A Life in a Year – 27th April, Some Things That Make Switzerland Famous

On 27th April 2007 we visited Switzerland and driving through the meadows and hills on our way to Liechtenstein we stopped at a delightful place for lunch. It was a lovely setting and we sat in the sun and enjoyed our food but the best was yet to come because when we decided to use the washrooms before resuming our journey we were delighted to find what simply has to be the best loo in the world with an impressive mechanical cleaning process that included a 360º scrubbing and disinfection of the toilet seat. This was really impressive but I was a little concerned about health and safety risks associated with it beginning in advance of the occupier leaving the seat, which could have been especially painful for a man if he was to get his testicles caught up in the procedure.

We tried to agree on five things that make Switzerland famous. Our final choice might have included Roger Federer or Ursula Andress but in the end we agreed upon Swiss watches of course, that was obvious, cuckoo clocks because even though they are strictly speaking from Germany the Swiss were important for introducing the ‘chalet’ style that they introduced at the end of nineteenth century and is the sort of cuckoo clock where it is common to have a Swiss music box with tunes like ‘Edelweiss’ and ‘The Happy Wanderer’. Muesli, which was introduced around 1900 by Swiss doctor and nutritionist Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital in Zurich. Toblerone, the Swiss chocolate bar that was invented by Theodore Tobler in 1908 in his factory in Bern but most of all we had to agree on the Swiss Army knife.

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