Mar 8, 2015

In defense of Switzerland

Room with a view in Arosa, Switzerland.

Sunny side of Grindelwald, Switzerland.

No visit to Switzerland is complete without
a cheese intoxication  aka fondue.

Switzerland gets so much blame for its banking secrecy and complacency in money laundering (according to die Zeit, lately through its art scene, health tourism and boarding schools, see here), its other beauties do not get enough credit. If one of those is the chocolate and the Swiss watches, another one is definitely the Alpine mountains and the various ski resorts scattered in and around them. Whether its Gstaad, Samedan, Arosa or Grindelwald, the scenery is picturesque, the runways are well kept and marked with signs of wind and avalanche warnings and the valleys are connected to each other through all sorts of gondolos, ski lifts and chair lifts. In fact, the skiing facilities and the mountain resorts are so well designed and thought about, they constitute an industry. At the same time, for all the talk about tourism killing the mountains, there is barely any building that violates the natural setting of a mountain town. Despite the not so easily affordable prices, it is a destination to go for peace of mind and good service.

Everything in the Swiss mountains is geared to
accommodating life with snow, Arosa, Switzerland.

Hotel Bernina at Samedan, Engadine region, Switzerland.

Laderach in Grindelwald offers irresistable goodies after skiing.

Notice the helmet holding hooks at the luncheon hut
in Berner Oberland.
Ski lift at Ischgl mountain, Berner Oberland, Switzerland.

In fact, your average Swiss has an amazing know how of mountain conditions whether it is the direction of the wind or the altitude or risks of avalanche. By the way they are skiing, you may even think that they are not only cool but even passionate, until ofcourse you realize that most of them are like other staid and reserved Euros (sorry). Nevertheless, one has to respect the nature and the Swiss do. The rules in skiing is a little bit like sailing, never play games with the sea (remember Schumacher and do not go off piste), always observe, exercise caution and double check. In case, you are not into skiing or the weather is too cloudy for skiing, there are also other options at the Swiss alps. You can go to a spa; marvel the architecture and the Helvetian culture of the Engadine region or even visit the Nietzche Museum in Sils; indulge in shopping in the stores of Gstaad. In other words, as always, the Swiss always have something to offer that they can then turn into money. Grüezi!

Samedan in the Engadine region has very pretty old houses
that kept its unqiue architecture.

Samedan in the Engadine region has beautiful architecture.