I’d been dreaming of going to Switzerland nearly my entire life. My grandmother used to live there, and I grew up making puzzles of Swiss villages. Finally my dreams came true this summer when I took a weekend getaway from Italy into the Swiss Alps. The country wasn’t what I was expecting.
It was so much better!
It was almost awkwardly perfect.
As I drove nearly 600 miles around the country, I kept feeling like I was driving around the set of some fantasy movie. The lakes are just too blue, the mountains are all like paintings, and the cities are exceedingly clean. The country is full of Model S Teslas and Porsches, there’s no litter anywhere, and the people dress like they live in a fashion magazine.
Now obviously I didn’t see the whole country and perhaps there are some rougher spots, but between Bern, Lucerne, Gruyeres and some smaller villages, everything just looked perfect. Oh, and if there are any Aliens fans reading this article, Gruyeres has a museum for HR Giger, the Swiss painter who helped design the aliens in said movies.
Bern particularly amazed me. I had the pleasure of enjoying a lunch at the Altes Tramdepot, a fine-dining restaurant overlooking the city and Aare River. There, I had the sausages and rosti, the latter of which is the Swiss version of hashbrowns…but much better. Before the restaurant, I spent several minutes relaxing with my feet in the river; no easy feat considering the water was snow runoff and probably no warmer than 40°F.
As I photographed the city, I couldn’t spot any dilapidated buildings, rundown cars and certainly no indigents laying on the streets. It really felt unnatural.
I loved it!
But there’s one thing I didn’t love about Switzerland. The cost of things. If my friend’s brother hadn’t taken me out to lunch, I would have never been able to afford it. If luxury cars and designer clothing are any indication, this is a country where people have a lot of money. Thus, things are expensive. Like really expensive. A small cup of coffee at a cafe ran for about $6-7.
But it was worth it. The waterfall I went to was breathtaking (partially because I ran up the trail). The home-cooked fondue I had for dinner was delicious. I just wish I’d had more time. I certainly plan to go back someday, and sooner rather than later. I’ll just need to save up a bit more for my next trip.