Switzerland and Germany in Retrospect - Grampies on the Go - Again! - CycleBlaze

July 28, 2012

Switzerland and Germany in Retrospect

People who know us and who read our rave reviews of England and France could probably predict that we would like Switzerland and Germany as well. Yes, we liked them, and in many categories they have the other two really beat.

SWITZERLAND AND GERMANY PROS

Tremendous variety of baked goods, and even more bakeries per town than France. Bakeries do not close at weird times and usually offer tables and coffee. Breads are often full of yummy seeds and pastries often feature fresh fruits, cheese, and/or ground poppy seed. Bakeries also offer high quality prepared take out sandwiches.

Drivers respect bicycles and will sometimes slow down when approaching from behind. Pedestrians and bicycles often get the right of way at cross walks. However drivers are not quite as good to cyclists as in France.

Terrific bike routes, usually paved or otherwise good quality. The excellent Bikeline map books are easy to spot on sale.

People are very friendly and will almost always go out of their way to help if you are lost. This even applies to those who do not speak English. They will try to get you to understand, somehow.

Wiener schnitzel, quick fat and protein when you need it. (see also CONS).

Large variety of great quality fresh berries.

More bike route signs than you can imagine, or ever follow. Signed routes only rarely leave you hanging, wondering where the next sign will be.

No real need to use the automobile roads, of any type. There is a signed bike way to everywhere!

Higher costs for food and camping than France, but still of living for us about one third to one half of England.

Campground washrooms are "properly" organized by sex and function, and always include toilet paper. Other luxuries such as handwashing soap, hand drying paper towels, hand drying blowers are often found.

Super clean cities and everything in them. No feeling of heavy (or any) police presence. No worry about bike or other theft. As in the other countries so far, never encountered a dog or dogs without its owner. We never felt unsafe for any reason.

SWITZERLAND AND GERMANY CONS

Campgrounds a little bit scarce (though B&B very plentiful) along the bike ways.

Lack of internet at campgrounds.

Campgrounds that are mostly devoted to campingcars (RVs) or trailers and that look like slums.

Hoards of usually noisy school children on outings of some kind. Teenagers who are disrespectful and mouth off when asked by a Grampie to ring when passing on the bike path, stop kicking a ball into the tent, be quiet, etc.

Fewer English speakers than one might expect, in tourist oriented shops like bike shops along a European route like EV6.

Wiener schnitzel, the hamburger of Switzerland and Germany. Sometimes cooked in oil, normally accompanied by fries.

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