Fun facts about Switzerland

Fun facts about Switzerland

Photo by Artiom Vallat on Unsplash
  • Switzerland is one of the happiest places to live in the world

According to the 2015 World Happiness Report, Switzerland ranked number one out of 158 countries on the world ‘happiness’ index.

  • Land of Lakes

Switzerland has more than 1500 lakes!  You can never be more than 10 miles away from one.

  • Home of the Alps

Geographically, Switzerland is divided between the Alps. Around 208 mountains, over 3,000 meters high, and 24 of them are over 4,000 meters in height.

  • Square Flag

Along with Vatican City, Switzerland is the only other country in the world to have a square flag – a red square with a white cross.

  • English is not an official language

Switzerland has FOUR national languages – French, German, Italian and Rhaeto-Romantsch, but English is not one of them although it is popular there and travelers won’t have a problem communicating.

  • Einstein developed the theory of relativity on Swiss land

It’s true! German scientist Albert Einstein developed his famous formula E=MC2 while living in Bern. By this time he had renounced his German citizenship in order to avoid military duty.

  • More banks than dentists

This one may not be surprising since most of the world’s rich and famous use Swiss banks to stash their wealth. There is approximately one bank per 1,400 residents. In fact, tellers are protected by bulletproof glass.

  • Illegal to have a ‘solo’ social pet

Swiss law does not allow owning social pets unless you have a pair. Yes, it is illegal to own just one mouse, guinea pig, fish, ferret or canary. The law assumes isolation of such animals as abuse. In fact the country even has pet lawyers.

  • One of world’s finest transport systems

Despite being a mountainous region, Switzerland has one of the worlds finest public transport systems.  A  network of railroads, bus routes, tramways and super highways together with a systematic timetable connects travelers with any desired point.

  • Low crime rate

Despite liberal gun laws, Switzerland has one of the lowest crime rates in the world; a survey estimated 45.7 guns per 100 residents, third highest after the US (88.8) and Yemen (54.7).

  • Chocolate is a major export

Known as the home of the famous Toblerone chocolate bars, it is unsurprising that chocolate is a major export of Switzerland.

  • Origin of instant coffee

While Italy may take pride in its cappuccino and espresso, it was actually the Swiss who came up with the concept of instant coffee. Swiss company, Nestlé, created Nescafe in 1938.

Switzerland showcases three of Europe’s most distinct cultures. To the northeast is the clean and correct, 8-to-5-working, more stiff Swiss-German-speaking Switzerland; to the southwest you find the wine drinking and laissez-faire style known from the French; in the southeast, south of the Alps, the sun warms cappuccino-sippers loitering in Italian-style piazzas; and in the center: classic Swiss alphorns and mountain landscapes.
In Switzerland, they have different language, communities eat different things and have different traditions and customs. The Swiss have nothing in common except there passports.

The thing that bins them together is the desire to stay united !!!

Switzerland’s ravishing landscapes demand immediate action – grab boots, leap on board, toot bike bell and let spirits rip. Skiing and snowboarding in Graubünden, Bernese Oberland and Central Switzerland are winter choices. Whereas when pastures turn green, hiking and biking trails abound in glacier-encrusted mountain areas and lower down along lost valleys.

Switzerland is intrinsically more culturally diverse than perhaps any other European country. It has four official languages which have historically been dominant in various regions, or cantons. German, French and Italian are spoken in the regions bordering the respective country, and Romansch – a language of Swiss origin – spoken in the mountainous area of Graubünden.

Alpine tradition is rooted in the agricultural calendar and soaring mountains are a dime a dozen. Travels are mapped by villages with timber granaries built on stilts to keep the rats out and chalet farmsteads brightened with red geranium blossoms. The Alpine summer begins when farmers take their cows up to Alpine pastures in May and June. Midway through summer open-air celebrations and dances are organized on the Alps.

Switzerland can be a glorious whirlwind trip whether you’ve packed your hiking boots, snowboard, or just a good book and a pair of sunglasses.

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