Switzerland or Spain?

Old Jun 16th, 2016, 06:32 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1
Switzerland or Spain?

Hello! I will be travelling to France during late August and plan on visiting another country or so. Does anyone have any recommendations on whether I should definitely go to Spain or vice versa? I know Spain is closer to where I'm staying (Montpellier), but I also have been interested in Switzerland, as well. Is the food, weather, or people's temperaments better in one or in the other? Thanks for your help!
mpicciano is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2016, 07:17 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,482
Consider what the Spanish have contributed to western culture and then take a look at the Swiss. Can you name one Swiss writer, movie maker, composer, or actor? And although the Swiss have Klee and a few others, their contribution to fine art is minuscule. Dada started in Zurich, almost entirely of non-Swiss, and as soon as WWI was over most of the artists scattered.

How many stand-up Swiss comics do you know?

The mountains in Switzerland and some of the towns are beautiful, but they do not have the architectural, culinary, historical, and linguistic of Spain.
IMDonehere is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2016, 07:29 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,525
Spain is very hot in August, and CH is very expensive.
Your call!
bobthenavigator is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2016, 01:11 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 6,755
"Can you name one Swiss writer, movie maker, composer, or actor?"
Some famous Swiss people:
Friedrich Durrenmatt, Max Frisch, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Germaine de Stael, Heinrich Pestalozzi, Pierre Goretta, Francesco Borromini, Bernardo Luini, Domenico Trezzini, Mario Botta, Le Corbusier, Herzog&Demeuron, Albert Einstein, Jacques Piccard, Auguste Piccard, Grock, Ursula Andress, Yul Brynner, Louis Chevrolet, ........
neckervd is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2016, 01:16 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 48,333
IMO the food and people's temperaments are far better in Spain.

The weather in August is far better (normally) in Switzerland.

At any rate, you could hardly pick two more entirely disparate countries, so go with your gut.
StCirq is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2016, 01:24 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,505
SWITZERLAND!

(actually I have no idea where YOU should go, but personally I've loved my 5 trips to Switzerland)
suze is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2016, 01:37 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,358
The countries are so utterly different that the only rational intelligent method of picking one is to flip a coin.
RonZ is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2016, 01:49 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,482
I just loved Albert Einstein's movies.
IMDonehere is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2016, 02:01 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,482
Wait Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany and spent the last twenty or so years of life at Princeton U in New Jersey.
IMDonehere is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2016, 02:08 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13,982
I also am not familiar with Swiss film , literature and art
but I enjoy watching Federer and Wawrinka play.
danon is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2016, 02:28 PM
  #11  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,565
>Consider what the Spanish have contributed to western culture and then take a look at the Swiss.

Swiss Cheese.
ira is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2016, 03:08 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,505
<consider what the Spanish have contributed to western culture>

The Conquistadors?
suze is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2016, 03:20 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
I know Spain is closer to where I'm staying (Montpelier), but I also have been interested in Switzerland, as well. Is the food, weather, or people's temperaments better in one or in the other?

Spain for all three of those but awesome natural scenery and hospitality go to the Swiss - Switzerland is tiny Spain huge - Spain has better historical cities and churches.

Very different creatures for sure.

Going by train - to get a fix on the fab rail systems in each country: www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com - check out the latter's online European Planning & Rail Guide for lots of sample rail itineraries in each country.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2016, 03:52 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,482
We can start with this, which will surely inflame the Francophiles as well.

The Met Museum considers Velázquez as one the greatest European painters, if not the greatest, of all time and a clear influence on the more famous French artists.

http://www.19thc-artworldwide.org/sp...ing-exhibition

Is there any painter who is considered more important in the 20th century than Picasso? And then we can add Goya, Gaudí, Sorolla, Juan Gris, Dalí, Zurbarán, Miró, and just for his aesthetic Gaudí.

We can discuss writers, film makers, music, and dancers at another time.
IMDonehere is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2016, 05:41 PM
  #15  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,806
I agree that it's really your call! Both can be wonderful and both can require weeks and weeks.

I would add to neckervd's abbreviated list Hodler and various Giacomettis. I'm not sure I care how many artists came from any one place. I do know that I care about the quality of art museums. IME, Spain has a few extraordinary collections, few of which include comprehensive coverage of Western art. IME, Switzerland has few large museums, but a surprising number of small ones with unusual depth and range. I love art, and often make travel decisions based on art, but I wouldn't choose between these countries based solely on their artists or museums -- or at least, I wouldn't do so without knowing WHICH places made it to a final itinerary for either country. JMO.

As for food, I'd easily give the nod to Spain (which seems to have incredibly tasty food anywhere one goes!), but would note that Switzerland also offers some wonderful foods, from it's "French" cuisine to the west, "Italian" cuisine to the south, "German" cuisine to the north, the unique cuisine of Graubunden (oh, the pizoccals of Mustair!) -- and the cheeses and chocolates, not to mention the masters of modern cuisine that you can find in many parts of the country.

My advice? Do some more research, identify your primary interests, pay attention to climate and expenses, and be glad that you don't have a bad choice here. Again, JMO.
kja is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2016, 05:59 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
IMHO I would never go near Spain in August - except the Atlantic coast around San Sebastian. The weather ranges from very hot to hellish. Don;t even think about going to south (IMHO the most fascinating part) since the average high is about 100 and it can go up to 120.

Granted a fascinating country, a bargain and quite good food.

But in August I would go for Switz, which has a gorgeous climate and this can be the best time to explore it. Combination of charming towns/villages and incredible natural scenery - but there aren't any bargains. Food is heart and you won't go hungry and there are a number of really excellent restaurants.

So - apples and oranges.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2016, 08:24 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,296
Food? Spain
Music? Spain
People? Spain
Art? Spain
Architecture? Spain
Train schedules? Switzerland
Clean Lakes? Switzerland
Fondue? Switzerland

nytraveler is absolutely right about the heat
In August the only places I want to be are Martha's Vineyard or San Sebastian
Egbert is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2016, 08:54 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
This thread is a great example that chauvinism and national prejudices come from ignorance.

Switzerland has a population of 8.3 million - what achievements do you expect from such a small country?

And given the small number of inhabitants, the achievements are, in fact, considerable.

Switzerland produced quite a number of important writers (IMDone may not know them but that says more about his/her level of cultural education than about Switzerland). I will name a few:

Max Frisch has received highest accolades, including the Büchner-Preis (the highest award for German-language literature) and a honorary membership of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as a honorary doctorate degree of the City University of New York.

Friedrich Dürrenmatt was one of Europe's leading dramatists, also awarded many internationl prizes.

Hermann Hesse was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

Gottfried Keller and Conrad Ferdinand Meyer are considered classics in the German-speaking part of the world.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau is one of the leading philosophers of the age of enlightenment.

Shall I name architects?

Le Corbusier - the most influential architect of the 20th century

Herzog & de Meuron - I think, they built a pretty art museum in San Francisco (among others)

Painters:

Arnold Böcklin
Alberto Giacometti
Paul Klee
Niki de Saint Phalle
Jean Tinguely

And, do you think that Henri Dunant did not contribute to world culture? (The Red Cross is even shaped after the Swiss flag.)
traveller1959 is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2016, 09:44 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,505
I don't think it's fair to talk about "Switzerland" in its entirety.

Your experience will be very different in the French-speaking, German-speaking, Italian-speaking, (plus Rhaetoo-Romansh)... there's 4 national languages of Switzerland and the local cultures reflect this.
suze is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2016, 10:56 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,482
Considering Switzerland is 1,000 year old western culture, the influence of literature is weak. Hesse had a revival in the 1960's but has returned to being a curiosity. Max Frisch was mentioned as a Nobel candidate but of course never won. It is ironic when I was Geneva, I went into a bookstore and asked for the better Swiss writers who are living and the bookseller was hard pressed to name someone. At least someone who was translated in English. This is what I do in just about every country I visit. Rousseau of course was a philosopher, but even if you include him, that is one writer every 200 hundred, as compared to another country with a smaller population, Ireland, which has had an extraordinary influence on western literature.

Funny you should mention the Nobels, as the Swiss have won two in 115 years and Hesse was actually born in Germany. Now I know the awards can political and even questionable such as the one the Spanish writer, Juan Ramón Jiménez. But still that is not ringing endorsement or overwhelming evidence.

I must admit I was unfamiliar with Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Gottfried Keller and Conrad Ferdinand Meyer.

Herzog & de Meuron - I think, they built a pretty art museum in San Francisco (among others). They have a building in my neighborhood. I waiting to see how it wears.
IMDonehere is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO