This is Switzerland! A country of clearest lakes, country of mountain peaks, hills, waterfalls, green Alpine meadows, top of the range cows, the tastiest milk, and shameless tourists, who come to drink the milk, stomp the grass, and stick their cameras everywhere. Until that hasn’t happened yet, let’s raise our glasses to this wonderful country! It is common to preview a vid before it begins, telling you what to expect from it, provide general impressions about the country with a posh voice, but it’s Switzerland. You don’t even need words here, just a bunch of landscape shots… It took Microbe and I, more than 5000km to get here. If such thing is not for you, the Wright brothers invented planes, whilst our partner Aviasales, invented how to find most lucrative flight options. If for example you decide to go to Geneva in November, this is how many options you will have, be it a direct or a one stop flight, with prices ranging from 80-400USD. Aviasales would have been just another search engine, if not their perks… You can see the plane details for a given destination, airline punctuality stats, which is extremely important if you have a transfer flight. These guys save you time, and make ticket search easier on daily basis. Find out about their other perks via the link below. Switzerland! Renowned for the Alps, best watches, and most trusted banks. The air is super clean, you get Evian for tap water, and views are to die for! Which is what celebrities used to do, spending here their best years, prior to the moment. Dostoevskiy wrote his Idiot novel here, Tolstoy finished Lucernce, Tchaikovsky wrote Evgeniy Onegin opera, and Lenin planned his revolution. Apparently it was him, who said: My soul is with you in Siberia, although my body is at the hotel in Zurich. I believe him! The swiss invented muesli, milk chocolate, and LSD. They also came up with Helvetica font, which is an official font of NY metro, and if you think that it is all, Swiss inventions include velcro, plastic, army knife, and a famous formula. Yep, Einstein came up with it whilst in Switzerland. It is home for Hadron Collider, used to discover Higgs boson, and I can theoretically be holding it right now. …not confirmed though. There are 4 official languages, 450 varieties of cheese, a square flag, and one of the most stable economies in the world. I think Switzerland is close to ideal close to ideal because a perfect country doesn’t exist but it is right there on top! Whether it is true or not, we shall find out today! Talking about emotions, first thing that you feel here, right upon setting foot is unbearable tranquility. Throughout the whole 9 days of my trip I had a feeling that i am in the most calm place on earth. …and I m not on Farer Islands, with the population of 50000. Switzerland houses a population of 8m, and people lead a normal life. Still, this place is extremely calm. At first, I thought it’s because I mainly visit villages, where life tends to flow slowly, but big cities turned out to be the same. This is magic! Switzerland adds around 20 years to how you behave. So even if you are 25, I doubt you’ll be inclined to rush somewhere, or do extreme sports. It makes you want to sit on a bench, that are just everywhere and spend the whole day appreciating the surrounds. It’s clear now, why so many celebrities come here, in their elderly ages. This country is made for relaxation, you just want to sit gazing over this beautiful valley enjoying the views. Still, all of the above mentioned, has a good reason behind it. Switzerland has 2nd highest wage level in the world, averaging 62,283USD per year, which is more than 5,190USD per month. To better understand this amount, let’s see how much petrol you can buy for an average wage in some European countries. It is around 233L and 236L in Moldova and Ukraine accordingly, 650L in Belorussia, 785L in Russia, 1689L in Germany, 2107L in Norway, and 3240L in tiny Switzerland, which is enough to open a small logistics company. Economy is in a great state, although you would need more than money, to feel comfortable, as security plays a big part in it. Switzerland managed to excel here also, by distancing itself from any geo political topics. This is Europe, Countries in blue, are part of the EU. See that grey spot in the middle? It’s Switzerland. It is neither part of EU, nor part of NATO. In fact it is so neutral that their last war participation was 200 years ago! …the Napoleon war. It’s just a wonder, how a country in the middle of Europe, managed to stay away from wars for 200 years! Country’s landscape plays a big role in this. Alps on the South, Jura mountains on the North, whilst most of the population, lives in the middle. Switzerland is like a hot-dog where bread serves as the mountains making it difficult to attack. Their defense strategy accounts for an enemy to open the map, see the landscape, and decide to steer away for easier prey. Most bridges are built in a way so that in case of war, they can be easily demolished. Same goes for the mountain passes. But this is not all… The army is actually pretty good as well. Army service is obligatory, although the referendum was gathered two times aiming to cancel such obligation. Still, in both cases, people voted to leave it as is. Swiss army is approved by Vatican, which is why it is them who protect the Pope! Moreover, you can legally keep a gun, and as per statistics, half of the population have one. A gun can be bought in a cute shop like this one… So we have a grocery store here, and a gun shop next to it, and there are lots of these around the country. A rifle starts at around 200EUR, whilst you can get a machine gun, if your budget allows for it. Interestingly, less than 1 out of 1000 deaths is caused by a gunshot. Since I am not a resident I can’t get myself a rifle here, whereas locals don’t even need a passport, to get one, using only the residence ID. Simple as that! Easy! Let’s talk about safety then… In year 1963, these guys have approved a law, that states that every local must be provided with a bunker in case of a possible nuclear war. So then government got to it, and built bunkers all across the country, whilst the biggest one, not only in Switzerland but the world, is what you see now… It’s a Sonnenberg Tunnel, that can provide long term acomodation to 20000 people! It is capable of resisting a 1 megatonne explosion within 1km radius! Inspite the Swiss neutrality, bunkers are everywhere… This one is at a mall carpark. All old buildings have one, fully ready to be used. What’s captivating, is that these bunkers can still house 115 percent of the population, providing more than enough space to the existing residents. Now you know where to go if things hit the fan) Basically it is a well equipped bunker in the middle of Europe. …and now you know why. Country’s political neutrality and its security also aid the local financial system, which is why people keep their funds here. …lots of funds There are more banks here than dentists. The rates in local banks are at nil, whilst if you deposit over 1 million, the rate becomes negative, meaning that you pay the bank to safe keep your wealth. Reliability! Local bank notes are quite nice also, they are like Instagram stories – vertical. A 10CHF note, has been recognized as the most beautiful note in the world, in 2018. All of the above and the local sights, that we will soon discover, made this place a pensioner’s dream. Switzerland is deemed second in the world after Japan by life expectancy, hence, many dream to spend their final ages here. Celebrities moved here for it, amongst whom we have a Nobel laureate Hermann Hesse, Audrey Hepburn, Vladimir Nabokov, Coco Chanel, Erich Mariah Remarque, and Charlie Chaplin, all burried in Switzerland. Euthanasia is also legal here, and if you google suicide tourism, Switzerland will pop up right away. As for local pensioners, they are happy and carefree people, and I just love watching them… This place is perfect for them… I needed help to better understand the local way of life, so I took to Kreuzlingen, to talk to Stas who lives in this country for 7 years now and knows it throughout. – So i had these elderly neighbours, – whilst living in Bern, – a wealthy family, – but they never flew out of Switzerland. – They travelled to Italy and Germany by car, – but never ever flew. – I asked them whether they have been to the sea… – and they said no, we don’t need that, – During summer I swim in the lakes, – trek the mountains, – and during winter I ski… – He said that sea – is just not his cup of tea… – [Anton] So Switzerland is more than enough? – [Slava] Yep, they are 65 years old, – and have never been to the sea. – Don’t get me wrong, – they are nice people, – they aren’t unhappy either… – they just don’t need it. In my opinion, this happens because the Swiss are very used to local way of life. …and don’t get me started on this, because local laws on noise are just next level… To keep your neighbours happy on weekends, it is illegal to cut the lawn, wash your car with high pressure equipment, including everything else that makes sounds… Here for example, street artists are banned. Svetlana, who works for a large American firm, will shed some more light on this. Unfortunately i can’t disclose the company name, but it’s a place where everything is free) Love it! – Our company gives out – a special survival pack – to every expat employee of theirs. – It includes a book – that teaches you how to live in Switzerland. – One of the rules that surprised me, – is that you can’t flush the loo after 10pm. – since your neighbour may call the police, – or bang on the pipes. – [Anton] They’ll call police for this? – [Sveta] Yep! – [Anton] Did it happen to you? – [Sveta] Nope, I am quite lucky – with who I live with. – But once, – during a 2 week business trip to New-York – my 15 year old daughter begged me – not to bring the grandparents over – and to let her to stay alone. – So my secretary called me at night, – to say that police called – because my daughter was loud. – Turned out she was playing guitar – with her friends. Apparently, noise laws go beyond the people… – Swiss dogs do not bark… – No idea how they train them, – but they don’t bark… – There are no stray dogs around, – but pets never bark, – regardless of the breed. *Criminal Taking into account that Kreuzlingen is located both in Switzerland and Germany, I would assume that it was a German dog. – Previously, – If your dog wouldn’t stop barking, – you will be obliged to cut its vocal cords out, – whether you like it or not. – This raised protests, – but the government proved that – no harm is done to the animal – during this procedure. – But barking is definitely not on! We are now in the German part of Kreuzlingen as it’s still the same city and just look at the contrast… Bin bags on the streets, everything is kind of similar, but still very different! The wildest law in Switzerland though, states that you must pee, sitting down. – Is this aimed at noise as well? – [Slava] Nope, – It is hygiene, – as when you stand and pee, – there may be splatter, – which you eliminate by sitting down. – [Anton] Women know about this… – [Slava] Men know about it as well, – of course they pee standing, – at bars and restaurants – but they always sit when home. This is Switzerland for you… God forbid for you to pee standing at home, then flush the loo, and get a fine in the end. I am not a fan of political discussions, but it is a key, that will help you to understand this place. Hence, my apologies… Switzerland consists of 26 cantons, each has its own constitution and laws, making the country more of a republic. Officially the country is called Helvetic Confederation, underlining unity of cantons. From a juridical stand point, there is no capital city here, although de facto it’s Bern. Each canton has its own laws, and even obtaining a driving license is varies between them. Geneva canton banned hunting, whereas it is allowed in all other cantons. Turgao on the other hand, banned barbeque during summer time. This kind of reminds me of USA, although the difference is extreme. – Moving from canton to canton – is the same as moving countries. – incredibly difficult! We had to show dozens of documents, – all over again. – It’s the same country, – but cantons hardly talk to each other. – A canton doesn’t care if you lived in Bern – and paid taxes, – they will ask you for a myriad of documents, – and will dig up everything they can on you, – all your diplomas, – everywhere you worked, – everything! – I needed more documents when moving cantons, – than when I moved here from Ukraine. Interestingly, even voting procedure may vary… These cute houses are in Appenzel canton, that is famous for a certain tradition. Appenzel is a small town, whose population of 5600 people, gather on this square numerous times a year, and carry out democracy, by choosing new mayors, approve new laws, new leaders, and this is how it looks… People of Appenzel are not fans of hierarchy, and since 14th century, they vote and select canton’s political future by a show of hands Appenzel is a one off, but it serves as a good reflection of Switzerland’s inner makings. There is a saying here, that a Swiss votes 4 times in a year, instead of once in 4 years. Not a joke, referendums can take place here every 2 months, and every 2 months people go voting, and then carry on with their business… Such involvement, affects the political state incredibly well, as in such society, everyone feels the responsibility. Uh and by the way… Parents in Switzerland aren’t allowed to give names to their kids, that may later affect their future. What I mean by this is that you won’t find people here with names that in any way resemble something funny or wrong. Poor kids… As per Swiss laws, you cannot keep only one social pet. It is deemed as isolation and equals to brutality. Hence you cannot have just one guinea pig, same goes for fish and parrots. Everyone need a match. There is also a dog tax, governed by the dog’s size and weight. All dog owners must pass dog training, the be able to care for their pets. Also, you can’t just go and fish in Switzerland. – You need a special passport to fish. – No one here can fish without it! – it’s a special permit that you get – after the fishing course, – where they teach you how to release the catch, – so you don’t hurt the fish. – It’s not hurt it when you eat it, – but you may hurt it when you unhook, – so you learn – how to handle specific species – after, – you are free to fish everywhere… To some, locals laws may seem strange, but since the Swiss are regulars in the happiest people rating, these laws definitely don’t hurt. I guess you may now wonder how to become a resident in this country… Good news, is that it is real, unlike in Dubai for example bad news, is that it is very difficult. – You need to spend 10 years here, – regardless of the permit you have. – From which the last 3 – must be spent at the same place, – without leaving. – Even if you move to a neighbouring village, – everything starts all over. – Then you have to pass an exam, – that includes geography, politics, – other things, – including what your neighbours think of you… – They will literally speak to your neighbours, – and god forbid he or she says – that you didn’t help her with groceries – 3 years ago… – You are doomed then! – These are extremes of course, – but it surely can happen. There is a story that Alain Delon who now lives in Switzerland, was very upset with the local gov, because he had to wait for his passport for 12 years, like any other simpleton. Hence, being a star, won’t help you! I am in Geneva, and behind me is the Jet d’Eau fountain, one of the tallest fountains in the world, but I am here for another reason… Geneva is where a hand watch was invented, and to honour this, I am wearing Certina, the partners of our show. It’s a great piece, and a re-issue of their vintage divers watch, from the 60s, water resistant to 200m. Hands and dial are covered in superluminova, that makes the watch pop in the dark, which was very useful during filming. It’s a great travel watch, due to its double security system, that protects the watch. Muhammad Ali had one as well. Although I reckon he was taking them off during fights) A Japanese skier Miuro Yūichirō on the other hand, executed an extreme descent from mount Everest with a Certina watch. …They both survived) All Certina watches are Swiss made, in case it’s something that bothers you, I on the other hand, love the design and precision. You may have noticed that I haven’t really showed you around yet… Let’s change that, although there is slight problem… Looking at these sights I ran out of vocabulary, ending up with banal: Amazing! Fantastic beauty! It’s unreal! I am in awe! The classic UFF and… How do you leave this place? So I gathered myself together, and managed to calmly describe my emotions… I’ll be straight with you, I nearly melted in the first 3 days, I was leaving my car in the middle of the road, running to film sights, I were then promising myself not to stop anymore and follow my plans, and then it was happening all over again. Such thing had only happened in Iceland to me, I am seriously losing my mind here. This place grabs you by the scruff of the neck and doesn’t let go for couple of days. First, it’s the colours… This is an actual colour of this grass! Looking at local meadows, is like looking at Windown XP wallpaper. …Very hard to believe that these colours are real. Makes you question whether they paint it on purpose. But no! I have done zero colour correction to these shots. Same can be said about the water colours, that resemble a colour palette, from blue to turquoise, or this colour… These waters are indecently clear. – This lake behind me – is the cleanest lake in the world, – and due to this, – local and German wildlife protectionists – raised an issue last year – stating that this lake is too clean – for fish to survive in it – as there is no plankton. – Basically an extremely clean lake – is a problem. It is uninhabitable for fish, dude! They overdid with cleanliness! Yep, this is Switzerland for you! Our next stop are the Swiss villages, so let’s dive in… I don’t really remember any of the names of the villages i visited, but still, they all look like they came out from the Swiss chocolate ads. Every village captivates you, making you stop, to stroll around, gaze over toy like houses, and just take in the atmosphere. I am now in Sisikon village, which I discovered whilst looking for a hotel. There is a railway, a couple of hotels, and an astonishing lake, on the shores of which the village is located. I was just looking for a cheap hotel, woke up, and couldn’t believe in the beauty this place. This goes to show, that every little village has a tiny hotel, and the sights that are worth coming here for, and it’s ubiquitous! It’s just amazing! I got a bit over myself by calling Sisikon a town, it’s more of a commune with 300 people. There are even smaller villages here, like Corippo, situated on the South, it’s population is 12 people, 11 of whom, are over 65 years old. In order to revive this village, the Swiss, plan to copy an Italian concept of Albergo Diffuso, turning all empty houses into one scattered hotel, with top notch service and main reception. Such concept proved itself in Italy, and maybe it can excel here also, as both the village and surrounding landscapes are incredible. It’s great here… Great but expensive. Now to the negatives… Let’s talk money that these villages will set you back by. These are the rooms I stayed in: this one was 60$ and had one loo and shower per floor. This room was 100$ and it also didn’t have its own shower… Unlike this room, which costs 125$ with a fan instead of aircon. My best room was in Gottlieben, that set me back by 80$, and just look at it… The place is 400 years old, and I was strolling thought it like it’s a museum. I booked it couple of hours before check in and that probably explains its low price. Up until now, we mainly covered touristic places, and I were keen to find an authentic, secluded village. – Hey Stas Stas and I are heading East, to the Appenzell Alps. You happen to come across many of farms along the way, and these cows are just top, it’s a proper cow establishment, where massage is part of the daily life. Milk can be bought via vending machines, but I were keen try to fresh milk! …so we kept driving to the village of Vasseraum. – She says they have – the best spot for our car… *the spot – Where are we heading? – [Stas] To Seealpsee – [Anton] What is it? – [Stas] It’s a mountain lake, – that can only be reached by foot. – No cars, – no trains, – only by foot. – Roger Federer loves this place apparently, – and he comes here often. – Best part about it – is that there is a small cheese factory, – and if you ask me – they make best cheese in Switzerland The climb is pretty extreme, and I was already sweating 5 mins later… – This bloody cheesy must be incredible… – Otherwise this is pointless… It took us an hour to get to the lake and a tiny village of Vasserau, with a dozen of houses. A meadow on the other side of the lake is breathtaking, resembling all your expectations of a Swiss village in Alps. Of course, you can find milk here, and unlike other farms, they actually pour fresh milk for you. Well… To Switzerland! Milk is great, all thanks to these cows, surrounded by love in all its glory. They are quite curious, both to the cameras with mics, and people who carry them around. Then, we reached a cheese factory, and although I’d love to tell you that it’s a family business under it’s 6th generation, and the cheese is made by some old school recipes, but no… Meet the head of the family, who speaks great english and makes cheese using today’s tech, selling it right on the spot. We are sweating like crazy, because it’s very hot inside, but you get the drift, right? It’s a place where you have milk, unreal valley, absolutely no cars, no one smokes here, clearest water, cows, munching on fresh grass… This place is perfect for cheese making, which is what they do, and sell it on the spot… 2000kg per year to be precise, which is not much as they say. Factory is actually pretty small. I guess, its time to start tasting… We bought two types of cheese, turned out it’s really cheap… sold here only! Guys, that’s how you become a food blogger… God forbid of course, but hey… I mean it’s so stupid, I’d really like to share it with you… I am not a cheese expert, but it’s nice) Vasseraum is an ideal place for eco tourism as they say, and if you are looking to find more cool places in Switzerland, check out Stas’s twitter, as it’s full of invaluable info. So, let’s close the village topic, and talk about something that makes the Swiss the best in the world. Switzerland’s massive advantage is that despite mountainous landscape they managed to develop an immense infrastructure that any country would die for. Mountains cover 2/3 of the country, and as you can imagine, it’s not the easiest country to move around in. It boasts highest mountain passes, rivers and rocks. Such road infrastructure must have required a lot of effort, and the Swiss have done it! The roads are ideal, railroads are immensely developed, and all of it is nothing short of amazing! Let’s get to it! DAMS More than half of electricity is produced by hydro power plants. The one behind me is small, but there are slightly bigger ones… Switzerland packs over 200 dams that are over 100m high. It also houses 5th largest dam in the world, it is 285m high. It’s not this one, but you are looking at the tallest rock climbing wall in the world. If you happen to have special equipment, you can get right to the top which is 165m high! BRIDGES The Swiss have excelled here as well. This bridge is not the longest, spanning over 280m only. …it’s still a mission to go over it. We’ll get to the most beautiful bridge later, but for now, let’s check out the most renowned bridge for the Russian audience… A so called Devil’s bridge, that Suvorov’s army crossed over and defeated the French. Here, you will find a Suvorov monument, and 5 acres of land, deemed to be Russian. TUNNELS Switzerland is the land of tunnels, they are just everywhere… You drive out of one, and then enter another one, then another one, one more, more, and so on… It seems that the Swiss build these tunnels out of habit. You get tunnels even in places, where you can easily do without one. but since they are good at it… why not! This country is full of long tunnels… Gotthard tunnel is the longest in Switzerland, being nearly 17km long… Crazy! At the time of construction in the 80s it was the longest tunnel in the world. …now it’s 9th, but still… 17 bloody kilometers! …in the rock! Just so you could get an idea of how long it is, let’s drive through it together, although I’ll speed it up a little. Here comes the entrance… and.. Let’s go! It may take us some time to watch this at current speed, so let’s speed it up a little more… …I agree, Let’s go even faster… Well, that was pretty long… Took me around 15 minutes to go through it. To be honest, it’s a bit tiring! Still, this wasn’t enough for the Swiss and they have built the longest rail tunnel in the world! The Gotthard Base tunnel, spanning over incredible 57km! It is situated right under the Alps, it took 17 years to build it, costing 12 billion usd. Gotthard is not only the longest tunnel, but also the deepest, since there are Alps above it. At peak points, it is 2.5km deep, and without proper ventilation temperatures inside would reach 45 degrees celcius. Thanks to this tunnel, travel time from Zurich to Milan got cut by an hour. Now, to my favourite topic… One of the reasons why you should drive here, is the roads… You are well aware how I like mountain passes, Switzerland has many, and also the highest one I’ve ever been to. it’s called Furka Pass. Let’s see what kind of a cookie is it! I think it’s one of the most popular European roads, as people come here from all over, so the road is partly congested. Still, these mega views over compensate in full! I am at sloth pace here… stopping at every turn, thinking that this is the last time, I then go up, and the view gets even better) It took me hour and a half to reach the road’s peak, at 2431m. Petrolheads would love it here, as apart from usual supercars it’s like an expo of rare cars. This 80s Alfa, is just ideal for example! Furka pass can be stormed not only by car, but also on an old school locomotive. Built in 1914, the train is fully original, including the driver, despite his age) And of course it runs on coal… Cherry on the cake for Furka Pass, is another very special place The Rhone glacier. What’s cool about it, is that you can not only go on it, but also, go into it… The ice is quite thin on top, and as the clouds cover the sun, the light in this ice cave, start to change. …as if someone alters it on purpose The sights inside the cave, are an influencer’s dream. As for Furka Pass, it is 10 out of 10 and my recommendation! If roads are not enough for you, the are dozens of funiculars… Some, are pretty exotic, like this Gelmerbahn, the best of its class in Europe. Built to transport construction materials, it now slowly pushes visitors up to the altitude of 1860m above sea level. A sped up footage of the descent, can easily compete with a good roller coaster. The Swiss also build traditional funiculars, best in the world apparently, so if you ever go skiing, it will most probably be the Doppelmayr funicular taking you up. Recently, this company has built a pretty unusual lift, but to get to it, you first need to jump on this old guy… Local drivers here look so vibrant, that they can surely earn lots by leading corporate events. It takes around 15min, to go up in this wooden cart, and here it is… first in the world cabrio funicular. Yep, there is no roof, allowing Chinese tourists to take pictures without glass interference) …and there is definitely enough to take pictures of! Cabrio lift is a genius idea! I think they should all be like this from now on. Completely different emotions! It’s like… Ouch My ears are popping) Funiculars can be found on many mountains, whilst this one, opens up the views on Lucerne town, and gives you a chance to listen to a Chinese horner) There is not much to do on top, and people come here solely for the cabrio lift. A return ticket up will cost you 80$ …that’s if you park your car properly! But if you are like me… it may come out a tad more expensive. Guys, even a Swiss fine looks nice and pretty) …incredibly neat. I actually knew that I’ll get a fine, because I didn’t have enough change and the train was leaving already, so I didn’t have much time… 40CHF Now I need to figure out where to pay for it. A fine can be paid in any post office. You get a ticket, queue up, then fill up the form, withdraw cash, because cards are not accepted, pay, and receive a paper that states that you are not a felon. With pure conscience, and empty pockets, we proceed further! All there is left to tell you is about most technological and beautiful part of transportation. THE TRAINS Trains are one of symbols of the country, and their precision is comparable to Swiss watches, whilst they depart extremely often. To give you an idea, trains depart every 20 minutes from the most distant village in the West to the most distant village in the East. Most trains are equipped with children quarters, so the screaming kids do not disturb other passengers. Of course these trains are one of the most expensive in the world, A Zurich to Bern ticket, cities that are 100km apart, costs 60$. The best part about the railroad though, are the notched lifts, that help the trains to tackle steep inclines, which means that Swiss trains operate even in the mountains, uncovering jaw dropping views. As per my promise, this is the most beautiful Swiss bridge… The Landwasser viaduct, and once your train rolls on to it, you become part of a Harry Potter film set. I can watch this forever… As if you are watching a newly assembled a toy rail road. Now, I was eager to get on board of this train! I took off to probably the most beautiful village in the country. Left my car there, and bought a ticket to Wengen. Windows do open, as naturally most people get onboard for views only. I think we can leave my comments out and just take in the views… This was my stop, but I didn’t want to leave 🙂 I was so taken by the views, that I am nearly at the last stop now and when a ticket officer saw my ticket, he showed me a table with fines, and that it’s 90CHF so I said that I’ll pay for it, to which he replied that he won’t let me, and helped me to get on the train back.) That’s the Swiss for you, although I was happy to pay the fine, he just didn’t let me) These trains are hypnotic! It’s like an amusement park, where you watch a film in 4K, 8K, or even higher quality that hasn’t been invented yet. It’s time to show you the most fabulous village in the whole of Switzerland. Meet Lauterbrunnen! Wbat you see now, is the middle-earth from Lord of the Rings. John Tolkien, the book author, came up with the land of elfs after he visited this village, and it left an indelible impression on him. …and really, it’s very hard to believe, that this place exists in real life. It’s pure magic, that comes from a fairy tale book. …and again, since we are talking about celebrities, let me show you a bunch of places related to famous people who used to live here. First, it’s the St Germain mansion, situated in the French part of the country. It is home to a museum dedicated to Hans Ruedi Giger, who came up and painted The Alien. Ridley Scott came across Hans’s book and saw what he was looking for. The first Alien prototype was made out of branches and something else… To be precise, meat, condoms and slime, which is sort of a gooey material. It is interesting what was going through Han’s head, to come up with Alien, living in such well established country like Switzerland. Next, is a Corseir Sur Vevey cemetery, home to Charles Chaplin and his wife’s graves. Not many of you may know, that remains of his body were stolen shortly after, to then be resold to his family. The body is back, but there is now 2 metres of concrete that protect the grave. They have also installed a sensor that makes a high pitched sound when you approach it. This is surprising, because I am alone here, there is no one else. …when usually there are always people at the celebrity cemeteries. We are now by the Geneva lake, in a rather cute and small town of Montreux, where the most famous Freddy Mercury monument is located. Initially it was meant to be set up in London, but the mayor declined this proposal, so it was put here, in one of his favourite towns. The band bought a sound studio here, located in the casino building which now serves as an expo called Queen Studio Experience. 6 Queen albums were recorded here, including… You can also gaze over costumes, hand written lyrics notes, band’s instruments,, and Srabble, which they loved to play. So if you ever come here, make sure you pop in, since entrance is free anyways. My main goal in Switzerland was to visit it’s most popular peak, the Matterhorn mountain. First I had to leave my car at the near by town. After a 20 minute train ride, you are in Zermatt, the closest village to the peak. Cars are not allowed here, so these EVs become your only option for commute. …and horses of course. We are not done with trains yet, as to get even closer to the peak, we need to take one more train. A train that takes you up the mountain …priceless! Well, here we are! This is it! The sun is down, last train has left already, but worry not, as this is part of my plan. I’m staying here for the night, and I have everything I need… Tent, sleeping bag, warm clothes, some food, including muesli for breakfast, and most importantly, good optics, as I’m staying here for two things that I love… to shoot the night sky and the sunrise. I hope it’s worth it! For now, couple of words about this peak… Don’t really have much to say, because it’s incredible, and you may have seen it many times before. Yep, the Toblerone mountain, which is the most famous Swiss chocolate. Matterhorn is deemed as the most beautiful peak in the world, due to its pyramidal form, and sides facing the four compass points, and to spend a night here, is a dream of many photographers, including mine. …and I am about to fulfill it! My cam was shooting all night, until the battery died… Let’s see what came out of it… Needless to say, it was a splendid morning, as any morning near the summit just can’t go wrong, but morning at the base of Matterhorn is an emotion unlike any. The prosaic part of this is, that for you this will finish with nice pictures, whilst for me it’s just the beginning, as I need to descent …one way or another …don’t really know how and maybe even by foot find my car, and leave this place. All good, I made it to the train. Beautiful here, isn’t it? It’s beautiful everywhere but I still can’t get used to it. I just checked my odometer, and realised that I have done 7600km, since the start of this European trip. Crazy things… I think it’s time to go home, although I so don’t want to. It’s a great country! If you decide to visit, prepare for it’s views and a hefty spending… But it’s worth coming here not only for the views, but the tranquility, high quality service, and amazing roads. Tranquility is everywhere here. Honestly, I find it harder and harder to be surprised by something, but Switzerland has won me over. Even a week after the shoot, I still take pictures, stop in awe of the meadows, which I saw dozens of time, and they still surprise me! This country is definitely in my top 10. If you’ve never been here, do come and visit. It’s definitely worth it! Travel more guys, and you won’t be disappointed! …I mean just look at this These meadows, and a train… Yep!