A Swiss Surprise
Cyrilla Lahmer and Elisabeth Musci

after an article by Melissa Leong in the
'Sabah - Malaysian Borneo' magazine, Volume 54, August 2005

For our Swiss friends Cyrilla Lahmer and Elisabeth Musci, Sabah would be a virtually unknown destination if not for Cyrilla's grandson, Herman, who has been residing here for several years now. "Sabah is not very well-known in Switzerland but when we get back, we are always glad to tell everyone what a wonderful place it is," said Elisabeth, a family friend. This is Cyrilla's third visit to Sabah; she visits her grandson here every two years. "During our first year we travelled extensively through Sabah and visited, amongst others, Danum Valley and Sukau. The second year we covered Sarawak - Kuching, Batang Ai and Mulu. This year we are relaxing, profit of the islands and other attractions around Kota Kinabalu," she said. Kaltenbach, located on the lower lake of Constance in Switzerland is the home for these lovely ladies and the weather is very much cool all year round. "It is very hot here but I must say that this time it is unusually hot!" Elisabeth claimed. Her tips on handling the heat? "Start slow! We try not to get too much sun exposure and gradually get used to the heat. Also, drink lots of water," she said. During their visit here, the ladies stayed at the family-owned Langkah Syabas, their regular "home" during each visit. "We love staying there because it is so cozy and comfortable. Everyone is very friendly and helpful." Cyrilla shared. Another convenience that they enjoy is the ability to prepare their own meals at Langkah Syabas. "We love shopping on the markets, where we can buy our own fresh, local vegetables and have them cook at the resort the way the locals do it, and that is always a feast!" Elisabeth quoted. Speaking of food, is there any particular local fare they have grown fond of? "Noodles!" And the spicy food is interesting, too, as Elisabeth revealed.

During their recent trip, the ladies looked forward to visiting Poring and do some trekking in search of Rafflesias, and taking a trip on the historical steam train. "There is so much to do here and I like a bit of adventure," said Elisabeth. For 82-year young Cyrilla age is certainly not an obstacle and she is an avid traveller herself. Apart from Sabah, the duo has also visited Canada, Bali and Sri Lanka. However, Sabah remains a special favourite in their heart. "The people are very nice and accommodating. I always feel like there is no distance and they are willing to help whenever they can. That is really hard to find these days," said Elisabeth. Without a doubt, our Swiss friends look forward to their next trip here. "We plan to come back in another two or three years," Cyrilla reveals. And then they do, rest assured they will be welcomed just as warmly.

The Sabah - Malaysian Borneo magazine is published on a monthly basis and available free from Sabah Tourism, at selected souvenir boutiques, tourist information centres and from major resorts and hotels in Sabah. 

All features are original scholarship works and copyrighted. Please contact us for the use of the material. 

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