Wandering in Austria

A village somewhere in Styria

Francis of Assisi’s church in Vienna

A Street Car in Vienna

The Danube in Vienna

I Fly Niki Air for (almost) cheap plane tickets

I flew with Niki for the third time. I think it is a good alternative to Austrian Airlines and Swiss when you have to fly to and from Austria. Also, it is one of the few low-cost carriers serving Zurich. Actually, Wikipedia defines it as a semi-lowcost airline, which I deem appropriate. In fact, it has intermediate features between normal airlines and low cost airlines.
It has rather convenient fares, cheaper than other carriers, although in average higher than the ones of low-cost airlines.
It serves both major and almost unknown airports. Niki offers also a few intercontinental flights.
Service times are quite normal, as compared to other European low-cost carriers that seem to compete on which one is taking off earlier in the morning or landing later in the night.
As about airline food with Niki, we were served a free snack during our short international flight of one hour. Well, it was a very very small one, even for European standards, but at least you didn’t have to pay if you wanted a bite of food, as it happens with most low-cost airlines.
Aircraft’s interior was nice and new. Space among rows was acceptable. The route was shown on overhead screens. In our case, aircraft was an Airbus A320.

What I initially found very funny about Niki, is its logo: The Fly. A stylized fly is painted on the front section of the fuselage of all Niki aircrafts.

Niki air is named after Niki Lauda, a former Formula One racer.

This time, I was given a seat with Niki air after purchasing a ticket with another airline: Air Berlin, the German carrier owning Niki. I hope I will soon have a chance to fly with Air Berlin so to have an idea as to what kind of service they offer. Here you can find a review of it.

Lake Lucerne in bad weather

One of the reasons I love Switzerland for is that it has got so many wonderful lakes surrounded by green mountains. The one I like most is Lake Lucerne.

If you are going to drive from Zurich southwards, towards the Alps and Canton Ticino, you’re going to drive for about 10 miles along the coast of this wonderful lake, made of an erratic shape and surrounded by majestic mountains diving almost vertically into its crystal waters.

As a psychologically meteoropathic person I largely favor sunny, bright days, and that is also true when I look at Lake Lucerne: I prefer to see it on beautiful days, with the sun reflecting on the surface.

The other day, however, weather scenario was completely different. Nonetheless, quite an amazing view under those circumstances either:

Lake Lucerne is named after the Swiss town with the same name. Its name in German is a long word (“Vierwaldstättersee”, which makes my colleagues smile when I try to pronounce it) that translates as: “Lake of the four forested cantons” (You know, German language tends to be very explicative).

They say: “There is no place like home”. Well, I’ve been lucky enough to move to such a beautiful country, so that homesickness is mitigated.

Here’s the route I am talking about:

 

Swiss manners

This inscription I found on a ticket vending machine in Zurich makes me think of a slogan I saw written at a bus station in Singapore a few years ago: “Low crime doesn’t mean no crime”.

As for Singapore crime is low but still exists, in Zurich vandalism and antisocial behavior are rare, but do exist.

As for me, it is the first time in over a year I see such an explicitly rude statement on a publicly-owned device.

A corner of the vending machine

The German part of the “message” originally said “a ticket for everything [bus, train, boat]”. The new version says: “a ticket for nothing”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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