[Travel Advice] Switzerland

Random Observation/Comment #558: Rural areas of Switzerland are basically the un-ironic representations you might see in Disney World. There are mountains everywhere and there’s a radio station that yodels choir music.

oeschinensee lake

Things Switzerland Does Well

  • Efficiency – For the most part, the Swiss get things done and done pretty quickly
  • Maintained Natural scenery and beauty – There are not many power lines blocking the views nor are there many modern homes in the little towns. I love the pristine untouched pieces.
  • Languages – Swiss German, high German, low German, French, Italian, and English are sprinkled everywhere. It’s very international and a great place to practice your linguistic skills.
  • Swiss pride – Not only are there proudly represented flags of each area, but they often show other’s flags as well. It makes me feel like Switzerland is united in its own way.
  • Fresh ingredients – Meat, potatoes, and cheese – they’re high quality no matter where you go. There’s likely a pride element to the meals they serve as well.
  • Cleanliness – (except for the Zurich techno street parade) Immediately the next day, it was immaculate.
  • Extremely bike-friendly – I’m a big fan of bike lanes and bike etiquette rules. We also saw the police officers drive through town and take at least 6 bikes in a row in front of us.

Things Switzerland can improve

  • Gentility – not mean, but much more blunt and direct than normal. I was told it was “rigid.” I was also told that most Swiss are very friendly, but you need to earn their trust first. Once you’re a part of the family and a non-threat, you’ll make a friend forever.
  • Street striping and Street signing is a bit off – It’s not terribly hard to drive, but I did see a single 4-way stop (that didn’t have a traffic circle) that confused a lot of people.
  • You’ll pay for high quality – everyone complains about the cost, but it’s actually pretty interesting to me that an “extravagant meal” that would cost 60 CHF per person is only 20 CHF more than a standard lunch with beer. Of course you can find some cheaper alternatives.

Local Food

Chasschnitte – grilled cheese Swiss style

chi

Fitness schnitzel – No one else will understand you if you call it this, but this restaurant’s owner called it this when we wanted schnitzel with salad instead of fries

Meat Volcano – again, not the real name, but clearly this was a meat volcano from Victoria Ritter in Kandersteg

meat volcano

Deer and paparadelleGasthof zum Bären did an awesome job with this and I’d highly recommend visiting in Richebach

paparadelle

Cordon bleu – it’s basically schnitzel, but filled with ham and swiss cheese. I’ve found it made perfectly every time. This one is from Rheinfelder Bierhalle.

cordon bleu

Cheese and Egg over Rosti (hash brown potatoes) – I think this one was in Thun

rosti with cheese and egg

Rahm Schnitzel – egg noodle with some type of a meat+mushroom stroganoff – We had this in Cafe Iberica – a cool Portuguese pub in Thun.

rahmschnitzel

Standard Schnitzel – it’s almost everywhere and fried crispy thinly

Wurst – love the sausages

Our Itinerary

Wednesday:

Kandersteg arrival – this church was very photogenic. We had an Airbnb in Kandersteg for a few days.

church in kandersteg

Blausee – Mini lake with short paths and trout (2 hours max) – You can also arrive from the side and not pay the 5 CHF.

blausee

Schloss Spiez – visited here while it was raining

spiez castle

 

Thursday:

Schweizer Gastronomie-Museum Thun – Pretty lake view with swans

thunsee

Schloss Thun – hike up the mountain and perfect for photos

thun castle

Oeschinensee

oeschinensee

Rodelbahn awesomeness

rodelbahn

Friday:

Thun photoshoot

wedding photoshoot

Spiez wedding and full day of fun

wedding photos

Saturday:

Luzerne – Some great walks and bridges

luzern bridges

Zurich Crazy techno street parade party

zurich techno

Sunday:

Brisk Zurich walks

zurich

~See Lemons Love Switzerland

 

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