“Do you know the real reason behind why I wanted to move to Switzerland…?” my husband asked me this morning. “Because of the well-developed train system,” he claims (jokingly) – which the Swiss have been the most clever country in the world at developing. (My husband loves to travel by train, partly because of his experience of traveling all over Europe by train during his childhood as his father was in the railway business.) I have also come to love traveling by train and the reasons are many.
The Swiss have over the past 100 years built the most outstanding railway system in the world that traverse and penetrate the mountains just like in a Swiss cheese. In addition to being efficient, comfortable and clean, the trains are also reliable and on time – to the extent that you almost can set your clock/watch after them.
Traveling by train is in our opinion (my husband and I) the most comfortable and stress-free way to travel by far. Considering how long time it takes to go through security these days, it might not take much longer than to fly (shorter distances). It generally takes about the same amount of time as going by car – and what an added pleasure it is to have the freedom to move, talk, work, read and see the view, which is unbeatable from a train. It is also a wonderful way to spend time together.
In a world that is moving faster and faster, where we rush from place to place and compete against the clock, taking the train instead of a car or a plane can add a peaceful dimension to our travel. I never get the same “monkey feeling” boarding a train as when boarding a plane, and not the same hysteria upon arrival – when most people go a bit manic to get off the plane.
We traveled by train this morning from St Moritz towards Zurich in a panorama wagon/car with spectacular views of the mountains, ancient castles and villages, waterfalls and ice-covered cliffs. This particular train ride is listed in the UNESCO world heritage.
In Switzerland you can buy a half-price card for a year that cost 175CHF which pays off very quickly, making taking the train more affordable.
There are numerous particular scenic train rides in Europe and around the world that I am looking forward to exploring in the future.