I'm not a seasoned or jaded traveler ... yet! So a comprehensive travel guide is critical to my preparation for a trip and a great way of post-filling information and details into some of the holes or places that I might have missed or had to rush through when I was actually on the trip. Along with photographs and trip journals, they're also a wonderful way to resurrect detailed memories of a trip long after you've returned home.
Eyewitness Travel Guides seem to have the market beat by a long margin! That's not to say that Lonely Planet, Frommer, Michelin or the Blue and Green Guides miss the mark entirely but the Eyewitness series, in general, seems to be more informative. The photographs and illustrations instill a higher degree of keen anticipation and provide a better means of choosing in advance between a world of competing destinations and alternative tourist attractions.
Their guide to Switzerland, in particular, was astonishingly accurate and complete - history, food, travel, hotels, geography, destinations, estimated costs, highlights, outdoor activities - every last one of them spot on and accurately described from the perspective of an actual trip through St Moritz, Lucerne, the Bernina Pass to Tirano, Italy and Interlaken. Even now the photographs of Swiss cuisine and cheese can set my mouth to watering!
One noteworthy omission that my traveling companion and I discovered by accident - Switzerland offers a museum pass for 30 Swiss francs that will give admission for one month to virtually every museum in the country. That's a remarkable offer given that the countryside is positively littered with a host of attractive museums, castles and attractions most of which charge a 5 to 10 franc admission. We learned that little tidbit from the concierge of the Palace Lucerne Hotel - kudos to the hotel for over the top service and a great piece of advice!
With that one small suggestion for addition to future editions, the Eyewitness Travel Guide to Switzerland easily earns a five-star review. And Switzerland, by the bye, is certainly a delicious five-star travel destination!
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