Destination: Grimentz, Switzerland. Cool, Beautiful, and Very Expensive

Look, Ma! I’m living in a Swiss chalet!

Look, Ma! I’m living in a Swiss chalet!

Brent and I are currently living in Grimentz, Switzerland, our seventh digital nomad location since leaving the U.S. two years ago. It was rather harrowing getting here since the road up the mountain is narrow and surprisingly precarious. (Then there was the matter of our plane catching on fire on the way to Europe.)

But now that we’re here, all that’s forgotten since the Swiss Alps are stunningly beautiful. They look exactly like I imagined — iconic and dramatic. Honestly, every fifteen minutes or so, I get up and go stand on the porch just to soak in the gorgeous views.

What else do we love about Switzerland?

Swiss Escape and Switzerland run with the precision of, well, a Swiss watch.

At night, we listen to this stream running by outside of our window.

At night, we listen to this stream running by outside of our window.

I think most of us have heard that the Swiss are some of the most efficient, well-organized people in the world. Turns out that reputation is very much deserved. Public transportation runs exactly on time, and the buses and trains are meticulously maintained. The streets are clean, clerks are friendly and efficient, and the tourist brochures are so informative and well thought out, they answer questions you didn’t even know you needed answers to.

That kind of efficiency is just as true of Swiss Escape, the co-living place where Brent and I are spending the next month. The owners, Haz and Fanny, seem to have thought of everything. Where some co-living places haven’t even had a frying pan, Swiss Escape has a fantastically stocked kitchen, including spices, an espresso maker, plus pots for making cheese fondue. (This is Switzerland after all!) And they actually tested out dozens of duvets to find one that wouldn’t end up as a tangled ball by the end of the night.

It’s gloriously cool!

I might have mentioned once or twice I had a hard time with the heat in Thailand and especially Vietnam. I can’t say we picked Grimentz specifically because the weather would be cooler, but, man, does it make for a great change. It’s July right now and the temperate hasn’t gotten above 21C/70F, which after Vietnam’s high 30s is a huge relief.

But there’s still lots of sunshine and blue skies. Basically, it’s the perfect hiking weather, which brings us to…

Let’s go hiking!

Not even a five minute walk from our Swiss chalet — I don’t think I’m ever going to tire of saying that — is one of two high speed gondolas in the area that whisk folks even higher up into the mountains. From there, adventurous souls can set out on hundreds of kilometers of hiking taking you up into alpine meadows with spectacular vistas or down into cool, green valleys where you could do a little fishing.

The view from our front porch!

The view from our front porch!

There’s also tons of trails for mountain biking, and if you’re really adventurous, there’s technical climbing you can check out.

And did I mention how spectacularly jaw-dropping the scenery is?

On the other hand, Switzerland is crazy expensive

Over the past two years, Brent and I have gotten used to living in some pretty affordable places such as Bulgaria and Vietnam. So we were already pretty likely to suffer some European sticker shock. But we were not prepared enough for what we’ve found

Our very modest budget hotel in Geneva set us back $90 USD a night — for a room that wasn’t even big enough for us to open both of our suitcases at the same time. A chicken sandwich lunch is $20. Here in Grimentz, which is even more expensive than Geneva, an ice cream cone is $12, and a pizza is $25. Lodging at Swiss Escape is about $1000 USD/month per person (but since this is a ski resort, prices are lower in summer).

Fortunately, while our lodgings in Swiss Escape are considerably more expensive than Vietnam, Bulgaria, and even Thailand, it feels like a bargain because it’s such a nice chalet, is so well run, and is in such a beautiful location. And compared to lodging in the rest of Europe this time of year, it is a bargain.

In conclusion…

We’re thrilled to be here, and can’t wait to enjoy the mountains around us.