It really is a small world after all

11 Sep

building Arosa 2 by you.

Everything at Disneyworld is like an exaggerated version of itself.  Main Street USA is an imagined 1900’s utopian small town America that never really existed, Arosa churchCinderella’s castle is more turrety than a real castle, even the wood is knottier than real wood.  But if you asked the Disney Imagineers to create Switzerland, they would come up with something very like, well Switzerland.  So often, you are disappointed when the stereotype of a place turns out to be very little like the place itself, but in the case of Switzerland, it is like walking into an elaborate stage set with full sized mountains.

geraniumsDark wood chalets with window boxes spilling red geraniums; cows with clanking bells eating wild flowers in the shadow of stunning mountains; neat as a pin allotments bursting with fruit, vegatables and flowers; milk churns cooling in icy mountain stream water; the iconic Swiss flag flying from shops, houses, government buildings, barns and mountain tops; spotless red trains crossing huge ravines on stone viaducts; groups of hearty, poleAppenzeller shop sign 4 wielding pensioners hiking in the mountains.  These all sound like Swiss cliches, but they are all things we saw on our two week holiday, often every day.  

Shop signs aren’t ugly, back lit plastic, but the work of artisans, representing the goods sold within.  Gardens are immaculate, with artfully arranged tableau of autumn fruit and flowers, laid out for the benefit of passers Appenzeller primary schoolby.   Buildings are covered in beautifully weathered, intrically cut shingles, made from the trees in the surrounding countryside.  Nothing was shabby, or in need of a lick of paint or dirty. 

Switzerland is only only saved from chocolate box tweeness by being punctuated with clean lined modernist buildings and imaginatively used concrete in large public buildings.  And they are Arosa cows 5rightly as proud of their modern design as they are of their beautiful old buildings.

I’m sure there are disadvantages to living in Switzerland.  The cost of living is very high, a lot of people smoke, and in public places, people didn’t seem to smile a lot.  Maybe there’s a really ugly bit somewhere that we didn’t see.  But really, I’m clutching at straws.  It is an utterly gorgeous country, both it’s natural and urban landscapes and I’d happily live there, something I don’t say very often.  The Disney Imagineers couldn’t have done better if they tried.


apples and the mountain, Bad Ragaz by you.

This post is part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby. For more pictures, click here or to see more of my Swiss photos, click here.


9 Responses to “It really is a small world after all”

  1. Almost Mrs Average 11/09/2009 at 10:12 am #

    This is a wonderful and such a realistic portrayal of one of my favourite places in Europe. I’ve been visiting the country regularly for over 10 years and have always had a truly wonderful experience. It feels so much like my second home that I’d feel very comfortable moving there (If I could afford to that is) 😀

    I love your photos. They are fabulous. x

  2. Jen@TwoKidsandaMap 11/09/2009 at 7:12 pm #

    I agree with the other commenter-I loved every minute we spent in Switzerland and your description is so true. It is like walking through a fairytale town!

  3. Kymri 11/09/2009 at 8:30 pm #

    Such is the fate to those of us raised in southern California – everything becomes “just like at Disneyland!” Great photos of Switzerland 🙂

  4. Dominique 11/09/2009 at 10:01 pm #

    Another place I’d love to visit. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Caitlin - Roaming Tales 11/09/2009 at 11:22 pm #

    I love the way you relate it to Disneyland!

  6. Bridget Smith 12/09/2009 at 12:48 am #

    You are so lucky to get to visit such a beautiful country.

  7. marina villatoro 12/09/2009 at 4:20 pm #

    I was in Switzerland ages ago and I remember thinking it’s like a doll’s house but multiplied with villages and countrysides!

  8. Linda 13/09/2009 at 12:19 am #

    Wonderful pictures, love it! Want to go!

  9. A Modern Mother 13/09/2009 at 4:25 pm #

    My mother’s family came from Switzerland and we visit regularily. Love it.

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