The Röstigraben letters – June 2021

Röstigraben letters, Swiss culture

Welcome to the The Röstigraben Letters, monthly letters between Kristin from Swiss Family Travel, and Laura from Let’s Explore. Married Swiss, Kristin, an Australian living in german-speaking Zug, and Laura a Dutch, living in french-speaking Geneva, unfold through their letters the cultural differences between both sides of the Röstigraben, learning more about Switzerland along the way. Read their letters (Kristin’s &  Laura’s) and replies, and share your thoughts in the comments. 

My letter is a reply to Kristin’s May letter from the other side of the Röstigraben. You can read her June letter here.

June 2021

Narcissi Montreux Riviera

Salut Kristin!

Life on the French side of the Röstigraben is going very good! We are all in the summer mood after a few hot days and nice swims, even though some of the summer feelings got washed away by some rain storms here and there. 

Those cherry-ladder races sound really fun! Is there a specific reason why Zug is famous for cherries? I know the Canton Valais is famous for apricots, but not why it is specific to one region or another. I love cherries, but quite honestly, on our end at least, I always find them so expensive… Are they less expensive in Zug? 

In Geneva, we have no fame for a specific fruit I think, but we do have nice wines produced locally. Geneva is however famous as a place for international meetings. A city of peace in a country known for its neutrality. And so, Geneva was chosen for the summit between the American and the Russian Presidents here last week. As I live in the countryside, the major logistics around such a meeting did not affect me that much, and my husband was just put in Home Office that day, so it was fine. We just saw some impressive and loud planes arriving, already on the weekend before the summit. 

Geneva and the yellow boats les fouettés
Geneva and its yellow boats ‘Les Mouettes’

Yes, the vaccine roll out works good in Geneva as well. The vaccines are administered in several locations across town and a big concert hall was transformed into a vaccination center. The only thing which was a pity, is that I got my appointment at the complete opposite side of town, but well, I’m not complaining. What also works well, is the Covid Certificate. As you know our teen had Covid, and we could just request his certificate online and we received it, with his QR code about 5 days later. That means at least one out of four of us now has a certificate which makes travel a bit easier. We will travel this summer, as we plan to go both to France and to the Netherlands.

Talking about travel and vaccines… my mom has arrived!! After a year and a half separated (not counting those 2 days when she came and Switzerland was put on the ‘no travel’ list when she was on the plane, and she had to leave again). Incredible! We went to pick her up from the airport 2 days ago, and I thought: I’ll believe it when I see her! She had her 2 doses of vaccine and was allowed to travel, so we can now enjoy spending 2 weeks together with my mom!

I’m planning to do a lot of local things in Geneva with her. Like breakfast at the Bains des Paquis (one of our Badis), showing her the new beach in Geneva, and go for a walk to a terrace in the vineyards. When summer arrives in Geneva, there are so many options!

Oh, I understand, we all have a bit of allergies as well in our house, some more than others, but luckily less for spring flowers, because we went on a very beautiful spring flower hike above the Montreux Rivièra to see the famous Narcissi fields at Les Pléiades! It really is a remarkable sight to see. They call those fields May Snow, and it is true that is looks a bit like a thin layer of snow on those mountain fields. The blooming of the flowers doesn’t last long, but it’s a good add to anyone’s bucketlist of spring hikes!

Oh, those are important school changes! I understand your little Z will be a proud real school kid, and how amazing that your teen and her friends were able to organize their own camp! 

Your favorite summer drink sounds delicious! Will you share how you make it?

Until our next letter Kristin, which I will probably write from the South of France! Until then, good luck with all the end of the year activities. True that end of June can sometimes be a bit stressful!

Gros bisous,


Make sure you read Kristin’s June letter here.

And you can find all our letters here. 

Röstigraben letters

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