All aboard the Glacier Express: a photoessay

What is it about scenic routes that makes the charm of train travel increase exponentially? While I ran out of patience for long (or even short, admittedly) train journeys quite a few years ago, I still can’t resist the call of scenic trains. Which is why I agreed to a press trip to Switzerland last…

On the top of Europe

Continued from here… My visit coincides with Charlie Chaplin’s 40th death anniversary (that falls on Christmas day), and to mark the occasion, Chaplin’s World, along with Jungfrau Railways had commissioned British sculptor John Doubleday to create an ice sculpture of Chaplin. This was to be inaugurated on top of Jungfrau mountain, and so from the…

An ode to Charlie Chaplin

Growing up in the days of black and white, single channel television meant, among other things, that one of my favourite childhood icons was a man with a funny moustache (we used to call it the Hitler moustache back then) and a funnier walk. His coat never fit him properly, his hat kept falling off,…

Friday photo: Snow

Feeling the heat already? Summer is here, and here to stay for the next few weeks, if not months in most parts of the country. So, here is something to cool you off – and make you yearn for the hills, or even the mighty Himalayas and the majestic Alps. A snow hike on a…

The curious case of Chur 2

Continued from here… The next morning, the countryside beckons and we head out to Viamala Gorge, less than an hour’s drive away. This magnificent ravine, now a popular tourist attraction, was once hated by the peace-loving Swiss for being an evil obstruction in their journey across the Alps, giving it the name of “Bad Path.”…

The curious case of Chur 1

In a country that has so many enticing blockbuster attractions, Chur seems like a curious choice of a place to visit on a whirlwind tour. But there is a reason for my choice; Chur (pronounced Kh-oor) is not just one of Switzerland’s classic beauties but also the country’s oldest city, continually inhabited since 3000 BCE….

Switzerland’s secret cherry liqueur

I shut my eyes to enjoy the sensation of the Röteli going down my throat. The flavours of the Swiss cherry liqueur are new to me, somewhat spicy, somewhat tart, and thoroughly delightful. It is a warm summer evening in Chur, the capital of the Grisons or Graübunden canton in the eastern part of the…

In love with Lucerne

It is still bright and sunny when I head out for an early dinner at seven in the evening. My handy phone map shows the restaurant is just around the corner from where I am staying in Lucerne. So I stroll out of the doors of my charming ‘Romantik’ hotel – as many of the…