OVERVIEW OF GENEVA With a lakeside situation at the foot of the Alps, Geneva is an international capital with major congresses & museums. The Jet d’Eau fountain is a city icon & the waterfront is a bustling place, where Lac Lomond flows into the Rhone River. Geneva is the European headquarters of the United Nations & is mainly French speaking. Popular attractions include the buildings around the UN, Opera House & 30 museums. Rail transport is most prevalent.
OLD TOWN GENEVA The Grand Rue is a well-preserved street & centuries of history can be seen in Geneva’s Old Town that offers 26 historical points to tour. The stone walled heritage buildings house shops and bistros & the Place de Bourg de Fours is a trendy square. Archaeological highlights include Cathedral St. Pierre’s underground fortifications. The Wall of the Reformers celebrates Geneva’s earlier status as the “Rome of the Protestants.”
GENEVA RED CROSS MUSEUM Known as a city of peace, Geneva is the home of a number of humanitarian organizations, including the Red Cross. The museum here displays state of the art museographics that tell the story of the work of the Red Cross during some of the world’s gravest times. Millions of prisoner file cards, statues, films and exhibits recount the world’s history of war, with an emphasis on the mandate to reflect, think and act, rather than resign themselves.
TIME PIECES (GENEVA) Switzerland is well known for its clocks, watches and precision time pieces., & three of the world’s best selling brands are made in Geneva. The Philip Patek Museum houses pieces from master crafters since the 1600’s, with an extensive library and history of horology. The Museum of Horology also exhibits +1000 timepieces, as well as giving information about how time has been measured through the ages, from the sun dial to the atomic clock.
LAKE GENEVA AREA Between the Alps and Lake Geneva lies some of the most exquisite scenery in Switzerland, with pretty lakeside towns, vineyards and cozy accommodation. Montreux is one of the loveliest cities, crowned by the Chateau Chillon. Visitors and 20,000 locals enjoy exclusive shopping, heritage architecture, picturesque galleries, grand hotels, well-groomed lakeside gardens and a wildly popular Jazz festival in July.
THE CAPITAL CITY, BERNE Founded in 1191 & boasting the Munster Cathedral on its horizon, much of Berne has been preserved intact. The capital city of Switzerland is characterized by its old Medieval section (UNESCO) as well as the Houses of Parliament, consulates & Bear Pits. Countless restful havens surround the swimmable Aaré River, enhancing a bustling urban lifestyle. Covered arcades offer great shopping. Berne is also a jazz capital.
ZURICH Often thought of as “downtown Switzerland,” Zurich is a social & cultural center with 1.2 million people. At the northern end of lake Zurich, the city is stunningly built around the clean Limmat River, illuminating the graceful architecture. Big business is here, & shops can be upscale. Public transportation on rail & water is highly efficient. Green spaces & cobblestoned courtyards are people friendly, & nightlife is joyous.
MUSEUM OF HISTORY IN ZURICH Old Town Zurich is itself a vast outdoor museum! Fraumunster Church is architecturally distinctive & known for the Chagall windows. Near the downtown train station is the Swiss national Museum, reflecting a wide gamut of historical eras, from prehistoric times and through the Middle Ages with fully restored wood carved rooms completely reassembled. Rooms recount religious, indistrial & cultural progress through the centuries.
GETTING AROUND ZURICH The cost effective and comprehensive above ground transportation system here is to be commended, Information about getting around can be obtained at the central train station. The tram runs frequently everywhere & Zurich is a rail hub in Europe, where train stations house shopping malls. Water taxis are good for both touring & transport. Cyclists love the many bike routes through huge green spaces.
GRINDELWALD Nestled in a mountain setting, Interlaken lies between lakes Thun & Brienz. Nearby Grindelwald is is in the heart of an area rich with agriculture, producing Switzerland’s fine dairy products like cheese & chocolate. The alpine setting gives it a touristy feel, and skiers & hikers find the town a paradise with its proximity to mountains & trees. Shopping is delightful and there’s no shortage of charming cafés and comfortable hotels & inns.
JUNGFRAUJOCH Approached by rail from Grindelwald, Jungfraujoch is a UNESCO world heritage destination offered by the cogwheel trains of Jungfrau Railway. Much of the 12 kilometer journey to the Top of Europe goes through mountains, where there are two stops to view the scenery. At the top, a lookout station provides amazing mountain vistas. Amenities at Jungfraujoch include restaurants and an Ice Palace, surrounded by skiing & hiking opportunities.
ZERMATT Idyllic scenery in the southwest region of Switzerland yields charming mountain towns such as Zermatt, whose car-less status makes it necessary to travel there by air or train. The town’s alpine architecture is enhanced by surrounding mountains and crowned by the famous Matterhorn. Ski enthusiasts are drawn to this enchanting town that offers everything needed to facilitate outdoor adventure, including small & friendly hotels.
THE MATTERHORN VIDEO The most photographed mountain in the world is accessed by gondolas and cable car lifts from Zermatt. At a peak of 4478 meters and surrounded by glaciers, all year round snow ensures skiing even in the summer. At the very top is a lookout tower with views all the way to France & Germany. Other stops at various elevations include an ice palace, restaurants, relaxation areas and infinite picnic and hiking choices.