1. Switzerland is one of the only two countries to have a square flag – the Vatican has the only other square flag in the world.
2. Switzerland is prepared for a nuclear war, if there ever was one. There is is a bunker in the ski room.
3. In Switzerland citizens can challenge any law passed by Parliament – provided they can gather 50,000 signatures against the law within 100 days. If successful, a national vote is held and voters decide by a simple majority whether to accept or reject the law.
4. Swiss men have the longest life expectancy in the world – in 2015 life expectancy at birth was 81.3 years for Swiss men and 85.3 years for Swiss women, according to World Health Organization (WHO).
5. Swiss law prohibits owning 'social' pets unless you have two of them – this makes it illegal in Switzerland to keep just one guinea pig, mouse, ferret, fish, canary, pig or other social creature. With the world's most stringent animal welfare laws, Switzerland judges isolation for such animals as abuse.
6. There are Swiss taxes for owning a dog – annual taxes are determined by the dog's size and weight. Dog owners are also required to take a training course to learn how to properly care for their pets.
7. There are 208 mountains over 3,000m high – with 24 of them over 4,000m. The highest is Monte Rosa (Dufoursptiz) at 4,634m, situated on the Swiss/Italian border. Jungfrau is 4,158 m.
8. Switzerland is also known as Confoederatio Helvetica – which explains the abbreviation CH. It's officially named the Swiss Confederation for historical reasons, although modern Switzerland is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the federal city. The founding of the Swiss Confederation traditionally dates to 1 August 1291 and is celebrated annually as Swiss National Day when everyone puts out their flags and usually there are fireworks.
9. Switzerland has one of the lowest crime rates of industrialised countries despite liberal Swiss gun laws – in 2015 there were only 0.5 gun murders per 100,000 people in Switzerland (around 40 per year), compared to five gun murders per 100,000 people recorded in the US in 2014 (around 30–40 per day).
10. Albert Einstein developed his famous formula E=MC2 in Switzerland – he developed his theory of relativity while studying and living in Bern, after renouncing his German citizenship to avoid military duty.
11. Swiss politics include an anti-power point presentation party – the party's goal is to decrease the use of power point and other presentation software, which it estimates costs Switzerland EUR 2.1 in economic damage.
12. Sundays in Switzerland are protected by a long list of social laws – making it illegal to undertake activities such as mowing, hanging out laundry, washing your car or recycling bottles to ensure peace and beauty is maintained. A peaceful night's sleep is also guaranteed by building rules that frown upon noisy actions after 10pm, which can include peeing standing up, slamming a car door, flushing a toilet or emptying a bath.
13. Women did not gain the vote at federal level until 1971 – and they are still under-represented in political life, despite Switzerland often being praised as a model of direct democracy.
14. Switzerland lags behind most western European countries in areas of gender equality – in 2015 only 41.3 percent of women worked full-time compared to 83.6 percent of men, and less than 20 percent of all national decision-taking posts were held by women.
15. Foreigners account for nearly 25 percent of the population – one of the highest percentages in the world.
16. The Swiss eat more chocolate than any other nation in the world
17. Swiss proverb says that “Sometimes you have to be silent in order to be heard It's easier to criticize than to do better”.
18. Switzerland has four national languages - French, German, Italian and Romanticism although English is increasingly popular.
Big fluffy flakes have been flying and floating all day past the window. We can still see the Staubbach tumbling down, though with less water in winter of course. But snow....Big ones, small ones, always a curious thing.
Snow itself is not actually white and has many designs but always seems magical. Even when trudging through a snow storm holding onto a rope can have it's hidden memorable moments of solitude and magic.
Snow , a book written by PD Eastman and illustrated by Roy McKie in 1962 that I fondly remember from my childhood. As book number 27 in the Beginner Book series, I could recall it all, along with scenes such as the snow fort, the dog sliding down the snow on his tail, the melting snow man and most importantly, the attempt by the children to save some snow in their refrigerator.
“Snow! Snow! Snow! Come out in the snow. Snow! Snow!
Just look at the snow! Come out! Come out! Come out in the snow.
I want to know If you like snow. Do you like it? Yes or no? Oh yes! Oh Yes!
I do like snow.
Do you like it In your face?
Yes! I like it any place.
What is snow?
We do not know. But snow is lots of fun We know.
What makes it snow? We do not know.
But snow is fun To dig and throw.”
Where dreams begin for outdoor adventures in the inspiring Jungfrau region