Monday, December 22, 2014

Travel: Northern Switzerland

Schaffhausen, CH
 In 2013, when I was 12 weeks pregnant, my family and I moved to northern Switzerland. My husband is from Austria and when the opportunity came available for us to be closer to his parents and family (11 hour flight vs. 5 hour drive), we jumped on it in a heart beat.
Rheinau, CH
Stein am Rhein, CH
Rhein Falls, Neuhausen, CH
Everything about Switzerland is like you'd expect... green rolling hills, hundred year old buildings with wood details, clean air and roads, mountainside castles, snow capped alpine mountains,... the list goes on. I absolutely love everything about Switzerland (except one thing, ONE THING, but more on that later).
Diessenhofen, CH
Diessenhofen, CH
There are many unique features about Switzerland that make it stand out even to it's neighboring countries. The dialect of German spoken within the country is different than any other German speaking country (Germany & Austria), and the currency in Switzerland is not the Euro but rather the Swiss Franc. The public transportation system within the country is beyond what you'd find in any other country in Europe, this based on cleanliness and efficiency. The Swiss hold a high standard of living (& not necessarily in a financial way) and take pride in their country, respecting the land and keeping it free from trash and litter. And the central location of Switzerland within Europe makes for a perfect starting point when traveling around.
Rheinau, CH
Schaffhausen, CH
Rheinau, CH
While visiting many cities, towns and villages within Switzerland, I came to appreciate the history, culture and ideals that the Swiss people hold. It's a very expensive place, that I will not sugar coat, however I always knew I was getting great quality for what I was paying for. Though I did go outside the country into Germany several times to go shopping because it was so much cheaper (a perk of living near the border). Oh, and the chocolate is A-MAZ-ING! no joke and I'm not a huge fan of chocolate. 
Stein am Rhein, CH
Schaffhausen, CH
Rhein Falls, Neuhausen, CH
Lake Zurich, Zurich CH

Some interesting facts about Der Schweiz:

Switzerland is referred to CH on cars and within the country...this stands for Confoederatio Helvetica or Swiss Confederation. 

French is spoken in the western cantons (states) and Italian in spoken in the south. 

Switzerland has low sales tax (8% vs approx 20% in Germany) so if I shopped in Germany and then went home to Switzerland, I just got a stamp at the border and basically got the money I paid in taxes back, either right in my account or as a store credit.

Cars are cheaper in Switzerland than the neighboring countries because of the low sales tax.

School children, starting at the age of four, are encouraged to walk to and from school alone, everyday.  

And my ONE thing I can't stand about Switzerland... everyone smokes! Ok so maybe not everyone but I kid you not it seems like everyone. For a place where the people take so much pride in their home, land and public areas, I was shocked at just how many Swiss people smoke, and in front of children. Coming from where I come from you just don't do that. But I promise, everything else is wonderful.  

So if you ever have the chance to visit Switzerland, I highly recommend it, even if just for the chocolate. 





7 comments:

  1. I went to Switzerland for the first time this summer and fell in love. One of my favorite countries, your photos are so beautiful

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  2. I went to Switzerland a couple of years ago and loved it! Taking the train through the swiss alps was so pretty!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

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  3. Lovely pictures, I sure looks like a great trip.

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  4. I would love to visit Switzerland! It looks beautiful there. I wish I can live somewhere out of my country (USA) for at least once in my life. I would love that experience.

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  5. I've been to Europe a few times, but I've never made it to Switzerland. It looks absolutely gorgeous! That is really surprising about the smoking (especially since there's such an emphasis on cleanliness elsewhere), and something I'll have to remember when I get over that way!

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  6. Seems you had a great trip. I loved Rhein Falls need to add in bucket list 😀 thanks for sharing

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