# Switzerland Today

Recent links

Coronavirus: the situation in Switzerland

swissinfo, 10 May 2020.

Swiss plan to ask diners for contacts dropped over privacy

apnews (LINK), 8 May 2020.

Covid-19 brings Swiss watchmaking to a standstill

swissinfo, 7 May 2020.

A hike to make the spirits soar: The lakes and valleys of Switzerland are a pure delight for walkers

Daily Mail, 13 December 2019.

Geneva’s traffic as bad as Shanghai’s

lenews.ch, 5 June 2019.

Going underground – Touring Switzerland’s oldest salt mine

lenews.ch, 30 May 2019.

You Have 24 Hours in Bern Switzerland Here’s What You Must See and Do!

Dreams in Heels, 30 May 2019.

Geneva learns about crypto – at its Polo Club

polo ponies

Geneva's Polo Club, just across the border in Veigy-Foncenex, France, introduced local bankers and investors to cryptocurrencies on 29 June 2018 — catching up with the rest of Switzerland in its ambition to become a "crypto-nation".

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News: This section covers events tourists and other travellers might want to know.

Events: These are arranged by date in the current month.

Eating out: A non-comprehensive listing of good places to eat, particularly outside the main towns.

Eating in: Guides to food, wine and recipes I like.

Excursions: Various trips to places right now.

Places: Brief coverage of non-news info on Switzerland, such as museums.

Leukerbad's thermal baths scores top

Tips: Notes and links to useful information about Switzerland. Latest: Geneva airport shopping.


Pay council bills and buy with farinets, the Valais local currency

Sion City Council has approved plans to make the Valais local currency, the farinet, legal tender in the canton's capital from 15 October 2018.

"At first, the public will be able to use farinets for payments at the municipal police counters, the contrôle des habitants (inhabitants control office), the swimming pools, the skating rink and the Tourbillon Snow Garden (ski lessons excluded)," the local administration said in a statement.

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Remembering Holocaust victims

Switzerland this year presides over the Alliance for the Memory of the Holocaust, for the first time. An occasion perhaps to recognize the work of Carl Lutz, the Swiss vice-consul in Budapest who saved over 60,000 Hungarian Jews in the largest rescue operation of Jews in the Second World War. He was at first criticized for exceeding his authority and not rehabilitated until 1958.

UN News has been good enough to give us an article on Holocaust survivors in Switzerland as one of its top five stories of the year, though it doesn't do much about giving us the full story of Switzerland's shameful treatment of Jews. Conspiracy theorists can speculate all they want.

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A fresh look at the Symbolists

Wonder where the Sixties hippy art style came from? Or the fairytale animations we’ve seen lately from Hollywood? The Pierre Arnaud gallery in Lens below Crans-Montana had an answer in its last exhibition before becoming a gallery of Australian aboriginal art.

Those diaphanous female figures, pastel patterns, dreamy landscapes and hokey mythological allusions: the 19th-century Symbolists had them all, well before the 1960s Paisley revival, Laura Ashley patterns and washed-out LP covers. You know: Arnold Böcklin, Gustave Moreau, Félicien Rops, et al.

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The 19th-century’s iconic painting arrives in Switzerland

Gianadda, that spectacular cultural centre in Martigny, specializes in exhibitions you want to wander round more than once.

Its show Hodler, Monet, Munch: painting the impossible also demonstrated the Foundation’s knack of finding original themes to group masterpieces of modern painting. This time it had perhaps the iconic painting of Impressionism.

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In Geneva's Cemetery of the Kings

The writer and artist John Berger, who lived in the nearby French Haute-Savoie from the 1970s till late in life, died in January 2017. He celebrated his 90th birthday on 5 November 2016. He had an active, creative life as a writer and painter.

Berger made a name celebrating the vanishing culture and life of European peasants. But he is also a surprising fan of bourgeois Geneva, and of a writer who seems on the surface to be his complete opposite: the teasing, brilliant Argentinian writer, Jorge Luis Borges, who died in Geneva of liver cancer at the age of 86 thirty years ago.

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Swiss icons: the army knife

What makes the Swiss army knife so special? The U.S. soldier, according to an extremely popular exhibition in the Musée de Prangins, near Nyon.

The Swiss army knife, we learn, got its name from American soldiers who bought the knife in military PX (post exchange) stores as souvenirs of their time in Europe.

In fact, Swiss officers do not receive knives from the army. The real Swiss army knife, also known as the Soldatenmesser, is a 10-piece working tool designed to be opened with one hand.

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'Roger Federer, welcome home!'

See Roger Federer, the master of the impossible tennis shot, competing at the top of his form, perhaps for the last time ever at 32, on his home turf. The opportunity was too enticing to pass up.

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'The most famous woman in Europe' 200 years on

In the English-speaking world, her works may be largely forgotten. But she wrote major treatises on the influence of passions on individuals and nations, on literature and its relationship to society, on Germany, the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette’s trial, on peace, on translation, and on suicide. She is remembered most fondly in a village near Geneva.

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Why economics is a dismal science

The Geneva-based Latsis Foundation sponsored a symposium with Nobel prizewinner Joseph Stiglitz about finding a new paradigm for economics. The conference offered warning messages for planners and politicians.

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Heidi yodels Vivaldi

L'Orchestre Valaisan Amateur (OVA) has put together a programme that includes yodelling Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

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Living the cliché: reel Switzerland

A one-time location scout for television chain Home Box Office in Los Angeles, the Swiss Cornelius Schregle, has put together a 400-page picture book of foreigners' clichés of Switzerland in film.

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Articles: older pieces


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