I recently had the pleasure of crossing several mountains and going through one long tunnel for a visit to Valais.
The Southern part of Switzerland is best known for The Peak, its iconic Matterhorn. But there is much more to Switzerland's third largest canton. For instance, the Upper Valais. This region appears much more Alpine and laid back than the Rhône valley. Also, the language spoken there is a dialect of Swiss German, and the houses are built on stilts. Yes, stilts.
Thanks to many conversations with locals (and my own observations during previous trips), I came up with a list of surefire ways to know you are from Valais:
You think it’s normal to drive through a tunnel to get anywhere.
You know what "Prince de Saxon" refers to*...
Your perfect pie looks like this:
And your first job was selling apricots at the side of the road.
You refer to others with last name first: "Blatter Sepp" or "Zurbriggen Pirmin"...
Every time you see a wheel of cheese, you want to cut it in half, start a fire and start melting it.
You have never posed for a photograph with a St. Bernard!
The sound of helicopter blades cutting through the air is comforting you.
You decide to ride your quad to get the mail.
You have avalanche protection in your backyard!
Bitsch is just another little town.
You think it's normal that houses are built on stilts.
You consider a backup involving five cars to be rush hour!
You have run into road barriers involving goats.
You think the ski slopes in your little village are getting crowded when there are more than five skiers.
And you learned to ski before you could walk.
You are used to seeing electric cars of all colors,...
... shapes and sizes!
You sometimes cannot understand those weird Swiss German dialects from up North.
But you feel comfortable speaking three Swiss national languages (German, French, Italian)!
And you understand the meaning of this phrase:
Your definition of a perfect mountain looks like this:
*It's the most common type of apricot...
(Apricot tarte photograph copyright by Valais Tourism)