Swiss: An Adventure in Lactose (Video)
"Let's go to Switzerland!" is something people usually say after a particularly satisfying meal at The Melting Pot™ (which is never). But alas, Christine and I decided to follow the footsteps of friends Corbin and Susannah and Robert and Patricia, who all honeymooned in the country (but not as a foursome, that would be crazy!).
We flew into Zurich and slowly snaked through the Alps to Geneva (via trains, not snakes). But for a change of pace, Christine and I ignored the big cities and instead embraced the little towns. Think lederhosen without the lederhosen.
We started in Vals, a place barely visible on the map. It's known for water, both bottled and baths. I'm not usually a bath-man, but Peter Zumthor's masterpiece resort changed me (specifically, it made me pruny).
In Lucerne, my fear of heights was only outdone by my fear of consuming an inappropriate amount of dairy. I've never felt so alive! And we also visited a surprisingly well done museum on transportation. I'm serious. The Swiss are not sarcastic!
Our travels transitioned from a notably German experience to French, leaving behind the blunt efficiency of Lucerne and Bern for the more carefree indifference of the French Lausannese. No one else seemed to acknowledge the severe shift in language and culture over the course of an hour train ride. "Swiss, French, it's all the same," probably said one French-Swissman as he put out his cigarette in the last of his fondue.
Lausanne offered a breath of fresh air in the form of literal young people. It was clear that we were no longer in Heidi's grandfather's Switzerland. It was Paris! With less trash and people and Eiffel Towers. On our last night, we stumbled into a wonderful public dance party -- the perfect contrast to the trip's completely isolated origin.
Christine and I began this Adventure in Lactose not knowing our cuckoo clocks from our Toblerones. We left Switzerland with a newfound appreciation for a country that is built and preserved in a mountainous landscape, effortlessly containing the European cultures around its borders within one satisfying melting pot™.
More photos on SmugMug.