Empty bankrupt shops everywhere, the Thai resort town Pattaya is clinically dead already. More than 300000 people have left the place since they can no longer make a living here. Hans Fritschi shows you around a place where even many Seven-Eleven shops had to close down without foreign visitors and customers. The beaches are empty and the life guards idle, they have rescued nobody in months and their presence in Jomtien Beach is an absurdity. Walking street is without people walking, so it was opened for cars again.
Money tree is only one names for this beautiful and fast growing tree from South America that delivers delicious edible nuts in great numbers. First the Pachira aquatica produces stunning flowers of incredible beauty. Then the Malabar chestnut (another name) gives us edible seeds that taste a lot like hazel nuts. This is an ideal tree for any tropical garden, very productive and stunningly beautiful.
Carl Fürchtegott Grob left his hometown Zurich in 1869 for Sumatra. Within 10 years he made a huge fortune there with a giant tobacco farm and returned to Zurich. Here he bought a large piece of land and commissioned famous architects Alfred Chiodera and Theophil Tschudy to build his dream “Villa Patumbah” with private park for him and his family. This large house in the Historism style is nowadays a museum. Hans Fritschi takes you on a visit there.
Since Wednesday midnight no events with more than 50 attendants are allowed in Switzerland any longer according to the new Covid 19 rules of the Swiss government. The Swiss National Circus is therefore prematurely closing down in Zurich for this year. This is a sad day, the clowns are gone and so have the other artists and trained animals.
One of the last warm days in Zurich: After a walk along river Limmat, Hans Fritschi discovers a group of almost sixty elephants at the grand hall of Zurich main train station. Equally surprising, there is a huge angel protecting those peaceful pachyderms. This exhibit or event, called “Elephant Parade”, raises money to protect the endangered Asian Elephants. All the beautiful and colorful pachyderms were painted in Thailand and there is another Siamese link.
The leaves are falling, autumn is here and soon winter will take over in Zurich and Europe. At the same time as temperatures are sliding and people stay inside more, the new Covid 19 infections are sharply rising. It is a depressing time, new lock-downs are in the making. Signs of a dark autumn are everywhere. But the beautiful sides of autumn, the falling colorful leaves, can be spotted allover also.
My good old journalist friend Eva Mackert shows me her original home town Lucerne. We arrive at the “new” train station, the old, beautiful one burnt down about 50 years ago in a catastrophic fire. The same disaster struck the 650 year old wooden Kappel bridge which has since been rebuilt as it was before. The famous Lion monument honors Swiss mercenaries that died for the French king during the French Revolution. Hans Fritschi, naturally, was more interested in the famous “Fritschi Father”, an important figure in the popular Lucerne carnival.
Wondering how deserted Zurich airport might be, Hans Fritschi boards a tram at Central and rides to Kloten. On the way he stops in Oerlikon where the former Hotel International recently announced, it will close down due to Covid 19 and fire more than 200 employees. Walking through the almost deserted Zurich airport Hans Fritschi has landed in a ghost town. This airport is empty, empty, empty, that ghostly experience feels as if mankind has left the planet.
Succulents normally grow in arid areas with little water and a lot of sun and heat. Now that it is getting cold in Zurich, this is the perfect moment to visit a public greenhouse where those cactuses from all over the world are grown. It is very educational and at the same time we are able to tank some warmth for the colder days coming. Hans Fritschi and his friend Peter Sidler also talk about Covid 19 which still keeps the world in an iron grip and makes us change our plans on a daily basis.
Great animals: Cows eat grass, deliver milk, cheese, meat and shit, Ep. 58
Scenic Appenzell is certainly worth a visit. Cows roam the mellow hills of Appenzell. Those emblematic Swiss animals are certainly the best friends of men. By eating grass they create milk which can be turned into famous cheese from Appenzell. By sending them to cow heaven delicious steaks are produced. And last but not least: Cows shit a lot and thus deliver precious fertilizer. Dominik Landwehr shows Hans Fritschi interesting Appenzell where many Swiss wonders can be discovered.