After two and a half weeks in Bern, the capital of Switzerland, I have been able to test out some commonly-held beliefs about this country, Mythbusters-style:
Switzerland is unbearably cold: FALSE
I arrived in Switzerland expecting coldness akin to nothing I had experienced in my life, living in the warm Land down under. While Switzerland is still at 0 degrees Celsius, I found it actually warmer than both Japan and London in winter. I’ve even experienced colder days in mid-winter Australia! I’ve partially put it down to the fact that there’s very little wind in Bern, so wind-chill is not a factor. Talking to residents here, they also comment on how Bern has been unseasonably warm this winter, with an unprecedented heatwave in summer the year before.
Switzerland’s living costs are high: RELATIVELY FALSE
Yes, the exchange rate is pretty grim right now; if I had visited Switzerland five years earlier, my Aussie Dollarydoos would be worth about 30% more. However let’s not forget that Sydney is one of the most expensive places to live in the world. If we can survive in Sydney, we can survive in most other places. Whilst Bern cannot be considered a “bargain city”, relative to Sydney prices, living costs are reasonable. I will mention that cheese and other dairy products are inexpensive here, which is something that brings be great joy as a cheese-lover.
Swiss Chocolate is good: TRUE
I’ll admit that I’ve only had a fraction of the chocolate I plan on consuming during my 6 month stay here, but everything I’ve had so far has been wonderful. Even cadbury-tier chocolate in the supermarkets here tastes like Ferrero-Rocher x1000. Every Swiss I have talked to so far has recommended Läderach chocolate- while these chocolate blocks come in at around ten dollars AUD for one hundred grams, apparently they’re definitely worth it.
While I’ve settled in a little, I know there are still so many more myths to bust during my time here. So for now,