1 Burst results for "Loudoun Valley"

Locked Down in Switzerland and Belgium

Travel with Rick Steves

05:29 min | 2 years ago

Locked Down in Switzerland and Belgium

"Start with Stephen mcfeely he operates being be on Ireland's dingle peninsula in just before the pandemic head Stephen an interest in the hotel Oberland in October and Switzerland that's where he's had to ride out the first few months of the global lockdown good and. My goodness. My Irish friend is learning Spitzer dykes. Good here in the Alps where I've been for four months. Now in splendid isolation, my plan originally was just to come for February and March, but I've I'm still here right well, what does the vibe in Switzerland right now there's a positive vibe. The society is reopening. Tourism travel has started again just no we're on the same level as it was before we had two weekends where there was crazy crowds here huge big crowds from all over Switzerland everybody who was here was from Switzerland or had to be from Switzerland. They weren't necessarily all Swiss because there's lots of international people living in Geneva and Derek and whatnot but everybody from within the barger of Switzerland over with crowds, and then it just died and Monday to. Friday went back to being really really quiet. Okay. Well, this is sort of the very beginnings of the rekindling of tourism I would imagine it'll be people traveling with within their own countries first, and then traveling within Europe, and then finally international travel and transatlantic travel. Yes. That's exactly what we're seeing. The borders here have just reopened. So we're expecting Germans and some Austrians and maybe some French to come now also, I don't anticipate huge numbers like that would have been heretofore. One. Very noticeable thing in the Valley of course, there's no American visitors. As you know, the valley also is very popular with. Chinese travelers Indians many people from Dubai and Saudi Arabia would come here and they're not here this year. So there's a noticeable difference there. So the people getting the real cultural change would be the French speaking. Swiss. German speaking part of his Switzerland and not even leaving their own country exactly. Fifty percent of our guests. Last week were French speaking Swiss and it was the first time I've ever actually met those people and I would say to them. Are you French Swiss would say no, no, we are. All MOM and so I I learned something new immediately the K. The identify as swirl. They were saying exactly what you just said they said it's like we are in a different country it's very dramatic here it's different toossion either those on the do shut down it was really cool. They were very excited to see a different part of their own country. So that was wonderful. Now Stephen you own a hotel in Ireland in Dingle Peninsula and now you own a hotel in Switzerland in Loudoun valley two of my favorite places as a businessman working in both these countries how do you compare the support getting from the government and how the two governments are dealing with this crisis? Well, the difference is. Very. Big. I'm still on team. Ireland. So I want to be positive about my own country, but there's not a lot of support coming. Heretofore in Switzerland for example, within two weeks of the crisis occurring. The. Swiss Federal Council which is the Swiss government offered ten percent of the previous year's turnover and So that's quite a considerable amount of money and they offered that as a loan which was repayable over seven years. Zero percent interest. So they're not looking to profit from it and in Ireland we really struggled to get some assistance. And we got ten thousand euros of overdraft line of credit and but repayable at seven and a half percent interest in Switzerland. We got three hundred thousand. So it's quite a big difference there no-interest at all. No interest at all. Of course, Switzerland may have much stronger and deeper reservists than Ireland, but they were able to immediately come up with assistance very little bureaucracy paperwork, and they immediately got to help us in Ireland. The experience was just simply much different to the government really weren't as proactive for as immediate as were here in Switzerland. The roots here what's around her a lot less strict as well There is a two meter rule here, but I haven't seen anybody wearing masks very much, which is kinda shocking for me because I know in Ireland the whole north of is people should be wearing masks. People definitely are observing social distance. One of my friends said to me that the two meter rule has actually brought Swiss people closer together so. That is so insightful to the Swiss society. It's more difficult thing. It's more difficult thing for Irish people or Italian people are Spanish. Two meters distance than it would be for this people or maybe the. Scandinavians. I can see by home people are wondering. Is the Irish pub culture ever going to come back the way it was with social distancing whereas in. Switzerland. Here for me like I'm I'm in the Alps I'm surrounded by fresh air and. Of of lovely space and it's been a wonderful place to be stranded, I don't even want to complain about it because although I I was stranded here for four months. It was the perfect place I felt very safe. I might have felt different if I was in the middle of Zurich or something or Geneva but I felt very safe. I'd in the Alps and it is lovely and peaceful and quiet, and of course, that's what people are coming here for anyway

Switzerland Ireland Alps Stephen Mcfeely French Swiss Dingle Peninsula Swiss Society Swiss Federal Council Spitzer Europe Geneva Swiss Government Dubai Zurich Saudi Arabia Derek Loudoun Valley