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Streetparade: 20 Years Love, Freedom, Tolerance & Respect

Streetparade 2011: Centre Stage, Bellevue

 

Zurich: A city renowned for business, banks and a high standard of living. It all sounds so formidable. And serious! But every year at around about August, it’s time for the people of Zurich – and beyond – to let their hair down. It’s time to party!

 

The Streetparade event has been a magnet for techno and trance fans in ist 20 years of existence. With the first parade having taken place in 1992 with approximately 1000 participants, this number has now increased by a thousandfold. Throughout the 20 years it has established itself as one of the largest techno and trance events on an international level. With themes such as ’Peace!’ (2002), ’Today is Tomorrow’ (2005), ’Move Your Mind’ (2006) and ’Friendship’ (2008), the event is known for having proportionally few severe incidents throughout the years. An event that is affected by weather conditions, Streetparade 2003 and 2004 saw record temperatures of 37°c. But even at 17°c (2002 and 2006) partygoers still had a blast.

 

This year’s Streetparade was no exception. Starting at 13:00, six stages and approximately 30 floats known as ’lovemobiles’ caused the centre of Zurich to bounce. Under the theme of ’20 Years Love, Freedom, Tolerance & Respect’ approximately 900,000 ravers partied hard under the sun of Zurich. As every year the event featured big names in the world of techno and trance – Boy George, Carl Cox and Paul van Dyke, just to name a few. With free admittance one must add! Not a bad deal for an event taking place in Switzerland’s largest city in the heart of Europe. Everyone can come! And they did… Many loyal ravers have travelled from various parts of Europe to attend the 20th anniversary of Streetparade.

 

Many attend Streetparade afterparties – Energy being the most prominent. Starting well before the midnight hour, the event takes ravers through the night and into the early morning hours. Known as the largest indoor event of Switzerland, thousands of ravers flocked from Zurich’s city centre towards the Hallenstadion in Zurich-Oerlikon. The amazing David Guetta, DJ Antoine and Sir Colin were some of the DJs in this year’s lineup at Energy.

While the Streetparade event itself is free, the CHF 90.40 charged for Energy 2011 may cause some partygoers to think twice about attending. For the first time also, this year’s Streetparade organisers insured themselves against a financial loss due to bad weather conditions. So while Zurich became unimaginably unrecognisable on Saturday 13th August 2011, some things simply remain to remind us that we are in Switzerland after all…

Streetparade: Temperature vs. Participants

 

YEAR

TEMPERATURE

PARTICIPANTS

1992

1,000

1993

27°c

10,000

1994

20,000

1995

24°c

150,000

1996

350,000

1997

27°c

475,000

1998

28°c

450,000

1999

30°c

550,000

2000

32°c

750,000

2001

21°c

1,000,000

2002

17°c

650,000

2003

37°c

900,000

2004

37°c

1,000,000

2005

23°c

1,000,000

2006

17°c

800,000

2007

23°c

800,000

2008

24°c

820,000

2009

19°c

600,000

2010

22°c

650,000

2011

28°c

900,000

 

Best Value Prepaid Mobile Phones In Switzerland?

With a seemingly large selection of operators to choose from in Switzerland, I’ve decided to do a little research into what the costs and extras are. Now while there are some tips and advice available on-line none seem to be very clear as to which network is the best and I suppose that is because everyone requires something different from their phone provider.

So keeping this in mind I have decided to compare the providers based on my requirements. 

I am a 26 year old, who only uses her phone for texts and calls, I’m not interested in a new phone and as I am unsure as to how long I’m going to be staying in Zurich I want to get a prepaid phone.

The three Mobile Network Operators (MNO) in Switzerland are swisscom, sunrise and orange. Their networks are used by a number of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO). I have provided the list below that details which reseller is running on which network.

swisscom – www.swisscom.ch 

sunrise – www.sunrise.ch 

orange – www.orange.ch

So having found this list of providers on-line, I proceeded to investigate their websites to see which network would suit my needs best.

Some of the websites are very clear and some of them are not, and these are the result of some extensive trawling through all their websites.

While all the information is some times not clear, available and will probably be soon out of date. I felt that it might be helpful for people to be able to more quickly compare prices.

While I have neglected to include the initial cost of the sim card it should be mentioned that this basic cost is personally somewhat irrelevant compared to what you will be paying later down the line.

a table of costs of prepaid Swiss mobile phone companies  

Disclaimer – All the information provided in the table was compiled by me  on the 30th of August and was subject to my understanding of the website, so should in no way be taken as the guaranteed costs, only a guide. If your interested in a particular network consult their website personally before hand or get in touch with them directly.

As for my personal choice of mobile phone operator? Well I ended up going with Orange. The sim card cost 10 CHF and had 5 CHF credit included, the main deciding factor was the fact that the people I am going to be calling the most are also on the same network, and Orange allow you to choose 3 friends to call for free on the same network (T&C obviously apply).

Also since they are one of the larger service providers I can be assured that if I have a problem is I can speak directly to a human being in a shop and that they probably have a half decent help line.

So while I also heard good reports about migros-budget and yallo being cheap from friends; swisscom and sunrise having good coverage but being expensive, other less mainstream networks I searched seemed not to have many reviews (well in English anyway).

So if you are looking to get a Swiss number keep the following things in mind

    • who are you going to be calling (network, country)?
    • when are you going to be calling them?
    • how much do you want to spend per month?
    • do you need internet access?
    • are you sending more texts than calls?
  • do you want to be able to talk to someone face to face if you have a problem?

However compared to some other European countries Switzerland seems overall quite cheap and well serviced by prepaid phone options.

 

Swimming In The Limmat

 

The recent hot weather phenomenon has not only brought about a plethora of roof terrace “grill parties” but also seen almost everyone Zurich take to the water.

The wonderful thing about Zurich, which seems to contrast with nearly every other inland European city, is that it has a high quality of water and this means that you are able to actually swim in its rivers and lakes. The result is a huge success and nowhere can this be more clearly seen than by the banks of the Limmat or more specifically at Oberer Letten (called the Letten by locals).

For those of you unaware of the Limmat it is the river which flows into and out of Lake Zurich, part of this river is a shallow stony basin and another part transforms into a canal, originally for industrial purposes, but which seems to have a much higher popularity with the local bathers during the warm summer months.

Located on the north bank of the river just 10 minutes north of the hauptbahnhof, Letten is an integral part of the summer social scene and on sunny days the river side is packed with people sunbathing rotisserie style inbetween frequent dips, as well as volleyball players, people barbecuing and lots of just general sitting down and hanging out. The laid back beach atmosphere will nearly have you believing that you’re at the Costa del sol but without the annoying sand.

The best thing about the Limmat though is that local businesses have managed to develop along the banks of the river and beer, drinks and food are available for not an overly unreasonable cost (by Zurich standards), as well as some deck chairs, tables, grassy areas and even for the brave, bridges for some high adrenaline jumping. The bridges as yet remain a personal goal left unchecked for me.

If you don’t feel like paying out for food at the bars however you can always bring your own or nip over the more northern bridge to the conveniently placed Migros supermarket. Here you can pick up some food from the deli, or snacks and drinks from the very large supermarket located underneath. Sun cream is also an important factor (factor 30) for those of you considering a longer afternoon by the Limmat and while the sun here is not as strong as in the south of Spain for example it still has a good effect, especially on those of us not used to being frequently exposed to anything more than rain.

I personally go to swim, relax and read a book, so if this is what you are also after, here are just a few tips when finding somewhere to sit;

 

    • Don’t sit near the ladders that come out of the water – everyone climbing out gets the deck and you really wet

 

    • arrive early – these days it choc-a-bloc so the earlier the better, saying that small groups will usually find a place

 

    • Avoid larger groups and standing people – especially if these people are playing annoying music and talking loudly

 

    • try and avoid the bins – they don’t seem to smell too much but people will be constantly walking over you to put stuff in

 

    • if you’re going to sit on the grass bring a blanket

 

So with the good weather set to continue into the weekend, get your swim suit out, jump in and enjoy.

What Future For The Swiss Franc?

We have seen a tremendous strengthening in the Swiss Franc which started in late 2008, however this strengthening accelerated this year and in particular in August when we saw the Swiss Franc gain 10% in a few days.

 

Apart from providing bargains across the borders the strong Swiss Franc can have tremendous negative implications for Switzerland and the companies operating in Switzerland with a cost base in Swiss Franc.

The Swiss National Bank already tried to prevent this strengthening by actively in the global currency markets sell Swiss Franc and in particular buy the EUR back in 2009 which cost Switzerland in the region of 45 Billion Swiss Franc.

For many it can be a wonder why the sudden interest in buying the Swiss Franc and it can be easy to point fingers at speculators but it is more likely the purchasing by non-speculators that simply wanted as little risk as possible. With all the uncertainties on global debt and stock markets plummeting the Swiss Franc seemed like the best and safest option to park your money.

But with a global risk sentiment improving last week and the Swiss National Bank providing liquidity and being very active in persuading the markets that they have the means and commitment to prevent a further strengthening of the Swiss Franc we saw the currency weaken more than 10% in three days.

There is much speculation on how the Swiss National Bank will be able to prevent the Swiss Franc strengthening further and it will be interesting to see what kind of tools they will use but one thing is almost guaranteed and that is that interest rates in Switzerland will continue to be low for the foreseeable future.

For now the Swiss Franc has stabilized against the EUR and there is a good possibility the Swiss Franc will weaken further against the EUR in the coming year but with the Federal Reserve promising to hold interest rate at zero expect New York to continue to be cheap for shopping.

Naturally the strong Swiss Franc and cheap financing can present opportunities with the right strategy and moreover there are also opportunities in the currency market to receive interest due to the carry factor and to secure a favorable exchange rate for a possible holiday home purchase in the coming future.

One negative implication that affects expats living in Switzerland directly is the possibility that companies will strive to move jobs and staff away from Switzerland to minimize the cost base in Swiss Franc.

If you have any questions how to act in these volatile times in the currency markets please do not hesitate to contact advisory@act-currency.ch

This article was provided by ACT Currency. The views and opinions expressed are purely theirs and zurichexpats.com does not offer any warranty as to its validity.

Take Your Brain For A Spin At Denkfest

If you enjoy science and discussing it, there is an event coming up in September that may be ideal for you.

 

 

Called Denkfest, it is billed as “Four days of science, critical thinking & intelligent entertainment” with workshops, presentations and discussion groups for science teachers, students and bloggers. Or just those interested in science generally.

Sessions will be held in German and English and unfortunately like most things, the event is not free but if you are interested, more information is available at the event website:

Denkfest

Happy Birthday Switzerland!

August 1st is Swiss National Day so I am pleased to say Happy Birthday Switzerland!

Initially it’s nice to see the holiday fall on a weekday so we actually get the day off but it’s a day taken very seriously in Switzerland.

 

 

It celebrates the creation of the Swiss Federal Confederation in 1889.

All cities and most towns will be running their own celebrations and if you have gone past a Migros lately, you will know to expect a lot of fireworks! 

Expat Spouses – Get Your Voice Heard

The vital kingpin of the expat move – the Expat Spouse – provides a solid base for any move abroad and on Monday May 16th, a discussion takes place in Zurich about the role.

Following on from the successful Not Alone In Zurich booklet, the organisers are interested in hearing from men and women who have followed their spouses and families to Zurich.

The event takes place between 18:30 and 20:30 at:

Stadt Zürich

Zentrum Karl der Grosse

Kirchgasse 14

8001 Zürich

Unfortunately entrance is not free, but the cost of 20CHF includes an Apéro.

More information in this leaflet

Trailing Spouses