Sunday, January 30, 2011

Something you would never see in Switzerland

It doesn't take a genius to guess that this sign is from a parking lot in the American South. When a country is run by lawyers instead of by the people, these kind of signs tend to be popular, if not a bit ridiculous in their excess caution. Not to mention, in the U.S., there is often more salt on the streets than snow.

While I don't necessarily need a sign to warn me that it's winter and snowy and therefore slippery, I would appreciate a small sprinkling of sand or salt on my Swiss streets sometimes. I was in Adelboden a few weeks back and could hardly walk without slipping. People were sliding down the streets in their snowboots. It was dangerous. I know that personal responsibility matters in Switzerland, but sometimes this is also taken to the extreme. At one point, a local told us to get down the main hill, we should take the parking lot elevator rather than the road because the road was too icy. So we went down the hill via the parking lot.

I just wonder where the balance is sometimes. From one country to the other, from one extreme to the other.

What do you think? Do you prefer to slip and slide with or without signage?


M'dame Jo said...

It's up to each Gemeinde to decide weather they want to use salt, gravel, wood pieces... or nothing. It can change a lot from one place to the other. I get that it's good to moderate the amount of salt in the streets (hence in the water, lakes, soil, etc.), but something has to be done, I agree. In Lausanne center, it's well taken care of because of all the slopes...

Chantal said...

Adelboden must be one of the places where they do nothing...

Allison L said...

My husband lived for a year in Adelboden before we both moved to Zurich and I joined him for 3 months in summer and 1 month in winter. Definitely slippery everywhere.

Our shack was on a steep hill by the school. During summer we would walk and get groceries and DH would walk to work But once winter came we drove. DH drove to work even but it was safer then him walking around especially since he worked night shift.

When we did walk to places we used the elevator trick too. haha

Diana said...

Due to our affluent tourists, our Gemeinde spends a lot of money and time scrapping up the icy streets and spraying gravel. I am glad they don't use too much salt for obvious ecological reasons.

A tip: our shoe store sells and installs mini metal crampons onto the bottom of any boot. Ask your local store... they are quite cool. With the flick of your finger, they can be deployed, à la 007.

Chantal said...

I know your tourists must be affluent. When my husband went skiing there last Saturday he lost his gloves, went into a shop to buy some new ones and they took him to the back and opened a drawer...

007 here I come!

Anonymous said...

I cringe when I think about the steep windy two lane roads with no shoulders I used to drive on in Switzerland. Wouldn't have the nerve now.

Chantal said...

With no car I also have no experience with road conditions for driving. But based on the sidewalks I can only guess.

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