Life

10 Things I learned about Switzerland (While in Switzerland)

My husband and I went to Switzerland last week and it was AWESOME!!!

Now, if you had asked me 10 years ago if I saw myself traveling to Switzerland, my answer would probably have been “no”. I would have opted for more glamorous sounding countries like Italy or France. I’d have said I want to ride a gondola or see the Eiffel Tower.

I would not have said I wanted to see Switzerland. Sure, I had seen the movie Heidi and it looked nice but the New Yorker in me wanted to see more city. I did get to see city but not like NY and it didn’t bother me.

When I arrived I was taken by surprise when I saw the mountains. They are huge! So majestic! Gods creation is truly magnificent. I fell in love with the nature around me. The fields and farms. In fact, when I returned from Switzerland, I turned on my Nintendo Switch and began to play Stardew Valley because I wanted to be a farmer so bad, it was that inspiring.

I enjoyed my trip so much and encourage others to pay the county a visit. Why? Here’s a list of things I learned while I was there, hopefully they will move you to book your next flight. By the way, this is not a sponsored post, this is truly all me and me experience. Enjoy.

1. They are Patriotic

Pretty much everywhere you look, and everywhere you go there is a Swiss flag hanging of off balconies, flag poles and strung up from one light pole to the other. Not only will you see Swiss flags but in Switzerland there are what are called Cantons which are kind of the equivalent of a state in the US, and each Canton has a flag, you will also see these flags hung around various locations within the Canton. Very patriotic.

2. Timely Transit System

The trains in Switzerland really do run on time, but not just the trains but also the buses and even water taxis. It is quite impressive coming from NYC where you rarely come across a train line running in a timely manner. Although, I must admit, the MTA has stepped up their game and the trains have been a bit more consistent. While in Switzerland there was one occasion in which I actually had to run to catch the train because of you miss it you need to wait for the next one and over there you pay for your ride ahead. So if you pay ahead, I suggest you catch that train. That’s money you do not want to waste.

3. Hiking and Biking is Big

Pretty much everyone hikes and bikes. Everyone! I’m not exaggerating. Ok, maybe a bit, but definitely a lot of people hike and bike. I actually think it’s pretty cool. From what I was able to see, there are hiking trails all around and the views are amazing. Mountains almost everywhere you look, I mean everywhere, unless you are indoors. I saw people of all ages walking around with hiking sticks. The Swiss seem to be pretty active people, it’s admirable.

4. Older Folk are Active

Not only did I notice people if all ages hiking but also older people. I saw them biking and hiking and out and about. These people do not just settle down and grow old at home. They go out and do stuff. It’s inspirational. I want to be like them when I grow up. I bet they live longer and have less health problems.

5. So Many Languages

Switzerland is home to at least 4 languages. German, Italian, French and Romansh. You will come across any of these languages at any given time you are walking around Switzerland. It’s actually fascinating. Maybe I was fascinated because those are not languages common to me and New York but I think it’s cool how frequent you hear them. The intertwining of these languages if fun to see. And unlike in the US, no one is yelling at you to speak the “official language” because there are four of them.

6. Eco Friendly/ Environment Cautious

Before going to Switzerland I was told there would be no air conditioning. I thought, how will we survive a summer week in Switzerland without an A/C? It actually was not so difficult. You see, those summer is not humid. The sun is hot but the breeze is cool and the nights are even cooler. If you need to cool down, crack open the window, sit and chill. When I asked why they don’t use A/C I was told it was for environmental reasons. After being there for a week I can see why. Everywhere you look there is nature, why ruin that with excessive consumption of electricity, specially if you can do without. Kudos to them for thinking about the environment.

7. Food is Expensive

Food is more expensive over there than in New York. Shocking. It is actually better to eat in, than dine out. Outings to restaurants are “treat yo’self” occasions. Restaurants cost more, the food is tasty but at a price. So if you plan on eating out while visiting, prepare your wallets.

8. You Can Veto New Construction

I learned that if someone wants to construct a new building they need approval of the residents of the neighborhood. How is this done? Well, mock beams are placed where the corners of the building would be so that the neighbors can have an idea of how it will effect the neighborhood, scenery, etc. And if they don’t like it, they can complain so that it won’t be built. Interesting, huh?

9. Clock Towers/Bells Ring Around the Clock (literally)

It seems there is a church in every town with a bell. The bells go off every hour on the hour and sometimes every quarter hour. This can seem a bit annoying at first, specially while trying to sleep but after a while I found it charming. I was able to tell the time when I heard the bells and didn’t need to look at a watch.

10. Some Public Bathrooms Require you to Pay

Sounds weird, paying to use a public bathroom. I thought so at first but then realized those bathrooms are well maintained, probably because they are not free. Did I like paying $1 or $2 to use the bathroom, not really, I found it a bit overpriced, but the cleanliness made up for it. This is something else you’d need to prepare you wallet for before paying Switzerland a visit.

I hope I was able to teach you some cool things about Switzerland. It was one of the best experiences I have had in a long time. I’m definitely looking forward to going back and seeing all of the things I missed during this trip. There is so much to do. You will not be bored. If you are a history buff, I definitely recommend paying Switzerland a visit.

By the way, the pictures used in this post were taken by yours truly 🙂

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”

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