Tempted by Switzerland

Stary sky with snowy mountain scenery, including Matterhorn

Matterhorn, one of the world’s most famous mountains (Photo courtesy Office du Tourisme du Canton de Vaud)

I think I was in Mrs. Rupert’s class the year we did Switzerland. We learned about the start of the Red Cross, the legend of William Tell, the stunning beauty of the Matterhorn, and the superior quality of Swiss chocolate. The Swiss flag was exceptionally easy to draw. I was hooked on the whole country. But, I’ve never been there. What an oversight.

I know what CH stands for. Our family dog was a St. Bernard. The cosmic pressure builds.

These Helvetic longings arose today because I was a lunch guest of Switzerland Tourism (thank you!) and the Best of Switzerland team.

I want to go to Switzerland right now.

The team brought chocolate. They showed pictures of snow and mountains, of summer meadows, charming cities, and impossible bridges over dramatic gorges. Switzerland has some of the world’s most scenic train journeys. They have UNESCO World Heritage sites and a train pass that gets you into hundreds of museums. There was wine. I understand they also have wine in Switzerland, something Mrs. Rupert didn’t mention.

Mountains, history, museums, chocolate, St. Bernard dogs, trains, wine – what’s not to love?

I don’t often brag about my fondness for national stereotypes, but I read Heidi about 20 times when I was a kid. It’s a Swiss children’s story about a dear little orphan whose innocent charm melts the heart of her gruff old grand-father. She brings kindness and soft bread to an old blind lady, and (spoiler alert) as her coup de grace, she gets a wheelchair-bound rich girl to walk again. Along the way, Heidi learns to herd goats.

I loved Schwanli and Baerli, the goat stars of the story. As an 8-year-old Canadian kid, I knew a lot about the art of raising goats in the Swiss Alps.

I want to go to Switzerland. The plotting begins.

SWISS (Swiss International Air Lines)‘s affiliate, Edelweiss Air, will have non-stop flights from Calgary (where I live) to Zurich in 2016. Hmmmmm.

My lunch was hosted by Switzerland Tourism and the Best of Switzerland partners. It was delightful.

Switzerland Tourism’s website is full of Swiss goodies, including the Grand Tour and a time-limited winter offer of 25% off the Swiss Travel Pass. SWISS flies to over a hundred destinations in 49 countries.




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1 Comment

  • Reply
    October 22, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    The little bits I’ve seen of Switzerland are lovely. And yes, you must definitely go…now!

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