in 1353. The canton has a colorful history with a roman period, the middle ages, the Burgundian wars in (15C), the reformation and a Napoleonic period (19C).

The canton of Berne has a very varied topography with the alps (quite an impressive mountain range up to 4000m), several lakes surrounded by fruitful farmland, rolling hills (the Emmental) and the Jura (a lower mountain range in the North). There are countless beautiful spots within a very small area that most foreign tourists would never get to see.

The capital of Switzerland is the city of Berne. The canton connects the German and the French speaking areas of Switzerland. Quite a few famous watch companies along with other high tech brands are located in the canton of Berne. Tourism is also important with key sites such as Interlaken and the Jungfraujoch station (or the top of Europa, at 3’454m). Also check out our post on the Niesen. In that area is so much exciting stuff to do!

The Canton of Berne 2017-02-28T02:20:54+08:00