Switzerland is an interesting country. More correctly known as The Swiss Confederation, she lies land-locked amongst other larger European countries. She is not a member of the EU, but still benefits from most trade agreements.
Switzerland is also a wealthy country. She has the highest nominal wealth per adult in the world, and comes eighth highest in world 'per capita' GDP.
In a country known for neutrality and the brokering of peace deals, she still has military national service for men over 18. They serve about 21 weeks, and about 30% of the population legally hold firearms.
When we think of Switzerland, we think watches, cheese with holes, alpine horns, penknives, chocolate, skiing, fondue, bicycle regiments, and snow tipped mountains.
I have never been there, and have no real desire to go. However my father and my 'Uncle John' did once go there mountain climbing together. They were half way climbing up some glacier when they stopped for lunch. My Uncle John pulled out an apple from his rucksack, bit into it, and broke his dentures. The apple was frozen solid. He spent the rest of his holiday 'speaking in tongues' and dining on liquids.
That's the extent of my knowledge of Switzerland. If you have anything exciting to add, please feel free to do so.
Poor uncle - reminds me of Georgie who fell into the trap of Lucia's "Humour in furniture" - also an apple on disposal on a dresser - looking deceptively real...ReplyDelete
I once ate a stunningly beautiful apple, and when my mother asked where it had gone, informed me that it been 'varnished' for decoration.Delete
The funny thing in the apple story is that the Swiss national hero - Wilhelm Tell - (our poet Friedrich Schiller wrote a drama about him that every pupil had to read) had to put an apple on the top of the head of his beloved son and send an arrow through that apple....Delete
That was the most thrilling thing (yawn) I ever heard from Switzerland - I have been there many times, and the best I can talk about is their beautiful orderly nature - it is a bit more exciting than all Swiss people I ever met (though it depends from which part of Switzerland they come: those near Italy are almost awake :-)
News comes very rarely from Switzerland. We did hear that it is illegal to slam a car door, or sound a horn, after 9 pm (?). But not much else recently.Delete
I hadn't heard the story of Uncle John. I don't know much about Switzerland but we have a couple from there who come on our walks. Like me they came here in the 60's and love it here.ReplyDelete
I always laugh when I think of Uncle John's dentures. I believe it was on the first day of their holiday too!Delete
I see, via Google, that Switzerland was once called Helvetia, which is what the country is called in Greek. We have a few Austrians here, but no Swiss. A country we don't hear much about. A safe rich country is how I think of itReplyDelete
I was a stamp collector when I was small, and Swiss stamps always had Helvetia on them. I always thought it very exotic.Delete
The Swiss "CH" symbol stands for Confédération Hélvetique so it's still very much Helvetia!Delete
The main component missing from your list is their highly secret banking system where it is known that the rich hide their money.ReplyDelete
I think it's mostly the 'corrupt' who hide their money there. People such as Arafat, Mugabe, Gaddafi, etc. No doubt their coffers filled with dodgy money that goes unclaimed.Delete
I once went train riding there. They take trains very seriously.ReplyDelete
The 'quality' European trains are wonderful. I've had some memorable meals on French/Italian trains.Delete
My Greatgrandma was Swiss.She came from Vevey.She was great at sewing and taught me how to embroider at a young age.She also used to make leather bags with birds embossed on them.When she gave one to me I thought it was wonderful!.I wish I still had it!.I can remember that she used to give me Jusoda..a fizzy orange drink.But she called it Yusoda...and Im afraid that is my only knowledge of Switzerland!xxReplyDelete
Nice memories. Juice-Soda (jusoda) is a good no-nonsense name. Thanks to you it has now been added to the archive of Swiss merits.Delete
Switzerland is beautiful, clear air, mountains, snow and cows with bells, you forgot those. A branch of our family lived above Vevey. Late grandfather of my daughter was the church warden at the Anglican Territet church. There are quite a lot of English people in Vevey, due to the presence of Nestle. In fact there are many people from different countries that live on the slopes round Lausanne, Vevey, and Montreux. On the train through France then early morning the Swiss mountains and snow it lifted the heart ;)ReplyDelete
The lakes and mountains are certainly some of the best in Europe. Switzerland has always been popular with foreign tax exiles.Delete
I know very little about Switzerland apart from a friend, whose daughter married someone whose mother is Swiss !!! My friend has visited and thinks it is a beautiful country but, the people she stayed with didn't like the English at all ..... that put me off of them a bit !..... I like a Toblerone now and again though !!! XXXXReplyDelete
Well, Jacqueline, I'm pleased to be able to pass on all the important elements that makes this wonderful country so interesting. I really should have remembered Toblerone.Delete
Early in my first marriage we booked a holiday in Zermatt. I fell pregnant so we cancelled the holiday - it was a false alarm so we booked again - this time in Paris!ReplyDelete
Personally I would prefer Paris to Zermatt. Your false alarm proved beneficial.Delete
I have a weak offering of 'I like swiss cheese'. someday, when this pandemic thing is done and dusted, I want to pull my passport out of the drawer and actually use it.ReplyDelete
The Swiss Cheese that immediately comes to mind has the texture of rubber, and its only tasty bits are the holes!Delete
When I think of the Swiss, I think of skiing the Swiss Alps, Swiss bank accounts and my Bernese Mountain dog (from Bern Switzerland).ReplyDelete
What? you don't think of Cuckoo clocks, Swiss Army Penknives, and Muesli? Shame on you!Delete
I was in Switzerland by car about 8 years ago. The only thing that really struck me was that they were not interested in my passport or my passengers. They just made sure that before I left the border post on the way in I paid my road tax.ReplyDelete
Very strange. You mean that you had to pay some tax to be allowed to drive there?Delete
I lived for three years in Switzerland somewhat near the DE-CH border. I learned that if one spoke standard German reasonably well, then one would be viewed as German. Germans, I will tell you, are often thought of as those who swoop down and take all the well-paying jobs. I had had a misunderstanding with a local and said auf Deutsch: I apologize. I made a mistake. And the reply was: Germans often make mistakes. :S
I've always wondered who has the upper hand in a country that has three official languages.Delete
I worked in Geneva for 35 years (lived in Switzerland for 6 of those years). It's a beautiful country but very expensive!ReplyDelete
Maybe better just to look at photos.Delete
It has lots of funiculars and good public transport.ReplyDelete
Well I suppose that's something. Good public transport is what we all need; rare these days.Delete
My friend Ann's father was a divorced, single parent. When they approached those dangerous teen years (and he acquired a demanding new girl friend), he enrolled his son in military school and sent Ann to a Swiss boarding school. Actually the experience was excellent for Ann; it turned her into an international person. Much like you.ReplyDelete
Those Swiss schools used to be very popular, one doesn't hear so much about them these days.Delete
We flew Swiss Air to Europe one trip and their in-flight entertainment had a whole series devoted to the Great Train Journeys of Switzerland. Mr P sat through the lot. Practically filmed in real-time and super daggy 80s/90s footage. Then walking around Zurich at night, crime was so non-existent that the jewellery stores kept their illuminated window displays fully stocked with the fantabulous prices alongside the fancy watches and diamond necklaces and whatnots. Better than the hotel tv for entertainment!ReplyDelete
I had a friend at Uni whose Granny in Zurich was a real breakaway. When she had the pips with the world she'd go to a cafe and drink her coffee ... standing up.
The "Swiss Banks" were also the local banks for the Swiss and an excellent employer for many. In my banking days I used to deal with Swiss banks' London branches but would occasionally entertain visiting Zurich bankers. They had the worst dress sense. Almost to a man, they'd wear thick white sports socks and short-sleeved shirts (usually green) with their off-the-rack suits. Always, always wore a fancy obscurely-branded watch. The expression that a good watch would lift an outfit is patently false.
Smith and Jones nailed the business shirts I remember!ReplyDelete