<<"One cannot really know Switzerland if one doesn't visit all the regions. Alors, s'ils vous plaît, venez visiter la Romandie, e dovresti anche andare in Ticino ! Part of the reason I feel this way is because I feel that meeting and interacting with different people is very important to me. I leave you with an image that sums up the diversity of Switzerland.">>
I agree completely. And, I agree that the Ticino is also within easy reach, and offers the wonderful rail trip over the Gotthard Pass ( uniquely Swiss) and beautiful lakes (shared with Italy). And, there are many beautiful and scenic places in Romandie that are within reach. Montreux comes quickly to mind. There could be a loop from Luzern to Interlaken/Grindelwald to Montreux to Zürich, for example. Not to mention the diversity and history ( of the Reformation, for one example) in Geneva. Time in the Emmental, to pick one region that is not in Romandie, might contribute to that goal. Especially so if your background includes knowledge of the Anabaptists, or you have lived in or near the "Pennsylvania Dutch."
Reading books about how Switzerland works, and its history offers quite intriguing insights into how the people interact, and their unique political system. I did not start to read until after I'd traveled enough to decide that the Swiss culture deserved deeper understanding. I wondered how it could work so well, thinking about the comparative examples of Ireland and Belgium. It took quite a few trips before that happened and I began to dig into the available literature.
Harkening to my first extensive trip to Switzerland with my partner, in 1989, in two weeks we landed in Zürich, stayed in Liestal, saw Roman ruins, stayed in St. Gall, saw the Abbey library and the remains of a Jodlerfest ( unplanned) , Ftan, Bettmeralp, with a hike by the bisse between Haut Nendaz and Veysonnaz, Kandersteg, Locarno, Flüelen, Beckenried, Luzern, Brienz, visited Wengen. Passed through Gruyeres, stayed in Glion, flew home from Geneva.
I did not find my itinerary, but have looked at the labelled Kodachromes and Ektachromes in the sequence that they were cataloged. The exact order may be a bit confused at the end. Did it all by public transportation. By 1989, I had been working a few weeks each year in Versoix and traveling to customers around Europe. Weekends in easy reach of Versoix ( Geneva) tended to explore Cantons Vaud, Neuchatel, Jura. So, I wanted to see some of the other corners of the Federation, and she was willing to make a lot of short stays or one night stays. Once.
The objective was to pick places for future visits. We knew beyond doubt that we would go back. I had work in Geneva until about 2003, and we went back many times. Once, we spent almost two weeks around Luzern and the lake. But, we never did that kind of whirlwind tour again. Exhausting. Lacking in any but the slightest understanding of the culture. Saw the sights, actually spent time with a few people ( speaking English, almost exclusively). Ein Bisschen Deutsch. It took all those years to begin to achieve the goal that you express. You are aware that I have learned a lot about the goals you define. It is hard to do that in 5 days, especially since the Alpine scenery is justly famous and pretty much has to be on the list.
Switzerland is small enough to "cover" all of those places we focused on, as well as the ones you correctly note are missing, and many more in the 5 day time allotted. You have surely noted the number of visitors that do try to "cover" everything in 2 days. Because it is possible does not mean that it is a good idea, especially from the perspective that you illustrate so well. Even so, we help people who want to do that.
<<"Part of the reason I feel this way is because I feel
that meeting and interacting with different people is very important to me.">>
It is difficult to do that in a 5 day trip.
So, we look at the visitor's proposed itinerary for a start. We almost always ask for a proposed itinerary if we spend any time on a thread.
We work from the customer's starting point. From my perspective, the time allotment to Luzern and the Berner Oberland is better than seeing a bit of everything.
Specifically, given Lisa's proposed 5 day time allotment, indicating a preference for the Alpine and Central Swiss regions, how would you include the French or Italian or Romansch speaking cantons?
PS- That is a very nice display of the die Wappen. The most attractive that I have seen. However, I do wonder that you did not choose to say " blason" or "armoiries" or, even, "coats of arms" of the cantons.