Geneva Switzerland

Geneva - place des trente immortelles de geneve

The importance of this global, cosmopolitan city belies its small size of fewer than 200,000 residents. Although Geneva is a second-tier financial center, its more important role is as the headquarters city for more than 250 international organizations including the United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent (the latter of which was [Read more …]

Montreux Switzerland

Montreux art along Lake Geneva 02

Montreux Switzerland is a resort town on the southeast corner of Lake Geneva—the Swiss Riviera. Its heyday was in the 19th century. Although it is not as fashionable as it once was, it still has a number of nice resort hotels and a lovely lakeside promenade. A stroll along the promenade gives one an incredible [Read more …]

Vaud Wine Region

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The canton of Vaud is the second-largest wine-growing region in Switzerland. The region has been growing grapes and making wine since Roman times. Today it accounts for about a quarter of the country’s total production. The region consists of eight designated AOCs (appellation d’origine contrôlée which means “controlled designation of origin”). Six of these are [Read more …]

Lausanne Switzerland

Lausanne - Eglise St.-Francois

Lausanne Old Town Lausanne Switzerland is one of the country’s cultural and intellectual centers. It is also in the center of the country’s Vaud wine region, right between two of its premier areas, La Cote area (known for producing steely white wines, mainly from the Chasselas grape) to the west and Lavaux (known especially for [Read more …]

Bern Switzerland

Bern Cathedral

Bern Switzerland is the lovely, historic capital of the country. It is located on a steep ridge that is virtually encircled by a sharp bend in the Aare River. Berthold V, (Duke of Zähringen) founded the city in 1191. The city prospered and joined the Swiss Confederation in 1354. In 1848, it became the Swiss [Read more …]

Kleine Scheidegg

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Jungfrau is 13,642-foot mountain in the Switzerland Alps from which the region gets its name. The mountain is one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps and is an attraction primarily due to the cog- (or rack-)railway. Cog wheels on the trains mesh with the rack rail and allows the train to make the [Read more …]

Grindelwald and the Jungfraujoch

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Grindelwald Grindelwald is the principal town in the Jungfraujoch, a term that refers to the saddle between the Eiger and the Munch Mountains in Switzerland’s Alps. The combination of snow-clad mountain peaks, beautiful valleys, sheer rock faces, waterfalls and glaciers, including the Aletsch (which is Europe’s largest at 65 square miles and 2,300 feet [Read more …]

Swiss Alps: Bernese Oberland

Zermatt to Interlaken by train (5)

Zermatt to Interlaken Switzerland While not quite as awesome as the Glacier Express, the train in the Swiss Alps from Zermatt to Interlaken was pretty darn awesome nonetheless. Surrounded by sheer, near-vertical, scree-strewn cliff sides and impossibly-shaped mountain peaks, we passed through a series of pretty towns in deep valleys and occasional grazing sheep and [Read more …]

Switzerland’s Scenic Alps Part One, Matterhorn

Chur railway administration building

It wasn’t supposed to work out this way. We originally planned to spend a day in Zurich, followed by a day in St. Moritz and another day on an end-to-end train trip (from St. Moritz to Zermatt) on the Glacier Express, one of the most iconic and scenic train trips in the world. We didn’t [Read more …]

Zurich Switzerland

Zurich - Niederdorf building windows

Zurich is known primarily as one of the world’s most important centers of global finance and banking. Its history is much more dramatic. It initially was settled in the 1st century BC by a Celtic settlement. In the 9th century, it was expanded to a Roman fortress and developed rapidly into a trading center. Then [Read more …]