Coming from Greece, I am a bit spoiled when it comes to summer. When I was packing for Switzerland to work as a researcher for 3 months, I was debating if my swimming suit should be in or out of my suitcase since the Alps did not seem exactly comparable to a beach. Luckily I decided to take it and lived the swiss summer to its fullest.
Swiss people are restless when it comes to outdoor activities and they take advantage of all seasons. While the winter trend is skiing, the summer trend seems to be enjoying the water whether it is Vals Therme spa, the 3 weiern in St. Gallen, lake Constance, Geneva, Zurich and Lugano, or the rivers in Bern and Basel. The variety of places to go and things to do by or in the water is incredible!
Almost every week I found the time to go with my colleagues and friends to the lakes in St. Gallen or to any other place I was visiting in the country. The whole city seemed to be there. The lakes and rivers in Switzerland are social hubs where people come to relax, do sports like sailing or canoeing and interact with one another in a less formal setting. I really enjoyed that feeling.
When I was visiting Lugano with two other ThinkSwiss scholars, we rent a water bike to explore the lake and swim in the deep waters and then went to an organized pool right next to the lake. The experience was amazing because – of course – everything is well organized and you can enjoy both the nature and services like an establishment where you can dine, bathe and lay protected under the shade.
Boat transport in Switzerland was another highlight. Instead of taking the train to go from Geneva to Lausanne in a hot summer day, you can easily hop into a boat and cruise to another city in a timely and pleasant summery manner. At the places where you can go with the small ferries, like Montreux or Rorschach, you also have the opportunity to taste delicious swiss fish specialties with perch or whitefish, whilst looking at the beautiful scenery and the rhythmic boat sways in the water. Evidently, a Swiss summer has to offer much more than stereotypes dictate. Whoever thinks that Switzerland is for ski and Greece for the beach should think twice!