Michaela Merz


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Open-air racetrack Oerlikon – holiday extension


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Summer is coming to an end. We are back from the holidays and the daily routine has re-started. But because outside it is still high summer, we try to come to terms with the inevitable. After work and school, we undertake things with my youngest, which extend the holiday spirit. Continue reading


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We have found a purse – who’s lost it? Please help to find the owner


We have found this purse. Someone is now miserably sad and depressed. We need your help to find the owner. Please spread this news, because I have maintained that we are more likely to find the owner through the Internet than if we simply hand the purse into the lost property office. Continue reading


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The world’s scariest swing!


Everyone goes abroad for a vacation. I feel almost guilty because I want to remain in Switzerland. There is so much to discover and best of all one can avoid a lot of unpleasant surprises. You know what you’re getting.

Part of the vacation took us to Grindelwald. I have been there on numerous occasions, but mainly in winter. But at mid-summer never. You can discover the village, like all the Arab and Asian tourists: the 10 places you have to visit or you can decide for the quiet discovery away from the great streams of tourists. We chose the middle route. By foot to Pfingstegg to toboggan. The blood freezes in one’s veins, when you see how the Arab women tourists, veiled from head to foot sit in the toboggans and their various layers of material drift behind them. I once read that Josephine Baker was strangled by her scarf in a moving car. Maybe this story is not true but since then I have to think of this horrible way of death, when I see such flying clothes. I understood that the staff, because there are so many Arab tourists, even speak Arabic. Now they only have to explain to the tourists that such flying material can be fatal when tobogganing.

We then travelled to a marble quarry, to see where the doorframe, which stands in the parliament building, comes from and then on to the glacier gorge. 1 kilometre of bridges and tunnel, rock faces up to 300 metres high, a roaring, refreshingly cold experience. If there is anywhere clear evidence that the climate is warming, this is where it is. Years ago the bridges ended by the glacier, quasi a glacier to touch. In the meantime the glacier has retreated 2.5 km. The forecast is that in 2050 there will no longer be a glacier there. In the gorge it is about 14 degrees, because the water that flows with deafening noise, comes from the glacier itself. And that at a temperature of 35 degrees in the shade outside the gorge. The first highlight is the 170 m2 large walkable net, which is spanned 7 metres above the wild stream in the gorge. One needs courage and skill to climb on to it. It is worthwhile. An invigorating experience.

The next highlight is the canyon swing. One lets oneself fall from 300 m high and first flies down like a stone and then swings on the rope in the gorge to and fro like a pendulum. An indescribable feeling of joy, because the body has shaken out so many stress hormones.

You can bathe in the glacier water, but the fun doesn’t last long, because the water is painfully cold, as we ourselves experienced with my youngest.

Every Wednesday evening there is a street party in the village with drinks, music and a lot of fun. It was a wonderful end to a fantastic day. We had enjoyed a super vacation day. Caused no CO2 emissions at all, because we did everything by foot, supported the local economy and so contributed to preserving jobs in the area. Finally, by paying VAT, we increased the Confederation’s tax revenues. A WIN/WIN situation all round.

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Tripsdrill – the first German adventure park


We went to Tripsdrill and found everything a child’s heart could desire. Good play areas, animals to marvel at and stroke, water chutes, looping coasters, horse-drawn coaches, boats, carousels, games and spending the night in a tree house.

What does the mother’s heart desire in such a children’s paradise? Enough clean toilets, food that doesn’t consist only of chips and sweets. Prices, which don‘t bankrupt you, no queues before the attractions, cleanliness and a well-kept environment.

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We were just lucky. It is the second half of April and the temperatures are climbing almost to 30 degrees. Summer at the beginning of spring. The Germans are at school and we in Switzerland have spring holidays. The park is empty and there are no queues anywhere.

In 278 BC named Trephonis Trulla by the Romans, in the vernacular the name of the location also described a place, in which the impossible is possible. In 1890 the first picture of the legendary Old Wives Mill at Tripsdrill appeared. In fact it was built in 1929 by Eugen Fischer. This was the year, in which Germany’s first adventure park was born.

In Tripsdrill you can find everything the heart desires. It is not kitschy, it offers lots of exhibitions on life and work in the past. In the midst of the vineyards, with a wine exhibition and wine tasting, we lived in a tree house in a wildlife park. In the morning we were awakened by the howling of the wolves, who slept 300 meters from us.

We visited 100 attractions, played, laughed, ate, fed the donkeys, stroked the miniature goats. I climbed into an Old Wives Mill, got wet but not really prettier and younger. I liked the wedding market with all its offerings. We rode in the cradle, pulled twins out of the well and admired the wedding procession and the pithy German humour. Three days fun without end, super sleeping in the treetops with nocturnal forest noises, which didn’t disturb us one bit, because every evening we were so dog-tired with my youngest. Simply only happy, fulfilled days.

The adventure park closes every evening at 6.00pm. On one of our last rides the man asked where we were living. I said “in the tree house, around the corner”. He winked and asked whether we had space free. I disappointed him, after all we were not alone but four of us were together on holiday. It just shows that one can even make contacts there. To all singles and happy couples or families, I can only recommend it.


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Why I’m not afraid of big animals


When I was 5 years old, I used to spend the summer with my mother and grandmother in a tiny village of only 5 houses. It was the last summer before I started school. My biggest issue at that point was that people always mistook me for a boy. I was very small, weighed only 20kg and had short hair. I truly looked like a boy but felt entirely girly. My environment didn’t always notice that.

That summer, a guy named Roy rented a room in the same house. I have no idea how old Roy might have been. Maybe 50? Could have been 60? He was ancient for me but really funny. Continue reading


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The USA and its air-conditioning


 


I’m back home from my trip through Florida. It was the coldest January for 29 years. There was snow, the iguanas fell from the trees because of the cold, the sea-cows, sensitive to the cold, sought out protected bays and thronged in large quantities in very small spaces to keep warm. But still all the air-conditioners were running at full blast. I have never understood this, but I would be extremely grateful if some-one could explain why. Why are the rooms in restaurants, hotels, theatres, congress centres cooled down to a temperature, where its scarcely possible to feel comfortable? Continue reading


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Welcome to Miami – Bienvenidos a Miami


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I have the good luck of attracting unique events and exceptions. Like during the Christmas holidays, when I was travelling in Florida. After 29 years, snow and cold in Florida. If I’m honest, I couldn’t care less about the snow, that’s not the reason I have travelled such a distance. An hour from home I could enjoy the powder snow. But fortunately, Florida is big and snow in the North of Florida still means 16 degrees and sunshine in Miami. Continue reading