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Published: January 7th 2010
Tearfully leaving Germany behind, it was back on the train and back to Zürich. This was my third time in the country, but the first one I´d slept in a bed there! First time, a missed connection necessitated kipping in a shop doorway, the second was en route to Vaduz. Anyway, third time very lucky. We were met at the station by Manuela (another of Mitsu´s dearest friends from Montreal days), and also by Yvonne. Rich-sperts may recall that Manu and Yvonne visited us in Japan in the middle of 09, and it was groovy to be reunited. We had a bumble round the city (SO clean!!!) before heading to Schwyz, where Manu´s family were very kindly putting us up.
Switzerland is well known for its cheese, mountains, chocolate and Swiss Army knives, and for those among you hoping that those appear, you will be amply satisfied. We had raclet for supper (melted cheese on a variety of stuff) and hung out with Manuela, Marta and Toni Brugger. Swiss German is really interesting, and virtually unintelligible to most non-Swiss. It´s German on paper but something totally different on the tongue. Imagine Gazza singing in Dutch and you´re
in the right kind of area.
So, as in Germany, our every need was anticipated and met by the Bruggers and Fräulein Herzog (Yvonne). We spent our first full day (well, the bit after a very late brunch) up in the mountains, getting out of breath (well, Mitsu and I, the girls skipped up the hill like the Heidis they are), toboganning, having a few drinks. The usual stuff. Then we tucked into a cheese fondue in a mountain cabin before charging back down the empty slopes, the weight of the cheese adding to our terminal velocity. Wicked fun. The next day we crammed a load of stuff in- shopping for necessities- cheese and chocolate, a visit to Victorinox (home of the original Swiss Army Knife), the Felchlin chocolate factory shop, a dip above the clouds to see the mind-numbingly beautiful Alps in sunshine, a scuttle about a freezing but beautiful Luzern, more shopping, another fantastic dinner at home- rosti and sausages, then everything topped off with drinks at a Mexican bar.
I think we're going to try and live in Switzerland. It has everything going for it- underpopulated, stunning scenery, very friendly people, snow, lakes, cheese and
chocolate, cleanliness, real democracy...as for the language, it's a practice thing. Ta very, very muchly to our hosts and guides for their incomparable hosting and guiding.
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