Saturday, July 30, 2011

07/29 - A wonderful day in Ascona


Exactly one year back we'd the same rainy and cold weather here like we've it now this week... Last year we decided to make a daytrip to Ticino, which is the cantone in the southern part of Switzerland. We made it again on Friday. Deja-vu!

So we took our way to the Lukmanier Pass, which is the one crossing the Alps on the lowest level at 1,915 m / 6,283 ft. Unfortunately is was completely in the clouds when we crossed the saddle... nothin to see of the lake or anything else... due to this: no pix... but I took some on the way down to the valley....

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Drivin down from the Lukmanier Pass

Drivin down from the LukmanierPass

At the place where we made our lil breakfast break the meadow was full of butterflies, so I couldn't resist to shoot some pix....

Butterfly in the morning sun

Butterfly in the morning sun

Butterfly in the morning sun

Our initial idea for the day was to drive first to the Maggia valley and then go to Ascona... but we changed our plans rapidly cuz the way was totally overcrowded with cars when we'd to take the way to Maggia... so we drove directly to Ascona.

After we parked the car we walked along the lakeside.... enjoying the sun and the warm weather... much better than this cold and rainy crap that we left behind us for one day.

The old part of Ascona

Tobacco shop in Ascona

Walkin through the narrow streets

Around midday we walked to the lil restaurant where we'd been for dinner when we'd been here back in May... we both're lookin forward to the awesome Lasagne that they serve there...

Best Lasagne in town

The rest of this beautiful day we spent with strollin through the lanes of Ascona, enjoying the sun at the lakeside... havin some drinks... smokin.... just relaxin.... I'm really happy that a paradise like this is so close to the place where we live.

View on the lake... the Lago Maggiore

Hotel Castello in the background - slept well there back in May

Relaxin and smokin

View over the lake

View over the lake

At the bar

Somewhere in the streets of Ascona

The church

Some artwork

Artwork in a private garden


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Punch Ninfa 1985


Matt and colorado colored wrapper with a decent smell of tobacco and wood. 26 yo... an age for a cigar that I really like... a RG that I really like... sounds like the perfect smoke for tonite.

Ok, let's fire it up... carefully... the glowing ring is there... clipping the head and taking the first puff.... WOW!

What an intensive taste... again I feel like takin a deep breath in the library... polished wood, old dry paper, leather.... added by a spicey note of fresh milled black pepper... very smooth in the nose while exhalin the smoke... it's a good choice. The first third is a mix of all those aromas.... sometimes more, sometimes less intensive... always well balanced and very tasty.

During the second third all those flavors remain... it's a nice background for the upcomin earthiness and the decent notes of bitter cacao... dark roasted coffee.. very intensive....

In the last third it's more the leathery and woody aroma which is in the foreground... again some of the black pepper... I'm afraid it'll be hard to put it to the ashtray.

The draw of this cigar was over the whole smoking time of 110 minutes absolutely perfect, the burn was ruler-straight.

Awesome smoke... thx to Patrick who gifted it to me....

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

07/23 - Basel Tattoo 2011


Basel Tattoo 2011 - this means 22 bands from 11 countries. And a lot of rain and low temperatures. But don´t forget, it´s middle of July.

When we drove to Basel the weather still looked good but after we arrived there the guys told us that there'll be rain fo sho.... damn! And 30 minutes before the show started the rain began.

The following bands were in the line-up of this evening:
  • Aimachi Marching Band (Japan)
  • Band of the Australian Army Band Corps (Australia)
  • Band of the Coldstream Guards (England)
  • Band of the Grenadier Guards (England)
  • Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland (Scotland)
  • Basel Tattoo Chorus (Switzerland)
  • Basel Tattoo Guad (Switzerland)
  • Heeresmusikkorps 10 (Germany)
  • OzScot Dance (Australia)
  • SkyDance Celtic Stars (Ireland)
  • Swedish Army Band (Sweden)
  • Swiss Army Central Band (Switzerland)
  • 19 Regiment Royal Artillery Pipes and Drums (England)
  • 102 REME Pipes and Drums (England)
  • Manchester Regional Police and Fire Pipes and Drums (USA)
  • Pipes and Drums of the 51st Highland, 7th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (Scotland)
  • Pipes and Drums of the Royal Air Force Leuchars (Scotland)
  • Royal Army of Oman Pipes and Drums (Oman)
  • Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Pipes & Drums (Scotland / Germany)
  • South African Irish Regiment Pipes and Drums (South Africa)
  • Swiss Highlanders (Switzerland)
  • Tasmania Police Pipe Band (Australia)

The bleachers which were arranged in the yard of the barracks were filled to the last seat and 7´800 people waited eagerly for the start of the show at 9.30 pm.

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Swiss flag waving on the tower of the baracks

Flag of the Cantone Basel

Due to the heavy rain in the beginning I couldn't take pix when the Mass Pipes and Drums came into the yard... but believe me: it was impressing!

Good show by the music corps of the German Army... perfect choreograpy.

Heeresmusikkorps 10, Germany

The Celtic Stars from Ireland, which are all known from shows like "Lord of the Dance", impressed with some great step dance, while it was still raining cats and dogs... Scottish weather, as the speaker said before.

SkyDance Celtic Stars, Ireland

SkyDance Celtic Stars, Ireland

SkyDance Celtic Stars, Ireland

A band from Japan... not too bad, but the kinda music was not my likin...

Aimachi Marching Band, Japan

Then there was one of the parts that I personally liked most: the bagpipers.... pipes and drums... it makes me shiver when I think about it again...

Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland

Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland

Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland

OzScot Dance, Australia

Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland

The band of the Swedish Army were the first time at the Basel Tattoo... and they did a good job. A good mixture of classical march music and modern pop songs, like Abba's "Dancing Queen".

Swedish Army Band


Swedish Army Band

The combo from Britain were the first who surprised the people when one of them played the guitar and the balcony and songs like "We are the champions" rocked the yard....

Band of the Grenadier Guards, UK

Band of the Grenadier Guards, UK

But the crazy Army of Oz rocked it even more... AC/DC´s "It's a long way to the top..." was one of the songs they performed.... it's fuckin great...

Band of the Australian Army Band Corps - performing AC/DC

SkyDance Celtic Stars, Ireland

SkyDance Celtic Stars, Ireland

The Swiss Army Central Band put their focus on some really impressing light effects. Totally dark in the yard... and playin the drums with glowing sticks... very cool show!

Swiss Army Central Band

Swiss Army Central Band

Swiss Army Central Band

Swiss Army Central Band

After two hours the show came to its Grand Final. All bands came back to the yard and after a few different songs they performed together a song which was written and composed especially for this event. When you closed your eyes you felt like standing in the Scottish Highlands, goose bumps included.

After that all people stood up for the Swiss National Anthym, played by all the bands in the yard. Great, absolutely great.

The Grand Final

The Grand Final

The Grand Final

The Grand Final

The Grand Final

The Grand Final

Audience with rain protections

The Grand Final

The Grand Final

The Grand Final

The Grand Final

It's a tradition that the lone piper on the tower performs the last song of the evening, it closed not only the show but was also the last song of this year's Tattoo. See you next year in Basel.

The lone piper

The lone piper closes the show...