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This week, I have mostly been...

...in Zug.

This was a work trip to meet my new boss, who is based in our Zug office. Zug is a small town in Switzerland. It is the capital of the Canton of Zug. It is situated on the shores of Lake Zug, at the foot of the Zugerberg. It's a small, quaint town with a frankly enormous business park just up the road. Most of the people in our office there actually lived in Zurich and commuted from the big city to the small town, which is a bit weird - I can't think of a setup like that in this country.

Anyway, some things I noticed on my trip:

Zug is rich, at least if the cars and shops are anything to go by.

Best car - an Merc AMG SLS - that's one of the big gull-wing things. Never seen one before. Also, plenty of Astons and 911s.

Very pretty lake, on the route back to my hotel from the office. Some birds I didn't recognise.

Old Swiss architecture is very pretty. Unfortunately new Swiss architecture seems stuck in the 60s and 70s - all square concrete boxes.

Zurich is quite ugly and has a real graffiti problem.

They like their chocolate (nothing wrong with that) but I was amazed by just how many chocolate shops there are.

A quarter of the population of Zug are foreigners. I assume plenty of those are British, because there is a 'British' pub and a shop that sells "British specialities". I was amused by the fancy window display in the latter which featured red silk, a crown and a tin of Ambrosia Devon Custard.

Being British, it's weird to go to a place that has no problem with double decker trains, but goes to extreme lengths to avoid double decker buses. Bendy buses are bad enough, but in Zug they have buses towing carriages.

By the lake in Zug is a small aviary with ibises, snowy owls, golden pheasants and avocets.

I flew into and out of Heathrow's terminal 5, which was a first for me. It proved to be the nicest airport experience I've ever had at a big airport - few queues and generally quite comfortable. Strangely there was a headline on the front page of The Times saying how badly Heathrow fared in a survey of airports. This was doubly strange since the same article went on to say that Gatwick and Stansted were far worse. Also far worse than Heathrow apparently are Frankfurt and Paris Charles de Gaulle. Guess which two airports I'm flying to this month...

By the lake in Zug, I passed a young couple talking in German. They were talking about a dachshund that was pootling about off the lead. The bloke said to the girl "Das ist ein sausage dog." Is the German for "dachshund" really "sausage dog", because that doesn't sound right?

Also, according to a pretzel stall at the station, the German for "croissant" is "baguette".



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 2nd, 2011 08:20 am (UTC)
Maybe it's just a fashion, like the French use of "le weekend"?

Merc SLS <3 ... cars with gull-wing doors just look awesome!

And, yeah, CDG is horrid. Especially if flying BA - Air France never forgave BA for building a BA-only terminal at Heathrow, so CDG-LHR flights go from the truly awful terminal 2B.
Heathrow T5 is nice, though. Especially if you get to the lounge with the horse statue outside - hidden amongst the roof beams. Maybe that's just that they had free bacon sandwiches and I had a hangover...
Apr. 2nd, 2011 08:52 am (UTC)
In Germany, a dachshund is usually called a "dackel" or a "teckel".

My mother (German) always used to called them "teckel" despite the fact that this term is supposedly restricted to properly working (hunting) dogs.
Apr. 2nd, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC)
Anyway, wouldn't the German for sausage dog be "Wursthund"? I've only ever heard Dackel or Teckel too.
Apr. 2nd, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC)
Of course, who knows with Swiss German?
Apr. 2nd, 2011 01:00 pm (UTC)
I suspect one's tolerance for Heathrow depends a lot on whether you have to change terminal...
Apr. 2nd, 2011 02:06 pm (UTC)
Agreed; and terminals 1-4 are so squalid that terminal 5 would have to be Shangri-La to male Heathrow do well overall in an airport survey.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )