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Swiss Village Bans Tourists from Taking Photos Because It’s Too Beautiful

Located in the Swiss Alps, near the famous resort of St. Moritz, the commune of Bergün/Bravuogn is one of the most beautiful mountain villages in Europe. So beautiful, in fact, that photos of it shared on social media may make people feel depresses that they can’t visit, so local authorities banned tourist from taking photos.

It may sound like a joke, but it’s actually a new law adopted by the Bergün village council and approved by its mayor. And yes, their justification for the photo ban is that photos of their beautiful home with the stunning mountain peaks in the background could make people seeing them on social media jealous and depressed. To deter visitors from taking photos in Bergün, they plant to implement a symbolic €5 fine for those caught breaking the new rules.

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In Switzerland Onion Skins Are More Expensive Than Actual Onions

With Easter just around the corner, Christians around the world are stocking up on eggs and dyes for the traditional egg dyeing. But while most of us have grown used to chemical dyes, some still prefer the natural approach, like boiling white eggs with onion skins. This is apparently very popular in Switzerland, where people actually pay for bags of onion peels selected specifically for egg dyeing.

Dyeing Easter eggs with onion skins is not a Swiss tradition. In fact, I remember my mother used to do it when I was little, taking differed plant leaves, and placing them on the eggs before wrapping them in a large onion skin, putting them in a sock and boiling them in a pot of water with more skins thrown in for a more intense coloring effect. But she used orange skins saved up for weeks in advance, instead of buying them from the supermarket, like some Swiss do nowadays.

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Entrepreneur Sells World’s Most Expensive Mountain Air at $167 per Bottle

If you’ve ever been to Switzerland you already know that pretty much everything is expensive there, and the fresh mountain air is apparently no exception. Well, most of it is actually free, but if you want to order a liter of Swiss mountain air collected from a secret location in the Alps, you’ll have to cough up a whopping $167. This is not a joke!

John Green, a British expat living in Basel, Switzerland, is the brains behind “Genuine Mountain Air from Switzerland”, a fledgling online business that promises to ship fresh, high-quality Swiss air anywhere around the world, if you can afford it. Green claims to collect the air from a “secret location” near the town of Zermatt, then bottles it up in glass containers, labels it and ships it to buyers.

Described as “the ultimate present for the man or woman that has everything,” the bottled mountain air also comes with a certificate of authenticity and the exact GPS collection of the place it was collected from.

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This Stunning Open-Air Hotel Room in the Swiss Alps Is Basically Just a Bed

Located 6,463 feet above sea level in the middle of the Swiss Alps, the Null Stern concept hotel takes the minimalist approach to the extreme, removing the walls, roof, basic amenities like toilets and leaving guests with just a king-size bed and a stunning 360-degree view to admire.

It might seem rudimentary, but setting up the Null Stern hotel room way up in the mountains actually required a bit of work. A construction crew, including an excavator, had to first flatten the terrain, before the bed, nightstands and bed lamps could be installed. I suspect having them transported through what looks like very rough terrain was no walk in the park either. So why go through the trouble?

Null Stern hotel co-founder Daniel Charbonnier says the goal was “to put the guest at the center of the experience and to focus on the intangible by reducing everything else to the minimum.” So they skipped building the walls and roof of the room, as well as the bathroom. That last one may be a big problem for a lot of people, but Null Stern mentions that there is a public bathroom available 10 miles down the mountain.

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Swiss Company Will Find a Truly Unique Name for Your Baby for Just $32,000

It’s hard to find an original, one-of-a-kind name for a baby in this day and age – a fact that a Swiss company is cashing in on. For a hefty fee of $32,000, they promise to have their team of experts come up with a name that your baby wouldn’t share with anyone else in the world.

The company, called Erflogswelle, is actually in the business of creating names for brands and products, but director Marc Hauser came up with the idea for this new service after he helped a friend name her child. “The choice was causing tension between the couple, so I thought I could help,” he explained.

His friend loved the name that he picked out and that’s when he realized the potential of extending the service to parents all over the world. So he put together a special team of his best people, who employ their tried and tested techniques to find unique names for babies.
baby-names

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Running Up 11,674 Steps in the World’s Longest Single-Staircase Race

The world’s longest staircase is located on the face of Mt. Niesen in Switzerland, nicknamed the ‘Swiss Pyramid’ for its triangular shape. The 3.4 km staircase goes up the side of the mountain with 11,674 steps, ranging from an altitude of 700 m at the bottom (from the side of the Kander river in Mülenen) to 2363 m at the top (the terminus near the summit of the mountain). Its average gradient is a monumental 55%, with a maximum of 65%.

For safety reasons, the staircase is normally closed to the general public. But one day a year, in June, it is opened up for the world’s longest single-staircase race – the ‘Niesen Treppenlauf’, otherwise known as the ‘Niesenlauf’. During the course of this race, up to 500 participants get to climb the monster staircase at record-breaking speeds. The record for the event is 1 hour and 2 minutes for men, and 1 hour and 9 minutes for women – which is really quite remarkable, considering that reaching the top is the equivalent of climbing the Empire State Building more than 7 times.

Niesenlauf-race

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165-Meter-High Swiss Dam Is the World’s Tallest Non-Natural Climbing Wall

Diga di Luzzone is considered to be the Everest of wall climbing. The 540-foot artificial structure is the tallest vertical climbing wall in the world. It is actually part of the functioning Luzzone dam, but while  it was never built for climbing thrill-seekers around the world have made it their own. Nestled among the Alps, the wall offers a terrific view of the surroundings, although climbers don’t really get much time to enjoy it.

Access to the Diga di Luzzone costs about 20 CHF, which is quite cheap. The cost includes a ladder that you can use to gain the first 20 ft. right up to the holds of the first pitch. There are five pitches in total – each one long enough for you to feel the weight of the rope as you clip the higher bolts. Look down, and the exposure is simply mind blowing. All through the climb, you are exposed to the elements, making the man-made route feel as natural as possible.

Diga-di-Luzzone

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In Switzerland You Can Rent Fake Police Cars to Keep Burglars Away

Who needs an expensive home security system when you have a police car parked right outside your home? That’s what Swiss entrepreneur Andras Birrer thought when he decided to rent out fake police cars to people who travel a lot or go away on long holidays.

It all started out as a gimmick ad for a local newspaper in Andras Birrer’s home town of Sursee, near Lucerne. The owner of a local car rental firm, Birrer had the brilliant idea to paint a Hyundai i40 in the colors of the Swiss police, fit it with warning lights and advertise it as an effective way to discourage burglars. The newspaper ad read: “Don’t want your home broken into? Are you leaving on vacation soon? Rent our police car, we leave it parked outside your home the entire time”. It was meant to be a publicity stunt, but the ad got people so interested that the Swiss mechanic decided to actually provide the unusual service. Now he has a whole fleet of police car replicas available for 250 francs ($270) a week. Birrer is raking in a small fortune as his idea seems to have become a hit with frequent travelers and summer vacationers who truly believe the fake police cars can keep burglars away.

fake-police-car

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Evil Clown Will Stalk and Attack Your Child for a Fee

He may look like one, but Dominic Deville is not some escaped lunatic out to hurt your kids. He’s an evil clown for hire who stalks young victims for a week, sending them scary texts, making prank phone calls, stalking them from a distance, and ultimately attacks them with a pie to the face. And yes, he expects to get paid for it.

If you’ve ever seen Stephen King’s “It”, you know clowns can be very scary. I myself am terrified of them, to be honest, and I’ve never even seen that movie, just some quick scenes of it. But horror films like this are exactly what inspired Dominic Deville to start up his lucrative business, Evil Clown, in Lucerne, Switzerland. His service requires him to put on an evil clown outfit and scaring a child senseless for a week. During this time, he stalks his “prey” from a distance, sending them creepy messages, making prank calls and warning them they are being watched and that they’ll soon be attacked. “The child feels more and more that it is being pursued,” Deville told Metro, but “the clown’s one and only aim is to smash a cake into the face of his victim, when they least expect it, during the course of seven days.” And if they manage to avoid the hit, they are given the cake as a present.

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Photographer Captures Beauty of Crystal Clear Swiss River from 50 Feet Deep

The Verzasca River, in Switzerland, is known all over the world for its clear, turquoise waters, but until now its beauty had only been captured from the surface. Photographer Claudio Gazzaroli decided to change that, so he put on a diving suit, took his waterproof camera and dived onto the riverbed to take some truly mind-blowing photos.

The 30-km-long Verzasca mountain river originates at Pizzo Barone and flows into Lake Maggiore, in Italy. The river valley is located in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland and is a popular tourist destination. People come from all around the globe to see the turquoise waters of Verzasca, do scuba-diving and admire its vibrant colored rocks. Most of them prefer to take photos of Verzasca from the mountains that surround it or from the many bridges built over it. But photographer Claudio Gazzaroli wanted to offer a different perspective on this unique wonder of nature. He dived town 50 feet to the bottom of Verzasca and managed to capture the almost unearthly clarity of its waters. ‘I wanted to show the beauty of this place in a new way,’ Gazzaroli said. Looking at his work, one wonders why wee need software like Photoshop when Mother Nature seems to do thing better herself.

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Swiss Police Hire Guardian Angel to Prevent Speeding

The police department in Freibourg, west Switzerland, have come up with an original idea to stop motorists from driving to fast. They’ve hired a roadside angel.

Part of the “Slow Down, Take It Easy” anti-speeding campaign, the angel of Freibourg hopes to reduce the number of accidents, in the mountainous state of Switzerland. He’ll be showing up in different roadside locations, around Freibourg, and flap his wings at drivers that are going to fast.

Police hope a physical presence will make the message of the campaign even stronger and actually get people to slow down. The bearded actor who plays the angel, will work 20 hours a week,  until October. Those that spot him are encouraged to email the police department, for the chance of winning a driving lesson.

Photos by the Freibourg Police

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The Skiing Witches of Belalp Hexe

I remember a time when witches flew on brooms. Nowadays they’re flying on the ski-slopes, using their brooms as sticks. What’s the occult world coming to?

Every year, between January 10-16, over 1,500 people from Switzerland and other European countries gather at Belalp, for one of the wackiest downhill skiing races in the world. The Witches Downhill challenge has contestants dress up as witches and race down a snowy mountain.

Races are organized for children and adults alike and between challenges there are fun parties to go to. Witches Night is the biggest, with over 3,000 participants indulging in singing, dancing, drinking and all around partying.

The Belalp Hexe Ski Race began in 1983, inspired by a real witch that apparently lived nearby and terrorized locals. she actually flew around and everything.

Belalp-Hexe-ski-race

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Unique Swiss Ice-Palace Is a Winter Wonderland

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Switzerland, the open air Ice-Palace features an impressive collection of castles, towers and grottoes made of ice.

The Ice Palace (Eispaläste) is located in the middle of a forest, near Black Lake, in western Switzerland. Designed by Karl Neuhaus, a talented ice sculptor, the Ice Palace celebrates its 23rd exhibition. The cold climate in the Freibourg area can only sustain this frozen masterpiece for around three months, from Christmas until early March.

The best time to visit the Swiss Ice Palace is after sundown, when all the structures and sculptures are illuminated with colorful lights. It’s a truly memorable sights that attracts thousands of tourists every year.

Freibourg-Ice-Palace

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