Bang! It is done. The shots were fired on the stage of the House of Switzerland by Ambassador Thalmann from the Embassy of Switzerland, by the Worshipful Mayor of Southwark, Councillor Althea Smith, and by Ambassador Bideau, Head of Presence Switzerland. They marked the beginning of a special 24 days: the takeover of Southwark by the Swiss.
First of all, a geographic takeover. The area near London Bridge and around Glaziers Hall is now painted red. Then, a cultural takeover. The Bernese Micha Sportelli played his guitar in front of the crowd. Hillbilly Moon Explosion, the group which performed for Quentin Tarantino, showed its most raucous Rockabilly. The atmosphere was warm, challenging the British weather. A gastronomic takeover then, with Swiss specialities served by the crew of royal chef Mosimann. Everything is now set for the Swiss athletic takeover of London, that will begin on 27 July.
As the British know, Swiss takeovers are friendly. The objective for the next three weeks: to show the best of Switzerland, to present the traditional strengths as well as the most surprising assets. And now, as Nicolas Bideau put it during the opening ceremony: "let’s boogie the Red Zone"!