“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.
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.
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.
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.
From the park you take the tram down to the Limmat river for some swimming or cayaking – right in the middle 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.
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.
But Switzerland is of course first and for all mountains.
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.