In this latest series, I will be going through all the countries I’ve travelled to on my mission to visit every single country in the world. In this article, we will be covering country #45: Switzerland. If you haven’t gotten a chance already, read this story first to find out why I’m trying to visit all 193 UN-recognized countries.
VIDEO – Country #45: Switzerland
Blog post on Switzerland
- Complete 1 day Liechtenstein, and 9 days Switzerland Spending Breakdown
- My Spending Breakdown While Visiting Romania, Istanbul, Zurich, Chicago
- My Picturesque Road Trip Through the Swiss Alps and Lake Lucerne
- Windisch Switzerland – Exploring the Legionnaires’ Trail and Monastery
Racism in Switzerland
I have mixed feelings during my time in Switzerland. On one hand, this country is one of the most picturesque places you can visit in Europe. This is especially true if you love mountains and nature. On the other hand, many older Swiss people tend to be racist towards Asian tourists.
I get it. Many Asian tourists can be annoying. They travel in massive groups. Make loud noises, crowd areas, take out those stupid cell phone selfie-sticks, and act uncultured and obnoxious. But the fact the Asian tourists all get lumped into that one category is ridiculous.
I still remember my first time transiting through Zurich airport. I tried entering the lounge using my Priority Pass card and I actually got yelled at by the guy working there. There was no reason at all for him to be acting rudely towards me other than the fact he is a racist bigot. And this happened several times when I went to Switzerland. Even last year when my girlfriend and myself had an overnight layover in Zurich. My girlfriend was definitely not happy at the passive-aggressive racism we experienced in Switzerland.
Going to Windisch
During my one year trip around the world, I got a chance to visit Switzerland for over a week. My sister’s best friend married a Swiss guy and I was on my way to stay with them.
I was looking forward to visiting them because I was so tired of moving so much. When you backpack, it does get exhausting and you starve craving a normal life.
My sister’s friend picked me up from the Windisch train station and we walked the rest of the way back to her place. She was excited to see me because she hasn’t seen anyone from her hometown of Vancouver, Canada for quite some time since she got married. My next several days in Windisch would be a relaxing one as I tried to regain my sanity from long term travel.
Hanging out in Windisch
I didn’t do much the first few days other than chill out and lounge around. My sister’s friend actually thought it was weird I didn’t want to see anything. I tried explaining to her that I just wanted to hang out because I’m dead exhausted from constantly travelling.
Regardless, I don’t think she understood and was urging me to explore.
During my time there, I cooked Filipino food for my sister’s friend and husband. They loved it, especially my sister’s friend who misses Asian food after living in Switzerland for some time.
One weird thing I noticed with Swiss culture is they love alcohol and coffee at night. It really boggled my mind because the coffee will stop you from sleeping. Personally, I can’t sleep when I drink alcohol so I found the regular evening alcohol routine to be quite strange.
Vindonissa Windisch Legionnaire’s Trail
After getting bugged by my sister’s friend for days, I finally caved and did some exploring. She encouraged me to do the Legionnaire’s trail which is the famous touristy thing to do in her city.
It was actually quite neat as you begin your journey by entering a room where you essentially travel back in time when the Romans ruled this land.
You will be given an audio tour kit that you will use to walk around the city.
During your audio tour, you will see markings on the floor where you need to play the next audio recording to learn more about what’s happening in the area.
Part of the adventure even includes a walk-in through an underground tunnel.
One cool thing about the walking tour is you actually walk through some historic area. Many places are still preserved from Roman times including an arena.
After the Legionnaire’s Trail, there’s a nearby church with famous glass pane windows. If you want, you can go inside and do an audio tour of the place.
I think the Legionnaire’s Trail was more fun than the church but if you’re really bored, you can kill time by checking out the church also.
Switzerland road trip
My sister’s friend’s husband, decided to take me and her on a road trip through the Alps. I was excited. I love road trips.
Our route would take us to a city called Glarus, then through the Alps, and finally to Lake Lucerne before heading back to Windisch.
Glarus is a pristine looking city. It looks like a very clean and peaceful place to visit.
Sandro spent some time buying coffee and fruits here in between our stroll in this city.
Shortly after visiting Glarus, we began our ascent up the Alps.
The mountain is amazing. My sister’s friend’s husband decided to stop at a viewpoint and we spent some time taking photos and capturing videos. He even took out his drone to fly around and take some amazing footage.
After the viewpoint, we continued on the Alps and ate at this restaurant. I was soon shocked by the expensive prices in Switzerland. Sandro treated me to a salad that cost about $30 CAD. This same salad here in Vancouver would cost no more than $6.
Before long, we arrived in Lake Lucerne which is the final stop of our road trip.
Lake Lucerne is beautiful. The water looks like a glacier lake and reminds me of the many lakes in Canada.
We spent some time walking around here and admiring the beautiful scenery.
We got lucky and realized that they were also offering a free train ride around the city. Immediately, we got onboard to join the fun.
After a fun-filled day, we headed back to Windisch to wrapped up our road trip to the Swiss Alps.
In and out of Switzerland
Eventually, I had to say goodbye to my sister’s friend as I continued on my journey. My next destination would be France.
However, during my trip to Europe, I would be back in Switzerland many times. It can’t be helped as Switzerland is a central point within Western Europe and you would have to transit through this country to go to neighbouring European countries.
Thanks to the Eurail pass, I also got to experience the famous 360 train ride in Switzerland that allows you to get a panorama view of your surrounding.
I would also get a chance to stay overnight in Geneva at one of my later visits to Switzerland.
Switzerland is a beautiful country with a dirty secret. Many of the older Swiss people are racist towards Asians which makes travelling solo here quite unappealing. The younger Swiss people tend to be nice unless they work in the tourism industry and get annoyed by obnoxious Asian tourists.
I personally like Switzerland for its beautiful nature but not for some of their racist and unfriendly locals. Despite this, I can see myself coming back to Switzerland again at some point. I just need to do my best to ignore the older racist people that live here.