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.
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.
Chasschnitte – grilled cheese Swiss style
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
Deer and paparadelle – Gasthof zum Bären did an awesome job with this and I’d highly recommend visiting in Richebach
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.
Cheese and Egg over Rosti (hash brown potatoes) – I think this one was in Thun
Rahm Schnitzel – egg noodle with some type of a meat+mushroom stroganoff – We had this in Cafe Iberica – a cool Portuguese pub in Thun.
Standard Schnitzel – it’s almost everywhere and fried crispy thinly
Wurst – love the sausages
Kandersteg arrival – this church was very photogenic. We had an Airbnb in Kandersteg for a few days.
Blausee – Mini lake with short paths and trout (2 hours max) – You can also arrive from the side and not pay the 5 CHF.
Schloss Spiez – visited here while it was raining
Schweizer Gastronomie-Museum Thun – Pretty lake view with swans
Schloss Thun – hike up the mountain and perfect for photos
Spiez wedding and full day of fun
Luzerne – Some great walks and bridges
Zurich Crazy techno street parade party
Brisk Zurich walks
~See Lemons Love Switzerland