Swiss Watching: Inside Europe's Landlocked Island
Swiss Watching: Inside Europe's Landlocked Island is a light-hearted yet revealing journey around Europe's most individual country. From seeking Heidi and finding the best chocolate to reliving a bloody past and exploring an uncertain future, Swiss Watching proves that there's more to Switzerland than banks, skis, francs and cheese. One country, four languages, 26 cantons,...more
"German words such as Unabhangigkeitserklarungen are not words, they are alphabetical processions."
Explaining that a Swiss man invented Velcro and "ended up changing the world of children's trainers ...more
A big part of what made the book such an enjoyable read was the British Humour with which it was written; funny, witty, cheeky, sarcastic, yet always respectful.
I am Swiss by heritage and even though Ive never lived in Switzerland, a lot of Swiss Things are on my radar and part of my daily consciousness because I grew ...more
Seriously, a great book filled with numerous and mostly interesting facts about Switzerland, many of which I didnt know (or wouldnt have been able to summarize this way) even after 10 years in this country. Diccon Bewes travelled all over the country, talked to all kinds of people and apparently did some intense historical and cultural research. Some of his views were too much ...more
This book is hardly and exception.
Aside from random clichés and stereotypes (which, oddly, the writer shows his loathing for when one is used upon him), with such nonsense as the Swiss are obsessed with and the Swiss love nothing more than, other parts seem taken right from the writers imagination ...more
As a Swiss citizen, it is very funny but also very intersting as I found out about habits Swiss people actually do have, that I did not know before. But whilst reading this amazing book, I noticed them and I find myself very strange now.
There is a great deal of sarcasm in this book, but I never felt as if the author is making fun of "the Swiss Way of doing stuff". It is just a perfect represention of Switzerland!
Diccon Bewes tells ...more
I knew a little something about Switzerland before reading this book, the basic facts at least. But I wasn't familiar to the history of the country one bit. This book presents the history in an easy manner and dedicates entire chapters on cheese, chocolate, politics ...more
The Swiss are very organized, reserved and rich.
But it does a decent job in explaining WHY they are like that.
Some of the things I learned or which I hadn't really thought about:
(1) How Switzerland's geography influenced its culture. Being situated in the mountains, each valley was somewhat isolated from the others, so they developed a fierce independence.
(2) I didn't quite realize that Switzerland does ...more
Surely he can't seriously be expecting people to believe he's living there, after filling a whole book with Swiss clichés and random facts - some with references, others just made up for the fun of it - constantly slagging off the Swiss lifestyle... not much of a surprise that he would find it hard to socialise with the locals!
Never mind that most of his "so very Swiss" observations ...more
It is strange that for all that Switzerland has to offer, there are not many recognized personalities, I can only think of 2, Roger Federer &
Martina Hingis, both are Tennis players.The strange thing is that even though Switzerland is a land-locked country, it has one of the top ranked
America's Cup syndicates, skippered by ...more
However, this book was really informative and at the same time was fairly easy to read. This was particularly the case because of the good, yet subtle, use of humour throughout.
I don't think it would appeal to people who have got nothing to do with Switzerland as it is in-depth, but to ex-pats and tourists it is a ...more
It is perhaps no surprise that the Swiss are contradictory, given how divided their country is. Since its earliest days Switzerland has faced geographic, linguistic, religious and political divisions that would have destroyed other countries at birth. Those divisions have been bridged, though not without bloodshed, but Switzerland remains as paradoxical as its people. While modern technology drives the economy, some fields are still harvested with scythes (all the hilly landscape’s fault); it’s a neutral nation yet it exports weapons to many other countries; it has no coastline but won sailing’s America’s Cup and has a merchant shipping fleet equal in size to Saudi Arabia’s. As for those national stereotypes, well, not all the cheese has holes, cuckoo clocks aren’t Swiss and the trains don’t always run exactly on time.”