Theme Week Swiss

14 March 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Basel © Taxiarchos228

Basel © Taxiarchos228

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in the confluence of Western, Central, and Southern Europe. It is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities based in Bern. Switzerland is a landlocked country bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. It is geographically divided among the Swiss Plateau, the Alps, and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km² (15,940 sq mi), and land area of 39,997 km² (15,443 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities and economic centres are located, among them Zürich, Geneva and Basel, where multiple international organisations are domiciled (such as FIFA, the UN‘s second-largest Office, and the Bank for International Settlements) and where the main international airports of Switzerland are.   read more…

Montreux Jazz Festival

19 February 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© montreuxjazzfestival.com

© montreuxjazzfestival.com

The Montreux Jazz Festival (formerly Festival de Jazz Montreux and Festival International de Jazz Montreux) is a music festival in Switzerland, held annually in early July in Montreux on the Lake Geneva shoreline. It is the second largest annual jazz festival in the world after Canada’s Montreal International Jazz Festival. The Montreux Jazz Festival was founded in 1967 by Claude Nobs, Géo Voumard and René Langel with considerable help from Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegün of Atlantic Records. The festival was first held at Montreux Casino. It lasted for three days and featured almost exclusively jazz artists. The highlights of this era were Charles Lloyd, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Evans, Soft Machine, Weather Report, The Fourth Way, Nina Simone, Jan Garbarek, and Ella Fitzgerald.   read more…

Hotel President Wilson in Geneva

15 January 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels

© Sandro Senn/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Sandro Senn/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Hotel President Wilson is located in Geneva, Switzerland, near the United Nations building on Lake Geneva. The hotel is named for the 28th president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, in honor of his dedication to the creation of the League of Nations.   read more…

Theme Week Swiss – Château-d’Œx in the Riviera-Pays-d’Enhaut District

9 December 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Ivan Babovic/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Ivan Babovic/cc-by-sa-3.0

Château-d’Œx is a municipality in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland. It is in the district of Riviera-Pays-d’Enhaut. Château-d’Œx is a small village of approximately 3,500 inhabitants in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. In recent years, Château-d’Œx has become increasingly popular among travelers primarily for the village’s incredibly authentic Swiss alpine feel, stunning natural surroundings, and quiet atmosphere.   read more…

Hotel Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne

6 November 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels

© flickr.com - Michelle Walz Eriksson/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Michelle Walz Eriksson/cc-by-2.0

The Beau-Rivage Palace is a historical luxury five-star hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland. It is located in Ouchy, on the shores of Lake Léman. The hotel opened in 1861 and the current main building was constructed in Art Nouveau and neo-baroque style in 1908. It is registered in the Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National and Regional Significance. The Beau-Rivage Palace is owned by Sandoz Family Foundation founders of Sandoz AG, now Novartis.   read more…

The European Free Trade Association: Bon voyage!

9 March 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General, UNESCO World Heritage

© efta.int

© efta.int

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a regional trade organization and free trade area consisting of four European states: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. The organization operates in parallel with the European Union (EU), and all four member states participate in the European Single Market and are part of the Schengen Area. They are not, however, party to the European Union Customs Union. EFTA was historically one of the two dominant western European trade blocks, but is now much smaller and closely associated with its historical competitor, the European Union. It was established on 3 May 1960 to serve as an alternative trade bloc for those European states that were unable or unwilling to join the then European Economic Community (EEC), which subsequently became the European Union. The Stockholm Convention, to establish the EFTA, was signed on 4 January 1960 in the Swedish capital by seven countries (known as the “outer seven“). Whilst the EFTA is not a customs union and member states have full rights to enter into bilateral third-country trade arrangements, it does have a coordinated trade policy. As a result, its member states have jointly concluded free trade agreements with the EU and a number of other countries. To participate in the EU’s single market, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway are parties to the Agreement on a European Economic Area (EEA), with compliances regulated by the EFTA Surveillance Authority and the EFTA Court. Switzerland has a set of bilateral agreements with the EU instead.   read more…

The European Free Trade Association: Bon appétit!

4 September 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General

© efta.int

© efta.int

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a regional trade organization and free trade area consisting of four European states: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. The organization operates in parallel with the European Union (EU), and all four member states participate in the European Single Market and are part of the Schengen Area. They are not, however, party to the European Union Customs Union. EFTA was historically one of the two dominant western European trade blocks, but is now much smaller and closely associated with its historical competitor, the European Union. It was established on 3 May 1960 to serve as an alternative trade bloc for those European states that were unable or unwilling to join the then European Economic Community (EEC), which subsequently became the European Union. The Stockholm Convention, to establish the EFTA, was signed on 4 January 1960 in the Swedish capital by seven countries (known as the “outer seven“). Whilst the EFTA is not a customs union and member states have full rights to enter into bilateral third-country trade arrangements, it does have a coordinated trade policy. As a result, its member states have jointly concluded free trade agreements with the EU and a number of other countries. To participate in the EU’s single market, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway are parties to the Agreement on a European Economic Area (EEA), with compliances regulated by the EFTA Surveillance Authority and the EFTA Court. Switzerland has a set of bilateral agreements with the EU instead.   read more…

Kite surfing

9 February 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Sport

Kitesurfing © flickr.com - Christopher Michel/cc-by-2.0

Kitesurfing © flickr.com – Christopher Michel/cc-by-2.0

Kiteboarding is a surface water sport combining aspects of wakeboarding, snowboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, skateboarding and sailing into one extreme sport. A kiteboarder harnesses the power of the wind with a large controllable power kite to be propelled across the water on a kiteboard similar to a wakeboard or a small surfboard, with or without footstraps or bindings. Kitesurfing is a style of kiteboarding specific to wave riding, which uses standard surfboards or boards shaped specifically for the purpose. There are different styles of kiteboarding, including freestyle, freeride, downwinders, speed, course racing, wakestyle, jumping and kitesurfing in the waves. In 2012, the number of kitesurfers was estimated by the World Sailing and International Kiteboarding Association at 1.5 million persons worldwide.   read more…

The World Trade Organization (WTO)

19 January 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Imalipusram

© Imalipusram

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization that regulates international trade. The WTO officially commenced on 1 January 1995 under the Marrakesh Agreement, signed by 123 nations on 15 April 1994, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which commenced in 1948. It is the largest international economic organization in the world. The WTO deals with regulation of trade in goods, services and intellectual property between participating countries by providing a framework for negotiating trade agreements and a dispute resolution process aimed at enforcing participants’ adherence to WTO agreements, which are signed by representatives of member governments and ratified by their parliaments. Most of the issues that the WTO focuses on derive from previous trade negotiations, especially from the Uruguay Round (1986–1994).   read more…

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