On the Grand Tour de Suisse, we drive past palms in the South, snow in the Alps and crystalline lakes and untamed rivers in the hinterlands. The people are just as diverse as the many regions but they are bound by their motto 'unity through diversity'. This is a stocktaking of a nation and its contemporary inhabitants.
We bypass breath-taking scenes of nature on the legendary Grand Tour de Suisse. The tour takes us past palms in the South, snow in the Alps and the crystalline lakes and untamed rivers of the hinterlands. Furthermore, the inhabitants are every bit as diverse as the regions they live in and yet there is something that also binds them. This 'something' is what they refer to as 'unity through diversity'.
This journey through Switzerland is a stocktaking of a nation and its contemporary inhabitants, but it is also a quest to uncover 'the glue' that binds them.
It may be tiny yet four languages are spoken here. It may not border an ocean but it boasts mountains that are known the world over – along with valleys, lakes and rivers. It is one of the most popular holiday destinations and has unbroken appeal to immigrants, with Germans topping the list followed by French citizens. It's time for a trip through our neighboring country of Switzerland.
Possessing more of an inventive spirit than a swashbuckling manner, the Swiss espouse understatement over luxury. They are punctual and meticulous, courteous and deliberate. They are more un-hurried, more moderate and perhaps even somewhat more modest than their neighbors. And they prefer the subjunctive mood to the imperative.
We proceed via train and ship, mail van and cable railway along the famous Grand Tour de Suisse, which winds through town and country. It takes us 1600 kilometers across four language regions, five Alpine passes, eleven UNESCO World Heritage sites, two biospheres and 22 lakes; with stops to explore such cities as Basel, Zurich, Lucerne, Lausanne and Locarno. In other words, the best that Switzerland has to offer – both in terms of scenic and urban highlights. What awaits us are famous sights and plenty that is unknown.