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One tour, two trips,
This review is from: Slow Train to Switzerland: One Tour, Two Trips, 150 Years and a World of Change Apart (Hardcover)
Diccon Bewes does a fine job in recounting the tour of Switzerland (and a little bit of France) of Miss Jemima and the Junior United Alpine Club.
It is amazing what hardships the members of the Junior United Alpine Club took upon themselves in undertaking this journey. One also notices that these people appeared to be quite underequipped - would you fancy travelling four weeks in the Swiss Alps with one set of clothes? Diccon Bewes undertakes this journey but he uses 21st century means of transport, which is somewhat more convenient than its 1863 equivalent and I suspect that he was also somewhat better equipped textile- and otherwise.
The author quotes from Miss Jemima's diary and other tour guides of the time as often as possible and that brings the story to life. I also liked the background information he provides on Thomas Cook, the members of the Junior United Alpine Club and the many places the group visited.
I like the author's entertaining style of recounting the story and I also loved his many candid observations and witty remarks on matters around him. The map at the beginning of the book is great but I would have liked it if the author had provided sections of this map at the beginning of each chapter. That would have saved me from turning to page xi about a hundred times. All told this is great reading.
Before you embark on a journey of this nature you ought to read Diccon Bewes' Swiss Watching: Inside Europe's Landlocked Island because this will tell you everything you always wanted to find out about Switzerland but were afraid to ask.