Published with the kind approval from The Expat Magazine
The Angie Gisler English Language Centre hit Switzerland by storm in 2014 when the young South African entrepreneur saw a huge missing segment of English language education in Switzerland. Her extensive career working as a teacher around the world and pure love for what she does has allowed her to tailor-make undoubtedly one of the best English language centers in Switzerland.
The Expat Magazine spent a day with Ms. G to find out exactly who she is and what she does that is making her centre so reputable and what her plans are for the future. Many ex-pats end up in Switzerland for either work or love, but Angie had both. Prior to making Switzerland home, she lived and worked abroad running English schools, cutting her teeth in some of the leading schools in South Korea, the USA and Russia. During her journey she found the love of her life and married her Swiss husband, landing her in Switzerland with a fierce determination to make something of her own.
“As the years went on and my passport filled with stamps, my passion for teaching English developed, too. I had been working in international schools for over six years and always had it in the back of my mind to open my own language centre. Through¬out my experience I saw gaps in curricula, integral missing components that I believed needed to be used as language acquisition tools. Through this I pulled together my experience, techniques and knowledge into one concept and kick-started the Angie Gisler English Language Centre,” explains Angie.
The Language Centre’s foundations are cemented in three main pillars: enthusiasm, pa¬tience and humour, creativity and flexibility.
“For enthusiasm, I believe in the power of each and every learner from child to adult. In my mind each learner has an English door, my job is to unlock that door and lay down the founda¬tions of strong language skills.
“Patience and humour go hand in hand for me. It is essential in my classes that I slow down and take time with ev¬ery learner. As with every language, you can get a little lost in translation and before you know it we find ourselves in a game of charades with a lot of laughter.
“It’s integral for me to be available and flexible for my students. Whether that is a 5 am refresher les¬son before an exam or a custom designed intensive course prepping students for their first integration into an English school. No stone is left unturned when it comes to creativity, we do everything from cooking classes to science experiments,” she says as she walks through the farmer’s market selecting ingredients for her next lesson based on food vocabulary.
Switzerland attracts citizens from all over the world, hence the demand for English. The Angie Gisler English Language Centre offers English to a range of markets, from native English speakers to second or third + language learners, covering all ages and levels, from beginner to expert. Angie explains, “I have a lot of bi/tri-lingual families that have their children in local/international schools and it’s my job to ensure they keep up with the international standards. Howev¬er I’m now seeing a lot of Swiss families wanting to get a head start with English, which has also given me a greater connec¬tion to the Swiss culture.”
There is no doubt you will be seeing and hearing about Ms. G in the future. This driven and tenacious entrepreneur who has just completed her Post Graduate in Education, has a solid plan to be accommodating to not only Switzerland but also non-English speaking nations across the globe. Next year she is extending her services to different cantons, moving online with video tutoring and Skype lessons, as well as providing high end fly-in-fly-out English programs.
Interview by Abbie Pumarejo
“I want to share briefly my story…”, begins Sebastian Chnelik about his present journey around the world.
He took a vacation trip alone a while back and says, “everything changed.” Five years ago he was working in a multinational company and finishing his Mechanical Engineering degree. At the time, he would watch the news and felt the worldview was a negative one, and one he also possessed. That people are not good to one another, there is a lot of suffering and misery and anger in the world.
We sat down when he was passing through Zug so I could find out more.
“My objective is to dedicate myself to share stories, learning and visions in networks, media communities and schools. En el mundo hay mucha mas gente buena que mala (in the world there are many more good people than bad).”
That’s it. That is his message. And his objective is not to see as many places and take as many selfies as possible. Rather it is to learn, share, create connections and be an active, empathetic participant in his experiences.
He has traveled more than 100,000 kilometers, hitchhiking and at sea. On the way to Europe, he realized a dream by crossing the North Atlantic Ocean on a sailboat (in poor condition) working as crew. He’s written a book about some of his experiences.
The 28 year old has traveled from his native Argentina with very little money and a general plan by hitchhiking, couch surfing, meeting up with fellow travelers, trading odd jobs and bartering to get from place to place and having an amazing adventure along the way. I would be remiss not to mention that he works to find moments where he can be of service and make a difference, working with communities and organizations to volunteer and help when possible.
Speaking with Sebastian, I was struck by his ease with the un-known, open to places he has not yet experienced and people he has not yet met, with only a loose idea of where he will go next. He doesn’t really know. As he told me, change has been his most constant companion over the course of this journey and he emphatically denies being a conformist.
Here is an example: In an earlier part of his journey, while still in South America (Peru and Bolivia), he took photos of different sites, nature and landmarks, printed them off and then sold them to make some extra money. Once he realized that this was a success, he decided he would then look to make money another way, to challenge himself.
Some highlights of this journey have been meeting interesting and friendly people, learning new languages, over coming fears and being exposed to unexpected, natural beauty in the different countries he’s visiting. He cannot really comment on any bad experiences, which is remarkable.
Spring is in the air and that means several things: longer days, more time outside and the availability of fresh produce! We have some places we'd like to recommend. You’ll not only appreciate getting to know more of the area, you're helping the environment (no carbon footprint for transport) while getting the best that local farmers have to offer.
BioHof Zug is an area favorite. Not only is the seasonal produce gorgeous to look at, they also have a great cafe, serving an Ayurvedic lunch menu two days a week with BioHof’s veggies taking center stage. The cozy and relaxed atmosphere, as well as delicious homemade desserts and coffee after keep us going back. Get there early so you can shop for farm fresh produce, eggs, bread, homemade jams, and more on site. The BioHof also offers event services and an online list of their organic produce.
The longstanding, family-run farm at HofMärcht has a sweet reputation.Their fruits, grapes, berries and veggies are all ecologically produced. But better than that, they also offer jams, syrups, dried fruit, fruit juices, distilled water, liquers and wines all made from their scrumptious produce. They have an on-line shop and offer seasonal gift ideas.
The Iten Letzi Hofladen near the Herti Arena is like an urban farm. Their committment to organic farming and animal welfare is why their produce and farm fresh milk and meat are so popular. The newly built farmshop opened in 2015 and also offers products from other local farms while the 24 hour automat offers products even when the shop is closed.
In addition to the farms mentioned above we also recommend you pay a visit to the Zuger Altstadtmarkt. Open every Saturday in the center of Zug's Landgemeindplatz, this is the perfect place to find fresh produce, baked goods, cheeses, gourmet food items and flowers. Spend the morning getting to know the vendors and enjoying the lake views. The Zuger Altsadtmarkt is currently closed until further notice.
This is just a small sampling to get you started. Here you'll find a listing of all the farm shops in the canton of Zug.
It’s midafternoon and your stomach is growling. For many of us, lunch is the most important meal of the day. And not just a quick sandwich from the Coop or salad from Migros. You want something a bit more substantial and where you can sit and enjoy. There are quite a few spots to discover, whether you’re shopping and need a break, are in between classes or just need to step away from the office. Here are some of our favorites.
Berta, located on Poststrasse, has the cutest sign out front and invites you in to try their simple, good food. The décor is clean and uncomplicated with some homey touches: flowers and candles on the tables and the coat rack is made from old spoons and forks, bent upward so you can hang your outerwear. You can get bread and coffee from 7 – 11am for 5CHF. The daily lunch menu varies as well as the daily soup. The portions are generous and the food comforting and delicious.
We like Hello World City for its bright and open space, located on Bahnhofstrasse, behind and connected to the Grand Café. Serving an upscale and thoughtfully prepared menu from Monday to Friday, it’s a great spot to enjoy lunch with friends or colleagues. A hearty salad, or for bigger appetites, the burger will hit the spot and give you renewed energy to continue about your day. It gets busy, though, so it’s best to reserve ahead of time.
We really enjoy the friendly service at the appropriately named Café Glucklich near the Bahnhof on Alpinstrasse. While closed on Sundays and Mondays the cafe is open from breakfast until late on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and then for lunch Thursday to Saturday. Occupying the former Confiserie Meier space, they owners wanted to keep the old clientele happy. They’ve made the interior cozy and inviting, with a variety of coffees, fresh juices and cakes served throughout the day. The lunch menu changes regularly, so go check them out.
We love the tale behind Restaurant Story. Set in Baar in the gold, square buildings, Story is a cooperation between Alfred Muller AG and zuwebe. For over 50 years, zuwebe has been a leading institution in Zu which assists people with a mental disability or impairment in finding employment. You may also know about Intermezzo Café, a creperie in the Altstadt. Recently, in late 2018, Story was opened to offer fresh food in a light-filled modern space. Service is friendly and the atmosphere abuzz. Food is served cafeteria style, but menus change daily and the made to order piadina station is always full.
A little further afield, past Cham, don’t miss out on the all-inclusive atmosphere at Tisch+Bar, in Holzhausern. This unique restaurant and bar also has a shop with plenty of home décor and supplies available. Sitting in the restaurant, you will notice that everything is for sale, from the salt and peppershakers to the lamp at your table. The dining room boasts a beautiful Swedish stove and has something for everyone. The menu is French inspired and they are especially known for their Déjeuner Français.
Breakfast Down Under
Not quite a pop-up, but only open on the first Friday and Saturday of the month is Jen’s Kitchen in Zug. Located down a charming alley at Zeughausgasse 13, Jen’s specializes in Australian style breakfast and coffees. The interior is simple, slightly rustic and beautiful. The place has a bit of a cult following and they do not take reservations. It’s best to follow on FB or Instagram for exact opening dates and times. Makes you want to go, doesn’t it?
Coffee and Chocolate Together... Yes please Bob’s Food Store offers freshly roasted coffee, select teas, chocolates, spices and even gourmet pastas, rice, oils and vinegars for purchase. Take a break with a hot cup of coffee while contemplating all the delicious goodies you can take home. They also offer workshops and seminars and can advise you to buy the right coffee machine and accessories. The space, right in the Altstadt is rustic and warm.
Sah wah dee khaa...
Missing a taste of Asian cuisine, specifically authentic Thai? Visit this little takeaway place in Neustadt Passage on Barrerstrasse 2 and be prepared to receive a warm greeting upon entering. Generally offering around 4-5 dishes (until they run out), this unpretentious eatery offers genuine flavors and generous portions. When we visited, we found some spots at one of the few tables and waited for our Pad Thai to be freshly cooked, as the first batch had run out There’s also a shop where zou can buz imported goods to make a Thai feast at home. Good to know: Rung Tawan Thai Shop (Take Away) is cash only.
Where’s the beef?
Sometimes nothing will do but a big, juicy steak. Consistently garnering positive reviews, The Meating located not far from the Bahnhof at Grafenauweg 6, is the place for carnivores to satisfy their appetites. Open Monday through Wednesday from 11 – 23 and Thursday and Friday for lunch from 11 – 1, it’s a good idea to make reservations. You can count on getting your steak as you like it, an extensive wine list, plenty of other meat dishes and well thought out sides. The atmosphere is friendly and they also offer event services.
Time for a Cuppa
Finding a well-made cup of coffee is a delight, but what about a proper cup of tea? Look no further than Umami Tee Haus in Cham for a bit of nostalgia and a spot of afternoon tea. Open from Tuesday through Sunday, this classic (and classy) café is located in a grand building off Schulhausstrasse. It’s the perfect place to unwind and re-discover why drinking tea is an art form. In addition to serving breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, they are also available for events and special occasions.
Designer children's clothing, toys and equipment at 2nd hand prices
The International Nearly New Children’s Clothing and Toy Sale is back organised by The International School of Zug and Luzern (ISZL).
The sale will take place on Saturday 16th November from 10am - 2pm at the Christlicher Treffpunkt in Baar, just behind McDonalds.
It’s your opportunity to kit your kids out in designer gear and top international brands at 2nd hand prices - Everything you need for a baby right through to 14 years.
Get your hands on items from Baby Dior, Bonpoint, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, GAP, John Lewis, The White Company, Jacadi, Next, Cath Kidson, Kenzo, Debenhams and Mothercare at only a fraction of the price.
The autumn sale is a fantastic opportunity to stock up on 2nd hand sports gear as well as children's toys, books games and bikes. There will also be baby equipment including stair gates, high chairs, baby bouncers and Baby Bjorn carriers.
All clothing, toys and equipment have a strict inclusion policy of ‘gently worn’ so most items are as good as new.
The NNS sale will give a percentage donation from every item sold to the Ugandan Kids of Africa charity, supported by ISZL. Since we started the bi-annual sale in 2010, we have donated around Chf 60’000 to Kids of Africa – Many thanks to all our supporters.
Unsold items donated by vendors are given to ‘Licht im Osten’ and taken to refugee camps in Eastern Europe.
For further information or to register for selling clothes and equipment at the ISZL NNS please contact the ISZL NNS team: firstname.lastname@example.org
or call Pauline Beresford, mobile: 079 951 00 53
INFORMATION ON THE KIDS OF AFRICA CHARITY:
Sustainably, directly and with a personal commitment, to make sure that the aid keeps on helping. Like a stone thrown into water – it’s all about the ripple effect.
In 2001, Kids of Africa was founded by Swiss National Burkhard Varnholt after he responded to a letter sent from a Ugandan student. Burkhard responded to the request for education support and a beautiful story follows… After some years of friendship, Burkhard and the Ugandan student planned a future: Kids of Africa.
Kids of Africa provides a stable home to Uganda children in need. Since 2012 ISZL has been working to support the building of the Kids of Africa Kids Pioneer School. The school, opened only 3 years ago, provides education for some 300 students from the home and the local community and is already highly successful, ranking at 800 out of 12’000 schools. ISZL has also supported the opening of the much needed KOA school on Nkosi Island, Lake Victoria, and now extends support to the development of a new vocational centre at the Kids Pioneer School.
In an interview by ISZL students: "When coincidence happens and an opportunity presents itself, there’s value in listening – Something great can come out of it and it did for us – Kids of Africa has become one of the most important things in my life and in the lives of my family," said Burkhard.
"It was a stone in water opportunity – 15 years ago I dropped a stone into water - Just by throwing a stone you can have a much more far reaching effect than you could ever anticipate. It happened to me and is so powerful. It can happen to everyone and anyone."
In case you did not know, Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 12th. There are young moms, experienced moms, empty nesters and moms to be. Regardless of age, status or title, moms don't have off buttons or paid vacations. We think moms deserve to be pampered at least one day out of the year, which is why we've compiled a list of ideas that will help you make yours (or the mother of your children) feel special this month.
A Rose Never Smelled so Sweet
How about pampering mom with a luxury treatment at the Waldhotel Spa up near the Bürgenstock Hotel & Resort complex? The Mother's Day Rose package includes the boat and funicular return trip, as well as several rose scented spa treatments and entry into the spa for your special guest. If she can't make it on the day, no matter, the offer goes through the entire month of May. Prices start at CHF 180 per person. Click here to discover more.
Lakeside Food Tasting
If Mom happens to be a foodie, she's going to love attending the 7th annual Glutsch food festival right on the lake. This event takes place every year over the Mother's Day weekend, and we think we know why. Mom can have three full days to enjoy good food, drinks and a fun atmosphere, without ever having to step in the kitchen. If the weather is nice, that's an added bonus along the beautiful Zugersee. With over 100 different choices, you might want to visit each day.
Classical Music and Fine Dining
Give your mother an unforgettable afternoon, compliments of Theater Casino Zug and the Fauré Quartet, supplemented by Nabil Shehata on the double bass. The music of Rachmaninov, Schubert and Brahms will delight your music-loving mom. As an added treat, you can plan ahead to have lunch before the concert (which takes place at 3:00 pm) or an early dinner once the concert is over. Seating starts at CHF 60 for the concert and the four course menu is CHF 65 per person, not including drinks.
Breakfasts, Brunches and Lunches
The Sky’s the Limit
Set your sights high on Sunday and take Mom to the SkyLounge Bar and Restaurant. Shell feel like royalty and enjoy a rich buffet while having wonderful views overlooking the lake and mountains. The brunch is from 10 am -2 pm and is CHF 69 per adult (includes 1 glass Prosecco), CHF 36 for children 12 and under. Email them at email@example.com to reserve a table.
Brunch and a gift? That's the way they roll at Parkhotel Zug. Plan a trip with the entire family, as children are also welcome and will certainly enjoy the delicious array of breakfast foods and sumptuous dessert buffet. Best of all, Mom doesn't do a thing, except show up and get the royal treatment, starting from 10:30 am. Maybe Grandma should join in too, that way all the ladies in the family are kept happy. Be sure to book soon, this event will fill up.
What about giving your mom the choice of breakfast or lunch? Tisch+Bar offers both. The Mother's Day Breakfast (from 9-11 am) menu is perfect for two and includes a glass of Spumante. If Mom plans to sleep in that day, take her out for lunch and spoil her with a three course meal that includes several tempting desserts (CHF 75 per person). Her only tough decision that day should be when she wants to spend time with you...
Maybe Mama likes a little bling, and wants to get in touch with her creative side, make a date to attend the bracelet making activity at Something Different from 2-4 on May 11th. Children aged 11+ can attend with an adult and make a bracelet together for CHF 60. The workshop includes Swarovski crystals and Japanese miyuki seed beads, as well as instructions on how to thread and tie everything together for your own design. If you can't make the date, they can organiye a bespoke workshop for a minimum of 6 people.
Or if she happens to be a whiz in the kitchen and wants to enhance her baking skills, why not take her to a baking class or surprise her with your own sweet gift? Specifically with appropriately named The Baking Mom, who will offer adults a special class from 7 to 10 pm on Friday, May 10th. This English speaking class will demonstrate how to make a heart shaped for the special day. The cost of the class is CHF 160 and includes the recipe, drinks, snacks and your finished product. Book soon as spaces are limited.
Sometimes moms just a bit more. Why not book a weekend away at the Swiss Holiday Park? Just past Brunnen and only a 35 minute car ride, this place has so many opportunities for families to break away from the normal routine. Mom can book a spa treatment (they have extensive Wellness facilities) while Dad and the kids go to the waterpark or zoom around on go karts just for starters. There will be a special Mother's Day brunch on Sunday from 10 -1. They offer accomodation, dining and activity packages for all family and budget sizes.
For more fun ideas over the weekend and throughout the month of May, do check out all the events we have listed. Maybe we will see you out and about! And remember, call your mom and tell her how much she means to you, if you can't be with her on the day.
Photos sourced from Parkhotel Zug, Tisch&Bar, Something Different and Guidle.com.
With summer upon us, and the temperatures rising, it is time to plan how to keep your kids active and still engaged over the break. Longer, warmer days mean we can all get the most from the great Swiss outdoors. Here's a listing of some of the best activities out there. Rest assured that with so many options, everyone will be smiling all summer long.
Angie Gisler Language and Personal Growth Centre
Availability 1 July – 12 July 2019
We offer young learners themed English Summer Clubs that immerse students in the English language whilst having loads of fun in the SUN!!! The club is specifically designed for younger learners, covering a range of activities differentiated according to the age and ability of the students. The Summer Club consists of a balanced programme of English Language Learning, Mindfulness Activities, Fun and Games, Sport and Movement, Development Boosting activities, plus so much more.
Availability 8 July – 16 August 2019
This summer camp offers half and whole day care. The chess school for children aged 4 to 15 years is devoted to teaching the game of chess as its positive effects on the overall development of adolescents have been proven repeatedly. Children are encouraged to progress at their own pace and though the main focus remains chess, an additional fun and interactive activity is scheduled every afternoon. Activities include art, martial art, ballgames, and hip-hop.Different courses are tailored to suit beginners and advanced players. Extended day care from 8am to 6pm is available.
Institut Montana Summer Sessions
Availability 14 July – 10 August 2019
These summer sessions offer a unique academic, social and cultural programme. A high-quality curriculum allows students to improve their German, English or French as well as discover a new academic field of their choice such as Business and Leadership or Creativity and Arts. Inspired by 90 years of experience; scenic environments, sport sessions, daytrips and a familial community come as standard! On offer are 2 sessions with duration of 2 weeks and 1 session with duration of 4 weeks.
Availability 24 June – 16 August 2019
This camp incorporates soccer courses for all ages. While the Mini Camp occupies 3 to 5-year-olds, the Junior and Academy Camps are appropriate for 5 to 13-year-olds. The up to five-day programmes are led by qualified international coaches and are suitable to newcomers as well as those packed full of tricks. English is the main language. Full day participants need to bring a packed lunch as the Zug location does not provide hot lunch. One-day Camps are available in certain weeks as are Goalkeeper Camps. Go here to find out more!
Availability 8 July– 10 August 2019
Located on a green farm, the summer holiday programme 2019 sees children spending time with Ponies as they receive the opportunity to groom and ride them. As the needs of different animals are mediated playfully, children can find their personal approach in communicating with the animals and build their self-confidence in the process. Nothing is forced and handicrafts are made available too. Best-suited but not limited to children with some previous riding experience, courses are tailored to suit the needs of children aged 3 to 15 years. Click here for more info.
Availability 8 - 12 July in Zug & 12 - 16 August, 2019 in Cham
Summer session offerings by former professional striker, Moreno Merenda. Born and raised in Baar, Merenda is passionate about sports and coaching. These camps will focus on enjoyment, improvement of skills and teambuilding. For children born between 2006 - 2009 and 2010 - 2013, group sizes are limited, so each child gets the most out of the experience. He is fluent in English, German and French.
Availability 17 June - 16 August.
MS Sports is a country wide organization that offers a variety of options in multiple locations. Parents can peruse the website and sign up online. Whether it's football, riding, dance, tennis, chess, biking or polysport, MS Sport Camps offer kids and teens the chance to get moving and have fun, learning new skills and meeting new friends.
Availability 24 June - 16 August
Nuejo's Family Center located in Baar is now registering familes for their summer camp. There is the option for half and full day camp, with many exciting activities planned. Idoor activities include ice-cream making, sceince experiments and more while outdoor activities will include zoo, museum and chocolate factory excursions. Visit their website for the entire summer program and prices.
Availability 8 July – 16 August 2019
Group swimming lessons can be booked from 11 June onwards at the Lättich swimming pool. Courses will run for four or five consecutive days, with one lesson being held each day. For the more advanced swimmers, synchronised swimming or monofin lessons are available with duration of 45 minutes. Standard lessons typically last 30 minutes. Courses are available for children aged 4 and above, information can be found here. Swim goggles, wetsuits and swimming aids are not permitted.
Availability 24 June - 28 and 1 - 5 July
Summer fun and learning - available June, July and August. Children and adult classes, German, English, Spanish and Computing, Art, Music and Seminars. Let yourself be inspired. Click here for more information.
Availability 1 July - 19 July
Science and Coding enthusiasts will be happy to know there's something for them this July. TechLabs Baar offers camps in STEM & Soccer Lab, Flight Lab, Rocket Lab and more during July. Sign-up can be done online, with prices starting at 450 CFH for a week long session. There are optoins for half and full day camps for children aged 10 and up, with sibling discounts. The STEM & Soccer Lab is open to all ages.
While the Mamas might have a stronger hold on an official holiday, we can't forget Dad as we move into June. Father's Day is a relatively new phenomenon in Switzerland, falling on June 2nd this year. It wasn't until 2007 that the day was introduced here and since 2009, Swiss Father's Day has been celebrated on the first Sunday in June.
It's interesting to note that neighboring countries and even the southern area of Switzerland have chosen to celebrate Vater on different days. In the canton of Ticino as well as Liechtenstein, the day is commemorated on March 19th, in conjunction with the feast day of St. Joseph. Our neighbors in Deutschalnd celebrate on Ascencion Thursday or Himmelfahrt. In Austria, Vatertag is celebrated one month after Muttertag and in the US, the UK, and many South American countries, it is oficially the third Sunday in June.
No matter which date you choose, we think June is a great month to celebrate, and it's only fitting that we outline some experiences with your dad in mind. There any number of events coming up just around the corner, which gives kids and dads a chance to get outside and play. Whether you choose to visit old classic cars together, participate in a race or go out and watch others giving it their all, the Old Timers, Zugerberg Classic, National Horse Show and the Zytturm Triathlon are all on tap just in time for warmer weather.
Speaking of on tap, maybe Dad would appreciate something with libations in mind. Both Etter and Baar Brauerei are hosting guided tours of their facilities. For those old enough to enjoy, this is a great bonding opportunity. Or invite him to an evening of cold beers, billiards and sports on the big screen at B&B Sportsbar. Just make sure to use public transport there and back!
And if you love being a part of Zug's rich historic traditions, we've also got you covered. Nothing spells fun like a BIRTHDAY. Celebrate Zugiblubbi's birthday on Zugerberg. To be fair this is more of an event with little ones in mind, but Dad will look like a superhero for taking them to such a unique outing.
Come out with the entire family to the city's best party: the Zugerseefest. Celebrate this 50 year old event, topped off with amazing fireworks on June 22nd. And if cherries are your thing, take your dad to the Altstadt on June 24th and watch groups of people run around while holding ladders at the beloved Chriesisturm.
Forget trying to find another tie, pen or watch. Give Dad the priceless gift of time spent together and let him know how much you care. Visit here for exact dates and details for all June happenings in Zug and nearby.
Don’t try to speak Zug dialect to feel more at home in the region. Here’s a much better method: show that you are familiar with the regional characteristics and start your evening with a "blopp".
If you're enjoying an after-work aperitif with friends in Zug, you've probably heard it before: this tempting “blopp”. A refreshing, sparkling bang; sometimes it sounds like a shot. Don’t be alarmed when you hear it. It’s the sound of connoisseurs opening a flip top bottle of Bügel-Spez from the Brewery Baar. It’s the launch for a well-deserved end of the day or a refreshing party amongst friends.
But just the “blopp” and the distinctive relief flip top bottle are not the only reason why the Bügel-Spez is one of the most popular beers throughout the region. It’s all about taste.
Here a beer sommelier’s impression:
“The eye perceives the Bügel-Spez as very pleasant with a long-lasting frothy foam and it’s brilliant golden color. The nose immediately recognizes a clean smell, reminiscent of a historic vault beer fermentation cellar. The Bügel-Spez has a smooth, subtly bitter taste, a soft malt and hops scent and sparkles perfectly. This beer is suitable for light to medium-heavy dishes as well as for appetizers, e.g. soft cheese. Ideal also with spicy Asian cuisine or a beetroot salad.”
The flip top Bügel-Spez from Baar has been the region’s beer of choice for over 25 years now – that’s an entire generation. The empty bottles are cleaned again and again, filled with new premium beer and each flip top is closed manually. That's good news for the LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) and - who knows - maybe today you drink from a bottle that already went over the counter 25 years ago. Quite sustainable; don’t you think so?
On its 25th birthday, the Bügel-Spez was awarded the Swiss Beer Award 2017 in gold. One more reason to order it the next time when you feel like having a good beer. And now you know: for Zug beer connoisseurs the real treat starts with a “blopp”. Cheers!
The Bügel-Spez is available in most regional restaurants, bars and pubs and of course directly at the Brewery’s own beverage store.
Good to know: The Brewery Baar also offers guided tours in English, ideal for a great time with family, friends or colleagues.
Still fresh in your mind? Or has it taken on a more sentimental glow now that you are able to look back on your journey, trials and tribulations overcome? Hopefully, FMZ were able to assist you, whether it be the welcome information packet, contact with the Welcome Desk or perhaps by visiting one of our events.
In our “Grüezi Switzerland” event, I briefly discuss the concept of culture clash and that regardless of origin, everyone experiences its ups and downs to some extent I illustrate these using anecdotes from my own arrival here in 2003. Idyllic picnics by the lake, “sound of music” moments (I know …different hills but you get the idea), the scary woman at the supermarket cash desk who eyed me suspiciously every time.
During meetings with visitors to us at FMZ, I will often joke to “do as I say not as I did”.
In all honesty, though, I do wish I had known about FMZ when I arrived. It would have helped me enormously. To be able to get confidential unbiased answers to my serious and sometimes silly questions in my own language without any authority angst would have saved me time…and tears..and a fair bit of cash too.
Now I have the privilege to guide people in finding the answers to their questions. In a fraction of the time it took me years ago and whilst avoiding the urban myths and misinformation which I still hear (and smile at).
When was having someone “show you the ropes” (explain how to do something) anything other than marvellous? And who better to show you the (many) ropes but a local expert with years of experience AND the language?
The new FMZ Host Programme offers exactly this solution.
The pre-sale for this year's holiday pass has begun: from July 8th to 26th there will be a grand 352 events for primary school children to choose from. The holiday pass and the Zuger pass which grants access to the entire public transport network are now available for purchase.
Thanks to an extended offering from existing but also new organisers, more than 50 new events are scheduled this year, as stated in a press release by the Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft Zug (GGZ). While a magical treasure hunt in the Höllwald forest will keep children on their toes, they can also discover oriental cooking or go fishing on Lake Zug with local fishermen. Of course, the most popular events from recent years also remain integral to the programme.
Holiday pass pre-sale
The purchase of a holiday pass is necessary to register for events. In addition, this entitles the holder to free admission to all public indoor and outdoor pools in the canton of Zug for three weeks, to a one-time admission to a miniature golf course of choice and up to three game rentals from select toy libraries. The pass can be obtained from UBS branches for CHF 30 from June 21st to 28th or online at www.ggzferienpass.ch for CHF 33.
Holders of the holiday pass are further entitled to purchase the Zuger pass at a discounted price of CHF 19. This enables free travel across all public transport modes on the ZVB network (including boat) throughout the three weeks regardless of what holiday pass activities are undertaken. Most events require a valid public transport ticket.
For each of the three weeks, registration for events starts respectively on the Monday of the previous week at 1 pm: online at www.ggzferienpass.ch, by phone on 041 710 70 03 or 041 710 70 04 and in person at the holiday pass centre at the Reformed Church Centre Zug on Bundesstrasse 15. Available places are determined by the organisers and are limited – registrations will be considered in the order of their arrival.
For a daily flat rate of CHF 50, the FEPA-Club offers full-day care inclusive of excursions and recreational activities for children of working parents from 8.30 am to 5 pm (drop-off time 7.30 am). As every year, the FEPA-Club days are in high demand, but available places remain on some days. A swift reservation is highly recommended.
Accompanying persons wanted
Around 450 volunteers are required annually to accompany the children on their way to and during activities. Interested parties should register on the website or directly at the GGZ holiday pass centre.
The party was a great success. Watch this space for the update on the amount that was raised last Saturday. We will be getting the numbers soon.
Andaleeb Lilley and Stutee Parmar are no strangers to combining their talents to create events that entertain and bring change. The Burlesque Evening is the third charity event that the two have organized together, with very positive results.
"It all started at the end of 2016 when so many pop stars from my era passed away (George Michael, David Bowie, Prince, to name but a few). I came up with the idea to organise an 80s night in Zug and wanted it to be a charity benefit. I asked Stutee for support and with our different skillsets we complimented each other, "said Andaleeb.
In their first event in 2017 the dynamic duo supported Save the Children. They were delighted to have several members from the charity's Zurich office, including CEO Oemer Gueven, speak on how the funds would support 570 children in a refugee camp for a month. Along with ticket sales and a raffle of prizes donated by companies in Zug and London, they raised a total CHF 14,465 from the 80s night in Zug.
"In 2018 we supported CARE and once again, someone from the charity came along to talk about the work we were supporting. Director Julia Kent from CARE came along to give an emotional talk on the impact the funds would have. This time, 40 low-income Jordanian and Syrian women were supported by the purchase of sewing machines and materials so that they in turn could financially support their families by starting up their own businesses," Andaleeb said. This time, CHF 15,000 was raised.
"Each time we have picked a charity for different reasons - either we have a specific link to a charity or we feel strongly about the cause we are supporting. It was very clear for us that with the current refugee crisis, we wanted to support children and families which we did for the first two years."
This year the elections for the Federal Parliament – the House of Representatives and the Senate – will take place on October 20. The 200 seats in the House of Representatives are allocated in proportion to the population of the cantons. The canton of Zug has three seats. Currently, Gerhard Pfister (CVP), Thomas Aeschi (SVP) and Bruno Pezzatti (FDP) represent Zug in the House of Representatives. Gerhard Pfister and Thomas Aeschi will run for re-election; Bruno Pezzati will end his political career in Berne.
Each canton has two seats in the Senate with a total of 46 seats. Peter Hegglin (CVP) and Joachim Eder (FDP) represent the canton of Zug in the Senate; Peter Hegglin will run again and Joachim Eder will resign at the end of the year.
In Canton Zug, the federal elections promise to be quite exciting. In addition to the question of whether the current parties can retain their seats again, or if the left parties in the House of Representatives, or the SVP in the Senate will win a seat, these elections are also about the continued promotion of Canton Zug’s model of success.
By Charlie Inglefield
The new Hospiz Zentralschweiz is due to open on 6 January 2020 in Luzern’s Littau suburbs. The story behind the creation of this hospice is a remarkable one, given that it is an entirely privately funded project and based on a dream of two people who had never previously met before January 2014. Introduced by the director of Palliativ Zug, Birgit Hermes at a networking event, Hans Peter Stutz and Sibylle Jean-Petit-Matile just clicked.
“It was a perfect match and after a couple of minutes we knew we could trust each other”, said Sibylle.
In that first meeting a vision was born to build a hospice, which could serve central Switzerland’s cantons. As Hans Peter mentioned, palliative care in Switzerland is limited, particularly so for families who struggle to afford this type of care.
“There is little palliative help in Switzerland despite the many hospitals we have in the country.“
Finding the perfect location
Sibylle, a physician and Hans Peter, a successful businessman immediately set about creating their perfect hospice site. As Hans Peter put it, “Our vision was to have a house, not a typical hospital that can be depressing for a visitor”.
Starting with no money and just a dream, Sibylle and Hans Peter looked at many properties across Zug and Lucerne before finally falling for a former doctor’s house in Littau, Luzern.
‘The house found us” says Sibylle.
Disused for the last 20 years and in desperate need of a complete overhaul, the property was perfect for Sibylle and Hans Peter’ idea of having a ‘home away from home’.
“We wanted to create a home and to give visitors a positive experience. None of those big white doors that can be intimidating, or doctors with white gowns.”
Schwingen, one of Switzerland’s oldest and most popular sports is coming to Zug on the weekend of the 23-25 August.
This will be no ordinary summer weekend in Zug as 300,000 people descend onto quiet little Zug to get a view of this remarkable and unusual sport. Schwingen is the traditional heartbeat of Swiss sport and culture. So, what is Schwingen? The easiest comparison to make is its similarity to various forms of wrestling. The Eidgenössisches Schwing- und Älplerfest ESAF is Switzerland’s largest sports event by far and could fill out London’s Wembley Stadium three times over and still there would be people trying to get in.
The Origins of Schwingen
Schwingen dates back to medieval times and it’s popularity is as strong as ever thanks largely to the 2010 winner, Kilian Wenger, so explains Brigitte Hefti, whose partner Rolf takes an active part in Schwingen competitions.
“Since 2000, the popularity of the sport has soared. When Wenger won in 2010, Schwingen became more saleable to the public and sponsors came onboard.”
Today, the sport of Schwingen can now boast the building of the largest temporary stadium in the world, which is currently taking place on the outskirts of Zug. Over a three-month period, a 56,000-seat arena will be put together including 300,000 individual parts. And once the weekend’s festivities are done, the arena will take three more weeks to dismantle. The ‘Only’ King of Switzerland
The Federal Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival are hosted every three years by one of the five regions. Alpine culture and traditional Swiss music is also celebrated with sports like Hornussen on display. The numbers are extraordinary for an amateur-sporting event as Hefti points out.
“The stadium will take around 56,500 visitors and there will be 300,000 visitors outside the stadium watching the competition.”
For the Johnny Foreigner, trying to get one’s head around Schwingen let alone the Schwingfest, which takes place once every three-years, is a challenge. Remember this is a sport, which is amateur and yet can fill out Barcelona’s Nou Camp three times over with people still trying to get in. As befitting the Swiss, Schwingen remains proudly local, is the very essence of Swiss alpine culture and has been humming along under the sporting radar since medieval times. It is not just about Schwingen, alpine culture and traditional Swiss music is also celebrated over this weekend with traditional sports like Hornussen on display.
So, in preparation for the Eidgenössisches Schwing- und Älplerfest ESAF that is coming to Zug in a few weeks, let’s try to understand what this unique sport actually is.
Grappling with Schwingen
The easiest comparison to make on Schwingen is its similarity to a number of forms of wrestling. There are some similarities for example with certain ‘Judo’ throws and I am reliably informed that there are Schwingen techniques that are akin to ‘Sumo’ wrestling.
The rules are therefore suitably complex but essentially the contest involves one round lasting between 10-12 minutes – with 8 rounds over the weekend (played over Friday to Sunday). This gladiatorial battle takes place in a circular sawdust ring and the winner lift’s his opponent off his feet, throws him onto his back with both shoulder blades touching the ground without losing his grip on his opponent’s shorts. Tradition says that the winner brushes the sawdust off the loser’s back after the match is over. Each competitor wears special ‘burlap’ shorts over their trousers with a slit at the back allowing the competitors to grip on to each other’s belts.
The match is judged by three referees with one of them standing in the ring. The referees give points, with a maximum of ten points for a winning throw. If the match ends without a clear win, the more active Schwinger is awarded the higher number of points.
Flexibility, Power & Technique
Do not think that Schwingen does not require significant reserves of strategy, skill and technique. There are over a 100 moves that can be put into practice although there are five common moves, which normally bring the desired result. These popular throws include ‘kurz’, ‘übersprung’ and ‘wyberhaagge’.
Even though Schwingen is an amateur event, the training, which goes into it, is that of a professional sportsman. Schwingen isn’t just about raw power - a Schwinger needs power, agility and flexibility. Their knees, back, neck and shoulders all come into play.
There are two types of Schwinger – an Alpschwinger and a Sportschwinger. An Alpschwinger comes from farming stock and wears an Edelweiss blue shirt. A Sportschwinger (not from farming stock) wears a white shirt. Professions include farmers, cheese makers and butchers – you have to be pretty big and strong in other words.
An expat’s turn
Paul Timmins, who lives in Zug and has a rugby background, got a rude awakening to Schwingen when he recently took on a friend’s partner, whose family have been involved in Schwingen for generations and centuries.
“I consider myself in relatively good knick for my age but I was taken to the cleaners and picked up like a rag doll.“
Timmins is one of very few non-Swiss to have given Schwingen a go. This raises a question of whether Schwingen should be more open to external audiences? In the meantime, if you can grab a ticket during the weekend of the 23-25 August and get a glimpse of this unique sport, you won’t be disappointed.
"We used to stay in a hotel, but we saw that this apartment hotel in Zug had opened. Here you have much more space and this in the best location in the city center. Great furnishings, everything very high quality. We'll be happy to come back! “
And this is just one of many positive reviews for the Gubelhof Suites which opened its doors last autumn. Shortly after that, the Kaffe Frech also opened, offering a double shot of style right in the heart of Zug.
The cafe serves as the location for residents of the Suites to have freshly prepared coffee and food in the mornings and is open the the general public as well. On any given day, the cafe is lively, with friendly servers and a bright open floor plan. People from all walks drop in for anything from waffles and quiches to afternoon coffee and cocktails.
The suites and cafe are a dream come true for German-born Maria Coli and her Swiss husband, Bardhyl. Both have hospitality in their blood. Maria studied International Tourism and Event Management in Berlin and Oxford and also holds an MBA from Switzerland. Bardhyl graduated from the Hotel Management School Belvoirpark in Zurich and completed chef, service and wine academy training. They are certainly well suited to host their guests at Gubelstrasse 7.
Before making their dream a reality, the couple worked as Hotel Managers since 2012 in the four-star Waldhotel Davos and Hotel Vitznaurhof. They also took over management of the five-star superior Arosa Kulm Hotel & Alpin Spa. Everything in the Gublehof Suites and Kaffe Frech have been carefully hand selected by the couple. The stylish interiors of the 11 apartments create a boutique hotel feel, with all the luxuries of serviced apartments.
"Each of our apartments has its own character and offers you a home away from home. The suites are furnished with fantastic photographs by famous local artists,“ says Coli. And with easy access to sightseeing, shopping and transportation, they are just right for tourists and business travelers alike.
Over 130 people came along to the burlesque charity fundraiser at Pier41 in aid of the Hospiz Zentralschweiz last weekend, raising 12'000 CHF. Organisers Andaleeb Lilley and Stutee Parmar were thrilled with the results of their third fundraiser.
The founders of the hospice, Sibylle Jean-Petit Matile and Hans Peter Stutz attended the event and spoke about the work at the Hospiz and how 250 CHF a day would pay for one patient to receive the care they needed for their end-of-life and last wishes fund.
Following their moving speech, the raffle was held with over 20 prizes being given out to lucky winners. Raffle prizes came from businesses all over Zug and London and the organisers would like to thank all donors as well as sponsors for their support.
The night continued with a show by Zurich burlesque dancer, Kokeshi Momo, who tantalised onlookers with her beautiful outfits and fans, and the party then went on until the early hours of the morning. The annual charity event is becoming a popular date on the Zug calendar. More info here - www.charityeventszug.ch
There’s a chill in the air and the days are beginning to shorten. That can only mean one thing: Autumn is here! As we approach Herbstferien (Fall break from October 5-20th for schools) in Zug, we wanted to offer some ideas for things to do, so you can make the most of this lovely time of year.
Be a Detective
Over the course of the 4.5 km Zug detective trail solve puzzles, learn surprising and interesting information about Zug and have fun. This family activity will have old and young alike eager to discover the next clue. Starting at the Zug Bahnhof, a total of 17 puzzles must be solved to find the treasure (a small gift) that will be waiting at the end.
Enjoy National Swiss Castle Day on October 4th. Castles all over Switzerland will open their doors and let the public in to participate in workshops and events. Museum Burg Zug is no exception. This year’s theme focuses on «health, medicine & hygiene» You and your family can learn some games from the past and participate in workshops (only in German). You can also have a go at some outdoor pastimes in the courtyard.
From now until October 10th, why not take the family on a culinary journey to Bavaria, Germany? Restaurant Bären in Zug is hosting its 10th year of White-Blue weeks. There will be various Bavarian specialties (think hearty servings of sausage, roasted meats, potato salad and pretzels), live music on Friday and Saturday and this year the Munich Augustiner Oktoberfest beer will be available. `One, two, down the hatch! Great that you’re here!’
Visit the Höllgrotten in Baar while they are still open through October 31. Enjoy the gorgeous fall foliage in the Lorze ravine. Learn and discover more about these unique limestone caves between Lakes Zurich and Zug which date back thousands of years. A perfect family outing during the break or on one of the weekends. https://www.hoellgrotten.ch/en
Feeling the chill in the air? Let the warm atmosphere of the Kunsthaus Zug give you inspiration.
Nothing is the same anymore, even though everything recently seemed so certain. A virus has changed our perception of the world and all we took for granted. We have suddenly been compelled to stay at home, returned to the confines of our local area and our near environment. This unusual situation invites us to ask critical questions about our relationship to ourselves, to our surroundings and to the world.
The exhibition BeZug (a play on the name of our city and on the German for connection/reference) asks these very questions, and by displaying works from our collection, it puts a focus on what is our own. An outside perspective is expressly included in this, for the exhibition brings together international artists whose works refer to Zug, alongside artists from our own region.
While Halloween is not a traditional Swiss holiday, in recent years, more businesses are jumping into the cauldron and creating events for people to get their ghoul on. Although it is one of this writer’s favorite holidays (who doesn’t like to dress up and become someone else for a night?), we realize it isn’t everyone’s preferred brew. Have no fear, here are several events in Zug on and around Halloween to test the waters.
Spend Sam Fuin at the Buonas Castle
The municipalities of Risch and Roche once again invite all to autumn festivities on the Buonas peninsula. Sam Fuin is an old Celtic festival that takes place outdoors. It marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, or the darker half of the year. Look forward to food, drink, Irish music, children’s stories, fire spells and mystic sounds in a medieval castle setting. From 17:00 - 22:00 pm. We recommend travelling by public transport - there is no parking available. Free shuttle bus between Rotkreuz Bahnhof Nord and Risch Dorf from 16.30 to 22.30, every 30 minutes or as required, as well as bus no. 53 - also free of charge.
Scary fun until the wee hours
According to the folks at Chollerhalle Zug, the Halloween Circus Festival 2019 on October 31st is the biggest in Central Switzerland! The hall will be decorated in appropriately creepy Halloween style and the music selection is varied: House, Open format, Tropical Reggaeton, RnB and Hip Hop. Guests will be able to meet their favorite stars. Amazing 3D Visual effects, a photo wall and more await. This event is for ages 16 and up, with doors opening at 21:00. The party is promised to last until 4:00 am. Plan to buy tickets early as it sells out fast!
The place where people (er..ghouls) meet
Dress up and join other like-minded revelers at Mr Pickwick Pub. Cushy Number will be live on stage, playing a mix of their best, and possibly dressed to kill. On October 31st, they hit the stage at 20:00 pm. Spend a memorable Halloween in costume the Celtic way.
The creeps come out at night
On Halloween night, expect it to be legendary at Lounge & Gallery. With a Sweet & Sour theme, the decorations will be especially dramatic to convert Dammstrasse into „the Damned“ street. Costumes are encouraged and guests must be 18 and over. The festivities begin at 22:00, but HOOO knows if you will want to leave- the music will be a mix of R&B, Club hits, Mash-up and Open format! Entry fee is CHF 15.00 and reservations can be made here.
Day of the dead
Be different and celebrate Dia de los Muertos instead at Spago Restaurant and Bar. From 22:00 on October 31st, the latin themed space promises dancing through the darkest night of the year. DJ Rodrrox will be spinning the beats and a costume award ceremony takes place at 24:00. Each person who is dressed up will receive a free Halloween Gruel-Shot and a chance to win a voucher worth CHF 50.
It’s Criminal: two locations in Zug will take to a night of crime!
On October 25th Tisch+Bar Shopping Restaurant will host a murder mystery dinner. Art dealer Renato Ritter invites you on a culinary journey through the Table + Bar Shopping Restaurant. The highlight of the evening is the visit of the famous author L. A. Bowling. She is to exclusively present her new book, which will only be on the market in two weeks' time, to a selected company. But it won't be long before an uninvited guest appears. Things go wild and there is a fatal incident. CHF110 for a ghastly meal including wine, water and coffee and the chance to convict the murderer. (This is a German language event)
When night falls on Zug, the library becomes a crime scene! On October 31st from 19:00 the Zug Bibliothek will host three well-known crime authors: Monika Mansour, Judith Stadlin, Stephan Pörtner and Michael van Orsouw. The authors will take guests into the world of crime and evil with their short thrillers. Patricia Draeger’s accordion sounds will add to the eerie atmosphere. Refreshments for the soul are provided. Register here. (This is a German language event)
Celebrated on December 6th in Switzerland, St. Nicholas is a beautiful custom that families can look forward to. Less known amongst expats, St. Nicholas, who is known as Samichlaus in Swiss German, distributes treats such as chocolate, nuts and fruit to children. This differs somewhat from the Anglo-Saxon tradition of Father Christmas, the jolly man who delivers gifts and fills stockings just in time for Christmas Day.
The tradition dates back to the fourth century Nicholas of Myrna, a bishop who is the patron saint of children - hence why Samichlaus is often dressed as a bishop and does not necessarily always wear red, though he does sport a white beard. Accompanying him are his forbidding cane-wielding helpers, known as Schmutzli, whom have undergone an image softening as of late. St. Nicholas praises the children and points out the good things, but at the same time gains enough trust to point out where the children could improve.
St. Nicholas also does home visits for which registration is required and open as of now. Set the tone for upcoming Christmas at your household:
The procession will start at 5.30pm from the Gut Hirt Church on Saturday, November 30. Samichlaus tells a story in church and then distributes treats to the service. Visits to families take place December 1-9. Samichlaus speaks dialect, German and upon request English. Registration for home visits closes November 8. Signup and information (in German) here.
Samichlaus will be making his appearance on Saturday, November 30 at the Christchindlimärt (market). There will be a procession as well as a food and drinks stand led by Samichlaus. Visits to families take place between December 4-7. Samichlaus speaks only German. Registration for home visits closes November 20. Signup and information (in German) here.
A lantern service will be held on Saturday, November 30 starting at the Pfarreiheim in Cham at 6 pm. A procession follows. Visits to families take place between December 4-7. Registration for home visits closes November 11. Signup and information (in German) here.
Celebrations will be held in the Church of the Holy Spirit on Wednesday, 5 December at 6.45pm. This will be followed by the distribution of presents to children and a procession with followers carrying cow bells, decorative lanterns and whips. Visits to families take place between December 4-7. Registration for home visits closes November 11. Signup and information (in German) here.
Since 1963, Samichlaus has been arriving by boat to Oberwil. Visitors can gather along the Artherstrasse at 5.25pm on Tuesday, 4 December and join the procession to Tellenörtli, where Samichlaus will be greeted with a song and then accompanied to the schoolhouse. Following performances by the pupils, Samichlaus will distribute sweet bread. Visits to families take place between 5 and 7 December. Registration for home visits closes 24 November. Signup sheets will be posted to all households directly. More information (in German) here.
This year there will be a Chlauskafi at the Steinhausen chilbi, from October 25-27, on the parking lot near the Post. Registration for home visits closes November 17. Signup and information (in German) here.
A service will be held on Sunday, December 1 at 10.15 am where Samichlaus and his entourage will be present. Visits to families take place between December 1-6. Registration for home visits closes November 12. Signup and information (in German) here.
On December 1, the annual Chlausaufyug takes place from 5pm whereby Samichlaus are available to meet familes at the Catholic Church Unterägeri. Visits to families take place between December 4-8. Registration for home visits closes 10 November. Signup and information (in German) here.
On 5 December, the annual Chlauseseln takes place from 5pm whereby Samichlaus and his entourage make their way from door to door. Typically, Samichlaus who is accompanied by Schmutzli enters the house and presents the children with gingerbread, tangerines and nuts once they have recited a poem or a song. Visits to families take place upon request. Signup and information (in German) here.
A comprehensive list of all St. Nicholas events in Zug is available here.
Photos from St. Niklausgesellschaft der Stadt Zug.
From end November, the „Red Noses“ are on the road in the Zug, Lucerne and Schwyz area in order to drive people home with their own car. You can reach them on the dates below as of 22.00h at 0800 802 208
Volunteers drive you home safely
Especially around Christmas time many parties will be celebrated and glasses will be clinked on New Year’s Eve. After a party everybody likes to calm down and get home safely. Unfortunately, many car drivers overrate their state to drive home after a convivial evening. This is the point where Nez Rouge Zug-Innerschwyz comes into play: Better call us before you start the engine! Just one phone call and a team picks you up at the initial point and drives you home with your car. Is there a better way to enjoy your party?
Our main target is to prevent accidents, our service is free of charge and our staff works voluntarily. Yet we raise money for charity and all you give us will be donated.
The Freiruum opened its doors in August 2019 and is proving to be a popular and diverse space for the community to come together. The 7600 sq2 meter warehouse has something for everyone: food and market halls, a sports hall (bouldering and trampolining in a large area for young and old), meeting and event halls as well as a cigar bar.
If you’re looking to have wifi and a space to work, you’ll also find it at Freiruum. The hip, industrial design as well as a minimalist decor create a welcoming and light-filled destination, with a mix of cozy areas and room for larger groups. We were able to chat with Kim Grenacher, Freiruum’s Marketing Manager and Co-Founder to find out more about this welcome addition to Zug.
Before it was Freiruum, it was a manufacturing facility. `Until the end of 2018 Siemens used the hall to produce small technical pieces for their products. As the news circulated that they were going to move out, we had the chance to visit the hall and fell in love immediately. The concept of Freiruum was already in our heads before and that day we found the perfect location for it.’
The design and décor is by Pointbreak (the agency behind Freiruum). `We do a lot of temporary gastronomy and we are loving creating the design and décor by ourselves. For Freiruum, for example, we have a lot of personal pieces as well. The piano which is installed in the center hall, is free to be used by the public and is my personal one. It is an heirloom from my grandparents and it makes me very happy to see it in such a beautiful place and how much fun people have using it.’
The agency works closely with friend and partner Gogo (Company Novalina), which brought in special and unique design elements as well as the plants. The food stands were well-thought out to provide plenty of different options for customers. `For sure quality was a main factor to get a food stall at Freiruum yet the concept has to be creative but still so familiar that people are not overwhelmed by the offers.’
We’ve been several times now to Freiruum and the offerings are delicious and a breath of fresh air. There’s no chance to get bored, and each individual in your group can choose whatever they fancy that day- a win/win for all. And it keeps getting better. Coming in mid-November, expect a pizza food stall and there will be some winter food trucks appearing at events. Like raclette at the Christmas Market on December 8th.
`People really like that you just can come here for lunch or an afterwork beer and always meet somebody from town. That’s super nice and we love that vibe,’ said Grenacher.
So the next time you’re craving somewhere different to go & want to try some good food, or just want to have a casual night out with your significant other, consider the Freiruum. We're dying to get our friends out on the trampolines for some fun and then have a beer and bite afterwards. Don’t be surprised if you jump into us the next time you’re there!
Imagine walking among hundreds of lanterns, each with it's own inspirational quote to guide your steps. It sounds like Christmas magic might be at work, but instead its the goodwill of locals who get out and make sure the 300+ candles are lit by hand every night along the 3 km Lantern Trail. You can discover this festive phenomenon for yourself in Aegeri.
The lighted pathway was originally launched to mark the 300th anniversary of the Catholic parish within the municipality. They add a lantern every year and now there are 305. The trail begins at the Almigchappeli (Rainstrasse/Weststrasse) and passes through Büel and Wissenschwändi onto Buechholz. Trail access is signposted in the village. Along the way you can take a break at the Laternenstübli and have a bite to eat or enjoy a drink, and chat with others, etc. For more information about this path which will be lit from November 30 to January 4, click here.
For a closer to home experience, head over to Baar to get your Christmas spirit in gear. This year during Advent, more than 2,000 lights will shine onto a section of approx. 1.5 km at the foot of the Baarburg, and create a festive atmosphere. This path will be lit from November 29 to January 5, find out more here.
Hünenberg was one of the first to introduce a Christmas lighted pathway, and 800 lights have burned since 1999. On Friday, December 1, the Hünenberg Christmas market will take place in the «Heinrich von Hünenberg» hall. As of this date, the lights from the Trail of Lights will shine every night until 6th January 2020. The 1,5 km long trail is set up by the city maintenance services. This path lights up December 6 to January 6 with more information here.
And while not exactly in our canton, it's worth paying a visit to Sattel Hockstuckli. Enjoy a lovely winter evening stroll along the lantern route. The 2 km loop trail across the suspension bridge is transformed each Saturday evening from December until March into a shimmering path. The walk on the well-groomed winter hiking trail takes about 40 minutes. Discover more to do in the area here.
This is the perfect way for families, couples and friends to start off the Christmas season on the right foot. Each pathway has its own special charm. The candles and lights will remain on every night until the start of the new year, giving enough time to try them all. Imagine these illuminated pathways in the snow: a true winter wonderland to behold!
Source and Photo: Zug Tourismus
Now that Christmas decorations and lights are up and twinkling, we would like to share some of the most popular Christmas Markets in the region.
In addition to the above, a special shout out to the magical Christmas Market in Einsiedeln, SZ, which runs from December 1 - 9. Make sure to enjoy the many concerts and activities as the little town converts into a winter wonderland.
If you feel like an escape to the French side of Switzerland, to roam and discover enchanted worlds with wide-eyed gazing children, sparkling decorations, and the scent of gingerbread in the air, then pay a visit to the Montreux Noel Christmas Market.
Wishing you and yours many, merry moments this holiday season!
Photos courtesy of Zug Tourismus.
Two women. Two different backgrounds. A shared vision.
This is what you'll discover when you meet Khalida Ait Si Brahim, from Morocco and Prachi Deshpande from India. The ladies met a year ago at a Christmas market and they just clicked from the start. Together they've created a unique business for showcasing their individual talents and shared love of creating something bigger than the two of them combined. Oh, and they like to have fun.
ChiKa Design Studio sets out to turn traditional furniture shopping and design upside down. The philosophy involves reworking, redesigning, recreating and restoring their clients' beloved pieces of furniture. They offer workshops teaching how to restore, redesign and how to sew like a pro. The studio is also a cooperative where people can become members and use the space for their own projects. The duo works together on interior design, by helping clients select furniture, accessories and accents to pull a room together. They can even procure decorative items and create bespoke pieces per a client's needs.
Khalida's background as financial executive in Paris seems a far stretch from her new role as co-owner of the studio. Her other business venture involves importing beautiful handmade rugs made in a centuries old tradition by women in cooperatives in Morocco. Within her role at ChiKa, she loves to take an old piece of furniture and restore it, adding a distinctive touch and giving it a new life.
Prachi's communications and costume design background offer a flair for the creative, but this new role as co-owner of the studio really allows her to shine. Her primary business is as an Ayurveda practitioner and therapist. She claims it is the source of her creativity and with ChiKa, she loves the concept of an entire room being transformed into something completely different than how it began.
The ladies have great respect for one another and feel that their ability to be flexible when working together as well as their shared values is what sets them apart. Both take environmental responsibility seriously, and choose to focus on up-cycling existing materials. Highlighting their individual strengths and working together to support a common goal is their recipe for a successful enterprise.
Between 50 and 60 people were in attendance at the Burgbachsaal in Zug as the English Theatre Group of Zug (ETGZ) presented their latest project for 2020 on Wednesday night.
The presentation was opened musically by Elaine McVey and Lizette Ewald (joint directors) together with Jennifer Schluchter (ETGZ president and director of movement) and Artemi Egorov (musical director), giving a sample of the kind of music they will present.
The new project will be called 6300 Showtime, and is intended as a collaborative Musical Review featuring music from more recent musical hits, such as Waitress, Book of Mormon, La La Land, Hamilton, the Greatest Showman, Little Shop of Horrors, as well as some medleys from “classic” musicals.
The story is based in Zug, with two choirs turning up for an audition for a show at the Burgbachsaal.
The first choir, the Black Choir, is led by the Black MC, who is a very serious character and considers the role of MC to be very important. He/she sings “Rain on my parade”, and the Black Choir perform some rap numbers from Hamilton. The second choir is the “White Choir”, headed by the White Choir MC, who is a more exotic, flamboyant character who likes to dress in drag.
There will be a sing-off between the 2 choirs, resulting in some exciting moments with fun characters, and causing some problems for the Theatre Director and his/her 2 assistants (non-singing roles). The two choirs ultimately realise that they are better when singing together, leading to the finale.
The choirs will be mixed choirs, and will consist of between 10 and 15 persons each. All the roles, including the non-singing Theatre Director and his/her 2 assistants, are open for auditions.
Auditions for the show will be held in the small gym at the ISZL in Wadenswil (Baar) – which is also the location for the subsequent rehearsals – on Saturday 11th January and Sunday 12th January 2020. Time slots for the auditions can be reserved from today on the ETGZ website; www.etgz.ch.
Auditions are open to both members and the general public. A minimum age of 16 years will apply, with existing members of the EGTZ being eligible from any age.
Auditionees should prepare one song from the list below, and possibly one other (musical) song that you yourself would really like to perform. Following the “inclusive” philosophy of the show, two of these self-chosen numbers may be included in the final show – so it’s your chance to shine!
Please note that you should provide your own backing track for your own number!
Ladies: Skid row – Intro, from ‘Little Shop of Horrors’
Requiem – 1st verse, from ‘Dear Evan Hansen’
What Baking can do - from ‘Waitress’
City of Stars – from ‘La La Land’
+ 1 piece of your own choice (if desired)
Men: City of Stars – from ‘La La Land’
It Only takes a Taste – 1st verse, from ‘Waitress’
+ 1 piece of your own choice (if desired)
Directors: Reading the opening scene
Rehearsals will be held in the small gym at the ISZL in Wadenswil (Baar) every Wednesday from 19.00 to 21.00, and every Sunday from 17.00 to 20.00, starting from around March 1st 2020, excluding Zug holidays. Several weekend workshops will also be organised.
A complete list of the dates of the rehearsals will be available at the auditions.
The show will be performed at the Burgbachsaal in Zug from the 12th to the 15th November 2020, with both evening and matinee performances.
If anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ever since the Middle Ages, central Switzerland has been celebrating «Fasnacht». A long-held tradition to go all out preceding the fasting season, your winter woes are sure to dissipate with all the confetti, music and dressed up crowds.
The main festivities will start on Shrove Thursday and end 6 days later in the early morning hours of Ash Wednesday. Kanton Zug too will be under siege by a variety of gaudy, historic and sometimes downright scary costumes as once again carnival descends on all municipalities.
In Stadt Zug, Fasnacht will start with a bang in the early morning hours of the 20th of February. The entire day will consist of plenty of noise, parades and activities – all in all, a fantastic day for everybody!
05.00 am - Wakeup call at the Landsgemeindeplatz. Free bus ride if you arrive from within the canton, free croissant, and coffee.
06.00 am - Family breakfast – alcohol-free breakfast in the Rathaus at Fischmarkt offered by the Zuger Chesslete Society.
09.00 am - Start of the Metalli-Guggete, guggen music concerts in the Metalli shopping center.
10.00 am - Children's face painting and entertainment at the Bundesplatz.
11.30 am - Risotto lunch at the Bundesplatz offered by local businesses and accompanied by guggen music.
2.30 pm - Traditional parade with lots of themes and colorful costumes. Starts at Kolinplatz - Postplatz - Bundesplatz. Followed by a BIG CONFETTI BATTLE at the Bundesplatz.
2.30 pm - Children's parade in the old town.
4.00 pm - Children's entertainment at the Landsgemeindeplatz with many attractions and a drawing competition.
4.30 pm - End of day welcome concert at the main train station for all who had work that day.
5.00 pm - For the first time, end of day welcome concert at Freiruum.
8.00 pm - Chesselwy begins in the old town: guggen music across three stages until 01.30 am. Many tents, bars, and restaurants stay open until the early morning hours!
Complimentary busses at 1, 2 and 3 o’clock in the morning from Postplatz.
Love it or hate it, February 14th is coming around the corner fast! Whether you plan to indulge or steer well clear from all the love hearts, we’ve put together the ultimate Valentine’s Day guide for couples and singletons alike.
Nurture your competitive side | The perfect pastime for those who aren’t fond of clichés. Pool, tabletop football, darts and an international beer assortment just shy of the hundreds – the B&B Sportsbar has it all for a showdown between you and your partner, family or friends. Open until late, this one is for the night owls amongst us.
Crack open a bottle of wine | A fine wine almost always leads to great conversations. Find yourself good company and head to a local wine bar – for a more intimate setting, Felsenkeller or Platzhirsch come highly recommended. Not the wine type of guy or gal… divert to Skylounge for cocktails and far-reaching views of Zug.
Set the scene at dinner | Sure it may be the cookie-cutter approach, but one simply can’t go wrong with a candlelit dinner. To avoid any disappointment, we recommend you sort your dinner reservations pronto. If you’re looking to go all out, Hafenrestaurant is serving up a storm with their dedicated Valentine’s Day menu consisting of four courses for 89CHF per head excluding drinks.
Take your date to the cinema | Relive the good old high school days on a date night at Kino Zug. Tickets start at 17CHF per head plus if you want to do it right, you’ll have to factor in the popcorn and an extra-large fizzy drink to share.
Relax over breakfast | Start the day with a French farmer’s breakfast in a rustic ambiance at Tisch + Bar. There are plenty of dishes to choose from including waffles and French toast, and particularly the breakfast for two rises to the special occasion. For 78CHF, you’ll receive a full-on breakfast feast plus sparkling wine for that extra bit of oomph.
Drop by the chocolatiers | There’s no better time of year to succumb to the delicious decadence of Swiss artisan chocolate than Valentine’s Day. Swing by Läderach, Sprüngli or Aeschbach and stock up for the weekend.
Party away at singles’ night | Feeling a bit like the Grinch during Christmas? Unite with singletons and dance into the early morning hours at Lounge & Gallery. There will even be stickers to indicate whether your fellow club-goers are ‘single and ready to mingle’, ‘happily taken’ or ‘somewhere in-between’. Doors open at 23.00 and entry costs 15CHF per head.
Just as much as the facts around the challenges facing our planet are clear, they can seem inconceivable and overwhelming too. As individuals we many times feel powerless–we hastily throw our hands up because whatever we do ultimately doesn’t make a difference, right? Wrong. We share some of our favourite tips and initiatives that will help you reduce your impact and do good.
1. Try pre-loved | The negative connotations around second-hand are dwindling fast as more and more of us are choosing second-hand and getting a buzz out of the bargains too. For household goods, furniture and clothes, a visit to the Brockenhaus Zug can be well worth it. For appliances, kitchen or bathroom units and the likes, GGZ’s home improvement shop is an absolute gem that few know of and best of all, has an online store too. If you happen to be after a new bike or bike parts, the upcoming bicycle exchange held by Pro Velo Zug on March 28 at the Stierenmarktareal is not to be missed. There, bicycles will also be taken in by Velafrica for export to Africa, and likewise, all the above-listed organisations will find a new home for your unwanted items that result from your next spring clean.
2. Switch to renewable energy | Electricity and heat is one of the largest carbon-emitting sectors worldwide. Opting for renewable sources such as solar, wind or hydro can help you reduce your annual carbon footprint by as much as a quarter, plus spurs the uptake and development of green energy. The local energy supplier WWZ offers a range of renewable energy plans for you to explore. On top, you can choose to support local solar energy producers and power plants that adhere to strict environmental regulations as well as fund ecological projects to support local wildlife. For households operating on gas, biogas which is produced from organic waste matter can be a good alternative versus natural gas.
Exceptional times call for exceptional gestures. For many of us, Mother’s Day marks our opportunity to express the gratitude we feel towards mum – families gather to pay tribute and celebrate. There is no doubt that this year’s unique circumstances would have overthrown entire plans with many of us now forced to celebrate at home or even apart from the women we hold dearest. However, let’s not allow this to taint the day nor lose sight of what really matters. Now more than ever is our opportunity to make this Mother’s Day the most meaningful one yet. With some creativity and preparation, you still have time to make next Sunday, May 10 truly memorable – our list of ideas may just ignite a spark…
Say it with flowers and cake in one
Flowers are predictable you say. Not with The Baking Mom they aren’t. A handmade cupcake flower bouquet or Maison des Fleurs cake will almost certainly secure you those brownie points. You’ll want to be quick though, as the order deadline is the morning of 7 May and she’s only got two hands!
Play old school with a handwritten letter
Can’t remember the last time you put pen to paper? Take the time to reflect on your relationship and acknowledge mum with this simple gesture. For some of us, laying our feelings bare in a one-on-one conversation is not always easy, so a heartfelt letter could be just the memento that makes this occasion extra special.
Attend a virtual dance class together
With studios and gyms closed, there has been a surge in live-stream fitness classes being made available. Get your gear on, clear the living room and tune in. Now more than ever, dance could be just the thing you both need, or alternatively opt for something more zen such as pilates or yoga.
Take her for a picnic in your backyard
If the weather permits, make dining at home more exciting by taking the party outdoors. Lay down a blanket and roll out the red carpet of picnic-ready snacks – we’re thinking antipasti platters, crudités, freshly baked bread and last but not least a great bottle of vino to accompany. Not exactly a whizz in the kitchen? Why not order or pick up take-out from mum’s favourite local restaurant?
With summer upon us, and normality setting back in, the time has come to devise how you will keep your most precious little ones active and engaged over the break. Longer, warmer days also mean we all can and should make the most of the great Swiss outdoors. Browse our compilation of the best activities going ahead around the canton in compliance with government guidelines.
Soft Landing Language Summer Courses Availability 6 July – 21 August 2020
At Soft Landing, children aged 4 to 13 years are taught German via engaging learning techniques that incorporate the likes of storytelling, games, music, and art. Alongside day camps, 1 to 2-hour sessions are offered across 5 consecutive days. English and Spanish courses are also available.
Institut Montana Summer Sessions Availability 19 July – 9 August 2020
Summer sessions with a duration of 2 or 3 weeks offer a unique academic, social, and cultural programme for children aged 10 to 15 years. A high-quality curriculum allows students to improve their German or English as well as discover new academic fields such as Business & Leadership or Creativity & Arts. Inspired by almost 100 years of educational excellence; scenic environments, sports sessions, day trips, and a familial community come as standard at Montana.
The Learning Place Summer Camp Availability 6 July – 14 August 2020
This summer camp in English and German combines language learning with fun and games for children aged 6 to 10 years. While the focus will be on academic creativity in the form of a personal project, there will be plenty of time for other activities such as dog training, gardening or painting that will be tailored according to students’ interests.
InterSoccer Summer Soccer Camps Availability 6 July – 7 August 2020
Soccer courses for boys and girls aged 3 to 13 years – all skill levels welcome. While the Mini Camp entertains 3 to 5-year-olds, the Junior and Academy Camps are designed for 5 to 13-year-olds. The up to five-day programmes are led by qualified international coaches and held in English. Full-day participants need to bring a packed lunch as the Zug location does not provide hot lunch.
More Sports Soccer Camp Availability 6 – 10 July (Zug) & 10 – 14 August 2020 (Cham)
Summer soccer training by the former professional striker and passionate coach, Moreno Merenda. This camp focuses on children’s enjoyment of the sport, improvement of their skills, and teambuilding. Children aged 5 to 11 years participate in two 2-hour practice sessions, broken up by lunch and games.
Magical treasure hunts, oriental cooking, fishing on Lake Zug – the GGZ Zug Holiday Pass is back. From July 6 to July 24 there will be a grand 350 events for primary school children entering grades 1 to 7 to choose from. The holiday pass along with the Zuger Pass, which grants children traveling to and from activities access to the entire public transport network are now available for purchase.
Holiday pass pre-sale
Only holders of the holiday pass will be eligible to register for events. In addition, the pass entitles its holder to free admission to most public indoor and outdoor pools in the canton, one-time admission to a miniature golf course of choice, up to three game rentals from select toy libraries, and 15% off children’s books at Balmer Buchhaus. The pass can be obtained from UBS branches in Zug and Rotkreuz from June 18 to midday on June 26 for CHF 30 or online for CHF 33.
Holders of the holiday pass are further entitled to purchase the Zuger Pass at a discounted rate of CHF 19. This enables free travel across all ZVB public transport modes (including ferries) for the duration of the programme, regardless of what holiday pass activities are undertaken. Please note that most events will require a form of valid public transport ticket, so the additional purchase of a Zuger Pass is recommended.
In addition, full-day care inclusive of excursions is available at a daily surcharge of CHF 50 via the FEPA-Club. The children of working parents will be entertained from 8.30am to 5pm (drop-off from 7.30am). Slots are in high demand and a swift reservation is highly recommended.
The full events programme is due to be posted online on June 20. Registration for weekly events opens respectively at 1pm on the Monday of the previous week (i.e. first release on June 29 for events week commencing July 6). Events sell out extremely fast and can be booked one of two ways: online using the login provided on the holiday pass or by phone. Available slots vary per event and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis – if your child is unable to take up their place, please make sure to cancel in advance to give another child the chance to participate instead.
This year, new rules will apply in compliance with government guidelines for a safe carrying out of all events. Please familiarise yourself with all guidelines issued prior to the purchase of a GGZ Zug Holiday Pass. Top-line, hygiene and social distancing measures will be in place, the number of participants per event limited, and mingling among adults at meeting points prohibited. Where possible, it is advised that children travel alone to events or only with necessary accompanying persons. Children will also be required to bring their own refreshments and due to limited availability will only be allowed to participate in max. 5 events per week. Anybody displaying symptoms will be sent home.
Train like an astronaut. Leverage science to build muscle, lose fat, and feel amazing in 6 minutes a week. How two former M&A bankers solve the fitness & health challenges of time-starved individuals in Zurich and newly Zug.
It seems that we at Zug4You can’t help but connect with the newcomers in town. Most recently, we had the pleasure of meeting team AURUM and when we were offered a training session at their brand-new Zug branch, well, we simply couldn’t resist. Never had we set foot in a personal training studio as sleek as this one. Serving as the centrepiece was a single machine. High Intensity Training backed by science and technology – 6 minutes of guided exercise is all it took for us to feel that fulfilling ache in our body for days to come. Our verdict: whilst one definitely has to see (and feel) it to believe it, we’ll be back for more. A big thank you to co-founders Julian and Philipp for taking the time to share their story…
Long hours and tight deadlines. That was the life of Julian and Philipp during their time in investment banking in Zurich. By 2017, 80-hour work weeks had taken their toll on their bodies. Julian experienced lower back pains, Philipp suffered from constant shoulder pains following a ski accident, not to mention the additional inches that were gradually building up around their waistlines. Perhaps this was an acceptable phenomenon for 70-year-olds but at the tender ages of 27 and 32 respectively, they both agreed that something definitely had to change.
Julian fell back on a workout routine from his previous professional sports career in Olympic sailing. As a member of Germany’s national squad, he had had the privilege to train and learn alongside a top athletic coach. Together they had relied on a special form of High Intensity Training (HIT) based on strength exercises to gain muscle mass and improve fitness. Julian recalled the amazing results he had achieved with this style of exercise. Most remarkable is that it only takes 20 minutes once a week as the muscles need an adequate amount of time to grow and recover. The time efficiency itself stems from the fact that one only performs 6 exercises lasting a minute each.
With a plan in hand, the pair began attending a local gym to help each other perform HIT with weight-based machines. In fact, Philipp became so excited about this new form of exercise in his life that he began questioning why this was not being offered as a service. The brainchild of what would later become the AURUM 6-minute workout was born.
Delivered vaccine doses are increasing and operations at the Zug Vaccination Center are running efficiently and without delay. Therefore, the general population can now be admitted for vaccination: Starting this week, the first vaccination appointments can be made for people over 16 years of age. All Zug residents in this age category who are willing to be vaccinated, as well as those groups already admitted, are encouraged to register online for vaccination.
Do you belong to the current vaccination group?
- People aged 16 and over
- Adults with the following pre-existing conditions (recommendation by the attending physician to be vaccinated is required):
Severe heart disease
Severe hypertension (> 160 mmHg)
Severe respiratory and kidney disease
Obesity (BMI > 35 kg/m2)
Only people residing in the canton of Zug can be vaccinated at the Corona vaccination center in Baar. If you are registered in another canton, we will refer you to the competent authorities in your canton of residence.
Currently, all available vaccination dates are fully booked. If you are in the current vaccination group, you can still register. You will then receive a vaccination appointment as soon as sufficient vaccine is available.
Australia is a place that many Europeans long to visit. It has an area is 7,692,000 square kilometres - Switzerland would fit into this area about 180 times. It's mainly the coastal areas that are inhabited in Australia, and the Spirdonoff family used to live there. More specifically, in Melbourne. This metropolis is the second largest city in Australia and the most southerly million-city in the world. It's located on the same latitude as Cape Town (South Africa) and is part of the Australian state of Victoria.
But the Spirdonoffs prefer to talk about Switzerland. And they do this on the Guggi Hügel in the city of Zug. They have chosen this vantage point as a place of conversation. "We live very close," says Kim Spirdonoff regarding their selection. "The view of Zug is so wonderful here." You can only agree with her.
Her husband Daniel works in Rotkreuz at AB InBev, which is the largest brewing group in the world. As a trained lawyer, he takes care of "legal services" at the global beverage retailer. He also worked for the company in Melbourne. When they moved to Switzerland in 2018, it was only a first for their daughters, as Daniel has already travelled in Europe with his parents. And his wife Kim accompanied him on his second trip. They didn’t visit Zug on that trip in the late 1990’s, but did go to Zurich.
The peacefulness of Zug as a big plus When asked how long they wanted to stay in Zug, Mr and Mrs Spirdonoff couldn’t or didn’t want to commit themselves yet. A sign that they like it here. In Melbourne, they lived in the inner city, as they now do in Zug. "But things are much quieter here in Zug. We appreciate that." Kim Spirdonoff also finds that everything is so close. And this suits them, of course, because they like being outdoors and to go hiking. They've also visited various sights in Switzerland since their arrival in 2018, including Geneva, Zermatt, Interlaken, Lausanne and Montreux, and also Grisons (Graubünden). Daniel Spirdonoff also thinks it's great that he can reach a skiing area in just over half an hour: "From Melbourne, I had to sit in the car for three hours in order to go skiing."
"I am 100 percent Swiss cheese," laughs Sandra Herzog introducing herself. She goes on to explain that as a typical Swiss she rather spend time at home than anywhere else. The 24-year-old who grew up in Hünenberg and still lives there today is the brains behind the meet-up group Meeting New Friends in Zug, which she started on her own initiative 3 years ago and runs alongside her full-time job.
The idea is to show newcomers around the canton, share local traditions and connect them with others from all over the world who have similarly decided to make Zug their new home. As the administrator, Sandra plans various events, which participants can join for free. Spanning more than 1500 members, Sandra’s gatherings are one of the most sought-after in Zug. Pre-pandemic she had held more than 120 meet-ups, which included after-work drinks, outdoor tours and participating in various cultural events such as the annual Chrööpfelimee or Jazz Night Zug.
We ask her where she drew inspiration from? Sandra shares how a 3-month-long language stay in Vancouver back in 2016 sparked her passion. Upon her return, she had wanted to maintain contact with an international crowd and keep practicing her English. She recalls her first event with a group of 12 at Mr. Pickwick Pub. “It was nerve-wracking. I didn’t know how many people would actually come nor what to expect. Long story short, it was a great evening with fantastic conversations.”
How much her initiative has resonated with people came as a real surprise. "In a society that’s becoming more and more anonymous, the need for social contact outside the workplace is evidently great," she says, adding, "I want to contribute to an open, tolerant and open-minded world." The groups are very intercultural and span all age groups. To her delight, more and more locals are attending as well. Besides, many friendships and even the occasional romantic entanglement have already grown as a result of her meet-ups, which she feels is the greatest reward.
Aside from the occasional online get-together, the pandemic has meant that Sandra has had to put her meet-ups on hold. “I have missed it very much and hope to return soon. I have a lot of ideas!” True to her spirit, she nowadays dedicates her spare time to her new podcast. “My goal is to build a bridge between locals and new expats. I think it is important that if you live in Switzerland, you get acquainted with the country.” The podcast combines general and insider information about Switzerland, bitesize Swiss German lessons, interviews with expats and much more.
Interested to become part of Sandra’s community? Then subscribe via Spotify or iTunes or alternatively, join her on Meetup.
Since 1961, the International School of Zug and Luzern (ISZL) has provided children with engaging and meaningful learning. It has a reputation in the international school community for best practice in Early Childhood Education.
ISZL believes that language development is fundamental to learning. Their literacy programme at Early Years:
Highlights the relationship between reading with writing in everyday experiences and
Through careful observations, teachers recognise significant moments for individual children and as they develop conceptual understandings around reading and writing. In these moments, teachers support children to further develop their skills and understanding. Children listen to and have access to carefully selected literature within the classroom and visit our friendly dedicated junior library regularly.
Early readers show an interest in books and the print they see around them. They observe and copy adult readers doing things such as holding the book carefully, turning the pages and using computer icons. They often read by using the pictures and their memories to retell stories.
Ways to support your child at home
Read to your child every day. Reading aloud helps children expand their vocabulary, appreciate
the value of books and other texts, understand new ideas and concepts, and learn about the
world around them.
During reading: draw attention to the pictures, point to some of the words as you read them.
Encourage your child to join in when being read to, e.g. by turning the pages, holding the book,
allowing them to read the bits they remember.
After reading: Talk about the characters and help your child tell the story from the pictures.
Expose your child to a wide variety of texts including books in your home language(s), magazines,
brochures, newspapers, menus and comics. These can be read many times so children
become familiar with them. Familiarity helps build self-confidence.
Encourage and praise your child’s attempts to read.
Ensure your child sees other members of the family reading and talking about reading. This helps
early readers understand that there are different reasons for reading.
Encourage your child to make up or retell stories orally.
Look for familiar letters in the text, ‘Look, Kristin, there is a ‘K’ like at the start of your name.’
Early writers role play the act of writing, experimenting with ways to represent written language either on paper or electronically. Early writers experiment by forming scribbles, letter-like symbols or random strings of letters, often using letters from their own name. While early writers may read their writing, others may not be able to.
Ways to support your child at home
Offer opportunities to write by providing blank paper, crayons, pencils and other writing materials.
When you write, encourage your child to write alongside you. They may copy your lead and begin
to see how writing is used for different purposes. Talk about what you are writing and why you
are writing it, e.g. a shopping list so that you know what to buy, an email to Grandma to thank
her for the birthday present.
Write for your child. This allows them to see the starting point for writing and to understand that
print has a message.
Write about shared experiences with your child. Use photos from an outing to make a book about
what you did, e.g. a trip to the zoo. Plan what to write with your child and talk about the letters
Talk about the letters you are using to begin a word, e.g. “I need to write sausages on my list. It
sounds like Stephan’s name at the beginning because they both start with ‘s’.” Refer to letters
by their name rather than the sound.
Encourage your child to ‘have a go’ with writing and accept your child’s attempts to write even
though it may not look like regular writing.
Other activities that support fine motor development and pencil control include sewing, weaving, playing with playdough, cutting with scissors, sand and block play.
If you are interested in learning more about ISZL’s approach to reading and writing in the Early Years, read here.
An award-winning guided tour like you’ve never experienced before – private, comfortable and 100-percent tailored to your wishes. Whether you’re a newcomer to Switzerland or have lived here many years, discover destinations throughout Switzerland in a way you wouldn’t be able to plan yourself.
Originally from Manchester, UK, your knowledgeable driver and companion Chris Wilson calls Switzerland home since more than 20 years and is the best local for the job. Providing tours in native English, the certified Switzerland Travel Expert is committed to a VIP-worthy service at affordable prices. You will travel in a well-kept and fully-equipped Mercedes V Class that can generally hold up to 6 passengers. Coronavirus measures and ordinances as specified by the Federal Office of Public Health are adhered to at all times, making it a safe and exciting option to explore Switzerland under current conditions.
Choose from one-day, overnight or multi-day tours. A thoughtfully put-together itinerary, will take you across iconic sights as well as hidden gems well off the beaten track. En route activities and dining are also possible. For families, Chris takes extra care that the experience is rewarding for all members, big or small.
So, fancy yourself a trip to the Bernese Highlands, Romandy, Appenzellerland or perhaps something as niche as tracing Roger Federer’s childhood footsteps? Read Typically Swiss Tours’ 5-star reviews and browse tours, or call Chris direct on 079 286 0451.
Zug4You readers who book-in by 31 March 2021 will further benefit from a CHF 50 discount.
Missing the good old after-work drinks with colleagues and friends? Then the Brauerei Baar may have just the thing for you. Since 1862, the brewery is one of the most established in Switzerland, supplying a vast network of outlets with its specialty beers and newly your doorstep too.
Take your next work-do into your own hands with the newly launched Baarer Bier aperitif sets. Conveniently choose from a selection of beverage and snack combinations – prosecco and non-alcoholic options included. Once the sets are lovingly packaged they will make their way to your guests via Swiss Post. All you have left to do is send your Zoom invite!
Many of us have experienced the world of insurance as complex and behind the times. Digital insurance trustee Caveo is on a mission to change this and make your experience as frictionless as possible going forward.
Inaccessible and time-consuming is how many of us would describe our experience buying, claiming, and handling our insurance. The concept dates back to prehistory and it sure could do with a facelift. Countless policy options and many pages of jargon later, one can’t help but feel relieved once the paperwork is signed never to be looked at again.
Fully aware of this frustration among customers, Caveo co-founder Alexander Hesselvik and his team are committed to doing better: “Our idea is simple. We are there to handle all your insurance policies and any related queries digitally, in one place.” In a nutshell, Caveo helps you search, manage, and make claims across all insurance and pension solutions via their platform and newly released native app. What insurance companies clients are signed up with has no relevance, though Caveo does offer a fully comprehensive advisory service to help you optimise your portfolio.
“The pandemic not only fuelled a digital surge but also exposed loopholes in many clients’ insurance policies. Either because they didn’t have the right coverage to begin with or weren’t sure which policy covered what, be it in the domain of travel, health or other insurance types.”
As an expat who moved to Zug in 2003, Alexander further clarifies that the entire Caveo service is available in native English too. “Our experience shows that this massively simplifies the process for our customers, especially the newcomers to Switzerland.”
So, do you too want a simple, digital overview of all your policies? To take out your next policy at the touch of a button? To have Caveo handle all claims on your behalf? And receive all the above for free? Then visit www.caveo.ch or download the Caveo app for iPhone or Android. The entire onboarding process only takes 3 minutes and a Caveo team member will be in touch within 24 hours.
Zug4You readers will further receive a CHF 10.- Sprüngli voucher, redeemable at all Sprüngli shops. Simply use the code Z4U in the Caveo chat following registration.
Please note: one voucher applies per registration or family upon completion of a welcome call.
Thank god, gone are those days when we used to sweat in a gym under bad LED lighting, warming up on a crosstrainer with the rest of the peloton in order to get ready - at least according to the training plan on the clipboard - to stand in line for machine N°1, the merit of which is still a mystery. And when we finally get the chance to exercise on our machine N°1, our concentration quickly fades due to the animalistic sounds of two 18-year-old “pumping iron” enthusiasts. As you decide to call it a day and head for the protein shake bar you can still hear the two “bros” in their wifebeater vests congratulate each other for the nice benchpress. “The whole experience is inhumane!” says Julian, Co-Founder and CEO of the two-year-old Swiss health and fitness company Aurum. “Fitness is not about gaining six pack abs, it’s about having the health and physical capabilities to enjoy life. We want you to save time with us and reap the benefits for higher quality of life in the week following. In many ways, you buy the week after the 6 Minute Workout.
It always bothered us. Today, you can receive warm meals delivered to your doorstep, cruise around in an electric or even self-driving car, order a cab on your smartphone, book chic and cheap vacation homes from private landlords and access Hollywood just in a few clicks. Why can’t we make strength training fast and reliable?” comments Julian. Turns out, we can. “One has to take a blank sheet of paper and look what is really needed to make it work for many people, then uncompromisingly provide it.” So, what’s needed?
First science - the why. Especially when you work with biology, you want to establish a strong cause-effect relationship that is proven by solid science. Does it achieve muscle gain, fat loss and health? Aurum has found the answer in the High Intensity Training protocol. They even hand out a book at every trial describing the science and effects.
Second to science is technology - the how. Technology is only a tool and a tool without a clear way to use it correctly is useless or even dangerous. Third and most important comes a personal trainer - the who. He or she needs to understand the science, apply it to you individually, correct and motivate you, and serve as a filter for the information that is meaningful to you. “There are many things we humans can do naturally. Correct strength training is not one of these things. The sooner we have that insight, the better. This formula works for everybody as proven by the Aurum score record holder, which is 94-years-old.”
Lastly, people want to see progress. This is what makes them happy and makes any goal achievable. That’s why Aurum visualises the progress in its app. The 6 Minute Workout is for the pragmatic, savvy urban dwellers, who have so much more to enjoy in life than spend hours in a gym. It delivers all the benefits they can hope to achieve in mere 6 minutes a week. The time they save and the fundamental fitness they get enables them to do the things they love doing the rest of the week.
During the summer of 1945, the Felsenegg children’s home on top of the Zugerberg opened its doors to 107 exhausted and bewildered boys and girls. They had come from the horrors of Buchenwald concentration camp. A 15-year-old Jewish boy called Thomas Geve (his pseudonym) was among them.
I came across Thomas’s story quite by chance, thanks to a client of mine, Natalie Albrecht from ZUG4YOU.ch, who told me about an exhibition at Zug’s Burg Museum. She gave me a leaflet entitled, ‘The Children of Buchenwald’. I have always had an interest in World War II history and was intrigued about Switzerland’s involvement. The Swiss alpine scenery allowed the children, a chance to start their long road back to recovery. Being able to draw and write about their traumatic experiences was part of that journey. Thomas’s name was mentioned in the leaflet and upon researching him further, I came across his powerful drawings.
Thomas and I met in Israel a few months later in July 2019. I had contacted Thomas’ daughter, Yifat, loosely explaining the Zug connection. Thomas’s story is a captivating one. A ‘German’ Jew, Thomas and his mother were forced to move from Beuthen to Berlin as Hitler’s persecution of the Jews gathered pace in 1939. A ‘streetwise’ kid, Thomas was never interested in school or teachers, instead he believed in what he could see in front of him and the wanders of technology. Berlin after all was glistening with Nazi invention and industrial progression. Those beliefs from a young age were to undoubtedly save Thomas’s life in the years to come.
Evading the SS, the Gestapo and the many informers that hid among Berlin’s dangerous streets, Thomas and his mother survived for over four years before finally handing themselves in, in June 1943. With no money and barely any food, they had had little choice. At the time rumours were circulating that Germany’s Jewry could settle in the East and could earn money by working hard. Thomas and his mother were sent on transport 39 one of the last transports out of Berlin. They arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau on 29 June 1943. Their hopes of a better existence were crushed as they stepped out of the wagons and onto the platform. 22 months later, at the age of 15, Thomas was liberated from Buchenwald on 11 April 1945.
He had survived three concentration camps, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Gross-Rosen and Buchenwald. In the days that followed his freedom Thomas got access to discarded Swastika-headed postcards and some colour pencils. He then proceeded to sketch over 80 drawings, which, over the last 76 years have become an historically important record of life in concentration camps. What compelled him to draw? For Thomas it was primarily to show his father what he had experienced during those 22 months in the camps.
I am fortunate enough to co-author The Boy Who Drew Auschwitz which is his updated testimony. It follows his first two editions, Youth in Chains and Guns in Barbed Wire which were published in 1958 and 1987 respectively. Throughout our interviews Thomas’s maturity and character kept on coming through. Thomas was tall for his age, he could make people laugh, he remembered songs and he could quickly pick up snippets from different languages. It would continually prove to be the difference of living or dying.
In this book, Thomas does not ignore the horrors of the Holocaust however he prefers to concentrate on positivity, hope and survival - how his friends and fellow inmates lived and survived the camps. Thomas’s attention to detail, as befitting his career as an engineer, is still as sharp as ever. His replies to questions are honed from years of giving testimonies at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem and around Europe. Thomas has always stuck to the details of what he saw and what he personally went through.
I came back to Switzerland honoured to have met Thomas and determined to fulfil his wishes of reaching future generations. By documenting and drawing his story, everyone can learn about this infamous period of world history and ensure that it never happens again. For me, Thomas’s drawings and story go hand in hand. It is very rare to have both text and drawings from a living Holocaust survivor – it is unique. They say a picture is worth a thousand words… I think Thomas has achieved that and so much more.
Nowadays, it feels like few businesses remain where legacy is as deep-rooted as it is at the House of Etter. Last year Etter Söhne AG celebrated its 150th anniversary. Only last month, Gabriel Galliker-Etter and his team were awarded the prize Zuger of the Year 2020. For those less familiar with one of canton Zug’s oldest businesses, now run by the 4th generation, Etter is one of Europe’s most successful specialty distilleries producing premium range fruit brandies but also whisky and rum.
The first-ever recorded batch of Etter Zuger Kirsch was produced in 1823 by farmer Johann Baptist Etter in Menzingen, ZG. The commercial endeavour, however, only begins with Paul Etter who officially sets up shop in 1870. For the next 110 years, the family business focuses solely on kirsch. So much so in fact that it’s house-own label becomes synonymous with Zuger kirsch. Only in 1981 does Hans Etter, 3rd generation and current Chairman of the Board, tap into new product ranges. His son-in-law Gabriel Galliker-Etter, who Zug4You had the pleasure to meet, runs the day-to-day business since 2012.
“What whisky is to the Scots; kirsch is to the Swiss.”
Our meeting with Gabriel is scheduled over Skype. A friendly face appears on the screen as Gabriel gets comfortable in his office chair. It’s apparent that the countless accolades and awards haven’t gotten to his family’s head – Etter isn’t just a bottom line but their eau-de-vie, literally.
Gabriel, thank you so much for taking time out of your day. Maybe we can start by giving our readers some insight into your production?
Well, we use raw materials sourced almost exclusively in Switzerland. I say almost because we use blood oranges from Sicily and a hazelnut variety from the Piedmont region in Italy. Our cherries are from Zug, pears and apricots are sourced in Valais, while the plums are grown in western Switzerland. It’s where the fruits are best that guides us and of course it also makes sense because we have shorter transport routes, thereby ensuring optimal freshness. From there, the entire production process takes place at the House of Etter at the Chollerstrasse in Zug. All batches are tried and tested by yours truly.
Looking back, is there any moment or memory in the history of the business that stands out to you or your family in particular?
The biggest milestone during my time has to be my taking over of the management on 1 September 2012. It’s huge to be allowed to follow in such footsteps and one isn’t quite sure what lays ahead. A transition from one generation to the next meant a lot of preparation work. My father-in-law and I spent a good 3 years getting ready, plus there’s the aspect of being accepted.
Was it always clear to you that you one day wished to take over the family business?
Well, I don’t officially belong to the family in that sense but married in. I’ve been part of the business for 21 years and even did my apprenticeship in the distillery. My parents had a grocery store in Rotkreuz for 43 years and there are pictures of miniature Gabriel standing in front of the Etter display. I think it was always in my mind that it must go on. One thing led to the next. Also my wife is a fundamental part of the business.
What does a normal day look like for you at the House of Etter?
Honestly, most days it is not possible to plan ahead. Of course, you have a given number of fixed appointments as Managing Director but then there are many important matters that arise spontaneously and need to be dealt with left, right and centre. I’m often present front-of-house too and in the evenings, I work through my to-dos. Then there are days I’m away on business. As you see, it’s 100% family-run – one moment you’re running exports to 25 countries, the next you’re dealing with marketing, HR and so on.