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SwissPats: Santa's Grotto

SwissPats // Events// Explore Switzerland // By Tay Kinnear // Dec. 7, 2018


Raclette in a Caves 7th December St Beatus-Hohlen Cave

This occurs on the first Friday of every month, but, December in Switzerland and raclette is a combination you can’t deny.

The St. Beatus Caves on Lake Thun, about 45 minutes south east of Bern, are one of the largest natural wonders in the Bernese Oberland. Since 1904 guests from all over the world have flocked to see these caves.

On Friday from 6-9 p.m. not only can you experience these caves but experience while eating that hot, melty cheese. A welcome drink greets you at the entrance of the cave where more than than 100 candles are lit among the tables and chairs, like you’d find in a restaurant.

Drinks, like tea, water wine and coffee along with raclette and a sweet surprise highlight the menu.

Adults: CHF 89.-

Children: CHF 55.- You do get three to four hours in the cave along with a guided tour.

The cave extends for more than a kilometre where a well-lit walkway allowed you to discover the, stalactites and stalagmites that have been formed by nature for over millions of years. 

The St. Beatus Caves, which are located on the northeastern shore of Lake Thun, near Interlaken, lead deep into the interior of the immense Niederhorn Massif. Electrically lighted, easily hiked trails that delve up to 1000 meters into the depths, lead past roaring subterranean waterfalls, through narrow passages and to grottos with stalactite and stalagmite formations.

A prehistoric settlement as well as the cell of St. Beatus can also be viewed in the caves.


Harley Niggi Naggi 8th December Basel

Each Harley will have a rider dressed as Santa, and each Harley is decorated for Christmas. You will definitely see bikes decorated with lights, trees, toys, music, and ornaments.

The route is a quick ride through town, first down claraplatz, then around Petersgraben, off towards Barfusserplatz, then around Spalenberg finally finishing in Marktplatz. The full tour lasts about 15-25 mins, and spectators can stand on any road side on the route.

The fun continues when the motors are switched off at Marktplatz. This is where you need to be if you would like to receive a Niggi Naggi Sackli. A saggli is a hessian bag filled with St Nicks christmas goodies - mandarins, peanuts in the shells, traditional lebkuchen and chocolate coins. Lebkucken is a glazed spiced cake like biscuit made with spices and honey with a distinctive image on the front - usually St. Nick.

Riders will greet children, hand out the saggli and take pictures with you - if you’re a bike enthusiast you might be able to squeeze a question or two in about their bike but don't count on it.

There will be Christmas stalls with gluhwein and punch, for the adults.

At Marktplatz you can make a donation to support the chosen charity:

The charity that is supported by this event is Foundation Theodora, which provides Giggle Doctors in children's hospitals with the aim of easing the pain through fun and laughter. In 2013 58 Giggle Doctors visited 90,000 children in 34 hospitals and specialised departments throughout Switzerland.

They don't just have Giggle Doctors, they also have the Mr & Mrs Dream program, which provides help, fun and laughter for those children who are not sick but live with disabilities.

Last year this event raided 38,000 CHF for the charity.

Santa Claus Swim

9th December Zurich


Last week on the podcast we talked about a Santa Clause run in Bern, well, the Santa Clause themed activities continue this weekend, this time in Zurich.

The Santa Clause swim is for a good cause, but its participants go to great lengths for charity. The 19th edition takes place on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at the Restaurant Pier 7.

Last year swimmers encountered a water temp of 7.5 ° C. For 46 registered it was too cold. So far the record is 347 people.

There are a maximum of slots available for swimmers, so if you are interested in participating visit the website for more information.

This year, participants have the opportunity to increase donations to the Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Society (MS) by making a small detour of about 10 meters. A buoy, which is placed by the main sponsor Allianz Suisse a bit off the track, must be flooded. For each participant who proves courage and makes the Extra-mile, a donation of CHF 10.00 will be raised to the MS Society.

Route: Restaurant Pier 7 - barefoot bar in Frauenbad Stadthausquai.

Starts every four minutes between 1.30pm and 2.30pm. Participants with charity tickets start after the auction winners and the Allianz guests.

Group size: 20 people

The group is monitored by divers on boats and on land.

The water temperature is between 6 - 8 ° C.


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