Willisau is a tiny Swiss municipality located in the Lucerne region. It is where I had my very first job in Switzerland and thus, started to put my feet on the ground.
The city is small but complete. It has all the 5 supermarkets in Switzerland namely: COOP, Migros, Denner, Aldi and Lidl. It has 2 home depot stores: a local store and Jumbo. It has a small shopping center where you can shop Chicoree, C&A, Dosenbach and Interdicount.
In the old city you can find the gourmet restaurants, hotels, pizza and kebab stores, optical and ear shops, etc. This tiny municipality is indeed complete.
Willisau is a place where everybody knows everybody. I mean, of course I am a foreigner but I also used to work in COOP Restaurant and I saw there how people knew everybody. The grüetzis were still heartfelt and meant, not an automatic, standard greeting like the big cities in Lucerne or Zürich. Here, people still stop and chat with each other.
I used to climb a small, little forest there. The climb took from the foot of the hill to the top and back down again about 40 minutes which was already a good exercise. It was interesting because they still had age old trees there and most of them were marked so you can know their names if you care to.
You can also harvest some wild herbs there. Whenever I climbed, I made sure to drink in a small spring which energized me. I do not know though if it was only my feeling or that the water was really very healthy. It certainly was cold and fresh. 🙂
I also did a lot of biking around the town because there were just so much to see. I knew though that someday, we will leave Willisau so I made sure that I saw everything that I wanted to see. This is my way of avoiding having regrets. Sure enough, we left the town after 3 years for a better work opportunity in another region.
Another really interesting about Willisau is its Christmas market. I have been to lots of Christmas markets in Switzerland but Willisau still felt so special. Considering that it is just a tiny town, it has tourists in bus coming to visit.
During this Christmas market time, the buses are redirected to give way to the foot traffic at the old town. And boy were there lots of people there! The market shops were unique and pretty. The atmosphere was super as far as I can remember. In this market was I able to first taste the famous Gerstensuppe of Switzerland. Until now, nothing compares to the taste of that Gerstensuppe (or maybe it was the memory! 🙂
I had my first friends in Willisau so this place will remain a good memory to me. This is where I was first given the opportunity to work by a very kind Swiss boss. I consider this a milestone in my living in Switzerland because at that time I had very little German speaking ability and language is very important if one has to work in a formal, with contract way. I mean, one can become a cleaner, a babysitter (which I did at first) or other contractual works and there are indeed opportunities if one is just hardworking. But to have a real job with regular hours is better because this is a great way to intergrate oneself in the community as a foreigner.
I liked Willisau a lot but having maximized my life there, I was ready to move on. It is now almost 2 years past since I last saw the town but I have only fond memories and no regrets.
My time in this town made me first practice what I long believed. That if I do not want to be always looking back in my past with regrets and feelings of missed opportunities, I should do everything that I want to do in the present. Because time moves and suddenly, everything is gone in an instant.
Thank you for reading. 🙂