West Virginia versus Switzerland

2 April 2020 22:22 

For a few summers in high school I worked as a river raft guide in West Virginia. Lately I’ve been a technical writer for a medical devices company in Switzerland. Both are land-locked, mountainous regions. How else do they compare? I know you’ve been wondering about this for a long, long time.

WhatWest VirginiaSwitzerland
Area62,755 km.2 (24,230 mi.2)41,285 km.2 (15,940 mi.2)
Railroad3540 km. (2200 miles)5323 km. (3307 miles)
Political parties1Democratic
Swiss People’s
Social Democratic
Free Democratic
Christian Democratic People’s
Largest cityCharlestonZurich
FlagA farmer, a miner, some rifles, tools, and barrels of moonshinePlus sign
Language(s)EnglishGerman, French, Italian, Romansch
MottoMontani semper liberi
Mountaineers are always free
Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno
One for all, all for one
Highest pointSpruce Knob
1482m/ 4863ft.
Monte Rosa
IncomeMedian household income: $43,469 (wikipedia)GDP per capita: $69,385
Climate2Humid sub-tropicalTemperate
RiversCheat, Gauley, Greenbrier, New, Ohio, Potomac, Shenandoah3Rhein, Rhone, Le Doubs, Aare, Inn
River drainageChesapeake Bay, Gulf of MexicoNorth Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Adriatic Sea, Black Sea
BordersOhio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, KentuckyGermany, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy, France
SongCountry RoadsJodeln ist cool
If it were a movieO Brother Where Art Thou?Pleasantville
Unusual town nameNitroReckingen-Gluringen
FeudHatfields and McCoysMigros and Coop
Unintelligible dialectSouthernSwiss German
Family reunions are...A chance to find a spouseA chance to find a spouse
NotablesPearl Buck and Chuck YeagerPaul Klee and Hermann Hesse
ResortThe HomesteadSt. Moritz
Cuisine/eatsBiscuits and gravyRösti and raclette
Please don't confuse with someone from...VirginiaGermany
Venemous snakeCopperheadEuropean adder
Something unexpectedDolly Sods Wilderness4Palm trees in Ticino
Our man at work 1977/2020


  1. There are about twenty active political parties in Switzerland, represented at the local, cantonal, and federal level.
  2. Köppen climate classification
  3. Translated as River of Death/Daughter of the Stars.
  4. The end of program solo for an Outward Bound-type program I did was here. Wonderful.

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