Europe seems to be the hot destination to book a tour to at this time of the year, so we thought we would share a few facts about one of our favorite European Countries: Switzerland!
Did you know that the Swiss speak 4 main languages: French, German, Italian and Romansh (a local language with 5 dialects which these days is rarely spoken).
The capital of Switzerland is Bern, and the country has a population of approx. 7 million people. 70% of the country is mountainous and uninhabitable; therefore they have very little natural resources. Surprisingly though, 1 in 7 Swiss nationals are millionaires. Switzerland has one of the highest incomes per capita in the world. The Swiss have made most of their millions through the creation of Pharmaceutical drugs and machinery. One of the largest Chocolate companies in the world, Nestle was founded in Switzerland by a pharmacist whose original product was a baby formula. The Swiss are now really famous for their Chocolate!
Here are a few examples of some very successful Swiss creations:
The Smart Car: The Smart Car is as long as a regular car is wide, so you can parallel park it with the front of the car to the curb.
The Swatch Watch. The Swatch Watch was invented by the Swiss in 1981 in an effort to compete with the Japanese digital watch. The idea worked, with 100 million swatch watches being sold over a period of 10 years.
Switzerland is a land-locked country, so they have no Navy, but they definitely have an army that is argued to be the best in the world. They say that the Swiss army can gather 630 thousand men in only 24 hours. All Swiss Males aged 18-35 must serve at least one year in the Swiss army. This might be a reason why the Swiss are really big hunters. Most Swiss say that you will find a hunting gun in every Swiss household. Swiss hunting is the reason they created one of their most famous dishes. When hunters would go out for days at a time, their wives would pack them food and drink to take with them. The typical pack was filled with bread, cheese and wine.
After a few days hunting the bread would go stale, so the hunters started warming up the cheese, mixing it with some wine and dipping their stale bread into the concoction. This is now known as the famous Swiss dish, Fondue.