Category Archives: culture

Switzerland opens world’s steepest railway

The Stoos Bahn has opened to the public in Switzerland and is now the world’s steepest railway – or funicular with the exact terminology.

It runs from the town of Schwyz up 110m to the car-free Alpine village of Stoos and the steepest gradient is 110%. Due to the gradients involved it also has specially constructed cylindrical wagons with tilting floors in order to make the short journey more comfortable for the riders.

Source: BBC News

Only in Japan…

Waitress in Akihabara café
Waitress at the Meteor Shower cosplay café in Akihabara, Tokyo. Source: Anime News Network

There are some things that just really can’t exist anywhere else than in Japan and even there only in some select places like the famous – or infamous – Akihabara district in Tokyo. Such as the latest addition to their very special café settings, this time it is a pop-up café with the special gimmick of having the staff wearing the easily recognizable Japanese school swimsuits and of course having a menu styled appropriately with beverages such as “sweet pool juice” and jello.

The café which is a part of the cosplay café Meteor Shower is a promo for the June 14 release of the live-action film “Sweet Poolside”, adapted from a manga.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria. Photo © Thomas Wolf,

The Bavarian picturesque Neuschwanstein Castle is the epitome of a fairy tale castle. Built on the orders of king Ludwig II of Bavaria in the 19th century, it was already at its construction a anachronism in its recalling of a romanticized medieval era.


Neujahrskonzert der Wiener Philharmoniker

Wiener Musikverein, Vienna, Austria.
Photo: Peter Haas/Wikimedia


The New Year’s Concert in Vienna is a longstanding and very popular tradition on New Year’s Day, which is broadcast on TV not only in Austria and the German-speaking countries of Europe but also in more than 70 other countries around the world. Since 1939 the concert is held in the Großer Saal (Large Hall) in the Wiener Musikverein, situated in the city centre of Vienna.

The classical music performed always include works written by the famous Strauss family.

Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum reopens

One of the most famous art museums in the world, the Dutch Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has reopened with a grand ceremony after several years of renovations and construction of new space for the multitude of art in its collections. Among the most famous in the long list of invaluable classical artworks are Rembrandt’s The Night Watch and works by Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer and Vincent van Gogh.

The museum now has 80 galleries, some of which – in very Dutch fashion – are located under the sea level which together contains more than 8000 objects of art, spanning 800 years of history.

Source: BBC News

The problem with Swiss nudist hikers

Nudist hikers in Harz, Germany, where hiking in the nude is allowed. Photo: DPA.
Nudist hikers in Harz, Germany, where hiking in the nude is allowed. Photo: DPA.

The Swiss cantonal government of Appenzell Innerrhoden wants a new law in place to cope with the rise in popularity of nudist mountain hiking.

I must admit that until I read this news, I hadn’t even reflected over the possibility that it was something that existed, and definitely not something that apparently has become so prevalent that the canton sees it as a problem. To be perfectly honest, I’m almost as surprised – if not more – to read that it apparently under current Swiss law is perfectly legal. As for the actual question at hand, I don’t know what to say.

Photo: DPA