Schwingen In Switzerland’s Top 10 Posts Of 2012

Since everyone seems to come out with a Best of 2012 list at the end of the year, I thought I would list my top 10 most viewed posts this year.

  1. Everything You Don’t Need And Can’t Live Without – I don’t like to sit still, don’t nap and hate to be bored.  I realize that it doesn’t always make me the most relaxing person to be around, but it’s generally pretty entertaining.  When we had a free Sunday, I decided to go check out a little shindig they had going on in the cool Carouge neighborhood.  Unexpectedly, this post was selected for Freshly Pressed.
  2. Tschäggättä Parade To Celebrate Carnival In The Lötschental Valley – One of the best things about Switzerland is its festivals.  This one was unlike anything I’d ever seen.  This was my first post to be Freshly Pressed.
  3. More Pictures of the Versoix, Switzerland Ice Storm – Remember the picture of the frozen car?  Well, since it was taken in a suburb of Geneva, I couldn’t help myself.  I went to get the shot.  On a side note, it would have been smart of me not to wear high heals when doing so.  A couple of nice Swiss gentlemen helped me off the ice.  Yep, I’m an idiot, but the pictures are great.
  4. Our Basement Bomb Shelter, Otherwise Known As Our Storage Unit – I’m glad other people are as intrigued by this phenomenon as I am.
  5. Mt. Blanc, The Tallest Mountain In The Alps – I am profoundly grateful to have seen such beauty.
  6. The Spaghetti Tree Hoax, Aka Happy April Fool’s Day From Switzerland – Hilarious.  Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.
  7. My Introduction to French Cinema, A List of Great, Entertaining and Fun French Films – While I posted this before Jean Dujardin won the Oscar, some of his comedies made the list.
  8. Why Didn’t Hitler Invade Switzerland? – This was a hard one to write as it’s a difficult question.  I hope I didn’t screw it up too badly.
  9. Another Cultural Difference…Men In Spandex – Sometimes, it’s the little things…
  10. What The Heck Is A Bidet? – Please feel free to comment with any additional uses you can think up for a bidet.

 

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Ice Ice Baby, Stockholm’s Ice Bar

English: Absolut Ice Bar in Stockholm

English: Absolut Ice Bar in Stockholm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

If you travel enough, sooner or later, you will be in a city with an ice bar.  You don’t go to these for the slightly overpriced drinks.  You go for the unique experience.  Stockholm’s Icebar in the Nordic Sea Hotel (guests get discounts) is the second oldest behind the Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden.

 

 

In the bar, everything, from the glasses to the bar itself to the tip jar are made of ice.  The ice is shipped from the Torne River in northern Sweden.   Obviously, it has to remain below freezing inside the bar so that the ice doesn’t melt.  The thermostat is set at -5 Celsius (23 Farenheit) When you sit on chair made of ice and hold a drink made from ice, you could get a little cold.    Before entering, you are given a coat with a hood and mittens.  It looks like the uniform of some sort of cult.  It’s a metallic blue blanket with a fleece lined hood.  They keep you warm, prevent your body heat from melting the ice and provide a neat photo opportunity.

 

 

 

Don’t stress over what you’ll get to drink.  In the Absolut Ice Bar, your options are vodka, and, um, vodka.

 

 

 

Being from Michigan, we appreciate ice carving.  In addition to the glass, made from a hollowed-out block of ice there were stools, tables, the bar, the tip jar and sculptures.  It was to see the ingenious ways in which they made everyday items from ice.

 

 

The Ice Bar is small, holding only 35 people. If you are interested, book ahead or you will have to wait.  Although the wait can be more than a half an hour, I hear that it’s easier to get in around 10:00.  The maximum time in the bar without buying another round of drinks is 40 minutes.  Don’t worry.  You’re there for the novelty of it all and likely won’t want to stay longer than that anyway.

 

 

Alcohol is expensive in Sweden (explaining their enthusiasm for an open bar), but the Ice Bar is still more expensive than a regular bar.  It’s something you do for the experience, and a touristy one at that.  I doubt that you will encounter any Stockholm residents there.  Regardless, it’s a unique experience and something you won’t forget.

 

Yes, the little girl is licking the ice like the kid from “A Christmas Story.”