Switzerland

Last June, Emily visited Switzerland.  She’ll be writing this post about her trip.

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I’ve always wanted to visit Europe.  Not for any particular reason, just to see new things.  Now that I’ve visited Switzerland and experienced a new culture and seen new sights, I’m even more excited to travel.

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I visited Baden, Bottstein, and other parts of Switzerland in mid June.  I went with my step mother’s family, who I don’t see often, because we live in different states.  Some live in California, some in New York, some in Oklahoma, and I in Tennessee.  We took this trip to, of course, broaden our horizons, but also to attend the wedding of a foreign exchange student, who’s name is Simon, my grandparents housed for a time, then continued to keep in touch with.

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First, I’ll talk about the food.  Because I stayed in Northern Switzerland, I ate a lot of German food, but I also ate some French and Italian food as well.  On the first night, I ate pork neck with the house salad, and some kind of white wine.  I also tried french fries that my little cousin had.  The pork neck, while it had the same texture as steak, tasted different, which I enjoyed.  The salad was very different, and had combinations that I’d never tried before.  The wine, of course, was excellent and sweet.  The french fries all throughout Switzerland were different from America’s fries.  They were thicker cut, crispier, and perhaps buttery.  

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The next day, I slept through the breakfast at my hotel, so I had a late lunch with my aunt, uncle, father, and grandmother.  We went through Old Town and found a place called Moser’s.  It was basically a Swiss Panera Bread.  I had schnitzel, which is fried veal, on a baguette with a special sauce.  While the baguette had a rather plastic-y texture, the schnitzel  with its sauce was good.  

After I ate, my dad and I went to a bakery and bought a piece of black forest cake, or schwarzwalder kirschtorte.  It had a sweet cherry on top, and the cake itself had a crumblier texture than American cake.  The taste of the cake was like chocolate with a few more spices.

 For dinner, I had gemuse spatzli from Restaurant Arcade.   It was balls and strings of pasta in a creamy sauce, which was very tasty, and good for the chillier weather.  

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The next morning, I had breakfast in my hotel.  I had pineapple, a croissant with strawberry-rhubarb jam, a sausage, scrambled eggs, a miniature muffin, and a mocha.  The pineapple was tangy and sweet, the croissant was the perfect amount of flaky and buttery, the jam was excellent, the sausage, even though I tend to not like sausage, was savoury and delicious, the scrambled eggs were just normal, the muffin was good, and had a bit of crunch at the top, and the mocha was rich.  

That day, I also had a shot of peppermint schnapps, which was very strong and took the life out of my whole family.  

Later, we ate at Simon’s mother’s house.  She made us a cheese and meat plate, which was very good and new.  She made a very delicious guacamole, which I also don’t usually like.  We had potatoes with a creamy sauce, which were heavenly.  And Simon also grilled us beef, chicken, lamb, and ostrich.  The lamb lollipops, or chops, were very tender, and I enjoyed them a lot.  The ostrich was very different. It was tough, and the juices tasted very interesting.  

For dessert, I ate creme brulee, which was very wonderful, and chocolate mousse,  which was very rich and yummy.  

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The next day, I had the same breakfast as the previous day, but with a chocolate miniature muffin, which was rich and delicious.  For lunch, I ate carbonara.  It was thick, creamy, and rich.  For dinner, I ate at Simon’s mother’s house again.  I had fondue, which is often made in the winter.  It was very good, and very different.  I dipped bread, potatoes, and pineapples in the dish.  

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The next day was the wedding.  After the ceremony, I ate sausages with a mustard-like sauce, which was very good.  At the reception, I had a nice white wine, a plate of yummy vegetables, meats, and cheeses, a cut of tender meat with a rich, buttery sauce, and, finally, tiramisu and a kind of pistachio ice cream.  All of the wedding food was very delicious.  

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The next night, I ate dinner in a castle overlooking Switzerland.  I had a very scrumptious schnitzel, and a chocolate and vanilla ice cream dish.  

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The next morning was the last meal I had in Switzerland.  I had a ton of croissants with jam, and a type of coffee cake.  An excellent last minute meal to make me think of the Swiss.

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Now, I’ll talk about the culture.  Being a cheery American, it was odd for me to walk down the street and not receive a smile from anyone I said good day to.  It seems the Swiss are more reserved and quiet than the Americans.  

As well as this, almost everyone smokes.  There are ashtrays on almost every outdoor table, and by benches at parks or by the river.  

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People also speak about three languages in Switzerland: Swiss German, Swiss French, and Swiss Italian.  This is because Switzerland is surrounded by these three countries, along with Austria.  As I said before, I was in the North, so most spoke Swiss German.  

It is also very expensive in Switzerland.  I spent about $20 on three chocolate bars.  

I also noticed how there were not very many obese people.  This is, because when you turn eighteen, you have to serve for the Swiss military for two years.  I assume that people keep up with their fitness after they serve because they’re used to the training.  

Lastly, Swiss people tend to extremely enjoy paintball.  I went with Simon’s wife, Simone, and her family, and it was very fun, but it seemed that the Americans always lost the rounds before the Swiss.  All in all, I dig the way the Swiss live.

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Lastly, I’ll discuss the scenery in Switzerland.  There were hills upon hills, mountains upon mountains, and a beautiful, flowing river.  There were so many colours that made me want to take my sunglasses off, so I could better obtain their magnificence.  As you walked, your perspective changed completely, showing a hidden vineyard or forest.  Overall, Switzerland’s view was breathtaking.

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Visiting this country made me excited for travel, so that I can learn about and marvel in a brand new culture.  I’m so thrilled to learn more about the world!       

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