a time trip to the 1950s

even though the place we live at here in switzerland has a rather rural character — there are several livestock markets throughout the year down at the station square, very few regions regularly vote more conservative than ours — einsiedeln has a surprising cultural live. one of the driving forces is the chaernehus, which several times a year hosts cabaret, an exhibition, and stages a play.

this year’s play is kino etzel — which @jmdhh and i went to see tonight. kino etzel is played in the old cinema, kino etzel and is a tribute to the old swiss rural cinema of the 1950s. until the of 2010 einsiedeln’s kino etzel was still operating and it had been lovingly kept in the style of the 1950s — i loved it. unfortunately, the end of 2010 was also the last curtain for kino etzel — until this year when the chaernehus theater group decided to make it the subject of their 2012 production.

we had made seat reservations and when we arrived at 20:00 were greeted by cloakroom attendants in 1950s outfit — the price to leave our coats was 1950s as well: CHF 0.20 (tickets were 2012-ish price-wise though 😉 we had not only reserved seats in the show but also in the pre-show restaurant: the gallery had been turned into a typical 1950s swiss restaurant complete with a 1950s swiss menu, lovingly decorated with furnishings from that era. due to running a bit late but still had time to have an einsiedler beer and something to eat before the show started.

the play itself is a mixture of cinematic, theatrical, and musical elements — sometimes intermixed (the initial showing of a piece from the 1950s schweizer wochenschau about the bad wolf in wallis1 was aborted by two 1950s policemen storming the cinema and reading out the regulations of the canton of schwyz regarding cabaret shows. all elements of the play work together to re-create the 1950s — and for most of the show it works quite well (the football piece was a bit drawn out and trying to imitate loriot but not quite achieving that really).

all in all: a very entertaining and interesting show, well worth a visit!

“kino etzel” is on until 11 february 2011


  1. nothing really new then. 

some more pseudo HDR experiments

during sunday’s #twallfahrt i managed to take a couple of 5-step bracketed pictures, two of which i think produced some interesting results. the first one is the view from etzel pass towards einsiedeln:

at first i thought that it looks a bit weird, then i realized (and on my way home looked at the clouds with “different eyes”) that it does look like that.

the second one is a classical, an in-door shot in the church of the monastery of einsiedeln1:

i kind of like both, but the second one is more the classical one and i like it best. what do you think?


  1. we did have special dispens from @abtmartin to take pictures, to film, and — gasp — to twitter inside the church from 14:40–15:00 :-) 

world’s first twitter wallfahrt!

9:10 — ms d and i arrive at einsiedeln railway station, all kitted out in our walking gear, ready to go. walking past the train we spot our fellow pilgrims. yep, pilgrims: we are on our way to the starting point of the world’s first twitter pilgrimage, the #twallfahrt1 from pfäffikon to einsiedeln. in the train we meet @decolores1, @konzertharfe, @sempreincorsaa also ready to go on the #twallfahrt. just before the train is about to depart at 9:13 we are joined at the last second by @abtmartin — good thing, too, as he is supposed to lead us on our pilgrimage 🙂


i’m looking forward to the first twitter pilgrimage which is at the same time my first pilgrimage on foot (last year’s pilgrimage was by bus, which somehow gives it a different twist, i think). @abtmartin is apparently still in the “geheimprojekt” stage of the #twallfahrt, as he is not really forthcoming with any information about what’s planned.

we get to pfäffikon on time, cross through the station tunnel and see the #twilgrims gathered — a bit short of the maximum number of 8000 mentioned on @pixelfreund‘s blog (about 7969 short, in fact) bit still a sizable group. as various #twilgrims let us know via twitter, that they are still on their way, it’s a bit past 10:00 that we start on our way from pfäffikon up to etzel pass (where we’ll have a lunch break) and then on to einsiedeln to the benedictine monastery there.

the weather, fortunately, is cool, a bit humid, but not too bad, and the hike up “1000 steps” to etzel pass is easy to walk. the clouds are just fantastic (as a subscribed member of the cloud appreciation society i find blue sky days boring) — just past the autobahn we stop for our first #twallfahrt station: @abtmartin tells us a bit about the area (and the history of the monastery of einsiedeln), but the main focus is on two short canons (both in twitter length) that we even manage to render in a half decent way (no trees falling down, no birds falling from the sky). up and up it goes with the next stations at restaurant luegeten and at the fork in the road where the road from schindeleggi-feusisberg joins. around noon we are (as planned) on the etzel pass where a #twallfahrt group pictures are taken, we have a our lunch break, the sf drs tv team does the interviews with @abtmartin and we relax in the sun.

at 13:00 the #twallfahrt re-commences and via teufelsbrück and galgenenhügel we get closer and closer to our destination: the monastery of einsiedeln (interrupted by a short break to give the sf drs tv team a better take on us walking down to einsiedeln). the last station on our pilgrimage is at the gangulf chapel where we meet up with those #twitterati that couldn’t make it for the whole #twallfahrt, practice our twitter-length canons once more and then fight our way through the chilbi crowds to the klosterplatz — where we are greeted by a flag bearer and a cross bearer who lead the way, with the bells of the monastery ringing for our #twallfahrt, through the main entrance into the monastery church!

as we are a bit behind schedule, we #enjoy an even more twitterish worship service than planned — the highlight certainly being the twitterific organ piece (which @boumi manage to capture)!

an apero in the southern court yard concludes this unique #twallfahrt pilgrimage!

all in all: a very interesting and stimulating experience, meeting very different folks and with a couple of good spiritual impulses.

would i participate again? yes, i guess, i would 🙂

if you are interested, here are some further links:


  1. from the german wallfahrt and twitter == twallfahrt 

16:00 back in einsiedeln

steamship galliaat _lucerne verkehrshaus_ i disembark one station earlier than planned, trying to catch the _voralpenexpress_ train back to biberbrugg. with a bit of, let’s say, fast-hobbling i manage to catch the train and am on my way back home.

at biberbrugg i meet up with mrs d who has just been dropped of by fredi and is tired but happy from a fantastic day out. together we hop on to the train to einsiedeln and walk/hobble home 🙂

picture links:

* [my pictures from today’s tour](http://50mm-traveller.net/2009/2009-06-01-ibergeregg-lake-lucerne/)
* [mrs d’s pictures from her tour today](http://50mm-traveller.net/mrs-d/2009/2009-06-01-fibbia/)

einsiedeln, 9:05

09:05 einsiedeln, starthaving hobbled to einsiedeln station, i’m in time for the 9:05 post bus to oberiberg — the weather is fantastic and i do envy mrs d for her snowshoe hike from the [gotthard pass up to fibbia][bd-gotthard], a tour i’d been looking forward to very much[^1], especially as it is guided by [fredi kälin from bluedimensions][bd] (if you want to do really nice walks or snowshoe tours: **book fredi!**)

[bd-gotthard]: http://www.blue-dimension.ch/out/winter.shtml
[bd]: http://www.blue-dimension.ch/

instead of moapping around at home, however, i’ve planned a little mountain and lake tour myself — using only public transport i intend to go from **einsiedeln** via oberiberg to **ibergeregg pass**, have a coffee break there and enjoy the panorama, then on to the capital of our canton, **schwyz**. next stop is going to be **brunnen** where the plan is to switch to the steamship for **lucerne**. from lucerne it’s back by train via **arth-goldau** and biberbrugg to **einsiedeln** again.

[^1]: another mental note to self: __do__ put on walking boots when intending to take a walk around here! it’s __not__ the north german plane…

until the cows come home…

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i wake up early today, not just because of the usual 5:00 bell ringing from the monastary’s church tower, today the whole valley around einsiedeln is just drowning in the sound of cow bells and sheep bells — it’s _alpabtrieb!_ every year in the may–june time frame the local farmers bring their stocks, mostly cows and the occasional sheep herd, from the valley floor up to the _alps_ where they stay for the summer. from the beginning of september until mid-september, end of september we then have _alpabtrieb_ when the whole process is reversed.

einsiedeln being a little town[^1] with tourist traffic all year round it wouldn’t do to have all the farmers bring down their stock all at once, so, the whole business proceeds in stages according to a pre-determined schedule over the course of two weeks. today we seem to have the cows from our end of valley descending on us 🙂

[^1]: actually, it’s not entirely clear whether einsiedeln is still a village or already a town — with over 8000 inhabitants, a proper railway station, a monastery and lots of shops, the gnawing suspicion has been voiced that one is now longer _das dorf_ but instead a town…

oh, and that picture was not taken today but rather two years ago at the goldinger tal, they’ve homecoming cows there as well.

sunday

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[that cough](http://d2h.net/blog/2007/12/16/afternoon-snow-shoe-hike-to-gueteregg) has not become any better :-(, the weather has not become any worse 🙂 so after church (we are now attending the worship service of the local reformed church) a second breakfast, and a short nap (me), we go for a short walk around einsiedeln: up the hill towards the monastery (lots of people on the ice skating ring there, got to do that next week!), around it (lots of people doing cross country skiing), around it and then up friherrenberg mountain (lots of people skiing and sledding there). the weather seems to be taken from a picture book or some tourist advertisement about switzerland: just bl**ding marvelous! once we have cleared the summit of friherrenberg we are all by ourselves and enjoy the snow and the views 🙂

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the sun is getting ready to settle down for the night by the time we reach chälen, on our way down we encounter a BMW that clearly is stuck on the icy road up to chälen, but can’t really do much about it (quite a traffic jam by the time we leave: two cars trying to push–pull the BMW up the hill, another car whose driver just wants to get past and down the hill to einsiedeln).

back home, we settle for a repeat viewing of the [2005 version of pride and prejudice with keira knightley and donald sutherland][pp], have tea and upload [the pictures of this weekend.](http://d2h.net/blog/v/the+tardis+crew/2007/2007-12-16-friherrenberg)

[pp]: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0414387/

i just hope the coughing will get better (or worse if you look at it from the point of view of the cough) by tomorrow: [i’m scheduled to give a lecture on virtual worlds tomorrow evening at the university of freiburg…][lecture]

[lecture]: http://www.telematik.uni-freiburg.de/ring.php?rvrl_id=71

crawling around in dark places

back from a rather unusual evening (for us, that is) — we went on a night orientation hike organized by the [zindelspitz section of the swiss alpine club][sac] (of which we are card carrying members)! the hike started at the car park in innerthal in the lovely wäggital valley.

getting there was already an adventure in itself: we went by car (courtesy of mobility car sharing) from einsiedeln via sattelegg pass to vorderthal. that route is a seemingly endless succession of narrow curves, first climbing up to [sattelegg pass][] and then (even narrower curves) all the way down to vorderthal. exciting — especially the first time round! 🙂

[sac]: http://www.sac-zindelspitz.ch

we got to [innerthal][] almost right on time. each of the three categories — leisurely but reading skills required, classical orientation run, GPS run — had two groups of two starting. mrs d went for the leisure categories, i went (yes, you guessed it) for the GPS one. after initial confusion (my partner had left his reading glasses at home and mistook the compass reading for the distance), we managed to get out of the parking lot 😀 and were on our way to the first waypoint. the whole route was a cleverly arranged sequence of navigating to waypoints, taking coordinates from the map, backtracking on tracks, and following routes.[^1]

[^1]: the GPS course was designed by none other than our renown alpine consultant, mr r!

navigating via GPS to waypoints in the dark in unknown terrain — rather a challenge, but also quite a lot of fun! aside from from being paired with one of the formidable chaps who do the jungfrau marathon (gasp!), aside from falling into one of those cow-made holes and just plain slipping down a wood enclosed burn (luckily my rucksack cushioned my back!) we managed to do the [entire course][nol] — and won the first prize in the GPS category (a voucher for a night’s stay at the [sardona hut][])!

afterwards we had a rather nice dinner in a local ski hut followed by chatting and swapping “war stories” 🙂

when we leave innerthal it’s about 0:30 and it has started to snow! we probably break the record for the slowest drive from vorderthal via [sattelegg pass][] back to einsiedeln: unknown road, snow blowing against the windscreen.

all in all a very exciting and fun night! recommendable 🙂

[innerthal]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innerthal
[sardona hut]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innerthal
[sattelegg pass]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sattelegg
[nol]: http://d2h.net/blog/stuff/nol.kmz

* interested in the route: KMZ file

goodbye adliswil! hi there einsiedeln!

the move is completed! we’re now living in our new apartment for two weeks and — aside from teething problems with the electrical wiring — everything went fairly well! we’ve returned the keys and responsibility of our old apartment in adliswil back to our former landlord and have, thus, concluded the _adliswil chapter._

i’ve started getting up early! leaving the house at 6:50 to catch the 7:00 train to [wädenswil][], then the 7:28 train to [thalwil][] and the 7:40 to [rüschlikon][] — and about 10min up the hill to the lab 🙂 unusual feeling to be among the first in the office 😀

[wädenswil]: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C3%A4denswil
[thalwil]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalwil
[rüschlikon]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%BCschlikon

coincidentally, out here in the hinterland of switzerland, the rhythm of live is a bit different from live in the zurich suburbs: from 22:00 to 5:00 in the morning einsiedeln has a traffic curfew in place for most of the town! one can get permits to drive during the curfew (and as a resident it’s no problem at all) but only “to drive directly to or from home on the shortest route possible” — so, no idle roaming about or late night sightseeing tours of the town! you’ve been warned! 🙂 also, i’ve the suspicion that at midnight they lock up the valley…

we’ve both taken a number of pictures — unfortunately, the USB cable for the camera has so far not made an appearance in our humble abode…stay tuned 🙂

two across: fast german car, also an author

after a leisurely morning and same breakfast we eventually make our way into town: tickets to [heidelberg][] for mrs d, hiking boots to try on for mrs d, [nik-wax][] waterproofing stuff for me, and a browse through our local bookshop, [thalia].

[heidelberg]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heidelberg
[nik-wax]: http://www.nikwax.co.uk/en-gb/index.php
[thalia]: http://www.service.thalia.de/thalia.vorort.php?vst=524

the queue at the ticket counter is a bit long so we go for the hiking boots and the nik-wax first: the boots are the right size but still too wide for mrs d (they promise to order the smaller variant), i do get the _cotton nik-wax_ stuff. we return to the railway station: the queue is still quite long, so we bite the bullet and join it. eventually it’s our turn, we get our tickets, pay and leave. the chinese lady that was already keeping one of the three ticket counters busy when we joined the queue (she apparently was trying to get tickets to [einsiedeln][] — at least that’s what i overheard) is still discussing things with the poor guy behind ticket counter 1…

[einsiedeln]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einsiedeln%2C_Switzerland

at thalia i come across _[skybreaker][]_ by [kenneth oppel] and start reading it…until mrs d comes by to pick me up again — the beginning is quite a fascinating read (it apparently plays in the 1930s in a world that has a well established airship industry) and i make a note to get a copy (there’s a “german” car manufacturer [it really is GM] called opel, and oppel is kind of the short pronounciation: so “fast german car and also an author” is a good way to remember the author’s name 🙂

[skybreaker]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skybreaker
[kenneth oppel]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Oppell