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Diccon Bewes is a travel writer. A world trip set him up for a career in travel writing, via the scenic route of bookselling. After ten years at Lonely Planet and Holiday Which? magazine, he decamped to Switzerland. In addition to grappling with German, re-learning to cross the road properly, and overcoming his desires to form an orderly line, he has spent the last five years exploring this quirky country. Following the incredible success of Swiss Watching, he is now a full-time writer.
Author photo © Alison Pouliot
A travel diary from 1863 inspires author Diccon Bewes to retrace Thomas Cook's historic train trip that revolutionised tourism forever.
July 2010 Travel Book of the Month. Banks, Cuckoo Clocks, Cheese and Chocolate just about sums up most people’s knowledge of Switzerland, but read Diccon Bewes' entertaining view of the country and you’ll know a whole lot more. He takes readers on a tour of Switzerland and we learn about its history, its people and its place at the heart of Europe. Diccon Bewes has the Bryson touch, informing and entertaining readers with his observations, considerable knowledge and love for this little known country. To listen to an interview with Diccon Bewes on the BBC "Excess Baggage" programme, click here.Like for Like ReadingGermania: A Personal History of Germans Ancient and Modern, Simon WinderBlue River, Black Sea: A Journey Along the Danube into the Heart of the New Europe, Andrew Eames
'A great subject for a cultural anthropologist and Bewes is a perfect guide' Financial Times, Book of the Year A brand new edition of the international bestseller, with new sections on the Swiss elections, the Swiss citizenship test and how Brexit has affected Switzerland. One country, four languages, 26 cantons, and 7.5 million people (but only 80% of them Swiss): there's nowhere else in Europe like it. Switzerland may be almost 400 km from the nearest drop of seawater, but it is an island at the centre of Europe. Welcome to the landlocked island. Swiss Watching is a fascinating journey around Europe's most individual and misunderstood country. From seeking Heidi and finding the best chocolate to reliving a bloody past and exploring an uncertain future, Diccon Bewes proves that there's more to Switzerland than banks and skis, francs and cheese. This book dispels the myths and unravels the true meaning of Swissness.
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.
For German and English speakers, a chef using a preservative is not quite the same as a Chef using a Praservativ. False friends like these are a foreign language's booby traps: words that are similar to ones we know but which have very different meanings. Just in time for the holiday season, British author Diccon Bewes (Swiss Watching, Slow Train to Switzerland) and Swiss cartoonist Michael Meister (Wall Street Journal, Tageswoche, New York Times) have created 51 cartoons to celebrate the perils of false friends between English and German. In an informative glossary, Diccon Bewes explains all the ways to go wrong. Whether you are learning English or German, or consider yourself an expert in both languages, this book will make you laugh-and maybe also learn something too.
Es wurde das Abenteuer ihres Lebens. Im Juni 1863 schloss die englische Dame Jemima Morrell sich einer der ersten Reisegruppen von Thomas Cook an. Ihr Ziel: die damals als exotisch geltende Schweiz. Die Route fuhrte sie von London uber Genf und Interlaken bis nach Luzern und war ein Wagnis sondergleichen - mit einer 18-stundigen Zugfahrt ohne Sanitaranlagen, Eselsritten uber Alpenpasse und ausgiebigen Fumarschen im sperrigen Chiffonkleid. 150 Jahre spater begibt sich der geburtige Englander und Wahlschweizer Diccon Bewes mit dem Zug an dieselben Orte und sieht sie mit den Augen von "e;Miss Jemima"e;, deren Tagebuch er immer bei sich tragt. Eine charmante Entdeckungsreise durch die Schweiz von damals und heute sowie zu den Anfangen des modernen Tourismus.
Der Englander Diccon Bewes hat die Schweiz zu seiner Wahlheimat gemacht. Aber wie heimisch werden unter Menschen, die nicht gern ubers Wetter reden und beim Anstellen keine ordentliche Schlange bilden? Am besten mit einer Reise. Zu den Wahlen unter freiem Himmel in Appenzell, zum Heidihaus nach Maienfeld, an die Wiege des roten Taschenmessers in Schwyz und zu einer Wiese namens Rutli, Geburtsort der Schweiz. Bewes' Reisebericht ist eine hintergrundige und humorvolle Liebeserklarung an die Eidgenossen.