Geeky linguistics intro to Switzerland—the Swiss, depending on region, speak several languages: German, French, Italian, or Romansch (a comparatively minor Romance language with only about 35,000 speakers). Lucerne is the most populous city in central Switzerland, and though the main language there is German, the vast majority of them speak English as well.
After entering Switzerland and reaching Lucerne, we went straight to dinner at Restaurant Fritschi, just a ten-minute walk from our hotel.
It was a dinner-and-entertainment type of restaurant, so while the stage was being set up, we ate appetizers. The rest of the table had (what else?) Swiss cheese fondue, while I sipped my white wine and dipped bread cubes into a dark, flavorful vegetable broth.
The show began with music and yodeling.
Switzerland was another food surprise for me—i.e., I never thought I’d enjoy it so much! The entrée they made me was steamed vegetables with Rösti (or Röschti), which are basically Swiss hash browns. Mmm!
Everyone knows the Swiss are politically neutral, but did you know that they still have compulsory military service for all males? That means that any of these dorky-looking dudes blowing the alphorn here could probably shoot you from across a crowded room. Weird, huh?
Dessert was silly but tasty—a slice of vanilla-and-strawberry ice cream terrine in the image of the Swiss flag, with a thin layer of meringue at the bottom.
As the show progressed, it became nuttier and nuttier. The traditional instruments they played got weirder and weirder, they did crazy stunts like flag-throwing, and then this giant cow came out to terrorize the diners!
Add to that our waiter daring me to chug my third glass of white wine (never before, never again) and the final sing-along, dance-along song that turned the entire dining room into one huge winding conga line, and you have one insane Swiss evening! I was already excited for the next day. To be continued…