Monday, August 17, 2009

Is Canton Aargau cool after all?

Many people in Switzerland make fun of Canton Aargau. Admit it, maybe you're guilty too. Apparently Aargau has a reputation for being old-fashioned, white-sock wearing, and dreadfully boring. “Why are you living in Canton Aagrau?” former colleagues in Zurich used to sneer, wrinkling their noses.

To be fair, if I had known about the whole stigma attached to living west of sophisticated Canton Zurich, maybe I wouldn’t have given good old Aargau a chance either. But the thing is, Canton Aargau has castles. I should know. I live right below the one in Baden. And when it’s lit up at night, it tends to make even my snobby Zuricher friends admit that maybe, just maybe, at least one town in the state of Aargau is worthy of an apology.

Zurichers don’t want to admit it, but back in the day, they used to come to Canton Aargau, to my little town of Baden to party. Baden was where the party was. Because Baden was a Catholic town, Zurichers would come to escape their wholesome Protestantness and party in Baden’s spas where they sang, danced, and drank all night long.

Today, castles are to Aargau what Armani suit-wearing lawyers are to Zurich. They’re everywhere. And let’s be honest. Which would you rather have a lot of?

Anyhow, in Aargau there’s Wildegg Castle, Lenzburg Castle, Hallwyl Castle, Aarburg Castle (pictured above), and many more. I highly recommend them all. I just visited the Aarburg Castle yesterday and while I gazed up at it with my feet in the green Aare River, I thought, you know what, Canton Aargau deserves better. After all, it's where I call home.


Romy said...

Guilty! *hangs head* At least before I went there... then I was pleasantly surprised! :) See my post:

Celeste Brash said...

I vote for castles! This photo sure makes me want to go there.

Chantal said...

Knew some of you were Aargau bashers :) No worries, still love y'all. I love the castles too. I think I've seen them all and then I discover more. Canton Aargau keeps on giving...

Greg Christensen said...

Cool. Didn't know about the castles or the stigma. But Aargau is on my list now.

MP said...

It looks beautiful and quiet to me! I lived above the former stables of a castle in England and I have to admit waking up to the view of the castle grounds was amazing. I think you pick a great spot, stigma or no!

Chantal said...

Glad I could put good ole Aargau on your list! Yeah, most people don't know about the stigma until they have lived here a few weeks and talk to others. Of course, every Swiss thinks their hometown is the best, but Aargau seems to be a pretty big scapegoat when it comes to who to pick on.

Lighthouse Lizzy said...

Thank you, Chantal, for talking so friendly about my home Canton Aargau! I am a neighbour of yours, I live in Fislisbach (love to call it Fislisbeach, though... ;-) ). Oh yes, we certainly know how to party in Aargau. Have you ever been to Badenfahrt (last one was in 2007). That is when all of Canton Zurich is empty and everybody is coming to Baden to join the party!

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