Switzerland's Mountain Inns
The prospect of hiking in the Swiss mountains and staying in cozy
alpine hotels is appealing to many travelers, but the reality can be
intimidating--especially for those who are donning knickers, boots, and rucksacks for the
first time. Just knowing where mountain hotels are, and what to expect when you find them,
isn't the sort of information that's readily available in mainstream guidebooks.
Fortunately, Marcia and Philip Lieberman have come to
the rescue with SWITZERLAND'S MOUNTAIN INNS: A Walking Vacation in a World Apart.
The 268-page quality paperback was published in July, 1998, and it's probably the best
all-around hiking guide for visitors who prefer moderate day hikes and creature comforts
to the rigors of a high alpine tour.
The book covers six regions: The Bernese Oberland,
Valais, Appenzell, Central Switzerland, Graubünden, and the Emmental. Each section
contains descriptions of Berghäuser, or mountain inns, with information on
accommodations, rates, food, local hiking opportunities, and how to get there on foot
and/or by public transportation. Directions are detailed, so you're unlikely to get lost
if you buy a good hiking map at a local tourist office, bookshop, or sporting-goods store
before you head for the hills.
Mind you, Switzerland's Mountain Inns isn't
perfect: the maps in the book are rudimentary at best, and a more compact format would be
handier for carrying in a pocket or rucksack. But with the book having a list
price of only US $17.95, such complaints can be dismissed as nitpicking.
A final observation: I've visited several of the
mountain hotels described in Switzerland's Mountain Inns, and the descriptions
are right on target. You won't find a better guidebook for this kind of travel in
About the book's authors:
Marcia R. Lieberman is the author of Walking
Switzerland, The OutdoorTraveler's Guide, The Alps, Walking the
Alpine Parks of France and Northwest Italy, and many articles for the New York
Times on trekking in the Alps and Himalayas.
Philip Lieberman is a professor of cognitive
and linguistic sciences at Brown University; he has written many books on the brain,
evolution, and speech.
A Walking Vacation in a World Apart
Marcia and Philip Lieberman
Paperback, 268 pages with b&w photos
The Countryman Press
US $17.95 / Can. $23.99
(US $14.36 at Amazon.com)
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Jacket photo by courtesy of
Amazon.com. All rights reserved.