Having lived in a half a dozen countries for 45 years there comes a time when a decision has to made if you want to live away from your family or join them where ever they are. I decided to return to my native country of Switzerland where my mom (95) sister and my three sisters in law and their families now live. I personally was born and raised in a town called Aarau, in the Canton of Aargau, a town famous for it’s architectural towers and peaks within the old town, lying on the banks of the Aare River, but that’s worth another story! Now I live in Altdorf. After a long time abroad it was like being in a twilight zone moving from Miami to Altdorf a village in the Canton of Uri, surrounded by a mountain range that is absolutely breathtaking. Altdorf is a large village with approximately 10,000 inhabitants, lots of history, it is where Wilhelm Tell shot the apple off his sons head with a bow & arrow, his monument standing tall overlooking the village courtyard. It is also one of the major gateways to Italy via the Base Gotthard Tunnel or Pass. The village of Altdorf burnt down three times between 1241 and 1799 and was rebuilt bigger and better after every fire. I could actually see the proof of that during a renovation of an apartement, all the supporting ceiling beams were still scorched from the fires back then. My family runs a small, 16 room boutique hotel with a great restaurant and bar. Living here is great, we are in walking distance from work, postoffice, shops, banks and the whole family clan all 3-5 minutes away, that could be a good or a bad thing!
Danioth, the oldest bakery in town where they produce some of the finest Confiserie and specialty pastries in the canton. You can sit on any of the many terraces of the local restaurants and cafes such as the Restaurant Lehnhof, Cafe Central and Hotel Zum Schwarzen Loewen, built in 1592, (where The German Poet/Author Johan Von Goethe stayed over), and enjoy the mountain view, breathing fresh, clean and crisp air while enjoying a Kafi Fertig, a coffee with lots of Plum Schnapps! My wife drinks two of those and suddenly she rattles away in Swiss German lol! If you want some club action there is the Tellenbar open until the wee hours. Just a few steps away from our apartment there is Erwin Steinemann Pottery, a local artist producing beautiful handmade pottery items. The majority of the population is working for Daetwiler AG. a local manufacturer of technology and electronics. Attractions are plentiful in the area, national holiday is August 1st, carnival in February is a fun event, the entire village is transformed and participating in this traditional event with lots of parades, everyone wearing creative designed outfits and a lot of drinking, they say the birth rate climbs around that time! At the Monastery situated on a hill overlooking the village they have stone carving lessons where you can learn how to make beautiful stone art by hand. There is a leather shop where they teach you how to make leather items from scratch. Getting to Altdorf from Zurich airport via Luzern is an amazing trip through the countryside and through the carved out streets along the lakeside. Put it on your bucket list!