In June 1863 an English lady set off by train on the trip of a lifetime: Thomas Cook's first Conducted Tour of Switzerland. A century and a half later, travel writer Diccon Bewes, author of the bestselling Swiss Watching, decided to go where she went and see what she saw.
Guided by her diary, he followed the same route to discover how much had changed and how much hadn't. She went in search of adventure, he went in search of her, and found far more than he expected. Slow Train to Switzerland is the captivating account of two trips through the Alps: hers glimpsing the future of travel, his revisiting its past. Together they make a journey to remember.
This is a tale of trains and tourists, of the British and the Swiss, of a Victorian traveller and a modern-day Englishman abroad. It is the story of a tour that changed both Switzerland and the world of travel forever.
Loquacious and genial. — The Independent
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
Very enjoyable. Bewes is a charming guide. — Geographical
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 was 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 favourite 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
A delightful accessible throw-away style which is both amusing and endearing. — The Cultural Traveller