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Is Switzerland the new Lake Garda?

By |June 20th, 2014|

To start with, the name sounds unfamiliar: "What is it called again, Bierwaldstättersee?" Simone asks on the phone. - "No, not beer, but Vierwaldstättersee", I repeat, as I describe the destination, the Lake of Lucerne. Therefore, later, the Lake is always referred to as "Biersee", translated "Beer Lake". My VW bus friends from Munich had [...]

“Swing” Festival in the Canton of Uri

By |May 29th, 2014|

The serious, concentrated faces tell the tension when the opponents grip each other on their tear-resistant "swing" pants, waiting for the referee's signal. When it comes, both try to push the opponent backwards into the sawdust by using certain wrestling moves, also called "swings". "Swinging" is a Swiss national sport, which is mainly practiced in [...]

Girl vs. Slurry Pump

By |May 11th, 2014|

The opponent is a spiral slurry pump by the Swiss manufacturer Stöckli,  six years old and actually a lightweight. Nobody expected any problems and, as long as my boss is around, there are none. In the morning everything runs smoothly: We brought the hoses to the fields and picked up the pump from the neighbors. [...]

Dry-Tooling in Chunkurchak

By |April 13th, 2014|

As I understand it, "dry tooling" is ice climbing without ice, using ice axes and crampons on the rock. They say, it was originally developed to bridge rocky passages in order to reach free hanging, frozen waterfalls. I had not heard about it, and when my Russian friend Katya suggested to visit the competition at [...]

No Sport for the Faint-Hearted

By |March 22nd, 2014|

Kok Boru is a real men's sport. This we notice as soon as we get to the grandstands of the Bishkek Hippodrome. Being a woman, you stick out like a sore thumb. If you continue to look around, you cannot help but wonder if the security forces are outnumbering the spectators. So we take our [...]

Sahid’s Farm

By |March 12th, 2014|

Actually Lisa was just looking for a horse sharing set-up, now she is a farmhand. How it happened? - She took the Mashrutka to the village and asked her way around. Speaking Russian clearly is an advantage. A woman from a shop introduces Lisa to Sahid. He owns a farm near Kashka Suu, about half [...]

Ski Touring in the Tian Shan Mountains

By |January 22nd, 2014|

Karakol is one of the winter sports hot-spots in Kyrgyzstan. The town is located about six hours drive from Bishkek, east of lake Issyk Kul. There is a fairly large ski resort and several freeride options: besides snow mobile tours and horse lifts, ski touring is on the rise. All you need to do, is [...]

X-mas with Eagle

By |December 26th, 2013|

The Eaglemen of the Salburun Federation invited me on a hunting trip - the coolest Christmas I've ever had - literally and figuratively. I stayed with the family of one of the hunters in the mountains. His house is about 30 kilometers from the village Bakonbayeva, on the Southern shore of Lake Issyk -Kul . [...]

The Russian Word for Skiing

By |December 9th, 2013|

There is no leather padded eight-seater chairlift with heated seats and wind bubble. Here in Kashka Suu, there is a single two-seat wooden folding chair lift with a small chain for safety. Don't even start looking for foot-support. "Don't you want to buckle up?" Kathrin asks. She works for a German humanitarian aid organization in [...]

Snow Hiking in Ala Archa

By |November 15th, 2013|

Who likes to sit in front of the PC all Sunday? Certainly not the European expats in Bishkek. The spontaneous decision: "Let's go hiking in Ala Archa!" The National Park is located about 40 kilometers outside of Bishkek, which is a nice day trip. It's four of us and we conveniently share a taxi. It [...]