A slice of Swiss life

Exciting Holiday

A slice of Swiss life

The snowcapped Alps, homemade cheese and the rich flavour of chocolate — Switzerland is about all this and more. Switzerland Tourism was here in the City to introduce backpackers and travellers to the traditions and lifestyle of the country.

“Tourists from India can live and experience several traditions of the country, whether it is the intricate art of watch-making, churning out fresh cheese or learning to play the alphorn. Apart from these, there are several other traditions which the country boasts of and they are now open to all,” says Ritu Sharma, deputy director India, Switzerland Tourism.

Stephan Heuberger, the director, says that the country has identified more than 100 such living traditions, so that tourists get to know the culture and lifestyle of the Swiss better. “We are also launching an India-specific page on one of the popular social networking sites and we hope that people, who have already been to the country, can share their stories,” he adds.

Various cities like Lucerne, Basel, Geneva and Zurich were introduced during the programme, along with the traditions that exist there. Anne, who introduced Basel, says that all the traditions in this city revolve around the river Rhine. “The ferries on the river flow according to its speed.

There is a particular day in the year when more than 100 people jump into the river and float with the flow — the water is so clean that one can see the river bed. On an average day, one can just relax near the river. The City is located so strategically that you can have lunch in France, dinner in Germany and breakfast in Italy — everything is within an hour’s distance,” she informs.

Places like Gstaad give tourists the opportunity to spend some time in the mountains. “Geneva has the famous watch-making industry and tourists can make their own watches here — it is the cradle of watch-making. The watch-makers used to derive electricity from the Geneva Fountain, which is also a popular tourist destination,” she adds.

Other traditions like ‘Guilds’ — where the locals burn a snowman that is stuffed with firecrackers and wood — were also discussed.

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