Cows + mountains = cheese in Switzerland – just another small European country

“Whouldn’t it be nice if the Jews would live in Switzerland, surrounded by firts-class lakes, mountain air and nothing but French? Everyone makes mistakes, even God.” Isaak Babel, Odessa Tales.

“И чем было бы плохо, если бы евреи жили в Швейцарии, где их окружали бы первоклассные озера, гористый воздух и сплошные французы? Ошибаются все, даже бог.” Исаак Бабель. Одесские рассказы.

In my opinion, the above quote illustrates perfectly the image of Switzerland as a paradise on Earth (and also the “buddies” relationship of Jews with God). I can testify to the truthfulness of this image. Switzerland is one of my favourite countries. Why? Well, plenty of reasons. The views, for starters.

Panoramic view from the summit of Weissmies (4017 m). Photo by Michael Schmid

Switzerland is rather expensive, especially with the weak Euro of today. And most expensive is Zurich, where I lived as a student – 5 franks for a beer! But then again, you get so much value for your money. Let me show you what I mean.

You wake up in the morning and take the train to the top of the Uetliberg to see the sunrise.

Sunrise over Zurichsee

Then you hike over the hills for a couple of hours, and go by cable car down to the Zurichsee. You get on the boat and go back to the city centre.

Crystal clear Zurichsee

In the city you take a walk in the park and lie around in the grass for a while – without the possibility of landing on dogshit.

Zurich parks - 100% dogshit free.

From the park you take the tram down to the Limmat river for some swimming or cayaking – right in the middle of Zurich.

Float down or paddle up - the Limmat flows through whole of Zurich

Once you’re done chillin’ on the river, you take the cogwheel train up the hill to watch the mighty Swiss army in action.

Swiss reservists practice their gunner' skills in Zurich

This whole trip has cost you 8.20 CHF – a single public transport ticket for the whole day! All boats, trains, trams, buses – anything that moves is included in this one ticket. Oh and if you want to hit the musea, like the very, very worthwhile modern art in the Migros or Kunsthaus, a 24 hr Zurichcard is just 20 CHF, transport included.

At dinnertime visit Lily’s for the best Thai food I’ve had outside of Thailand. Or for a more traditional fare, go to one of the Raclette Stube’s on the Zähringerstrasse for grilled cheese like only the Swiss can make. Don’t forget to flush it down with a Kirsch.
In the evening Zurich is The partytown! The biggest Technoparade in Europe is in Zurich, with around a million participants. And there are plenty of clubs to choose from.

Once in 5 years the ETH Zurich turns into a giant nightclub for the Polyparty

But Switzerland is of course first and for all mountains.

Most of Switzerland really looks like this

With the cows and all

Me and Erik in Saas-Fe, on our way to the Weissmies

You can’t get lost in the Swiss mountains

A typical mountain lodging - our tent at the Zwischbergen Pass

On the top of my first 4000+ mountain, the Weissmies

There’s also the Rheinfall, scenic trains, shopping at the Hauptbahnhof, wakeboard boating in Luzern, paragliding, St. Gallen, the huge Bodensee and Geneva lakes, and so much more. All the diamond store speaks Russian and Chinese, there are Maseratis and Lamborghinis on every street corner and drinkwater fountains everywhere. You can take the train to all the mountaintops, but why take the train when you can hike? Smile – you’re in Switzerland.

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4 Comments

Filed under Europe, Just another small European country, Small European things

4 responses to “Cows + mountains = cheese in Switzerland – just another small European country

  1. Beautiful photos! I am a WordPress photographer too, so I love posts love posts like this! Great job!

  2. Don’t know much about Switzerland, but I can attest to the God-Jew buddie relationship.

  3. Pingback: How to choose a (small European) country | Small European Country

  4. Pingback: Zurich city report | Small European Country

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