Simcity updates, November 13

Took me about one month for this release but nevertheless here it is; one of the most important update is that the romanian railways simulator, cfr.webgis.ro uses the same engine that the Swisstrains does. Now you can zoom out to see whole Romania and despite the fact that it has a surface 5x times bigger than Switzerland, the romanian railways network has the same length (~5,000 km) and 10x less(!) trains during one day of operations.

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Nov 13th, 2011 | Filed under Hobbies

Swisstrains updates, October 9

The most important update from this batch is that the project is available on Github so you can start today and produce your own vehicle simulation based on timetables and digitized tracks. Will come with a later post explaining how I digitized the whole Switzerland railway network(5000+ kms) and how I got(read crawled) the timetables data from the SBB website without affecting their uptime. Read the following for the complete list of changes.

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Oct 9th, 2011 | Filed under Hobbies

Swisstrains v2 kickoff

http://www.vasile.ch/hacks/swisstrains-v2/

There are 4 years since I didn’t update www.swisstrains.ch project but nevertheless it was good thing because I used this interval to learn more about SBB railway infrastructure + more understanding of their website(which I am still crawling to get the project data from) but it was also an opportunity to polish my programming skills, to learn new technologies and to master various maps APIs; so now it’s time to move the project to the next level.
The current progress can be seen under hacks section of my website and in the following you can see what changed in this version.

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Sep 28th, 2011 | Filed under Hobbies

Lenk – Gstaad

Simmental is a valley that we’ve only transited from Montreux to Spiez via the Golden Pass line and we never had the opportunity to give it a proper visit. It was only the last weekend of August when we decided for a 2-day trip in the area (is quite remote from Zürich) and we chose the small city of Zweisimmen to pass the night. Reason for that was that the hike we intended to do started from Lenk and ended in Gstaad and Zweisimmen is placed between these two stations, so we could keep the big luggage in the station’s locker.

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Sep 14th, 2011 | Filed under Living in Switzerland

Hamburg and Strasbourg

It was autumn 2010 when I travelled in Hamburg but it was a business trip so I didn’t see too much except the hotel(s) and a bit of the public transport. This year we’ve attended Charlotte and Alfonso’s wedding so we had some time to see more of the city. Or at least we tried, the weather wasn’t so good and most of the time we tried to hide from rain. In Strasbourg, in fact the surroundings of it, we spent also an extended weekend together with friends; this time we followed the invitation from Joel to have a taste of Alsace, the one that you can only get from a truly local :). Compared with Hamburg, the weather was perfect, maybe a little bit too hot for my taste; it was the beginning of a heat-wave that scorched Western Europe for a week or so.

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Aug 26th, 2011 | Filed under Travel
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Quick shots

Long time passed since my last post; main reason is that we’ve been on the road quite often and found not so much time for writing. But I’ve been busy posting pictures on Flickr, so let’s get started and remember some moments from last weeks of July: we’ve attended for the first time Paleo music festival. Everyone told us how awesome it is, so I wanted to have a taste of it; we bought tickets only for two days (out of 5) being mostly interested to see two bands live: Portishead and The Strokes(below photo). And yes, it was awesome, the show and the sound quality were just g r e a t.

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Jul 27th, 2011 | Filed under Living in Switzerland

Niesen

This popular peak was on my TODO list of hikes in Switzerland for a long time and only last Saturday we had the chance to accomplish this “task”. And it is popular believe me, the silhouette of this mountain, which is a shape of a vulcano as seen from lake Thun; but also the great view from the top (which before I knew only from the live webcams) were just two reasons to consider hiking this mountain. Because we wanted to be back in Zürich around 5-ish we “cheated” and hiked only one part of the ascent, the other being covered by a hiking ticket for the Niesenbahn line.

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Jul 20th, 2011 | Filed under Living in Switzerland

Braunwald via Oberblegisee

The weather forecast for the weekend looked very good but also high temperatures were predicted; so we planned to start the hike early in the morning and if possible to avoid the ascent during the midday. We chose Glärnisch mountain group mostly because Glarus/Linth valley are quickly accessible from Zürich with the Glarner Sprinter. The day was great, almost cloudless, we managed to finish the uphill before the sun scorched us :). Again I was amazed by this area, had flashbacks from our first trip in Switzerland when did the Eggstock via-ferrata.

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Jun 29th, 2011 | Filed under Living in Switzerland

Val Bregaglia

This rather remote area is best reachable from St Moritz direction therefore if you plan to travel from Zürich you need to consider one overnight sleep in the Engadine region. Decision to explore this part of Switzerland came after checking the weather forecast for the weekend and only few areas in Switzerland were cloud-free. Sleeping in a mountain hut and breathing fresh air in the morning was another reason to go so remote; we chose Maloja Pass for that and had the accommodation in a typical Engadine house, Chesa Alpina. We arrived in Maloja late in the evening but it was just in time, the rain stopped, so we did a small walk in the surroundings and checked the view from Schloss Belvedere. In the morning we took the postbus towards Bregaglia valley and stepped out in Casaccia(1460m) where we started the our trail.

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Jun 26th, 2011 | Filed under Living in Switzerland

Quick shots

May and June were pretty hectic for us, we’be been almost all the time on the road without having too much time for blogging. Here is a quick roundup:

We moved since a while in Opfikon but we didn’t have the excuse to throw a house warming party but in May, together with summer we found the perfect excuse: a BBQ in our garden serving romanian “mici”. Here is a fast-forward video from the event plus some more pictures.

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Jun 22nd, 2011 | Filed under Living in Switzerland