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Real life in Switzerland

June 3, 2022
Lausanne, Switzerland

I’m staying for a week with friends in a rural section of Yverdon Les Bains, Switzerland. Josette and I are here to visit our friend Ann Marie, who we’ve walked with three times before in France. Her husband Bernard is a retired university professor.

Getting ready for a dinner party

Their home is modest but modern. They rely on solar power six months of the year. There is a (backup) wood stove in the kitchen, which can also be used for cooking. At this time of year there is no need for heat or cooling. There is ample evidence of the regular visits of grandchildren.

Tea in the garden

Preparing for an evening dinner party, we take a break for tea in the garden. Dining outdoors is much preferred.


They charge the car during the day when solar power is available. It’s a great car, with impressive acceleration and quiet ride. Traffic is not bad at all!

The house is surrounded by gardens

Bernard has a large garden with vegetables, herbs, and flowers. It is a lot of work but he is passionate about gardening.


I went grocery shopping this morning in Migros with them. We parked in a parking garage (free) with an elevator down to a shopping mall. We got a grocery cart and hand held scanner. As you select items, you weigh and tag them and then scan the tag. At checkout you leave groceries in the cart and point the scanner at a screen. It produces a receipt, which then takes your credit card payment. There is a cart drop off in the garage. Prices are somewhat higher than HEB, but the store is clean and well stocked and organized. About half the size of our H-E-B.

Walking only street grocery
Centre-ville grocery

Yesterday we bought food for lunch and dinner in a part of the “centre-ville” which is walking access only. Lots of interesting shops, restaurants, and bars there too. It looks touristy but is also where local people shop for eyeglasses, etc. The optometrist also sells binoculars!

Bicycles are a part of every day life for many

When Bernard goes to the train station in town, he walks (1/2 hour). Trains will get you most places quickly, and they are clean, comfortable, quiet, and fast. walking is facilitated by a paved trail separate from the road.

Train station in Geneva
Rain is to be expected
Downtown is alive
Homemade Apricot torte for dessert
Entertainment is walking in the park
Blind justice

I don’t know the whole story, but life appears more expensive than Italy or France. Houses appear to be 2-3 times more expensive than even Fredericksburg. However, the landscape of rolling hills, lakes, and mountains is quite beautiful, and the life calmer and less hurried. Compared to Rome, which is crowded, trashed, graffiti-ed, with fierce auto traffic, this is a much simpler lifestyle.

From → Writing Fiction

  1. Tammy permalink

    Looks like another fabulous day!

  2. Kathleen ONeill permalink

    Interesting report on Switzerland. They seemed determined to leave barely a tiny footprint on the planet. Admirable.

    Sent from my iPhone


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