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Switzerland's Allure

Jun 5, 2008
Swiss chocolates, Swiss watches, Swiss Alps and even the Swiss banks... Switzerland has a unique cultural as well as professional flavor that people from all over the world want to experience. The country's neutral stand on world disputes and affairs propels their mystique as well as their richness. Known to be good natured, welcoming, and open minded you would certainly enjoy interaction with the Swiss if you were to try. When George Bernard Shaw used a Swiss soldier as the protagonist in Arms and the Man, he showed the very same feature of this proud people.

Once you set foot in Switzerland, finding a language to communicate with the locals is not a tough job with four official languages; German, French, Italian, and Romansh. If you were to speak in your mother tongue, you'll most probably find someone to speak it within your radius since it is a country of diverse culture.

Swiss culture is heavily influenced by its neighbors, with each canton or state practicing the standards denoted by the language spoken. In French speaking cantons, you'll notice that Edith Piaf's melodies are no strangers to their homes, and their food is enriched with their selections of antique wine. In Italian speaking cantons, you'll find that drinking cappuccino at the local cafes is heavenly. While in the German speaking ones, you'll realize that a lot people are more reserved and take pride in polishing their German cars and their 'infallible engine'.

Switzerland, the Unique

The first wrist watch to be ever sold was manufactured in Geneva by the famous Patek Philippe & Co. Chocolate was first manufactured in Europe by Cailler - a Swiss factory - in 1819. Cailler was later on acquired by no other than the famous Nestlé. If you've been told that chocolate is bad for you, then it certainly isn't harming the Swiss that have a life expectancy of 83. Although Swiss chocolate is famous, almost half of it is actually consumed by the Swiss themselves, so if you're craving the exquisite taste, do it before it's too late!

Swiss banks maintain a neutral position to protect connections with its clients. The banks operate under the sometimes controversial conduct of banking secrecy; a tradition picked on in the Middle Ages and still in effect; so if you've got a thousand or two to hide from the Mrs. you'll probably find Swiss banks a safe haven for your World Cup trip money.

Swiss Food: Healthy is Cheap

Swiss food is quite simple, and the daily intake for an average Swiss is balanced and rich in vegetables, fruits, and bread. It is probably healthy because of the ludicrous prices on restaurants' menus; you can pay as much for a sandwich at a fast food joint as you would for a feast in other European countries! Interestingly enough though, the people in Zurich and Geneva, where the cost of living is fourth and sixth highest in the world respectively, have excellent purchasing power making the high prices negligible for the locals, even if not for tourists.

Tourist Lodging

For a tourist visiting Switzerland, renting a room might prove to be less costly than eating out, since accommodation rates are competitive. Houses in Switzerland are run-of-the-mill except for the local's fondness of growing flowers in pots and keeping their doorsteps clean.

Ski till you Drop

There is skiing to be had in Switzerland, even a child will tell you that, but the sunniest plateau in the Swiss Alps, Crans-Montana offers skiing by the night as well. The fun is not just limited to the said resort though, night time skiing is a craze elsewhere too. Locals take pleasure in skiing and hiking, it would be wise to take their heed, however; be advised that they've been born on those slopes, so baby steps are the key.

Switzerland makes a perfect vacation spot yet can hit your wallet pretty hard. If you're planning to pay the Swiss a visit, make sure to pack your food and adventurous spirit for those along.
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