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Blog posts tagged with 'switzerland'

The Alps
ALP51In his entertaining new history, Stephen O'Shea drives 500 miles through the Alps, crossing six countries while musing on the historic personalities who braved the forbidding range, including Napoleon, Hitler and James Bond. His account, The Alps, begins with the idea of the sublime and the Romantics who championed it--artists and writers whose works evoked the beauty and terror of the Alps. O’Shea himself admits to a fear of heights and carefully chronicles each hairpin turn as he snakes his way from Geneva to Trieste through dizzying high passes in his shiny muscle car.
The Gilded Chalet
SWZ87Over the past two centuries neutral Switzerland has acted as a haven to those seeking shelter from two world wars, taxes, even celebrity. Among the outsiders who found rest and refuge in the Alpine landscape have been the myriad authors who were drawn to the country for its promise of peace and the freedom to create. In his new book The Gilded Chalet, Padraig Rooney explores the allure of Switzerland through the artists and writers who lived and worked within its protective borders.
Spring Travel Titles
Like many travelers, we’re already looking ahead to spring. Whether plotting your travels or simply hoping for a good armchair vacation, here are some titles to watch for as the weather warms. Why the Dutch are Different. Mingling history with travelogue, English expat Ben Coates speaks to why the Netherlands is such a fascinating country, significant beyond its size. His probing narrative explains the importance of the color orange, the ongoing battle to keep water out, the Dutch love affairs with milk and beer, their attitudes toward nature, their world-famous culture of tolerance and why there are many “nether lands.”
Matterhorn Summit
July 14 is usually a day for the French, but this year the Swiss will join in with celebrations of their own. On that day 150 years ago, British climber Edward Whymper and his expedition team were the first to reach the peak of the Matterhorn at 4,478 meters. Throughout this anniversary year the remarkable feat will be celebrated with a variety of mountaineering experiences, classic alpine traditions and plenty of festivity in Zermatt and surrounding villages. Read more here to plan your trip, then pick up some of these fascinating books on the subject. Killing Dragons, The Conquest of the Alps.
Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland
Kindly contributed by Diccon Bewes, astute observer of Swiss culture and author of Swiss Watching and the recently released Slow Train to Switzerland. With a 1863 Alpine Club member's journal in hand, Bewes follows the route of early tourists in Switzerland, observing firsthand the changes tourism and time have wrought on the pristine country.