Tony Parker, Belgium-born NBA star and Tissot brand ambassador, shot a few hoops at Jungfraujoch, 3454 m above MSL. Against the icy flank of Jungfrau, not Switzerland’s highest mountain but certainly its most accessible four-thousander, Parker’s boys played the Swiss national team. Jungfrau Railways, which runs the historic cogwheel train to the top of Europe, brought fans and reporters by the bushel to cheer the players. Rubbing their numb hands and gasping in the rare alpine air, they played, they entertained and they won our hearts. And I think they won a few coveted Tissot collectibles, too!
As immigration queues go, this one has to be the longest I’ve waited for an Immigration Officer to say nothing, not even ask a question about my destination, purpose of visit or, at least, when I’ll be back. Airports are…
What’s so funny, you ask? No idea. Ask this horse I met near Fahlensee, Appenzell, Switzerland. A fine way to celebrate the year of the horse!
First a bump, then a mild churning of the stomach followed by a swimming sensation of buoyancy. The earth fell away and I was sucked into the sky. “No smoking. Absolutely no smoking!” warned the guide, pointing at the propane jets. “If you light up, we will all die.” He squeezed a lever above his head and the nozzles spat yellow-white tongues of flame into the innards of the balloon. Air, heated on the go. Our sustenance and stay on this ride. As we floated up, up, up into the air, without wings, in a hot air balloon, Appenzell spread out beneath us like a patchwork quilt.