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Paradise on Earth
Switzerland is known for its beautiful lush green meadows, lofty mountain peaks, alpine landscapes and dense woods.
Situated in Central Europe, Switzerland shares borders with Germany, Italy, Austria and France.

Area: 41.290sqkm.

Population: 7,318.000.

Currency: Swiss Franc (Swf).
1 Swiss Franc = 34.79939 Indian rupee.

When To Go:
Switzerland has an abundance of regional microclimates. While Ticino in the South is a prototype of a Mediterranean climate, most of the rest of the country has a central European climate. There is perennial snow cover at altitudes above 3.000 m (9.842 ft).

How To Go:
There are direct flights from India to Zurich.

Art & Culture:
Located on the edge of Lake Geneva, Chateau de Chillon, Montreux is a well-preserved, 13th century castle, which is one of the most visited attractions in Switzerland. The Glacier Garden at Lucerne is also home to some fascinating rock formations. Zytglogge, located in the centre of Bern, has traditionally been a symbol of the Swiss capital. A 13th century clock tower, this timepiece attracts people because of the display of mechanical figures, which appear four minutes before the hour. Switzerland also boasts of a robust museum culture. The most popular one is Verkehrshaus at Lucerne, while the most photogenic one is Castle of Chillon.

Art lovers can visit the old town of Bern with its characteristic arcades, the cloister St Johann in Mustair, the Tre Castelli of Bellinzona and the collegiate domain with its magnificent library in St Galles. The mosaics at Orbe and the arena at Avenches figure among the worlds best-kept reminders of Roman times.

For a romantic experience, shop in Berns historical centre, in ancient buildings where luxury boutiques rub shoulders with more common-place bakeries and curio shops. Zurichs Bahnhofstrasse has always enjoyed the reputation for being one of the worlds premiere shopping venues. Shopping in Geneva is a joy: whether you stroll through the Rue Basses with its hip little boutiques or the chic Rue du Rhone, Rue de la Confederation, Rue du Marche, Rue de la Croix-d Or or Rue du Mont-Blance.

Eating Out:
A combination of three principal cultures, Swiss cuisine draws heavily on influences from its French, Italian and German neighbours. In the French speaking part of Switzerland, dishes such as assiette valiaisanne, a Combination of dried beef, gherkins, sausages, cheese, ham and bacon is very popular. Moving along to the German-speaking region, the cuisine is influenced by the geographic conditions of the area. Soups feature highly on their list of priorities with basler mehlsuppe being one of the preferred specialities. The many lakes mean that fish is also popular and so is game. To wash it all down, sample some of the wonderful Swiss wines or check out some of the fruit spirits and local beers.

Skiing On The Alps:
No reference to attractions in Switzerland is quite incomplete without mentioning some of the more popular ski centres around the country. Verbier is the top ski resort, which also serves as a gateway to some smaller resorts including Beysonnaz and La Tzoumaz. Arosa, in the east, is a new resort attracting a younger crowd. Finally, St Moritz located in the Eastern part of the Swiss Alps is the glitziest of all the resorts.

Night life in Switzerland is all about music and theatre. From the Basel Symphony and Basel Chamber orchestras to active theatre groups, all clubs in Switzerland thrive on live gigs and dance shows.
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Posted on : 14/11/2005
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