Of Avalanches and Vignettes

Today we’re talking about two unrelated but important items: avalanches and vignettes.

Avalanche risk

Now that the snow has really arrived and the Fasnacht holidays are here, all who enjoy skiing will be out on the slopes and some will probably be tempted by the powdery snow just beyond the slopes. But there is true danger to be found, this past Sunday 9 people died in 6 separate avalanche incidents in Switzerland. They probably were people who thought that they knew what they were doing and that, surely, this would never happen to them. Obviously dying in an avalanche is the extreme case but even if you should start an avalanche and cause damage or someone else should be trapped or killed by it, you are liable to prosecution and hefty fines.

So if you are thinking of trying your hand at skiing “hors-piste” then I would recommend hiring a mountain guide and/or taking an avalanche course, so that you learn how to survive the “white death”. The closest class in English that I found is in Interlaken and there would be a class next week-end alread. It’s run by the Swiss Alpine Guides school.

Have fun and be safe!

Car Vignette

Finally if you haven’t already got your 2015 vignette stuck on your car, you are liable to be fined CHF 200.- as the cut off day was yesterday. So rush out and get that vignette: it’s available in all gas stations & post offices and will cost you CHF 40.- ; it will be valid until January 31st 2016.

Here is also a quick recap of highway toll fees in the neighboring countries. In France there is no vignette but be prepared to encounter “péage” stations, this means that you will either have to pay a sum upfront or take a ticket out and pay when you exit the highway. Ditto in Italy.

In Germany, there is no fee to be paid to drive on the highways, and in Austria you can get yourself vignettes ranging from 8.70 Euros to 33.60 Euros depending on how long you plan to stay.

Safe driving!

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