If you could choose any place in this world, where would you like to live?
For me, Switzerland is the exception to the rule. In the sense that, although it doesn’t border seas or oceans (so dear to me) it is easily at the top of the countries where I would like to live.
The wonderful landscapes of this country will delight your eyes. To these are added the organization, cleanliness and punctuality, so essential for a civilized country. But as everything has a price, of course, Switzerland is also one of the most expensive countries, which is why my adventure here lasted only a few days. We tried to organize ourselves as best as possible so that we could see as much as possible.
Taking advantage of a good offer from Wizz Air from Bucharest to Basel, we created our itinerary according to the distance from this city, and thus, we managed to visit: Basel, Colmar, Bern, Lake Thun and Zurich.
We arrived in Basel in the evening, and from the airport we took the bus, line 50, which left us only a few minutes walk from the hotel – Apaliving. The accommodation was 85 chf / night, and most surprising was the fact that, based on the hotel reservation, access to public transport is free, including the bus to and from the airport. So check at the hotel if they have this option! In general, public transport is very well set up (running like a Swiss watch).
The city is located on the border with France and Germany and is the heart of the Dreiländereck region (the corner of the three countries).
The Rhine gives a special charm to this small town that stands out through a medieval historic center, but also with its vibrant atmosphere.
We started the day with a walk along the river, which gives you a great feeling of relaxation. I could have sat for hours and watched nature breathe around me. From time to time you see someone floating or swimming lightly on the river… because, yes, the river is a means of “public” transport. That’s often how certain people choose to get from one place to another… along on the river. They have a waterproof backpack so as not to get their clothes wet and, I think, it works like a raft, too. Great, isn’t it? 😉
We continued our walk on the old streets of Altstadt, admiring the architecture of the houses full of flowers, the fountains at each small intersection, as well as the Middle Bridge. In front of the Museum of Contemporary Art there is the Tinguely Fountain, worth stopping at for at least a few minutes.
We climbed the tower of Münster Cathedral for a panorama of the city and then we visited the City Hall, which catches your eye like a magnet due to its red color.
To reach the other side of the river you can take a boat pulled by a cable which is how we got to see the Gates of the city walls.
We took a tram for several stations and crossed the border into Germany to see the famous Three Countries Bridge that connects Huningue in France, Weil am Rhein in Germany and Basel in Switzerland. Here even the swans are well organized 😀
We ended the day enjoying a glass of wine at Sandoase, where you feel like you are on the beach. Sand, hammocks, good music and a few businessmen who have just finished work.
We took the train from Basel and, in an hour and a half, arrived in Paradise. That’s exactly how I felt just minutes after I got off the train.
The image of the mountains, which mirror their snow-capped ridges in the crystal clear water of the lake, along with the raw green of the valley, simply takes your breath away. And, to make everything even more perfect, this wonderful place hosts both a Medieval Castle and Gothic Revival Castle. You will also find a Gastronomy Museum, a restaurant, as well as a very nice hotel.
Honestly, I didn’t want to leave, but yet another wonderful place was waiting for us.
From the train station we went directly to the Medieval Center of the city, which was inscribed on the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage.
We walked on the cobblestone streets and admired the famous fountains (all 11 of them), which depict historical or legendary characters dating from 1545. They are all true works of art.
You will be surprised by the stone arches that adorn the sidewalks and served us so well when the rain started. You can’t miss the huge astronomical clock tower, Zytglogge, built in 1405, with its mechanical figures indicating the time.
It is also worth climbing the highest church in Switzerland, the Gothic Cathedral Münster, with its 100 meter tower and which offers a beautiful view over the city. In the garden of the cathedral you will discover some statues with the canine pride of the Land of the Cantons, namely, the Bernese Mountain Dog.
Also for a special view over the city, I recommend you to go to the Rose Garden, where you can also enjoy countless species of roses, irises, and rhododendrons.
If you have time, stop and visit the Palace of the Parliament and, at the end, relax at the bear park, BärenPark, located near the river Aare. The bear is a symbol of the city and canton of Bern and is depicted in their coat of arms.
It is said that you should travel alone at least once in your life. I’m not a big fan of this saying, but I couldn’t have chosen a better place than Zurich to have this experience.
Taking the bull by the horns, I left by train alone from Basel, and in about an hour I arrived in Zurich, in complete comfort.
A few hours are enough to taste the charm of this city which, while the financial center of the world, keeps its old-world atmosphere.
From the train station you quickly reach the main attraction of the city, namely the beautiful promenade created by the Limmat River which crosses the city on its way to the point of discharge, Lake Zurich. The emblematic buildings, Grossmuster Cathedral (Great Church) and Fraumunster, found on almost all postcards, rise on both sides of the river.
Famous is also St. Peter’s Church, which has probably the largest clock face in the world, with a diameter of almost 9 meters.
You can walk along the riverside to the Chinese Garden and then continue through the small city streets as much as you like.
I did so and had an unforgettable experience, in which I met friendly people, smiling and eager to help me with any information I needed or to take a picture (often more than one). 😉
Good to know:
- Switzerland has four official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. That’s why they use English so much 😀
- Public transport is expensive, but it is very well set up and you can get there quickly, safely, and very comfortably wherever you want;
- The restaurants have quite high prices, but I recommend you choose the menu of the day. You will eat decently for 20-30 CHF. Migros restaurants also offer a wide range of food at slightly lower prices;
- The scenery is amazing, so don’t miss the nature walks and especially don’t forget the camera!
- According to statistics, Switzerland is one of the best places to be born, taking into account employment, crime rate, quality of life, health system, level of happiness and other similar factors; So I recommend you try to be born there! 😀
- Chocolate is indeed the most important product that Switzerland exports and my favorite product.
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