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Slow Train to Switzerland: One Tour, Two Trips, 150 Years and a World of Change Apart

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9781857886092: Slow Train to Switzerland: One Tour, Two Trips, 150 Years and a World of Change Apart
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One tour, two trips, 150 years and a world of change apart
In June 1863 an English lady set off by train on the trip of a lifetime: Thomas Cook s first Conducted Tour of Switzerland. A century and a half later, travel writer Diccon Bewes, author of the bestselling Swiss Watching, decided to go where she went and see what she saw.
Guided by her diary, he followed the same route to discover how much had changed and how much hadn t. She went in search of adventure, he went in search of her, and found far more than he expected.
Slow Train to Switzerland is the captivating account of two trips through the Alps: hers glimpsing the future of travel, his revisiting its past. Together they make a journey to remember.
This is a tale of trains and tourists, of the British and the Swiss, of a Victorian traveller and a modern-day Englishman abroad. It is the story of a tour that changed both Switzerland and the world of travel forever.

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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Review:

Bewes has become something of an expert on the Swiss. His first book, Swiss Watching lifted the lid on a country everybody knows of but knows little about. In his latest book, Slow Train to Switzerland he follows in the footsteps of Miss Jemima Morrell, a customer on Thomas Cook's first guided tour in 1863, and discovers how this plucky Victorian woman helped shape the face of modern tourism and Switzerland itself. --Wanderlust

Fascinating. Charming. Bewes breezy prose makes him a pleasant travelling companion. --Spectator

Very enjoyable. Bewes is a charming guide. --Geographical Magazine

A brilliant book. There is a strong story to tell of the burgeoning country that Switzerland was in the 1860s, and the utmost change the travel industry effected on the land. The differences and similarities between the two excursions make this time capsule was well worth opening, the contrast well worth making, and this author probably the best to do so --Bookbag

This book gives an excellent history of our favourite country, not the usual battle of this or war of that , but at the much more personal level of the common people s everyday lives. Even those of us who think we know a lot about Switzerland will learn something new, and gain that knowledge in a very readable and entertaining way. If you enjoyed Swiss Watching then you ll need to get a copy of this book by the same author. Highly recommended. --Swiss Express magazine

Chocked to the brim with brilliant insight - an interesting travelogue that is in equal measure detailed, witty and entertaining. Somewhere between Bill Bryson and Paul Theroux. --Goodreads

Fans of Bill Bryson will find him a kindred spirit The Lady

This book gives an excellent history of our favourite country, not the usual battle of this or war of that , but at the much more personal level of the common people s everyday lives. Even those of us who think we know a lot about Switzerland will learn something new, and gain that knowledge in a very readable and entertaining way. If you enjoyed Swiss Watching then you will need to get a copy of it. --Swiss Express magazine

Slow Train to Switzerland is informative, fun, and immensely readable. If you are interested in Switzerland, tourism, or adventures by plucky tourists from Victorian England (or even if you simply enjoy a good read), you are bound to like the book. --Europe For Visitors

'Fans of Bill Bryson will find him a kindred spirit' The Lady

A brilliant book. There is a strong story to tell of the burgeoning country that Switzerland was in the 1860s, and the utmost change the travel industry effected on the land. The differences and similarities between the two excursions make this time capsule was well worth opening, the contrast well worth making, and this author probably the best to do so --Bookbag

This book gives an excellent history of our favourite country, not the usual battle of this or war of that , but at the much more personal level of the common people s everyday lives. Even those of us who think we know a lot about Switzerland will learn something new, and gain that knowledge in a very readable and entertaining way. If you enjoyed Swiss Watching then you ll need to get a copy of this book by the same author. Highly recommended. --Swiss Express magazine

A unique account of travel in the Swiss Alps, then and now. An entertaining read for lovers of history and travel. --Library Journal

Chocked to the brim with brilliant insight - an interesting travelogue that is in equal measure detailed, witty and entertaining. Somewhere between Bill Bryson and Paul Theroux. --Goodreads

Book Description:

The story of two trips, one glimpsing the future of travel, one revisiting its past. The tale of a tour that changed both Switzerland and the world of travel forever.

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9781857886511: Slow Train to Switzerland: One Tour, Two Trips, 150 Years and a World of Change Apart

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ISBN 10: 1857886518 ISBN 13: 9781857886511
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