Category Archives: Traditions

Onion Market “Ziebelemärit” in Bern

Every fourth Monday of November old city of Bern becomes an onion market. Farmers from all country selling their best onions for locals and tourists from very early morning until 18:00. Onions are woven into beautiful braids and look so gorgeous! Braids are made in many sizes – beginning with the little ones and finishing with around 1 meter long! Farmers beginning to build their stands already from 4:00 in the morning! And buyers are hunting for the best onion braids already at 6:00 !

Каждый четвертый понедельник ноября, столица Швейцарии превращается в рынок лука! Фермеры со всей страны съезжаются в Берн, чтобы продать свой лучший товар местным жителям и туристам. Лук заплетают в очень красивые вязанки, которые длиной достигают от нескольких сантиметров до одного метра! Фермеры начинают выкладывать  свой товар на лавки уже в 4 утра, а продажа заканчивается в 6 вечера. Первые покупаетели приходят уже в 6 утра, дабы заполучить лучшие вязанки на рынке.

Onions are everywhere

Almost everything is sold!

Definitely one of the longest braids on the market!
You even should give some tips for a chance to make a picture of it 😊👍

Of course, there are stands with vegetables, food, handmade products and most popular drink in winter time – Glühwein. All old city of Bern is full of confeti! Be careful, kids have no mercy and they through confeti sometimes directly in to your face! But the good news is that confeti battle normally starts just at the end of the market, around 16:00.

Конечно, кроме лука здесь ещё продают еду, овощи, предметы ручной работы и всеми любимый в зимнее время Глитвейн. К вечеру весь старый город Берна усыпан конфети. Это любимое занятие детей – устраивать бои из конфети. Нужно быть осторожным, так как самые оторвы бросают конфети прямо вам в лицо. К счастью, время конфети начинается под вечер, около 4-х часов.

Candy shop 😍

No Glühwein- no party 🍷

The Battle field

Zibelemärit is differently the place to go if you are around Bern in November. The atmosphere is very positive, everyone is happy to celebrate this amazing tradition!

Мы советуем вам посетить рынок лука в обязательном порядке, если вдруг вы окажетесь в ноябре в Швейцарии. Атмосфера здесь позитивная и праздничная! Это одна из главных традиций региона!

“Look how cuuuute! Sämi, please…!” *we took it home*
We really liked it!
 

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The farmers tradition “Alpabzug” 

In Autumn in Switzerland takes the place one beautiful and emotional event – Alpabzug. Farmers with their herds coming back to stalls from the Alps. This spectacular event collect tourists and locals in mountain villages. Cows are walking proudly through the main streets with beautiful flower crowns.

Осенью, в Швейцарии проходит одно красивое и захватывающее мероприятие – Альпапцуг. Фермеры ведут свои стада в стойла с альпийских лугов. Это увлекательное зрелище притягиеват к себе множество туристов и местных жителей. Коровы гордо проходят по главным улицам деревень с роскошными венками на головах.

Cows proudly enter on Gstaad Promenade
Models on a catwalk
Beauty’s

What do flowers mean? Что обозначают венки?

Whole summer cows grazing in a wild nature in high mountains. If whole summer was safe and no accidents happened, then all mother cows are wearing beautiful flower crowns.

Нужно отметить, что коровы все лето пасутся на альпийских лугах высоко в горах. Если дикая природа и обстоятельства помиловали стадо и лето прошло без несчастных случаев – фермеры увенчивают головы коров красочными коронами из цветов. Обычно, это главные коровы в стаде. 

Flower crown
Every woman needs to be beautiful
Fashion parade

What do bells mean? Что обозначают колокольчики?

Bells have a big space in Alpine culture. The biggest bells wearing older cows which are giving the most milk or giving birth to many calves. More proud about the cow – bigger bell on the neck. They are quite heavy and loud that’s why cows wearing them just for the special events. The rest have smaller bells. These bells cows are wearing whole summer. The first meaning is: if the cow or all herd is lost in mountains is easier to find them. The second thing about bells is deeper. Every herd has an own melody. Farmers are very proud of theirs own sounds. When cows are grazing and making a little movement with heads, then the whole herd is like an orchestra in mountains. Herdsmans are meditating on this music….Every farmer family are very proud of the bells they have. They collect them by generations and with an honour demonstrating them on their chalets or farms. Ones we asked a specialist about if these bells are disturbing the animals? The answer was: “Absolutely not, cows love music and when they wearing bells – they giving more milk!”

Колокольчики на животных занимают большую часть в альпийской культуре. Самый большой колокольчик, я бы даже сказала – “колокол”, достается лучшей корове в стаде. Той, что дает больше молока и дает здоровых телят. Ей больше всего гордятся в семье. Стоит заметить, что огромные “колокола” надевают только по специальным случаям. В остальные дни, корова носит колокольчик поменьше. Ошейники с колокольчиками коровы, да и другой скот, носят все лето. Для чего? Во-первых, когда корова или стадо теряется в горах их намного проще найти. Во-вторых, уже более глубокое значение, у каждого стада своя мелодия, которой гордится вся семья. Когда коровы пасутся, движения головой создают ноты. Когда пасется все стадо – это уже целый оркестр. Пастухи очень любят вслушиваться в эти произведения искусства! Каждая фермерская семья гордится коллекцией колокольчиков. Они демонстративно вывешивают их на своих шале. Колокольчики коллекционируют из поколения в поколение. Однажды, мы спросили специалиста, не мешают ли колокольчики животным? Ответ был: “Конечно нет! Животные любят музыку и коровы с колокольчиками дают больше молока!”

Cow with the bell
Farmers proud

Where and when to watch it? Где можно это увидеть?

Every village has an own date for this amazing event. Everything depends on the weather. When is getting cold in mountains and grass is getting poor, then in one-day herds are coming back to stalls one by one. Normally village organises an event. For example, this year in Gstaad Alpabzug is 02.09.2017. All information you can find easily on Google. During the event for sure is the market with cheese, meat and other handmade and homemade farmer products. There are jodlers, alphorn music performances and many other traditional entertainments.

В каждой деревне мероприятие отмечают по разному и в разное время. Все зависит от погоды. Когда в горах становится холодно, а альпийские луга становятся скудными, фермеры возвращаются домой. Обычно все сходят в один определенный день. В этом году, в Гштаад мероприятие организовано на 02.09.2017.  В обязательном порядке открывается рынок, где местные фермеры продают сыр, мясо и другие самодельные продукты. Можно услышать йодлинг, дивные звуки альпхорна и многое другое.

What is funny in Gstaad – cows are walking on the promenade where are Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Ralph Lauren boutiques. Last year was very funny – one young cow nearly went in Ralph Lauren shop 😀 Also, at the end of the Alpabzug through all village was proudly walking the best bull – Muni.

Что интересно именно в Гштаад – коровы шествуют по главной улице деревни, Променаде. Там находятся люксовые бутики, такие как: Луи Витон, Картьер, Ральф Лаурэн и т.д. В прошлом году было очень смешно от того, как молодая телочка почти зашла в шале Ральф Лаурен 😀 А под конец, когда последнее стадо прошло по деревне, на “подиум” вывели самого лучшего быка “Муни”.

Carriage
Jodlers
Muni
Muni and Louis Vuitton

 

 

Gruyères. A wonderful castle at the foot of the Alps.

Castle and medieval town in Gruyeres is a great historical and cultural place. We think this is a place for everyone, not just historical lovers. Here you can see :

Aliens


Incredible HRGiger museum !

Buddhists


At beautiful Tibet Museum

And of course,

Gorgeous historical museum in castle.


Very romantic…


And this stunning view…


Our advice 

Gruyeres is definitely a place to visit in Switzerland!

The place where the time stopped. Suzdal, Russia

We went to Russia in May. It was the best time to visit this country – beautiful warm weather and a lot of juicy green colors. Our destination was Ivanovo city, where our Russian part of the family lives. Of course, we spend a lot of time in this city, but we were traveling around as well!

Samuel was the first time in Russia, and he was very excited! Everything for him was new. Imagine, how the Swiss Perfectionist looks at totally unperfect Russia. But he was in love. At the beginning, he even wanted to move here, but at the end, he changed his mind 😀

OK, let’s start our trip and our first place to visit was Suzdal.

Info

Food

The most famous in Suzdal is Medovukha. This is a honey based an alcoholic drink. Exist 124 sorts of it! You have from 5% – 16%. What is interesting, that this drink exists from XIV century, but very popular became in  XX century!

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From lots of restaurants, we choose one with a name ” Zolotoy ruchey”. It was not bad, but also not so amazing. Kitchen, of course, is Russian. We ordered some fish, a grilled meat, and a cream soup from Porcini mushrooms. For two persons we paid less than 50 euro.

A design of the restaurant was quite interesting. Russian spirit is everywhere. You can see the bears and other animals ( ofc they are not alive anymore). The restaurant is very big and ready for a lot of guests. Also, you have a hotel in the same building and it is very close to main attractions of Suzdal.

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Historical monuments

Suzdal is the only city-museum in Russia. When you are walking down the streets you feel like you are in medieval times…You can also rent a carriage with the horse in a special Russian tack. We did not. Horses there look quite tired and kind of pure, so we just gave them a pat and walked with the own feets.

Our first stop was a beautiful church – Cathedral of the Nativity

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This church made us say “wow”. The blue domes with the stars as a symbol of the Sky. On the top of the domes are orthodox crosses, as a symbol of the Jesus Christus Church. What is interesting that Russian churches have an odd number of domes. One symbolizes the only head of all churches – Jesus Christus. Three – The Holy Trinity. Five – Jesus Christus and four evangelicals. Seven domes remind us about seven mysteries of Church. Thirteen – Jesus Christus and twelve apostles.

Why Russian church has domes in form of the onion?

This is a symbol of national faith which tend to the sky as a flame on the candle.

Cathedral of the Nativity was built in 12 century. After many rebuildings and many times burning the church still has a spiritual function and a museum inside. Unfortunately, we were not inside and we missed a lot!

Monastery of Saint Euthymius

This place is one of the darkest sides of Suzdal. This huge monastery was not just a holy place. Long time it was a prison. In times of Ekaterina II in 1776, it was a place for a “crazy prisoners”. Many of them died in this unapproachable tower.

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Till 1947 the walls of this place were hiding prisoners. At the end, it was a prison for children. Just in 1968 Monastery of St Euthymius became a museum.

The Convent of the Intercession

Grounded in 1364. In 16 century it became a place of confinement for aristocratic females. In 16-17 centuries the Convent was the biggest in Russia. Here died many royal wives. Most of them came here forcibly.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR8515.
Beautiful, is it?

P.S.

We had just one evening in this incredible city and unfortunately did not go inside of museums and monasteries. But even this what we saw was enough to be admired! Would you imagine to go to Suzdal ones?

 

Saanen museum. Or how we get an answer on the main question.

Saanen museum is cute. Really cute. From outside you will not realise that in this chalet, on the main Promenade is a museum of Saanenland. Actually, we were really  many times in Saanen and never think even to search for a museum. But somehow we get an info about this place, and we decided to check it!

Entrance is 8 CHF for an adult.

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Let’s go!

History starts from the early times. First, you can see the original floor built hundreds of  years ago…

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That was interesting, but one thing made us be confused. You have the numbers of the exhibit but no information about the objects. We had to ask a receptionist to give us something to read about what we see. We get some prospects. Thank you 🙂

Menuhin

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Lord Menuhin is the men which made from Saanen this what it is now. Popular, cultural, art and music place. Yehudi Menuhin is from New York. He was born in a Russian-Jewish family in 1914. Humanist, the violinist, he has grounded a musician academy. We are not so musicians, so, guys if you are passionate about music, we ask you gently to click here for his biography.

How did they live?

Interiors of the “before industry” era. Wood, low ceilings, dark. But one thing made us really smile – bed-transformer!

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School class was also nice to visit.

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And the story of the alpine life. The history of the ski sport. Fashion. Very cool!

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Answer on the question!

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This question was annoying us a long time. And the best, that even old swiss people did not answer us anything concrete. The thing is – why most of  the cows have this heavy and loud bells on the necks? Ok, for the show is maybe not bad, but even when they peacefully eating grass on the bordered paddocks they still wearing it.  For us, it was always like it is not so animal-friendly. So, finally, we could ask the real farmer woman about this huge part of the Swiss tradition.

Why cows have this loud bells?? All the time. Even on paddocks and in our times?

She answered: ” Cows are really enjoying music. Farmers realised, that when a cow is listening music it gives more milk. Every herd has a special sound. Every farmer has own sound. Like this in the high mountains is easy to find lost cows. And control them as well. If you will listen to the grazing herd of cows, you can even hear a melody. That’s the farmer proud. Normally, when cows are going down from the alps to the farms in villages, at the beginning walking the main, alfa cow with the biggest bell in the herd. Of course, they are enough old to carry a huge bell on the neck. And they wear it just for the special occasions. Normally they also have smaller bells in daily life. ”

Finely ! Someone really explained why and for what! And the cowbells are really farmer families relics. Especially the huge ones.

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P.S.

What do you think about the cowbells? Don’t you think is still a bit annoying for an animal to have none stop something loud close to the ears? We are thinking if we are the cows with bells , we would go crazy…

What to do in Ballenberg?

Open-air museum. Or a little village museum. Something absolutely special – Ballenberg.

More than 100 houses from all around the Switzerland were collected in one place. Important is that all of them show the life of farmers and handicrafts before 1950 year.  It’s mean the times before motorisation of farming.


Our biggest question was “How did they move whole house and rebuild it to the same condition after all?”. Can you imagine, somewhere in canton Ticino, in a deep village, there is a house. An old house. And then someone found it and decided to move on another side of the Alps. Yeah. Just like that. And someone did it! And now the house is in Ballenberg. And lots of other houses as well! Incredible, no?

We were in this museum already 3 times minimum and we would still go there again!

So, here we go ! What you can see and what you can do in Ballenberg museum?

Take a look at someone’s home business! 

We get always inspired in Ballenberg. Because already in old times people were working at “home offices”. They made their business. In our times we try to come back again to this lifestyle. More and more people have enough to work in offices and having chiefs. More and more people (even our friends) trying to build up something own. Something under own roof.

Still, you can see , that even at home some people had special conditions. Some of them were working and living in quite dark and cold, or stink and noise. Anyway – for everything you have to pay the price. Even for to be independent.

Be surprised about the interiors!

Every house has the own soul.  Some are so cozy and light. Some are dark and cold. But everywhere you can see part of the life of someone who knew the planet long time ago before we came. How they were cooking, where they were eating, how they slept. The only very special thing was – excuse me, where they had a bath? Nowhere we did not find a place for the hygiene. Like in Russia or Finland they have special bath houses. And here….nothing. So we hope they deal it somehow. Otherwise, we don’t want to know how stinky people were living in this houses…:)

Watch the animals! 

If you love animals – this is a museum for you! Here you can see the happiest animals from all museums in the world! First at all, they are all alive. They are chilling, eating, do not care for the people at all…But, some of them can be a little bit more clean. Lots of people coming here every day and sorry, paying money. So, we would prefer to see the cow with the clean bottom 🙂 Anyway, you can see, someone keep care of them. And they are happy.

 

Be interactive and social!

There are many of workers waiting for your questions! Most of them speaking English and of course German and French. I would say even Italian speaking lady or gentleman you can find as well. There is much of information everywhere : in houses, on houses, on every paddock with the animals.  You can have a map of the museum with all the houses in Ballenberg. You can shop, eat, picnic, carriage driving and after the museum is closed – is open for bikers and joggers, or just for walkers FOR FREE !

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Picnic!

or eat in the restaurant*

If you will be lucky to have someone swiss in your team – do it! Swiss people are masters of a picnicking. They have it almost as a ritual. Of course, you need to have a swiss knife and lighter. Everything another Ballenberg gives you for free – picnic areas, tables, seats, fireplaces. Even sticks for sausages.

Shopping list:

  • sausages
  • apples
  • bananas
  • milk chocolate
  • aluminium foil
  • something to drink ( For travel water is always the best. One bottle is enough. Here in Ballenberg you can easy feel it up again with the clean water in many places. Water in Switzerland is incredibly clean.)

What to take with :

  • swiss knife (optional)
  • maybe, sandwiches as well. ( You gonna walk a lot, so better you are not hAngry)
  • umbrella (in a case is cloudy)
  • lighter or matches
  • maybe plastic dishes

Don’t miss a little break with an apple and a swiss knife. This is a swiss ceremony of enjoying the free time. You slowly cut an apple in small pieces and delight it in total zen…

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Let’s get it started!

  1. Prepare sausage. Take the skin away and cut the endings like a cross X
  2. Take a stick, put the sausage on. Put a sausage close to the fire, but not directly in.
  3.  Wait until it gets brown. Bon appetite.
  4. You cut banana gently along, take a little piece of the meat out and put inside some chocolate. You leave the skin of the banana on.
  5. Wrap banana with folie around and put it close to the fire to make it warm.
  6. During you enjoy your sausage, the desert could be already prepared.
  7. Wait some minutes until chocolate is warm and melted and take the banana on the table. This is heaven to eat this, guys…

Great!

And…just have fun! 

Be open! Be ready to spend all day at this place. Even one full day is not enough to see all. Don’t be shy to stay and watch how people  are working – they are doing it for you! You can learn so many new things. Be positive. And even on a rainy day you are safe in more than 100 houses of Ballenberg!