My Swisstory

We’ve been here just 6 weeks now, and I’ve already found 6 things that I love.

1) The chocolate. At this point we’re on a mission to find bad chocolate, and we haven’t found any yet. Cocoa, the main ingredient of chocolate comes from South America and was brought to Europe in the early 16th century. But it wasn’t until the end of the 18th century that Swiss craftsmen started to process cocoa and to establish small businesses producing chocolate. In the 19th century some of today’s best known Swiss chocolate producers (like Suchard, Sprüngli, Lindt, Callier and Tobler) were established.

2) The wines. At no other time in our marriage has ordering wine at dinner been as affordable as ordering water. I will not hide it any longer… you can feel free to call me a wino, and I will wear it with pride. Having wines from nearby Italy, France and Germany only adds to the number of options. And let’s not forget about the Swiss wines. They have a special place here as well.

3) The public transit options. One thing that both Brian and I came to love immediately was the number of public transportation options. Switzerland is known for its efficient transit options, and it doesn’t disappoint. Trains, trams and busses are almost never late and run so on time that Brian knows exactly when I’ll walk in the door so he can have my dinner waiting.

4) Hidden gems – like the Tram Museum of Zurich. Speaking of great transit, we found this fantastic museum in town that pays homage to the tram history of Zurich. The museum has on display original trams from as far back as 1897. The collections of trams and memorabilia is great for all ages, and includes hands-on exhibits that keep children playing all day.

5) The hikes. It didn’t take me long to get hooked on hiking. Sure, I don’t have the right equipment… yet. But the pathways up hillsides, through valleys, and along winding wooded trails just can’t be beat. As a flat-lander by birth (I mean, Indiana is about as flat as a geography gets), it may take awhile for me to get up to cruising speeds on these inclines. I just have to remind myself not to get discouraged by the numerous (super) seniors that are passing me, hardly winded, as they make their way uphill. And what’s better? They don’t even laugh at me, instead the offer a hearty and friendly greeting.

6) The views. Need I really say more? When you grow up in the cornfields of Indiana, where “seeing as far as the eye can see” really only means across a wheat field or two – there’s really something to be said for being able to see miles and miles out, with little villages down below and mountains in the distance. One feels fortunate to see such things and realize the world is full of beautiful places and wonderful experiences.