News, Announcements and Cookies

Hello everyone!

It has been really quiet on this blog for quite a while and I’m sorry for my sudden and inexplicable silence. However, it isn’t as inexplicable as it seems as I’ve been really busy in the last two months since my last post.

The biggest and most time-consuming project was the launch of Mirage Boulevard. You might ask: “What is Mirage Boulevard?”

Mirage Boulevard

Mirage Boulevard (mirageboulevard.com) is the new website my friend Oliver Aeschimann (oaesch) and I started. It’s a German language online magazine focused on bringing you high quality reviews and articles on the world of movies, television and literature. Thanks to the help of our friends we have been able to push out content on a fairly regular basis. Please check it out!

A few days ago, “An Elusive Hero” was able to celebrate its first birthday! I want to thank all visitors who have read my posts so far.

This leads me to the announcement hinted at in the title: Thanks to the new project mentioned above and a wonderful new job in the world of online marketing, I’ve decided to narrow down the scope of this blog.

In the future, I’ll focus on my fiction writing here and hope to bring you new chapters of “An Elusive Hero” on a regular basis in the near future. For that, I’ll be relaunching this blog in the next few months including updating the design and functionality of it all. Stay tuned!

My normal commentary on pop culture and television will fully move to my YouTube Channel, where I hope to publish videos on a regular basis as summer and spring approaches.

I haven’t thought about the future of my posts on Switzerland and Zurich in depth yet. Either they’ll make an occasional appearance here or maybe I’ll outsource them completely to another platform.

As you can see, a lot of exciting changes and reboots are planned, so keep on visiting. And like I promised in the title, here is a delicious batch of cookies. (I also wanted to check out the new embed feature of getty images)

Embed from Getty Images

Hope to talk to you all soon!

Sincerely yours,
Albert

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Events in Switzerland to look out for in 2014

After seeing its fair share of unique events last year, including the Zürifäscht and Eidgenössisches Schwing-und Älplerfest (I don’t even want to try to translate this), it’s time to have a brief look at which events will be having an impact in Switzerland this year.

Film Festivals

Switzerland will see its fair share of film festivals in 2014, starting this month with the Solothurner Filmtage (23.01-30.01) which focuses on Swiss movies and starts off the festival calendar. In summer, fantasy film fans will be able to attend the Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival (04.07 – 12.07) before the stage is set for the two biggest festivals in the country. The Festival del Film Locarno takes place in the beautiful town from August 6 to August 16. One month later, the Zurich Film Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary starting September 25 and running through October 5.

Movie fans should definitely mark these dates in their calendars as they often represent a chance to see movies that struggle to find distributors and of course, to soak in a little of Hollywood glamour.

Music Festivals

As every year, the festival summer in Switzerland offers choices for everyone. The most renown festival internationally, the Montreux Jazz Festival, takes place from July 4 to 19. Indie fans will get to see their favorite acts in St. Gallen (26.06 – 29.06), Zurich (28.08 – 31.08) and on the Gurten (17.07 – 20.07), while hiphop an rap fans can enjoy their idols in Frauenfeld (10.07 – 12.07) and Biel (22.08 and 23.08).

Of course, the festivals are not only the only chances to see popular musical acts these years. Pop sensation Justin Timberlake is stopping by Zurich on April 15 for his world tour. Rock Legends Metallica will play in Basel on July 7th. The Backstreet Boys will be in Zurich in March. Of course, more stars are bound to announce their concerts throughout the year.

World Cup Public Viewing

With the Football World Cup taking place in Brazil this year, Europe benefit from very advantageous kick-off times. With Switzerland being drawn into a group with Ecuador, France and Honduras, I hope our national team will be able to progress into the knockout stage of the tournament. But even without a successful Swiss team, bars and pubs throughout the country should be showing the games on their TVs, creating spots for public viewing. It remains to be seen if large-scale screens will be set up in cities, but it has been done before and might be repeated this summer. This would give sports fans the opportunity to watch the games with likeminded people, especially if it coincides with terrific summer weather.

These are just some of the more interesting events taking place in Switzerland this year. Of course, should I come across anything else interesting, I’ll make sure to let you know.
As you might have read, I’m changing posting days to Tuesday and Thursday, so I’m back the day after tomorrow with the 31st chapter of my story. Until then, I remain

sincerely yours,
Albert

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope 2014 finds you in good health and good spirits and wish all of you the best of luck in the new year.

As for this blog, the new year bring new opportunities and new challenges. For that reason, some things are going to be changing on “An Elusive Hero”.

First of all, starting next week, I’ll be switching my posting dates to Tuesday and Thursday.

On Tuesdays, I will mostly post about Switzerland and anything of interest.

Thursdays will be reserved for my fiction writing and the continuation of my story, “An Elusive Hero”.

Changing the schedule from three times to two times a week gives me the chance to focus on writing longer and higher-quality texts. This year, I’m expecting to write more about interesting journeys within Switzerland and again have extensive coverage of the Zurich Film Festival and other high profile events in the country. As for “An Elusive Hero”, the story, this is the year I’ll hopefully be able to bring it to a fitting conclusion.

I really enjoyed making my last video and hope to publish vlogs on a regular basis in 2014. My vlog will focus on books, so my writing on that topic will probably decline. Please check out my YouTube channel and subscribe to stay updated!

Also, I’m working on a German language project with a friend, which is due to launch early this year. Even with a reduced schedule on my blog, I’ll be able to write and do something I love on various outlets throughout the Internet.

I want to thank everyone who read “An Elusive Hero” in 2013 again and hope to see you again in 2014!

Happy New Year!

Sincerely yours,
Albert

An Elusive Hero in 2013 (Recap)

As 2013 ends tomorrow, I’d like to wrap up the year with a short review of my posts this year.

First of all, I want to thank everyone who has followed and read my posts since I started writing on “An Elusive Hero” in March. The feedback and support I’ve received has been invaluable for me to improve. Wednesday will look forward to the plans for 2014. But until then, let’s recap some of the most interesting posts from this year.

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Cinemas in Zurich

Winter time is movie time. I mentioned my favorite movies of the year in last Wednesday’s post, so today it is time to give a bit of love to the cinemas in Zurich.

The city has a large and diverse population of cinemas. Moviegoers can find everything from the old-school arthouse theatre to the sprawling multiplex with the newest technology. So, let’s have a look at some of my preferred cinemas and movie theaters.

My preferred cinema because of its location is the Corso between the Bahnhof Stadelhofen and Bellevue. It is operated by Kitag, the leading cinema chain in Switzerland. The Corso mostly shows the newest blockbusters and studio movies in original language with subtitles. It has four screens. One criticism of the cinema has been the distance of the balcony to the screen. Sitting in the last row of the balcony can make it difficult to see the happenings in the front.

Another cinema I frequent often is the Metropol near Stauffacher. Also operated by Kitag, the Metropol has one cinema hall with a screen capable for screening movies in 4K and HFR. The Metropol also has comfort seats (which I’ve never used) in the front and back rows. It’s a large cinema made for the biggest blockbusters. The second theatre is much smaller and doesn’t offer the same technological benefits, but the seats are comfortable with a lot of legroom.

Independent and non-US films are mostly shown at the Arthouse cinemas scattered throughout the city. The biggest one is the Arthouse Le Paris close to Bahnhof Stadelhofen. With its red seats, this cinema brings up memories of the Golden Age of movies. Like the Corso 1, this theatre also has a balcony. It mostly shows the bigger independent movies such as the French sleeper hit “Les Intouchables” or the latest Woody Allen movie “Blue Jasmine”.

A gem with a small screen, but a very cozy and old fashioned feel is the Arthouse Alba next to Central. It is perfect for these small, understated films that don’t need a huge room to work.

Another big cinema chain is Pathe, which operates the multiplexes at Sihl City and outside the city in Dietlikon. They have just received the clearance to extend their cinema at the Sihl City. However, they dub most of their movies in German, so I’ve only been to a Pathé cinema once.

Kitag has one large multiplex cinema, the Abaton, which also has access to the newest technology. The Abaton has very comfortable seats and large screens. I don’t frequent it as much as others becasue it also shows a large number of movies in German. Located between Bahnhof Hardbrücke and Escher-Wyss Platz, it does have a great location in one of the premier party districts of the town.

So, if you’re going to catch one of the many great movies coming out in Zurich, be sure to check one of these cinemas out. Prices range between 13 Francs (Mondays) and 21, depending on cinema and movie.

Have a great week and please like, share and subscribe!

Sincerely yours,
Albert

Swiss Classics as Holiday Gift Ideas

With Christmas approaching rapidly, I sincerely hope you’ve got all your presents ready or ordered. If you haven’t, I’ve prepared a little post about literary classics either playing in Switzerland or by Swiss authors that you can put under the Christmas tree for your loved one.

Gottfried Keller – Kleider machen Leute 

Gottfried Keller is one of Switzerlands most important writers, poets and politicians. Living in the 19th century, he became famous by writing a collection of novellas about the people from Seldwyla. One of his best known stories is “Kleider machen Leute”, which can be translated as “Clothes make the man”. The novella is about Wenzel Strapinski, who despite his poor heritage, always dresses and composes himself elegantly. Due to this fact, he is mistaken for a wealthy Polish count and makes his way up the social ranks.
The story is often read at Swiss high schools and is an interesting example of the style of the 19th century.

Friedrich Dürrenmatt – Die Physiker (The Physicists)

Die Physiker (The Physicists) by Friedrich Dürrenmatt is a fantastic play. Dürrenmatt, one of the most influential Swiss writers of the 20th century, sets his story in a Swiss sanatorium. Two of its patients believe to be Einstein and Newton respectively, whereas the third scientist is Möbius, who claims he hears King Solomon talking to him. At the beginning of the plot, the murder of a nurse brings the three physicists to a room together to discuss and unravel their many secrets.

Friedrich Schiller – Wilhelm Tell (William Tell)

While Mr. Schiller was a German who never set foot in Switzerland, his account of Switzerland’s most famous hero, William Tell is a fantastic read. Set in the early 14th century, the people in central Switzerland are being oppressed by the tyrant Gessler. William Tell, a huntsman, draws the ire of the lord by helping a man escape his capture. His reluctance to greet the hat of the tyrant leads to the world famous scene where Tell shoots an apple of the head of his son. Mr. Schiller’s play may be difficult to read, but offers a glimpse into the history of Switzerland.

If you’re interested in reading books from Swiss authors or set in Switzerland, hopefully these tips will give you an interesting place to start. Have a great week!

Sincerely yours,

Albert

Switzerland’s Winter Wonderland

It’s finally December and with the last month of the year, winter holds the country in an even stronger grasp than normal. I don’t care for snow and/or the alps, but for most people, it is the best time to leave behind the towns and villages in the lowland for some relaxation and fun among the mountains. So in today’s post, we’ll have a brief look at the three regions most commonly associated with skiing, snowboarding and being a winter wonderland.

Bernese Oberland

An hour away of the capital, Bern, lies the spectacular and beautiful Bernese Oberland. At the foot of the Bernese Alps lie the two sister lakes, the Lake Thun and the Lake Brienz, connecting by the river Aar. The Oberland offers a variety of beautiful alpine resorts. Grindelwald is famous for its breathtaking view of the menacing north wall of the Eiger, a mountain that has claimed its fair share of mountaineers. Wengen, home of the yearly Lauberhorn ski race, offers the opportunity to glide in the path of the professionals, while even James Bond enjoyed his stay in the nearby Mürren.

Valais

South of the Bernese Oberland lies the beautiful, bilingual canton of Valais. Zermatt lies at the foot of Switzerland’s most iconic mountain, the Matterhorn. Leukerbad is famous for his thermal baths, which make even the coldest of winters more bearable. Thanks to the NEAT initiative, the canton is much more accessible than before and can be reached by travelling through the Bernese Oberland. The canton is also home to Crans-Montana, a resort popular due to its yearly golf tournament and Switzerland’s highest mountain, the Dufourspitze.

Grisons

Grisons is about one-and-a-half hours away from Zurich and offers a variety of idyllic mountain retreats. December is a great time to visit Davos before it is taken over by business magnates and politicians during the Global Economic Forum. The Spengler Cup right after Christmas offers entertainment and low-level hockey action. St. Moritz is famed among the rich and famous, but the towns around it are quieter and prettier. Have a lookout for Samedan, Pontresina or Sils Maria. The whole Engadin valley is beautiful and secluded, but well worth the trip.

But if you’re more interested in getting away from the snow and the cold, a trip to the Ticino might be more to your liking. That, however, is a story for another day.A

As always, have a great start to the week and please like, share and subscribe!

Sincerely yours,

Albert