I love to walk in small villages where life is still normal. Small places where people drive tractors and there is a baker, a church. The people in these places are not multitasking. They live their days in a normal way. Someone shows up and wants to know, “Hey, what brought you here?” It’s very friendly, so you can always chat with people.
Tell us about some of the Swiss tennis clubs where visitors can have a good meal and play tennis.
The life of tennis clubs in Switzerland is important. This is how I grew up. There are many picturesque places where you can play tennis in Switzerland. The Geneva Tennis Club, where the Geneva Open tournament takes place, is very beautiful. The Geneva Eaux-Vives Tennis Club is also very nice. The clubs in Basel where I played growing up in the Interclub competition are pretty cool.
There was a boom in tennis club building when I was growing up, so every second village has its own club. We have to protect this tennis culture that we have. The restaurants of the tennis clubs are very important. Lots of clubs that I have played at, they have very good chefs, very good service and very high quality. People spent a lot of time in the clubs so the food has to be good and it’s usually a good price too.
When you come back to Switzerland from abroad, which Swiss dishes or sweets do you dream of? And if that includes chocolate, are you more of a milk chocolate or a dark chocolate?
I mean, chocolate, hello, you gotta love chocolate if you’re Swiss. I was white, then I was milky, and now I even like to go black. I like it all. Then I like the BÃ¼ndner Nusstorte, which is like a walnut pie from the GraubÃ¼nden region. It’s beautiful. And then, of course, there’s the rÃ¶sti, a dish of potato fritters. We have a dish called ZÃ¼rcher Geschnetzeltes which looks like minced meat with mushroom sauce, and I love to eat cordon bleu – it’s beautiful too.
Play the role of travel agent for us. Where should we go if we have a week or two in your country?
Fly to Zurich or Geneva and depart from there. In summer I think you would like to visit Lucerne and Interlaken and maybe visit Jungfrau, Basel, Zurich, Bern, the capital – its city center is also very beautiful. We also have some amazing museums in Switzerland. The Fondation Beyeler art museum is awesome. I grew up visiting the Tinguely museum, which is very interesting.
In Lucerne, there is the Swiss Museum of Transport, which remains my favorite place to take my children. It is a wonderful place where you can see old trams, trains, planes, cars, bicycles, etc.