Not only is Switzerland the United Nations’ 2nd Happiest country in the world, but it has most interesting secret places to expand and add wonder to any weary tourist’s vacation hopes.
So let’s hop aboard and let’s visit Switzerland ‘s best trains.
Where to start: Transportation
The best way to explore Switzerland, whether it’s the secret parts or not, is on the country’s super-efficient rail network. Trains are clean, comfortable, run on time, and offer a moving view of some of the world’s most postcard-perfect scenery. For the best value is the SwissPass.
Best secret places to add to your travels through Switzerland:
Despite thousands of years of human settlement, Chur, the capital of the Graubünden region, is rooted in the present as much as in the past. A regional center for culture, the city is also an adventure lovers’ dream town, with summer mountain biking and winter skiing opportunities all around.
Founded in the 8th century, Disentis Monastery is today the spiritual and educational center of the Upper Rhine Valley (Vorderrheintal). A cultural history exhibition depicts the history of the Benedictine Abbey as well as ecclesiastical art.
The most scenic railway in the entire world, the GlacierExpress runs through central Switzerland. For a true Old World experience, order a delicious three-course meal and enjoy it in the historic dining car.
St. Beatus Cave
The legend of the cave revolves around its namesake, St. Beatus, a monk living around 100 AD, who chose the cave in which to spend his pious hermitage. However, he discovered someone was already living there; a horrible dragon, who shot lasers of fire from his blazing eyes. St. Beatus held his ground and did not run out of his cave, He fought the beast by holding up his cross to the beast. The monk’s action invoked the Holy Trinity. Thrown into a hysteric fit, the dragon ran down the cliff and threw himself into Lake Thun below, causing the placid clear water to rise and boil.
Stretching over an arm of Lake Triftsee (itself a product of the Trift glacier), hidden among the high Swiss Alps, the Trift Bridge is a thin modern suspension bridge that looks like it could blow over with one stray wind, but is in fact quite safe.
Maison d’Ailleurs, or the “House of Elsewhere,” revolves around extraordinary journeys. It is a museum of science fiction, utopias, and other futurist writings. The museum has had an intense history since its creation in 1976 and originally located in a three-story townhouse. In 1991 the collection moved to former prison built in 1806 in the middle of the city.
There are wonderful waterfalls in the world, such as the Niagara and the Victoria, that draw thousands of tourists each year to marvel at their natural wonder, but there is one hidden away in the alps of Switzerland the notorious Reichenbach Falls. It looms larger than other falls in the world, since it’s the final and deadly confrontation between Sherlock Holmes and his arch nemesis, the Napoleon of Crime, Professor Moriarty.
In July 1916 German artist and poet Hugo Ball stood in the tiny performance space at Zurich’s Cabaret Voltaire, and read the first Manifesto introducing the world to a new concept in thought and culture. This was Dada: “An International word. Just a word, and the word a movement.”
Lucerne’s Spreuer Bridge looks to be a peacefully bucolic old-world span, the kind where medieval lovers might have met on a warm spring day, but hanging beneath the covered roof are dozens of historic paintings of skeletons and reapers collecting souls. They all remind travelers that every second is one closer to death.
Thanks for stopping by.
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