Historic journeys in Switzerland

Following the footsteps of great explorers and promoters of Switzerland.

It started with the Swiss. And with Thomas Cook in June 1863. That was the moment when grand tours for the rich became popular tours for the masses. It was the dawn of the age of modern tourism – and Switzerland was its birthplace. Time to celebrate 150 years of Swiss tourism. Almost exactly 150 years ago, on 26 June 1863, the first Conducted Tour of Switzerland set off “to Geneva, Lucerne and other principal places in the Alpine Districts.” Those package pioneers went by boat and by train, on foot and on horseback through the Alps. One of them, Miss Jemima Morrell from Yorkshire, recorded every detail in her Swiss Journal.

The Clemens family travelled to Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, and England between April 1878 and August 1879. They were joined by their Hartford friend, the Reverend Joseph Twitchell, during their first summer in Europe, and he and Clemens took a month-long “tramp” together. Their adventures were documented in Mark Twain’s third travel book, A Tramp Abroad, in which the two “pedestrians” took a walking tour through the Alps by means of every conceivable conveyance possible other than their feet. As the author advised, it was a book “written by one loafer for a brother loafer to read.”