Postcards from Switzerland

Greetings! See you soon!


Holiday home belonging to the Zurich holiday camp foundation, Magliaso in canton Ticino

"STOP - arrived safely - STOP – good weather – STOP – good swimming – STOP – good room – STOP – average food – STOP – greetings Brigitte." (1970)

Hotel Saaserhof, Saas-Fee in canton Valais

"Dear Margrith! I have been to Saaserhof, which you used to know, a few times in the past. Back then the shops were red and there was no pergola; otherwise, nothing has changed. I'm most probably going to return, even though I know you won't be there. I often think of you, not only right now, lots of love, Hans." (1964)

Hotel Acker, Wildhaus in canton St Gallen

"Dear all! I wanted to ask you again about the chairs. Would you like two or not? One chair only costs CHF1. I would be happy to send them to you but I'm still waiting to hear from you. All the best, Marie!" (1936)

Nurses' home, Zurich cantonal hospital

"To my dear sister Liseli! I'm just in the middle of finishing your letter. I have to be careful as I have to learn again how to concentrate. When the silk threads of a necklace break, the pearls fall and roll around on the floor and you have to find them one by one. The same goes for my thoughts at the moment. They are all over the place and I'm having to look for them (...) Best wishes, Elise." (1960)

Valens clinic, canton St Gallen

"Dear all, I'm enjoying some very healthy swimming here. Progress is amazingly quick. Since Thursday I can already bend my knee 95 degrees. I'm swimming like in former times. The room, view, care and food are really special. The therapists are mostly American women and friendly. Your always fresh Alice." (1973)

Jaun Pass, cantons Bern/Fribourg

"The summer will soon be over here on the high pastures. The cows' journey down from the mountain is at the end of September. I have learned how to milk cows (16) and make cheese (one cheese weighing 20 kg). Our herd consists of 26 cows and 8 calves, as well as two goats. All the best, Pia." (1982)

Camping at Thielle in canton Neuchâtel

"Dear Mrs G, I have never slept as well as I do here. Thanks to your help it's great. We really love it here and the weather is mostly fine. Now we are half way through our holidays. See you soon, E.B." (undated)

Worblaufen in canton Bern

"You can see on this card that I can almost touch heaven from my apartment. I feel happy at this height and really regret that Alfred cannot enjoy it with me... Don't feel discouraged and be happy to be able to look after yourself in your home and the fact that you don't have to rely on other people." (1968)

Lungolago, Locarno in canton Ticino

"Dear Fridi, Here are just a few short lines. We are completely snowed in right now. Agarone is a small village of only 150 people. There are no shops. Werner is constantly battling against the snow so that we can leave the house. You can't even buy a postcard here. Lots of love, Louise." (1977)

Moudon barracks, canton Vaud

"Dear Mrs W, I am now at army training school. Your socks are fantastic, amazing, exactly what I need, thank you! It is difficult here but I'll survive... I wish you all the best. Have a nice autumn. Best wishes, Christian G." (1981)

Ländli sanatorium, Oberägeri in canton Zug

"My dearest Martheli, Elisabeth wrote to me about the magnificent package you sent us. I want to sincerely thank you for your socks and the walnuts...There is a young 36-year-old man here who fought in the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942/1943. What hell. Out of the 480,000 Germans who happily (!) set off there only 4,000 survived. He was taken prisoner by the Russians, who only released him in 1956... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Pauline." (1959)

Hotel Beausite at Beatenberg in canton Bern

"Wonderfully calm and a great rest. It would be good if you could be here. This morning I briefly saw some snow but fortunately it didn't stay. It is good to be able to say farewell for a while. I'll take advantage. Greetings to everyone. M. B. (undated)




Sending postcards has been in steady decline,replaced by more instant forms of communication like mobile text messages and emails. But beyond simple holiday greetings, postcard writing is something of a lost art.

(All the images belong to Christoph Balsiger's private collection,

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