Cover image for Slow train to Switzerland : one tour, two trips, 150 years -- and a world of change apart
Slow train to Switzerland : one tour, two trips, 150 years -- and a world of change apart
Bewes, Diccon, 1967- author.
Publication Information:
London Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2016.

Physical Description:
xviii, 301 pages : illustrations, map, portraits ; 20 cm.
It was the tour that changed the way we travel. In the summer of 1863 seven people left London on a train that would take them on a thrilling adventure across the Alps. They were the Junior United Alpine Club and members of Thomas Cook's first Conducted Tour of Switzerland. For them it was an exciting novelty; for us it was the birth of mass tourism, and it started with the Swiss. A century and a half later travel writer Diccon Bewes set off on the same three-week trip. His quest: follow their itinerary, stay in the same places, and discover how much has changed. And how much hasn't. His guide was Miss Jemima, a member of that Club who wrote a diary as she travelled - a diary that was lost for decades but survived as a unique record of a historic tour...Slow Train to Switzerland is the fascinating account of both trips from London to Lucerne. It's a revealing look at the early days of tourism, when going abroad meant 18-hour days and wearing the same clothes for weeks. And no toilets on the trains! It's also the story of how a nostalgic tour surprised an expat author, revealing a Switzerland very different from the present - and a stunning and unexpected personal connection with the past...That first trip saw the end of travel for a privileged few and the start of tourism for the masses. It also helped transform a poor Switzerland into one of the wealthiest countries on earth. And now it gives us a second chance to experience travel the way it used to be: slow.
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