A pretty town where tourists sadly rarely go – lovely old fashioned restaurants, some great little shops, an intact town centre with cobblestones and shops that remind you what it was like to peruse wares before every city looked the same with uniform offerings of Zara, H&M, Talie Weijl (or however it is spelled), Burger King, McDonald and Starbucks. Zofingen, according to a a shop-owner who welcomed us in, offered champagne, spoke about holidays in Scotland and the sad lack of tourists to the city, is Switzerland how it used to be. There are loads of little shops, the signs above the businesses indicate the trade and have been there for many years. In cafés people notice if you are speaking English, the menus are not all fusion Californian, and despite one sushi restaurant I came across it’s all still quite traditional.
These are small shops run by local people and offering original gifts and interesting items at surprisingly reasonable prices, highly recommend a trip if you are ever driving through Switzerland. While there is no river, no lake and no mountains, there is a beautiful old town centre and some very nice meals to be had.
There are also some for want of a better word mottos by which to live you life, painted on the towns walls . The translation of which might help explain the Swiss to non-Swiss. The Swiss are not famous for being a fun-loving population but they are famous for having good work ethic and producing high quality goods…..
Sign above a dry cleaners…
Shop window in Zofingen
Creative fountain gardening!
here’s to beer – a sign outside the Federal pub
Stoffsache – for those of you who sew your own clothes – or knit – or do both – this shop is heaven!
The pharmacy – closed on a Sunday
The sun shines on Zofingen
The translation of the above text – it’s focus on work, on an old city center building, tells you a lot about the focus of the Swiss: do not work too much, nor too little, remember Sunday is the purpose of your working week. Sunday gives meaning to your work and distills the benefit from your travails (yes this is a very very fast translation, the original rhymes, however, the translation is true to the essence of the sentence..if not a wonderful sentence in itself).
and if you were in any doubt as to the focus of the population here then the above text should help you out:
As time passes all highs and lows are balanced out, however time moves fast, understand this and work!
Yes it is all about the work – well not all, but in order to understand the subtleties you’d need to spend time talking to the population in local language…. pretty much like anywhere else in fact!