Wonders of Weesen

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Weesen, Switzerland (pronounced ‘vazen’ in German) is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen this year. Giant tree covered Alps of dark green and granite stand erect from a neon grass valley and a flat turquoise lake as if they had exploded from the earth just before sunrise. They seem so close; it’s almost as if you could touch them. Beyond and above are higher, stronger, grey peaks capped in bright summer snows. The valley is a checkerboard of fields, whose colors change tone with the direction of mowed grass. Fleets of cows gather under apple trees for shade, chewing and each ringing their bell like that of a lazy ice crème truck driver. Pavement paths dropped like yarn onto the hills of Weesen find their ways to peaks from where can be seen orange roofed cottages clashing wonderfully with the grass and sky and old wooden barns, whose base and doors having been eaten away by rot, barely hide stacks of chopped wood inside; hints of a long, frigid winter. The town center is a familiar northern European village, but cleaner, neater and more luxurious.


The Swiss are wealthy people and how wealthy people take good care of their things, the Swiss take good care of their country. The people of Weesen look to be healthy people too. Young and aged hike, bike and swim at all times on every sunny day. Life is good in Weesen. Everything, in all directions seems so surreal as if it were hand drawn, fresh cut or painted with fine strokes.

At my training day for paragliding (I have yet to leave the ground due to inclement weather), I met Randy, an American researcher/developer and avid mountain biker. He is staying here in Weesen with his local friend Barbara, who grew up on the other side of the lake. Barbara was kind enough to offer me her driveway for my van, her washer for my clothes and some OJ for my mouth. At dinner last night I learned some interesting things about her home.

You can’t cut the grass on Sunday here and doing it on Saturday might get you dirty looks. Farmers don’t own the land. The government leases it to them. This is part of the Swiss wanting to be able close all the gates, lock all the doors, grow all their own food and sit tight in their bunkers while, say, World War III raged on throughout the rest of the world. Underground bunkers with sufficiently thick doors were actually required to be built in all homes until a few years ago. I’m told that in the sides of the mountains, each town has a massive shelter cut into it. It seems the Swiss engineering is on par with the Germans’. Things here are built with an attention to detail deserving of an A had it been a grade school project. In their 15th year of age, kids decide whether they will begin working and vocational schooling or take a qualification exam, which if passed, allows them to pursue academics. Alternatives are possible, but challenging and uncommon. There are two counties in Switzerland where the residents still vote by hand. I visited one of the locations this takes place. It’s big and stone and just like you’d picture a square and town that has survived 100’s of years and exists today in pristine condition. On voting day the Swiss of these counties get together to “Ja” or “Nein”, while officials go round counting the some 10,000 hands. Strange, but I suppose if I lived in Weesen, I’d want to be outdoors that much too.

6 Thoughts on “Wonders of Weesen”

  1. UT Says:

    Might be a better choice than Bangkok!

  2. gert Says:

    sounds lovely.

  3. Suzy Says:

    Nice passage… I like the way this is written.

  4. kristin Says:

    Bet you wish you had your camera!

  5. jeff Says:

    ya im with UT. I would hang out there for awhile!

  6. kevin Says:

    wonderful post. i look forward to your entries after you have been paragliding.

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