Friday, October 15, 2010

Random Observations and Thoughts on Switzerland

  • Green, green, green
  • Clean, clean, clean
  • Friendly people and very accommodating!
  • It is very expensive to live here.  We were in areas frequented by tourists, of course, but not a single store tempted me because of the high cost.  Clothing costs seemed extremely high; over $200 for shoes?  Not in my budget.  Hard to have dinner for two under $50.
  • Everyone speaks English and most speak it proficiently.  Only twice did we have to spend a little extra time interpreting menu items and this was in smaller towns.
  • I saw well-dressed women wherever we went.  Most businessmen seemed to be in very traditional black suits.  LOTS of high-heeled shoes.  Can't for the life of me figure out how they walk in 5- or 6-inch heels over cobblestones!
  • The trains are superb.  Our Eurorail pass was for first-class accommodations, but I don't think we needed that.  Only one train was the least bit crowded.  In every other case, we were among a handful of people in our car - some tourists, but mostly business people who worked on their laptops during the trips.  Interesting idea:  The overhead shelf is clear so you can actually see if you've put something up there!  Hard to leave items behind.
  • Although there seems to be a jewelry store on every other corner, Swiss women wear very little jewelry.  What they wear, however, doesn't come from Kohl's!  And everyone, of course, sports a big, heavy, impressive watch.
  • Every church has a tower with a clock, and the clocks are accurate!  Even if the church is hundreds of years old, the clock still works. 
  • Takeaways - what we would call take-out - and not from fast-food places, but rather from yummy delis and cheese shops and bake shops and grocery stores and even train stations.  Gotta love it!
  • I saw many preschoolers still using pacifiers -- 3 & 4-year olds.
  • Swiss efficiency.  You can't beat it.  Waiters and waitresses carry black leather bags on their waists filled with money so that they make change right at the table.
  • I've never seen so many construction cranes in my life!  It was hard to take a photograph without getting several huge cranes in the background.  Lots of construction and reconstruction wherever we went indicates a great deal of pride in the country.
  • New to us were handheld credit card machines so we paid our restaurant bills right at our table.  No need for the waiter/waitress to disappear with our card into some back room.  We liked it!
  • Jewelry stores leave all the jewelry in the windows overnight and on the weekends unlike in the US where most stores empty their displays every night.  The Swiss are very trusting and trustworthy.  We were told that there is very little crime in Switzerland, and we should not be afraid to leave items in our hotel room nor be concerned about pickpockets.
  • Pastries decorated so elaborately that you almost (almost!) didn't want to eat them.  And all arranged in neat, tidy rows in the display cases.
  • Chocolate.  Need I say more?  Well worth walking miles and miles every day to justify indulging.
  • Cows and farms and rolling hills and well-maintained houses with gorgeous window boxes overflowing with geraniums.  Yup .... exactly like you picture it!


  1. I was looking through quilting blogs by alphabetical order and came across yours.
    You should be writing a book! I love your descriptions of what is going on around you. I kept scrolling back and back and was surprised to see no comments as I had tons of comments going on in my head.
    Keep enjoying that trip and have a safe return!

  2. Thanks, Julie. I really enjoy writing by blog especially when I know that people actually read it! This was a trip of a lifetime.