Settling in Switzerland

Snowelle (Snoelle) (Noelle) (Noellebelle) recently (as in yesterday) asked if I was posting pictures of my travels in Switzerland. So, upon her prompting, I have jumped back into the blogging game.

*Jump*

I arrived in Confoederatio Helvetica (CH), which is the Latin name for Switzerland, a week and a half ago. You may ask, why Latin? The government decided to use Latin to avoid favoritism towards one of the four languages (French, German, Italian, and Romansh) spoken throughout the country.

On the Wednesday (27/8) that I arrived, I had to find housing, register as a foreigner with the government, and buy multiple transportation cards (more on this boring stuff in a future post). Thursday, I went to Montreux and walked to Château de Chillon. Fun fact: the French word for furniture is meuble. In the past, people carried their furniture with them, hence it was mobile, which transformed into meuble.

Fountain in Lausanne
Fountain in Lausanne
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View on my walk from Montreux to Château de Chillon
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Kitty cat in front of a house facing Lac Leman
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Château de Chillon

Two Fridays ago, I went to Lucerne to attend the classical music festival.

Lucerne
Lucerne

This past Friday, my parents and I went up to Zurich. From there, we took a train and a bus to get to Vals, a tiny town south-east of Zurich to visit Peter Zumthor’s thermal baths. There were two main baths and four additional baths: fire (42 deg C), ice (15 deg C), flower (flower petals in the bath), and sound (corners of the room echoed beautifully). We took a tour of the city on Sunday, went up to Uetliberg to get a better view of the city, took a boat ride around Lake Zurich, and ate macarons from Spruengli before I came back to Lausanne.

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Outside Peter Zumthor’s Therme Vals
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Note the lawn decorations, Vals
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Zurich

Here are some of my initial observations regarding Swiss people and their culture:

  • The Swiss are very trustworthy people. Example: There are no turnstiles to enter the subway, but people still buy tickets.
  • The Swiss are HUGE on recycling! There are four five recycling bins outside my flat (aluminum, paper, PET for soft plastics, and durable plastic).
  • Cars *almost* always yield to pedestrians.
  • There are no open container laws.
  • Sunday is truly a day of rest. No stores (including grocery stores) are open on Sunday.
  • Cities are dog-friendly. Dogs on the subway! Dogs on the train! Dogs in restaurants!
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