Slow Train to Switzerland

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

3.77 (122 ratings by Goodreads)
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Travel writer Diccon Bewes embarks on a historical train ride following the route taken by Thomas Cook in the nineteenth century. Thomas Cook in June 1863 began his first ever, conducted tour - the round trip would take 3 weeks and was a rail journey travelling from London to Lucerne. The success of this tour meant that Cook became a household name and gave rise to modern mass tourism. With the aid of a diary written by a female passenger documenting the trip day by day, Diccon Bewes follows the footsteps of these early more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 160 x 232 x 30mm | 599.99g
  • Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • illustrations (black and white), map (black and white)
  • 1857886097
  • 9781857886092
  • 213,808

About Diccon Bewes

Diccon Bewes is a travel writer. A world trip set him up for a career in travel writing, via the scenic route of bookselling. After ten years at Lonely Planet and Holiday Which? Magazine, he decamped to Switzerland, where he has until recently managed the Stauffacher English Bookshop in Bern. As well as grappling with German, re-learning to cross the road properly, and overcoming his desires to form an orderly queue he has spent the last five years exploring this quirky country. Following the incredible success of Swiss Watching he is now a full time writer. See his website at www.dicconbewes.comshow more

Review quote

"In "Slow Train to Switzerland," Diccon Bewes shows the 'in the footsteps' genre in a lighter form through a pioneering 1863 trip by the Junior United Alpine Club - seven English men and women whisked through the snowy peaks by Thomas Cook's first organised tour of Helvetia. This adventure marked the beginning of the modern tourism industry. An amusing book not least because of the genteel comedy of manners of the English tourists is an offshoot of the fact that Switzerland to the Victorians was as threateningly exotic as Irian Jaya (West Papua New Guinea) is to us today."--Lawrence Osborne, "The New York Times Book Review" ""Slow Train to Switzerland" is the fascinating account of two kinds of 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. 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."--"Heimberger's European Traveler" "A unique account of travel in the Swiss Alps, then and now. An entertaining read for lovers of history and travel."--"Library Journal" "Bewes' account pays off in a remarkable story and an unexpected ending."--"Virtuoso Life" magazine "A delightful book..."Slow Train to Switzerland" is informative, fun, and immensely readable. If you're interested in Switzerland, tourism, or adventures by plucky tourists from Victorian England (or even if you simply enjoy a good read), you're bound to like the book."--"Europe for" "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" "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 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 favorite 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 "Very enjoyable. Bewes is a charming guide [and] has a keen sense of how tourism transformed Switzerland into the Cinderella of Europe. It's a good subject for a book and Bewes does it full justice."--"Geographical Magazine"show more

Rating details

122 ratings
3.77 out of 5 stars
5 20% (24)
4 44% (54)
3 30% (37)
2 5% (6)
1 1% (1)
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