For those with lots of extra cash Switzerland is a great place for shopping. You can find anything you want in this high-priced paradise. With this in mind I visited several different sporting goods stores looking for some fancy new running gear.
Of course, it is almost winter here and the locals are crazy about skiing and snowboarding which means that the shops are filled with every possible gadget imaginable for these winter sports. This being off-season for running most of the stores had a limited supply of running gear on display. To my surprise and disappointment there was a much greater selection of clothes available for male runners. Prices were basically the same as in Canada for most items but running shoes were considerably more expensive. In the end, I bought a pair of Nike running pants for the hefty sum of 89 CHF (Swiss Franken) which is about 99 dollars. I really wanted to buy some running socks but the cheapest pair I could find was 30 CHF (33 dollars) which was not within my budget.
Luckily, for frugal shoppers like myself there are other options available. There are second-hand shops in most Swiss towns and cities but these places are rarely mentioned in tourist brochures, so you need to get out and look for them on your own. So the last couple of days I have been out and about visiting the thrift shops in Langenthal in the hope of finding a few good bargains.
Now when it comes to running gear, I didn’t expect to find a great selection in the local thrift shops. In fact, considering the prices of running clothes, I suspect that most runners wear them out and few items make it to the second-hand stores. Yet, these places can always provide a pleasant surprise. I was delighted to find a lovely red Reebok sweatshirt, just like new, for the friendly sum of 2 CHF which is less than three dollars.
My bargain hunting was not limited to second-hand shops. I also paid a visit to the Brockis (Brockestuben or Brockenhaus). These stores are similar to Salvation Army thrift shops in Canada. The prices are super cheap and I managed to buy a selection of books, two blouses, and two t-shirts for 12.50 CHF (14 dollars) to take back to Oman. Now, I have to try to pack all of this stuff along with the three kilos of chocolate that I bought into my backpack.