The author does her Sound of Music imitation.

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Who says you can’t go back? Me, Hans and Jürg after more than three decades without contact.

Halfway along the Eiger trail, I spotted this cow doing exactly what I wanted to do.

Surveying the top of the world, the Jungfraujoch, in mid summer. At 3471 meters (11, 388 ft) this is a famous col between the Mönch and Jungfrau mountains.

Markus is now famous in Switzerland because of a documentary-TV series that followed his life as a mountain-rescue chopper pilot.


The best way to get around Switzerland is with a Swiss pass that includes rail, bus and boat travel as well as many other discounts. Arriving by air, it’s a simple trolley push from the baggage carousel to frequent trains that deposit you at the main station in Zurich and easy rail connections to the rest of the country (

Sleeps: Travellers (among them, Mark Twain) have been catching z’s at Interlaken’s Victoria-Jungfrau since 1865, and for good reason. The stylish hotel facing a tree-lined boulevard at the foot of the Jungfrau massif has chic rooms and gourmet restos. When i discovered its Sensai Select Spa was the only one in the world (the hotel also has an Espa spa), I signed up for an anti-aging facial. The icing on the masque was the esthetician’s suggestion that she apply my makeup. I’ve learned when a flawlessly beautiful woman offers to do this, you say yes. When I opened my eyes, i swear i had lost a decade (

Eats: The Hotel Alpenblick in Wilderswil is a charming mountain enclave straight out of a fairy tale. From my window table, I watched the sunset turn the sky pink over the Eiger and paint the cows a rosy tinge while I tucked into chef Richard Stöckli’s renowned crunchy golden rösti (

No one should leave the country without indulging in an evening of raclette. For an authentic version, try Restaurant Laterne in Interlaken (

Must-sees: Jungfraujoch   One hundred years ago, engineers built a cog- wheel railway through rock to is the highest station in Europe, Jungfraujoch, with its 360-degree views over the largest glacier in the alps. it’s a long trek to the top in molasses-slow trains crammed with camera-clicking tourists. but emerging from the elevator onto the viewing platform is a once-in-a-lifetime experience as the wind (occasionally more than 250 km per hour) tears at clothing, the temperature hovers around freezing and people scatter to peer out at this miracle of nature. Harder Kulm  The funicular railway that ascends to Harder Kulm is in the middle of Interlaken. It was my first outing and, like a kid in a candy shop, I darted from window to window, trying to soak in every scene. When the doors opened, I was first to race along a narrow path that leads to one of the most stupendous vistas i have ever seen overlooking Interlaken, with its turquoise lakes and the trinity of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains. Schynige Platte one of the oldest track railways in the Alps chugs from Wilderswilup to Schynige Platte, where hundreds of species bloom in the botanical alpine garden. The restaurant serves excellent hot chocolate (

The views from every corner of Interlaken are spellbinding.

In the shadow of the Eiger. How can anyone be less than completely captivated?