They are everywhere you look: beside precipitous mountain paths, under shady trees, in parks, and beside lakes and parking lots. Swiss benches are an open invitation—“Please have a seat”, “Take a load off”, “Enjoy the view”, “Have a picnic!”—it’s an invitation impossible for me to resist.
The benches were always there, but after a friend gave me a notebook illustrated with a red Swiss bench on every page, I began to take a closer look.
These sturdy seats come in industrial versions with tubular steel underpinnings, or slatted with wood—some painted, some not. A bench might be hand-painted and set out beside a front door, or hand-hewn from a big chunk of tree.
It may have a back for proper sitting or no back at all, to better serve as a table. A bench may be backed with concrete to make it last longer. Many benches are the Swiss red of my notebook, but as many are not.
On occasion I’ve had a camera in hand when I happened upon benches in Swiss cities or the countryside, by a lake, or fronting a jaw-dropping mountain vista.
The seasons of a Swiss bench
In winter, I’ve found benches hunkered down under a blanket of snow, patiently waiting for a thaw. In cherry blossom season, a bench has invited me to take a time out from a spring hike—just a short sit, before I have to get up and moving to get warm again. In summer, well, that’s when the Swiss bench comes into its own. There is no more welcome sight, beside a hiking trail halfway up or down a mountain, than a sturdy Swiss bench. Come autumn, a bench in the city is still a good spot to catch the last rays of sunshine before cold weather.
Any guesses where I found these?
Talking about the power of observation! What a lovely little story to remind me not to take all those lovely, inviting and live-saving benches here in CH for granted!!!
Thank you…I agree it is sometimes the little delights that make the best stories!
So lovely and so civilized!
And still some beautiful autumn days to enjoy them!