Alexandra Jourdan-Astruc spent a year in Switzerland, studying at our Crans-Montana campus. A travel fanatic, she got to know her adopted country well… so much so that she’s offered us 10 fun facts about Switzerland. See how many you know!
Before coming to Les Roches Crans-Montana, I did not know much about Switzerland – mostly that it was a country well known for its chocolate, its watches and its neutrality.
However, the country actually has so many more facets! You will find here a list of fun – or interesting – facts about Switzerland you probably had no idea about (I know I did not):
– Switzerland has more than 7,000 lakes! Even if you spend a lifetime in Switzerland, you would never find the time to see them all. Don’t miss the very famous Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) and its astonishing road along the lake all the way to Les Roches and Glion.
– Switzerland has no fewer than four official languages! German (spoken by 64% of the population), French (spoken by 20.4% of the population), Italian (6.5%), and Romansh (just a little more than 1%).
– The longest tunnel in the world is in Switzerland: the Gotthard tunnel measures 57km in length (7km longer than the Channel Tunnel between UK and France) and it took 17 years to complete it! Better not be too claustrophobic while commuting!
– Switzerland has 450 varieties of cheese. If you are a cheese lover, you may find heaven in Switzerland with all these different types of cheese; even if their names may be a little hard to pronounce: Mutschli, Formaggini, Sbrinz… even if you cannot name them, don’t forget to taste them!
– The longest stairway in the world is at the Niesen Funicular railway. There are 11,674 steps you can hike only once a year. Perfect workout before a nice fondue!
– Taxes on dogs! If you own a dog, you will be taxed annually depending on its weight and size. You will also have to take a mandatory training course to learn how to take good care of your pets.
– Women were allowed to vote at federal level only in 1971, very late compared to European neighbors.
– Swiss people eat 11kg of chocolate per year, making them the leading consumer of chocolate in the world. They also export tonnes of chocolates every year (in 2015, more than 115,500 tonnes!).
– Switzerland has a square flag: the only other country in the world to have a square flag is the Vatican City.
– It’s a peaceful and neutral country: Switzerland has not been involved in any military conflict since 1815, even when the rest of Europe was the theater of the most dreadful wars during the 20th century.
That is a short list for such a beautiful country, but now it’s time for you to discover it with your own eyes, if you have not done so yet! Whether you are a nature lover, an entrepreneur or have a passion for hospitality, you will definitely find your happiness there.
- For more travel tales, why not check out Alexandra’s blog Virevolte – you can find it here