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The Shoggi Job

By |June 20th, 2014|

"YOU got the shoggi job," says my boss when we're talking at lunch about the general trend towards summer jobs in the mountains. With shoggi the Swiss mean chocolate, in this context my boss means that I got really lucky with my job. I pretend to not understand and ask if this has something to [...]

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 [...]

Couchsurfing in Switzerland

By |May 5th, 2014|

"You must not park here!" says the man, waving the wrench in the air. I'm standing on a gravel yard next to the road and before I even can get out of the car, the resident appeared to rebuke me: "You have to park in the marked bays." After eight months Kyrgyzstan, the Swiss pedantry [...]

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 [...]

Fox Hunting with an Eagle

By |March 9th, 2014|

The two horsemen came all the way from their small village to the canyons. There, at the foot of the mountains, the hunt starts. Anvarbek moves along the hills, his 14-year-old son Azamat rides with his horse along the valley. They patrol one canyon after another. This is a hunting trip: The young Azamat is [...]

Do you need a Solar Panel?

By |January 14th, 2014|

Before I started my trip, I got myself a Goal Zero solar panel, the smallest one: Nomad7. It is available as Adventure Kit, with all kinds of adapters and other accessories. I didn't have to use it very often, but if I did, it was really necessary - primarily to charge my cell phone. These [...]

Couchsurfing in Almaty

By |January 8th, 2014|

The taxi driver asks: "What was your first impression of Almaty?" I answer: "A nasty rip off by a taxi driver." In the morning, I took the Mashrutka from Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) to Almaty (Kazakhstan):      Cost: 500 Som (10 USD) one-way      Driving time: approximately five hours      Border post: Korday      Reason: visa extension [...]