Thursday, November 13, 2014

Spectacular Switzerland

Andrew Evans, - “Switzerland is good for the soul, of this I am certain.” - roams the world’s great destinations-bloggig, tweeting, and posting every step of the way. Here, he shares memories and tips from his amazing trip exploring the cultural and natural beauty of Switzerland. He visited the birthplace of the Internet; got to know locals; tasted the finest Swiss chocolate; hiked the Alps’longest glacier; explored the lavish city of Geneva; marveled at the famous Matterhorn peak; and toured the entire country with one single train ticket.

What’s the best way to get around? Train! With the Swiss Pass, available from Rail Euriope, you can ride trains, trams, metros, buses, and boats fro a day, several days, ro like me-a whole month. What I loved best was the freedom to wander freely on a single ticket.

If you could eat three things in Switzerland, what whould you pick? A big pot of moitie chees foundue, a crispy brown potato rosti, and of course, chocolate.

And if you could drink three things? Swiss wine from Lavaux (Louis Bovards is a favorite), apfelschorle (sparkling fresh apple juice), and the curing bubbly waters of St. Moritz!.

What surprised you most? Switzerland is astonishingly diverse-everyGeneva, Zurich, and Lugano are all in the same country.
valley or mountaintop is completely separate and unique from another. Dialect and customs are vastly different from one mile to the next. It’s mind-boggling to consider that the cities of

Does one hike stand out? Yes, definitely, my hike along the top of Aletsch Glacier. I walked on ice for three days, hopping over crevasses, sleeping in high Alpine huts, and enjoying the highest layer of the Alps. The summer snow was beautiful-it felt like walking on diamonds.

Which villages felt the most authentic? Celerina in Engadin, Chateau-d’Oex in Vaud, and Fontana in Ticino. Each one offers its own timeless magic.

Where should extreme adventure addicts head? Interlake. The mountains, lake, and valley around intelaken are paradise for skydivers, paragliders, climbers, and mountain bikers.

What are your best after-dark memories? Summer in Lucerne, in the dwindling twilight, walking along the clear lake, rippled with swans and dotted with stars reflected in the water. I was going to take the bus back to my hotel, but I walked all the way back instead, under an archway of moonlight trees, finally, across the historic Chapel Bridge.

What museum do you wish you could see again? The Matterhorn Museum in Zermatt. There are so many grand museums throughout Switzerland, but I love learning about the history of this iconic mountain and the glory and tragedy that lie at the base of this huge rock.

Your top mountaintop? Stanserhorn (1,898 m) is a peak just outside of Lucerne that makes a wonderful half-day hike up through flower-filled Alpine meadows. The view from the top stretches all the way to Switzerland’s borders. Be sure to ride the incredible double-decker Cabrio Cable Car (up or down), which affords a rare in-motion panorama all the way back down.

Tips for Swiss Bliss

Rent an E-bike. It’s very Swiss, the bike paths take you anywhere, and you get an extra push uphill!

Go swimming. Switzerland offers some of the cleanest water in the world, so dive in!

Don’t forget Ticino – the Italian part of Switzerland is magnifico and utterly unique. Eat gelato in Ascona and drive the scenic Val Bavona.

Do a hut-to-hut hike in the mountains-it’s an unbeatable way to absorb the landscape, follow an old Aphine tradition, and make lots of new Swiss friends.

Take a break from restaurants and dine at one of the weekly markets in the smaller Swiss towns. Buy directly from the farmer, butcher, or cheese-maker and taste true Switzerland.

Learn how and remember to say ‘thank you very much’ in all four official Swiss languages : merci vilmau (Swiss German), merci bearucoup (French), grazie mille (Italian), gratscha fitg (Romansch).

Check out Switzerland’s many World Heritage sites. My personal favorites are Lavaux, Aletsch Glacier, the castles of Bellinzona, and the old city of Berne.

Visit the smallest village in Switzerland; Croppo, population 16.

Swiss Travel Resources:

Getting around Switzerland : Swiss Pass Information; For Swiss Pass Bookings

More information on select regions:  Engadin St.Moritz ; Lake Geneva Mattherhorn Region ; Lucerne

For General information on Switzerland :

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