Swiss Immigrants

A couple of Swiss immigrants

Switzerland has one of the highest percentages of foreigners of any country in the world.  Tons of famous, and not so famous people (us) have moved to Switzerland.  They have a very, um, generous tax policy.

Resident foreigners and temporary foreign workers make up about 22% of the population (30.6% of the population is either an immigrant or first generation). Famous Swiss immigrants include: *

Courtesy of Top Gear and Hublot

Courtesy of jsp31’s Blog

Courtesy of Why Not? and OWN

For centuries, people have immigrated to Switzerland.  In general, its immigrants have been highly skilled and/or educated.  The Swiss watch industry was fed with French Huguenot’s who fled persecution in France.  Immigrant German professors started Zurich University.  Many Italian immigrants worked on Switzerland’s great engineering projects in the Alps.

courtesy of Leopard Trek

*For you cycling fans, famous cyclists who have lived/trained in Switzerland include: Fabian Cancellara (a Swiss child of Italian immigrants, until recently he was my most popular post), Oscar Freire, Francisco Mancebo, Jan Ullrich, Christophe Moreau, Cadel Evans, Markus Burghardt, Andreas Klöden, Linus Gerdemann, Thor Hushovd, Daniele Nardello, and Thomas Frei.

 

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Daytrips from Geneva

Stumped for what to do when you come visit?  We’ve been here and explored a bit.  Here are some ideas for daytrips:
  • Lausanne – It is famous for its beautiful promenades on Lac Leman (Lake Geneva).  It has a beautiful port (Ouchy), an Old Town dating back to the 14th century and is home to the Olympic Museum.  As with all the lakefront towns, there are nice parks along the water and landings for boats that will take you aound the lake.
  • Montreux – It is home to the world famous Montreux Jazz Festival. It offers incredible views of the Swiss Alps, has a beautiful lakefront promenade and is close to the Château de Chillon (see below).
  • Vevey – Although it isn’t the wildest town, it’s an adorable town and a wonderful place to spend the afternoon.  It’s home to Nestle so it has a food museum.   McCarthyism forced Charlie Chaplin to resettle and he chose this peaceful town.
  • La Côte, which is between Lausanne and Geneva, centered around Rolle, and Lavaux, which is between Lausanne and Vevey.  The CGN boats also stop at many of the wine towns, so you could include a trip on one of those in your adventure.  There is lots of information about Lavaux.  Visitors who want to stay closer to Geneva could go to the cute town of Morges (link to post).  Although we haven’t been, we hear that Coppet is nice.

  • Château de Chillon – This is Switzerland’s most famous castle.  Rick Steves ranks it as one of the top ten castles in Europe.  It is situated on the opposite side of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva).  It is fully restored and furnished with a collection of excavated antique weapons, chests and other items.

  • Yvoire – if you want to head by boat to lunch in a beautiful setting, stroll around a charming (but tiny) town and pay in Euros, this is your town.  While there are a lot of places on the lake that are larger and more exciting, it’s not a bad way to spend an afternoon (link to friend’s post). 
  • CERN – If you like science, this is a must.  It is also, incidentally, the setting for the first scene of the book Angels and Demons.  IMPORTANT NOTE: These tours must be booked far in advance.  If you are interested in doing this, pick the day(s), fill out the form (on the link) and send it in as soon as you book your flight.

 

Surprising Vevey

Charlie Chaplin spent the last 25 years of his life in Vevey.  You can easily see why.  It is a cute, calm, old town with breathtaking views and nice surprises.

 
 
 

The older area near the water is filled with belle époque era buildings.  They have covered the town in flowers.  There is a nice, lengthy lakeside promenade with many parks.  This makes it a perfect place to slow down, walk around and be pleasantly surprised.

This looks cool during the day
…and at night.
Definitely unexpected
 
The Museum of Alimentation (food) had an awesome vegetable/herb garden out front, definitely a nice surprise.*
 
Seeing kids jumping from the pool area into the lake was definitely surprising. Although if you saw the bridge jumping post, it is, perhaps, less so.
It would have been surprising if he had actually caught something.
 
A surprisingly good place to chill out,  we wished we had brought our suits.
 
 

This game was another surprise.  Please let me know if you know what they were playing.  It looked like fun.

 
It would have been surprising if we had jumped in the fountain.  We wanted to, but the kids wouldn’t get out. 
 
 
What?  You don’t see this every day?
 
 
 
Okay, the DeLorean wasn’t too much of a surprise, but the rest of the cars at the car show we stumbled into were.
 
* Nestlé is headquartered in Vevey.  They sponsor the museum and might have had something to do with the fork too.