Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Switzerland, the heaven on earth and to me the land of milk (jahan doodh ki nadiyan behti hain) was the first country that I visited for official work. I was posted in Geneva. Initially the assignment was planned for just three months but as we neared the completion of my stay, fortunately (for me) or unfortunately it got extended twice to make it a trip of around one year.
So, I took this as a lifetime opportunity to see the neighbouring countries as well. Which ones ? You’ll come to know. :) Be a regular and watch this place. And no, don’t think I was on a relaxed job there. Working for around 60-65 hours a week does take its own toll. So, whenever I could, I made it a point to run away from that dead(ly) schedule and fulfill my passion of seeing the world, of course on my own expense.

Since it was quite a long period in Switzerland, I will talk about all I learnt about this country. Its people, culture, cities, mountains, festivals, transport, utilities, education system, survival of fellow Indians.. for that matter everything. As I said earlier, I am not writing this blog to send some tourists to these places; instead these are my recounting which I intend to treasure and cherish.

I think I am going to have innumerable posts on Switzerland. After all, my many firsts are associated with this.

In between I’ll take you to tours of other places as well. :) For this one year sojourn, you’ll find both kind of photos - scanned (taken from still camera) and digital pictures.

Before I proceed, something about Switzerland.

When people say Switzerland is heaven on earth, they are not wrong. I have been to many countries but never have I seen such a beautiful place. This country is much more beautiful in real than all that we see in Hindi movies (especially in Yashraj films). Where else such breathtaking panoramic views are spread over the entire country ? Of all the places I have been to, only landscaped countryside of New Zealand could somewhat be compared to Switzerland’s evergreen beauty. (Ohh there goes the mystery for one of the places :P)

Did you know Switzerland has four official languages? More on this later. Confederatio Helvetica, the country's official Latin name, means Helvetic Confederation. The use of Latin avoids having to favour any one of the four languages. The abbreviation (CH) is used for the same reason.
It shares its border with five countries (France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria and Italy) and it is one of the world’s most expensive country, expensive than Japan which many people think to be the most expensive one. Also, it is not a part of European Communion (EC). They still use Swiss Francs (1 CHF= Rs. 34 approx.).

Keep this map in your mind and I’ll take you to a tour of Switzerland. Click on it for an enlarged view.

It was absolutely fascinating wonderful experience for me in all aspects. Just one example, where else can you think of doing your weekly grocery shopping by going to a neighbouring country carrying your passport ? No wonder my passport looked ten years old in a single year.
And Shhhhh !! I had a Swiss bank account as well ! ;)

Ha Ha.. I am sure I am going to enjoy writing this blog. There is so much to write about.


Prashanth M said...

welcome back and as usual refreshing account...

Fleiger said...

*jahan doodh ki nadiyan behti hain*

Tabhi mein soch raha tha wahan pe itni achchi chocolates kaise banti hai ;)

But seriously, how can you write an entire post about Switzerland and not mention chocolates? Will I ever understand women?

Ok, now really seriously... looking forward to the series. I saw Switzerland only through the air and Zurich airport. And I find the name Liechtenstein strangely amusing :D

Cuckoo said...

Thank you.

Ohh my bad. How could I ever forget the swiss chocolates - my favourites ? Anyways, thanks for reminding.. it'll get covered in one of those 100 posts on CH. ;)

And btw, there is no connection between women and forgetting chocolates. It could have been men & forgetting chocolates.. they are supposed to buy them for women.

Ha Ha.. You'll find many things amusing. If you note, it has already started from first post.. grocery shopping from neighbouring country :P

I think Zurich will get covered in 3/4 posts. I have plenty of pictures but mostly from still camera, so scanning is a bit problem. Let me see what I can do. First let me reach there.

Sigma said...

Hmmmm ... what do I say except, Lucky, lucky you !!
Nice start to the series, and I do look forward to read more .... and I hope it does not turn out to be like my Goa series :-D

Fleiger said...

*It could have been men & forgetting chocolates..*

Could have been... but wasn't ;)

First time when I read the name, I didn't think it was a name of the country. In fact, I wasn't sure till I read it in your post ;)

AJEYA RAO said...

Good Write Up! Excellent pictures.

Ash said...

Lovely images!

Thanks for visiting my blog Cuckoo...

Cuckoo said...

Yeah, I am happy I could start it. There are so many things to write about but it'll be like my diary.. not a proper travel post. Keep coming. Thanks.

Ok ok, maan gaye. Oh so you had heard that name before ? I knew it after I tried to learn more about CH from people out there.

Thank you.

Thank you. Oh I was just returning the courtesy visit done by you earlier.

Fleiger said...

I came across the name in some book or other, and found it quite amusing. It was like having a country called Fleiger (which I am not sure is a bad idea), what with its translation and all... ;)

Anyways,the photos till now are simple superb :D Waiting for more...

And you forgot cuckoo clocks too ;)

niki yokota said...

OMG! cuckoo-chan u are such a big person!!
im really pround of u ;)
i want to have a swiss bank accnt toooo. plz gimme!!
cant wait for the next post!

Nabeel said...

wow @ snow covered mountain .. looks soo peaceful, so quite. Did you know Zurich is the number one in the best places to live in the world.

Cuckoo said...

the photos till now are simple superb..Thank you. I am in the process of selecting pictures from my albums, obviously can't post all. ;)

As I said earlier, this blog is not truly a travel blog.. it’ll be about my experiences of those places. So, I’ll go slow.

you forgot cuckoo clocks too.. No, I havn't. One separate post will be dedicated for world famous Swiss watches. BTW, FYI Cuckoo clocks are not from CH. They are from Black forest (Germany) and I have one. :))

Ha Ha.. You are so cute.
i want to have a swiss bank accnt toooo… I had to open account in a Swiss bank in order to receive my allowance from offshore, nothing great about it. :P

cant wait for the next post! Wait, wait. I’ll go slow.. let me relive the moments. ;)

First, I welcome you to my blog. Yes, the snow covered mountains are just plain beautiful.

Yes, I am aware that Zurich is one of the best places to live. It has highest quality of living in the world.

Thanks for dropping by. Keep coming.

mridula said...

Give me more! This is like a teaser to me :) And hope you had a wonderful holi.

Fleiger said...

Don't be so slow that we despair...

I knew you would have all the necessary info about "cuckoo" clocks ;)

BTW, you are very brave to publicly declare about your swiss bank account. The Taxmen are on the way...

Cuckoo said...

Hang on !! It's coming.
No, I didn't play Holi this time.

Don't be so slow that we despair... Next post is on now.

Cuckoo clocks ?.. Ha Ha.. You know me now. ;)

The Taxmen are on the way... Let them come. I am ready. :))

Bendtherulz said...

Whow that decond shot of mountain and meadows was so good !

Oh yeah CHOCOLAT - 8 things people should know about you!! So is Lindt still your fav - that too from switz...!

You know what you made big mistake of your life when you mentioned you have swiss account...for a person who is broke all the beware...!

Bendtherulz said...

Yikes - second shot...typo error

Cuckoo said...

There you are after so long !!

Second shot.. Awww I have another shot of the same place of daytime with cattle grazing. This one is of evening.

So is Lindt still your fav.. Oh, so you still remember that ? Of course they are. I don't change my loyalties very

swiss account... Ha Ha.. let me hide somewhere. Heyy, even I am broke. ok ??

Bendtherulz said...

I hope to see that shot as well...The same shot taken on different timing tell a very different story and mood isn't it...!

Oh yeah - I have good elephant neither...!
Hey - are you trying to convince have failed...richie rich

Bendtherulz said...

Oh was I ...too long...infact for a month I was scouring your blog...looking for new post....! Didn't wanted to be a pest either by leaving too many " Knocks...." and then you started writing and somehow I got focussd on your writing blog....yeah mistake on my part...! You are never that!
Well finally I am here...and I am loving...all the places...!

Cuckoo said...

Hmmm.. Sometime I'll show both the pictures together and lots more. :)