JIT Holiday: Day 8 - Down to Zürich

The last 120km was pleasantly mostly downhill to Zurich, where I arrived at my sister's at around 4pm. She had gone to a birthday party of a 1 year old with her 4 month old Louis, but had left me the keys. I had a shower, then connected my computer to the internet to call my mother, dozed a little, and then thought of buying something in the shops. This is when I realised that almost everyhting in Switzerland closes at 4pm on Saturday. And no store is open on Sunday either. I think this is what people mean when they describe Switzerland as being boring.

Switzerland is a little conservative to be sure. It is also the world's oldest democracy, and has not been to war for a few centuries, even though there are 4 official languages in the country: Italian, French, German, and Romantsch (close to Latin). Many laws are passed by referendum, any law can be challenged by individual citizens (a little like the IETF I suppose). And it solves the major american debate on guns and crime: in Switzerland every able bodied man is asked to enter the militia, as a result giving Switzerland the largest military force in the world (proportionally), and so also must be the country with the largest proportion of armed citizens, and yet crime rates are among the lowest in the world. You have a right to bear arms in Switzerland as part of the militia only, which to me is what the second ammendment to the US constitution implies. An individual does not a militia make.
Comments:

sounds like a great bike ride.

Posted by gonzo on August 08, 2005 at 12:06 AM CEST #

More and more shops at train stations are open during the weekend; Zurich main station stores are open until 9 pm (8 pm on Sunday). Latin -> Rumantsch (but has Latin roots). See swissworld.org.

Posted by guest on August 08, 2005 at 06:52 AM CEST #

Thanks for the corrections. I have incorporated them into the text. I also hear that the airport shops are open all the time.

Posted by Henry Story on August 08, 2005 at 08:06 AM CEST #

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