I often get fairy tale images of places and countries in my head. I think I conjure up these images from books I've read, movies and inspirational posters. When I actually get to these places, those expectations are usually smashed. Smashed by trash, pollution and how close together all of the buildings are.
Not Switzerland. Switzerland has blown away all of my expectations. That is partially because I didn't have any as I have started training myself not to. But that is beside the point. The point is it is unbelievable here! I'm quite partial to mountains. Not just any mountains, but mountains that are surrounded by green valleys and thick forests. Basically Wisconsin if it had more topographical variation. The mountains here are insane. I can't even describe them. I have finally found in real life the mountain paradise I always imagine in my head.
Switzerland is like a little fairy tale country. Everything is perfectly clean. The lawns, and public spaces are perfectly manicured. Everyone seems to be doing lovely things all the time - families spending quality time together, couples having picnic lunches, people playing sports, neighborhood barbeques etc. In fact the perfectness of it is a bit eery. I asked my friends that I am visiting about it- and they confirmed that it is not The Truman Show- but this real life here! They said imagine the safest neighborhood in all of the U.S., make it even safer and more perfect, and that is Switzerland.
The food is amazing. Everything is locally produced (meat, produce etc), and handmade (all the breads). They don't import things to make them cheaper, because the import tax is out of this world. Most things are also organic. If you own a cow, you get 6,000 francs a year. Not because it's producing milk, just because you own a cow and it's a good thing to do.
The lakes are CLEAN. You can swim in them and see straight to the bottom. There are mountains views nearly everywhere you go. They value people in every type of job - so whether or not you're a bus driver or doctor you are well paid and respected. Whoa. Militarily they believe in defense rather than offense. It's very peaceful.
Slight downfall... It's insanely expensive to travel or live here. Expect to pay at least $30 to go out for lunch, and that's if you're eating light. Public transportation is great and on-time but costly.