For an Australian, there are a number of differences that one notices when spending time here in Switzerland.
Some are obvious (different power sockets, driving on the other side of the road, different native language…). I expected those – and I’ve been here before (albeit some years ago now).
However, here are some differences that I didn’t expect:
- The sheer number and popularity of bikes, bike riding, and bike roads (and all very well signposted and road-marked)
- Dogs are seen as members of the family in public. It is routine to bring your dog with you when shopping, or to a restaurant, or on the cable car to a mountaintop 
- The roads and road signs look just like a Lego City construction set
- Bakeries use a big model croissant mounted outside of the shop as a visual indication that they are a bakery
- One unusual thing that crosses public roads in Switzerland is… turboprop aircraft
- Another unusual thing that crosses public roads in Switzerland is… bullets
- The local fish caught in Lake Lucerne is named after a global router vendor
- The cows have bells. Always. It sounds like a percussion act at a world music concert (in a nice way)
- Swiss people sunbathe on mountaintops
- A surprisingly number of private homes use cable cars to deliver supplies
- There is a very strong skeleton motif in sculptures and religious paintings
- Some buildings are incredibly, surprisingly, old (and beautiful for it)
- Frei is not Free! When you see the word ‘Frei’ at the entrance to a parking area, it means there are spaces left, not that the parking is free of charge 🙂
- Quad bikes are road legal here (unlike Australia), and some of them are pretty tricked out 🙂
Its a wonderful country, and I have loved being here. I’ll be back.
Footnote : The ticket fare table for the cog-wheel train up to Mt Pilatus has prices separately listed for adults, children, and dogs.
Footnote : There is a firing range near the factory. The range building is on one side, the range targets are on a hillside on the other side of the road. One had best hope the aiming point used by their customers is sufficiently high…! (I am not making this up, I have driven between the two of them and seen it).