Switzerland. Ahhh, Switzerland! I recently had the opportunity to visit this magical country. I had traveled throughout Europe, but never to Switzerland. There are a lot of pre-conceived notions about places when one travels. We’ve heard stories from others or perhaps read articles or books, but until actually experiencing a destination, one really is not in a position to speak to it with any authority. Yes, the Swiss are punctual. Yes, their watches are impeccably crafted. Yes, their chocolate and cheese are worth every calorie. And although Switzerland can be expensive, so can many other destinations in Europe. Switzerland should not be overlooked in planning any European itinerary, especially if the reasoning for not visiting this wonderful country is because you’ve heard it’s expensive. Yet, it often is overlooked for that very reason. Believe me, you can travel within Switzerland without going bankrupt. At the same time, it is paradise for the luxury traveler, offering exquisite accommodations, and such unique, rare experiences. The options are limitless!
I must say that my time in Switzerland was fairy-tale-like. Around each turn, I was met with another spectacular view. Starting my journey in Zurich, I took the train everywhere using the very economical and efficient Swiss Pass. Traveling to St. Moritz (did you know that there are over 300 days of sun in St. Moritz and it is the cradle of winter tourism in the Alps?) My journey also took me to Interlaken to relax in amazing Swiss world reknown spas, then onto Bern, Basel & even to the top of Europe where I had the opportunity to sip brandy in an exclusive ice cave bar where everything was carved of ice!
The Swiss are a congenial, happy lot and the gracious hospitality I received was heartwarming. For a country so small (just under 16,000 square miles), 3 main languages are spoken – German, French, Italian and the lesser spoken Rhaeto-Rumantsch. Still other languages are spoken, but in very small percentages. Never fear, though. English is widely spoken and you will not have any problems along those lines.
I hope to return to this beautiful, mountainous, eco-minded nation many times over. I am enamored by it and there is still so much more to explore!